A Brief History of the Marque
Represented by A. Lambert et Cie p>
27 avenue de la grande Armée, Paris
Moto-Cardan built 250cc single-cylinder and large capacity V-twin engined motorcycles in France from 1903, the latter by the Ader company and probably designed by its namesake, Clément Ader. It was one of the first motorcycles (possibly the first) to feature shaft drive to the rear wheel.
Émile Robion of E.R., like Ader an aviation pioneer, patented his creation on February 14, 1903, and it was introduced at that year's Critérium des quart de litre.
According to a post on pit-lane.biz, much of the historical information about E.R. and Moto-Cardan requires revision.
The page says, in essence:
In 1902 he met Léon-Georges Lévy of Manufacture Française d’Appareil & Accessoires pour Cycles & Automobiles, also of Puteaux, who co-operated with Robion to built his "E.R.", the name of which was coined on May 30, 1902.
It is understood that the motorcycle (or perhaps just the drive train) was exhibited at the 5th International Automobile Exhibition in December 1902.
Lambert & Cie, an automobile manufacturer in Nanterre with showrooms in Paris became the sales representative for Emile Robion's creations. In late 1902 the first prototype was built, equipped with the two-speed ER clutch gearbox and the Lambert igniter, using the Moto-Cardan marque. This name was registered on September 23, 1903 by M Levy.
The post goes on to say that in fact Ader (often associated with the marque) had nothing to do with E.R. or Moto-Cardan, providing a fairly solid argument and a number of photographs.
Recently, however, more information has emerged, and a Moto-Cardan with an Ader engine has come to light.
Sources: Bourdache (p434), pit-lane.biz
Article on Moto Cardan in La Vie de la Moto No. 253 August 1999.
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