French Motorcycles

Tendil Mopeds

A Brief History of the Marque

Cycles Tendil
10 bis et 21 rue Ruffi

The firm was established by Elie Tendil in 1919 in Ales (Gard) where it built bicycles, and towards the end of the 1920s began building motorcycles using engines from Chaise, JAP and Moser. Their existing facilities proved too small for the planned expansion and during this period they moved 50km south to a larger factory in Nîmes. There they built their own frames and wheels, and had a paint shop and plating works.


In the 1950s they constructed numerous mopeds fitted with Vap 57, Vap 55, Vap B and Vap G engines along with lightweight motorcycles powered by AMC, Comet, Aubier & Dunne and Nervor. By the mid fifties the factory produced some 5000 mopeds and motorcycles annually, along with 50,000 bicycles.

By the early 1960s competition was fierce from the larger French companies and Elie Tendil decided, in 1962, to cease manufacture. The workforce of 100 was, sadly, dismissed and activities were restricted to retail sales of Motoconfort. Members of the third generation of the family are still in the motorcycle business.

Models include:

  • Tendilet Junior 1955, Standard, and Grand Luxe, 49.9cc Le Poulain two-stroke

    Tendilet Caravelle 1959 49.9cc VAP

    1952 VMT1 123cc

    1953-54 M2T3, M4T3, M4T4 170cc

Sources: Cyclememory.org, cfcs50.com

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