French Motorcycles

Gitane Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

The firm was established in 1928 by Marcel Brunelière in Machecoul as a bicycle manufacturer, the firm adopting the name Micmo Gitane after Marcel's nickname, meaning Gypsy. Production of motorcycles began in 1951, and during the following years lightweight roadsters and motocross machines with engines of 49cc to 198cc were produced using engines from Ydral, Vap, Mistral, Itom and Sachs.

1950s and 1960s

The company name changed to MICMO (Manufacture Industriele de Cycles et Motocycles) and marketed both Gitane cycles and motorcycles, and Le Gitan cyclomoteurs.

Gitane had built the YL and the YL Sport in 1955. The YL Sport had a dual seat and flat handlebars. In 1957, 369 Gitanes were made utilising 125cc Ydral engines. Production of 125 and 175cc Ydral powered machines ceased in 1969.

Other models of the period were the V.100 Sport with a VAP 118cc 3-speed engine, and the S.98 and S.P. 98 both with Sachs 98cc 2-speed two-strokes.

During the 1950s the firm took part in many sporting events.

1970s and 1980s

There was a collaboration with the Italian company Testi, with some 13 different models marketed as the Gitane-Testi. Among them were very attractive P6 Minarelli-powered 50cc machines which were available with pedals or kickstarter. Most had a double-drum SLS front brake (possibly Grimeca), and some were fitted with a disc. Forks by Ceriani, Delorto carburettor, premix of 4%.

Another desirable model was the Super Corsa in full-race trim - full fairing, expansion chamber, racing seat, long skinny tank, Marzocchi forks, alloy rims, rearsets and with a 19mm carbie capable of a very healthy 130 km/h. Not strictly legal in those days of 45 km/h speed restrictions on mopeds.

Other Gitane-Testi models:

Daytona Dino 1970
Grand Prix GPLP4SC 1970
Grand Prix GPLP4ST 1970
Grand Prix GPLP4SS 1970
Champion 6 Speed
Champion Super 1972
Champion Super Luxe 1972
Grand Prix 1972
Super Corsa 1972
Champion Super Luxe 1973
Champion 1973
Grand Prix 1973
Compétition Client 1973
Champion Super 1974
Champion Polyester 1974
Grand Prix 1974
Champion Veloce 1974
Compétition Client 1974
Grand Prix 3 vitesses 1975
Grand Prix 4 vitesses 1975
Champion 1975
Champion Super 1975
Champion Veloce Cantilever 1976
Elf Champion
Elf Daytona
Elf Silhouette

Minarelli engines used in Gitane-Testi models:
P6CS, P6S, P3N, P4S, P4P, P6-4, P6S

The new French moped laws of June 1st 1980 put paid to the venture, and production ceased in 1983.

In 1974 the Renault car company purchased a sizeable portion of the shares in MICMO and in the late-1970s they obtained full ownership.

Sources:, Pierre Astier,, cyclememory

Notes There is also an Italian marque: Moto Gitan.

16liamsmith2003 at
1977 Testi Gitane Champion Veloce
Hello. I've recently got hold of an old Italian bike called a Testi Gitane champion Veloce and was wondering if you, or anyone you know, could give me any information on the bike. It’s seemingly rare which makes any information about the bike hard to come by so any information you have would be greatly appreciated.
Liam Smith

Images posted to Comments

Tue Mar 04 2014
thedr46 at
gitane testi
hi are parts available for this model mostly tank rubbers

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