Italian Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Orio & Marchand Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Italian Marque

In 1894 the French brothers Paul and Leo Marchand founded the company in Musocco, Milan, to build motorcycles and automobiles.

In the spring of 1898 (May 6 to 9) there were riots in Milan for increased wages, with clashes leaving dozens dead and injured.

In this atmosphere, the Marchant brothers left Milan and moved to Piacenza near which both had interests. At Piacenza they knew Orio Attilio who ran a workshop, inherited from his father Stefano, where he built bicycles and sewing machines.

In April 1898, Attilio Orio and the Marchand brothers formed a new company, Orio & Marchand, for the construction of cars, motorcycles and bicycles. The firm is sometimes referred as Marchand & Orio.

The company entered a period of development due in no small part to the skilful Piacenza technician and rider Giuseppe Merosi (1872-1956). (Taqmagni, perhaps)

Merosi left the Piacenza business in 1904 to join Fiat's technical department in Torino, moving from there to Bianchi and, in 1910, to Alfa Romeo where he remained until 1926 when he became a consultant to Isotta Fraschini.

The loss of Merosi was a severe blow for Marchand. In January 1907 the Piacenza company was absorbed by Dufaux Freres of Geneva, builders of Motosacoche, becoming Marchand-Dufaux.

In the same year the Piacenza company ended motorcycle production and the Marchand brothers left, while Orio returned to producing sewing machines and agricultural tools.

In November 1907 the Marchand-Dufaux concern was wound up.

Sources: Moto di Lombardia,

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