Clement Motorcycles


A Brief History of the Marque

Built in France from 1901 to 1935
76 Grande-Rue Pre-St-Gervaise (Seine)

The Clement concern produced high quality bicycles before the factory turned to making motorcycle engines at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Adolphe Clément, born 1855 and orphaned at an early age, was apprenticed to a blacksmith where he built his own wooden bicycle. He began entering races, rode his bicycle to Paris and in 1880 set up a workshop building bicycles which before long employed 150 people. In 1899 he took up the Dunlop manufacturing rights for France and this venture was enormously successful - Adolphe became a millionaire. The bicycle factory was expanded considerably, combining Clément, Gladiator and Humber-France.

Clément left the firm in 1903, later creating a new marque for his automobiles, Bayard, with a factory in Levallois-Perret, and in 1909 changed his name to Adolphe Clément-Bayard. He was also an aviation pioneer, and was the first to cross the English Channel by airship, which he built. He became very famous and was awarded the Légion d'honneur.

In 1922 his successful automobile company was sold to Citroen who used the large factory to built the 5 CV, the car that made their name.

Clément Motorcycles

The 1¼ hp engine of 1902 had an automatic intake valve and an overhead exhaust valve, with a large flywheel acting as a pulley for the direct belt transmission to the rear wheel.

Clement supplied engines to the British company Clément-Garrard, and these engines powered the first of the Norton machines in 1902.

They became successful in the 1920s when some potent 248cc JAP-engined ohv machines left the old works on the Seine. Clement was also a pioneer of good rear suspension which they used with triangular frames during the late 1920s - Andreino won many races on these machines. The range of models included machines from 98cc to 498cc with two-stroke, side-valve and OHV engines.

Quite extensive model information available at JLB-Créations

Sources: Tragatsch, JLB Creations, Wikipedia.fr, et al.

December 1901 Paris Salon

§ 3. - Clement's motorcycle.

The Clément autoclette has its engine lying on the inclined side of the frame near the fork; it has one horsepower at 1,900 revolutions which can produce a speed of 40 kilometers per hour.

Denis Blaizot in Gloubik Science

§ 3. - Autocyclette Clément. L’autocyclette Clément a son moteur couché sur le côté incliné du cadre près de la fourche ; sa puissance, d’un cheval à 1.900 tours, peut lui imprimer une vitesse de 40 kilomètres à l’heure.

maypeter at xtra.co.nz
Clement 1911
hi. I have been given a early clement bicycle Engine. Its missing the carburetor and exhaust. I would like to know more about how to start this Engine.
Peter May
New Zealand

This group may offer assistance: https://www.facebook.com/groups/654324954604252/

davidgeorgecopland at icloud.com
Late 1890s/early 1900s
I own the collection of medals & a couple of other items won by early motorcycle racer, F. Graeme Fenton who rode a Clement-Gladiator machine. Happy to share photos if anyone interested.
David Copland
North East England

  • Clement-Fenton-Medals-DCo images posted to Comments (×)
    Comments Button

    Go to comments
    Click the image for a clearer view.
    Login using FB, Twitter etc.


Mon Dec 07 2009
stbergner at web.de
1st International Six Days Trial 1913 in Carlisle
make ? Clement Gladiator
Hallo, ich bin seit langer Zeit auf der Suche nach einem Bild einer Clement-Gladiator. Dieses Motorrad soll 1913 bei den Six Days im Nationalteam Frabkreich eingesetzt worden sein. Ist darüber etwas bekannt ? Könnt Ihr helfen ? MfG Stefan
Zwickau, Germany

International Six Days Trial 18.-23.8.1913 Carlisle/England

French Team:
Bourbeau und Devaux auf Bedelia Cycle Car
1 rider on Clement-Gladiator

2nd Day:
The competitors considered that the first day's route was extremely difficult, but it was child's play to the second day.

The first competitor to pass through Kirkoswald exactly up to time on his French-built 3 œ h.p. Clement-Gladiator, was A. J. Sproston, gallantly riding for the French team (???) in place of one of the three entrants disabled in France a fortnight ago. It was matter for regret that the other two, the rider of a Clement Gladiator machine, and Bourbeau with his Bedelia cycle car (which was much admired the first day) , were amongst Tuesday's 28 absentees.

The Frenchman Bourbeau in the Bedelia cycle car did not start in Tuesday's run (2nd Day), whilst the Clement riders failed on most hills, and had not arrived at a late hour.

I don't understand that A. J. Sproston was gallantly riding for the French team and won a Bronze medal , but an other information is, that "A trio of Frenchmen who retired on second day". When Sproston won a Bronze medal and the French Team retired complete then it is not possible that sproston was a member of French team.

--- A.J.Sproston won a Bronze medal (list of results)

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Stefan Bergner

I found the follow information ISDT 1913:

France, racing with blue colours - Entrant: Union Motocycliste de France
M. Guilloreau on a Clement-Gladiator 350cc, twin cylinder, 2,75 HP
M. Gabriel on a Clement-Gladiator 498cc, twin-cylinder, 4 HP
M. Bourbeau on a Bedelia Cyclecar 1100cc, twin-cylinder, 8 HP

Best regards

If you have a query about Clement-Gladiator motorcycles, or have some information to add about these classic French machines, please contact us