French

Motocyclettes fabriquées en France (C)

Notes on some of the rarer French marques

This page lists brands for which only brief historical information has been posted. There is also a page on really obscure French brands.
For a more complete listing see the French Index.


Carley

Capelle

Established in 1900 at 58, rue de Longvic, in Dijon. Described at the time as a "specialist in finished frames and cycles". A 1929 catalogue advertised parts "Pour le Cycle et la Moto", giving the same address. It is not clear whether they sold complete motorcycles under their own name.

The Capelle poster is by Imp. Moullot, date c1907.

The business possibly still exists at a nearby address.


Carpio
1930-1935
Bicycle maker G. Carpio of Paris built lightweights using 98c and 124cc engines from Aubier Dunne and Stainless.
Sources: wikipedia.nl, Tragatsch p101


Carreau
93 avenue des Ternes, Paris
Motocyclettes with engines by De Dion 1½ hp et 1¾ hp, built by J. Carreau in 1902
Bourdache pp 119, 146, 209.


Casnat
Ets Casnat, 53, Rue Montesquieu, Lyon (Rhone)
A cycle manufacturer which built lightweight motorcycles in the 1950s, including a 70cc model in 1955.
Sources: encycloduvelo.fr, La Moto Francaise.


Cassardo
Based at 6 Rue Ceccaldi in St Etienne, Cesar Cassardo built sidecars in the 30s until at least 1935.
Source: Motos dans la Loire


Cavelier
Motocyclette which took part in the concours de l'Automobile Club de France, 1904. See also Tungnaud-Cavelier
Bourdache p432


Cazalex

1951-1955

Built lightweight motorcycles and mopeds using 49cc and 124cc engines. Their Superlux 55 velomoteur was powered by a 49cc Myster.

Sources: wikipedia.nl, Tragatsch p101


Centaure
205 rue de Flandre, Paris
Bicycle with the engine above the rear wheel, built by M. Flinois in 1900
Bourdache p109


Certain
Manufactured by Certain workshops 1906, 7, Cité Jarry, Paris (Xe)
Certain exhibited a small tri-car at the Exposition des Petits Inventeurs, Alcazar d'Été, April 6 to 14, 1907. The machine was powered by a 3½ h.p. 402cc Lurquin-Coudert engine. The following year larger machines were offered with 5 h.p. engines by ZL and Griffon, and rear suspension from Bozier.
Source: lestricars.es.tl


C.F.C. - Compagnie Française des Cycles
Factory at 6 rue Francoeur, Paris in 1901 (Ets Pathé cinema in 1986)
Motocyclette with Onfray engine. Possibly associated with L'Universel
Bourdache p432


Clediaber
The name was formed from the brands CLEment-GlaDIAtor and HumBER. Bicycles of this name were built and, it is believed, motorcycles. Manufacture took place in Pre-Saint-Gervais.
Source: encycloduvelo.fr


Chaffal
21 rue Gaudot de Mauroy, Paris (1907)
Presented a motorised bicycle of 1½ hp or 2¼ hp at the 1902 Salon.
Bourdache writes, "De mystérieux Chaffal et Gillet cachent peut-être..." the latter could be Rene Gillet.
Bourdache pp 146, 432


Chaffin Motocyclettes
30 bis rue Ledru-Rollin, Beaucaire
Motocyclette, 1907
Bourdache p432


Chaigneau
Motorcycles presented at the salon of 1902 (1½ hp and 2 hp)
Bourdache p146


Champeyrache
Manufacturer of Velocipedes. Acessoires, Pieces Detachees. Automobiles et Motocycles. 17 Place du Lycee, Alais, 1903.
A 1901 De Dion-Bouton automobile associated with the name D. Champeyrache was sold by Bonhams July 2009.
La Moto Francaise


Chanon
22 rue Duret, Paris
Founded in 1892 by Henri Chanon as a bicycle company, and later owned and managed by Henri Gaubert, the brand became well known for its tricars. Production ceased around 1909.
Henri's younger brother Julien Louis Gaubert gained recognition as a rider of motorcycles and tricycles, raced Brasier automobiles, and became a pioneer of French aviation.
In 1905 a Chanon motorcycle with a Villemain engine was ridden to 7th place in the criterion of 1/3 litre.
Bourdache p220
See also lestricars.es.tl


Chantemede
Motocyclette, 1903
47 avenue de la République, Paris
Name changed to C.D.M. in 1906.
Bourdache p187


Charles Pélissier
A famed cyclist of the 1920s and 1930s, his name is mentioned in connection with motorcycles.
Motos dans la Loire says that a company of the same name was formed in 1909. Charles was born in 1903.
There was another Pélissier, Francis, also a famous cyclist in the 1920s and whose name was used by Mercier on a moped in the early 1950s. Francis was born in 1894 and in his racing years had looks which would no doubt have made women swoon.


Charon Motorcycle
Sidevalve engine in a wooden frame with wooden forks, wire spoked wheels. Most unusual machine, and really quite beautiful.
La Moto Francaise has an image of one registered at the prefecture of Angoulême on 13/07/1929


Chartier
30 rue de Mondéreau, Sens (Yonne)
Built a motorcycle with a De Dion 2 ¾hp engine in 1902
Bourdache p433


Chauffourier
Motorcycle with engine behind the pedals presented at the Paris Salon 1902
Two models 1 ¾hp and 2 ¼hp. It was also known as The Royal
Engaged in the Paris-Madrid of 1903
Bourdache pp 146, 172.


Chevallier
Beginning in 1978, Alain Chevallier built Yamaha TZ-based racers ridden by his talented brother Olivier, who died on the track in 1980. After almost throwing in the towel, Alain recovered and changed to Honda. Using engines supplied by HRC, the three-cylinder 500cc GP machines were a force to be reckoned with.
Source: François-Marie Dumas


Cicca Vélo-Réve


Cheilus
In 1904 Edouard Cheilus founded the company "Éd. Cheilus et Cie" and displayed his first tricar at the 1904 Salon. The following year he formed Austral.
motocyclettesaustral.es.tl, Bourdache p315, 399


Chemineau 1952-1957


chenard-walcker

Chenard & Walcker

7 rue de Normandie, Asnières 1906

Ernest Chenard built bicycles and motor tricycles before joining forces with Henri Walcker around 1897. They soon ventured into the automobile market, and their first machine was a tricycle converted to a quadricycle, still using the motorcycle frame, saddle and fuel tank. It had a passenger seat at the front in the style of a forecar.

The firm continued production of automobiles, often very luxurious, into the 1930s and was then taken over by another company which continued to market the brand until WWII.

Sources: Bourdache p433, wikiwand.com, et al.


Chevalier-Lafay
Founded in 1902 in Saint Etienne, the firm built components for cycles and automobiles.
Source: Motos dans la Loire


Chorlier-Guichard
Established in 1899 at Lieu Montpassé grandes molières in Saint Etienne
They built components for bicycles and automobiles, and probably for motorcycles.
Source: Motos dans la Loire


Choubersky
18 rue du 4 septembre, Paris, and also at 20, rue Félicien-David, Paris.
Built tricycles and tandems in 1899 with De Dion engines under the Richard-Choubersky brand.
At the time of his death in 1891 he had four stores in Paris, so it is not out of the question that the these machines were built by this company and sold at both addresses.
The story of Richard Choubersky (Charles de Choubersky) of roller-skate fame, who died in 1891, proves once more that wealth does not necessarily bring happiness. An interesting account of his life is available at oldbike.eu.
Bourdache p441


Chouzet Motocyclette
Motorcycle patented on February 29, 1904
Bourdache p433


Claude Delage
12 rue Honnet, Clichy
A 1923 advertisement for La Moto legere Claude Delage shows a 175cc four-stroke. Motorcycles were built from 1923 to perhaps 1927, when production ceased.
The firm also built bicycles as early as 1913, and marketed the Grillon bicycle marque in 1923.
There was no connection to Delage Automobiles

Sources Bourdache p346, zhumoriste, encycloduvelo.fr


CLB
Established in 1951 at Rue des Armuriers in St Etienne, the firm built frames for Rhonson and bodywork for the Mercier Vacances.
Source: Motos dans la Loire


Clément

Manufactured automobiles from early in the century until at least 1914, when their address was Pne. St Gervaise, Seine.

In 1902 Adolphe Clément left the company he had founded to enter an arrangement with Charles Chetwynd-Talbot with whom he formed Clément-Talbot in Britain, and he also formed Clément formed Clément-Bayard in France. The existing business was joined with Cycles et Automobiles Gladiator and renamed Société Francaise des Cycles Clément et Gladiateur Ltd.

Adolphe Clement became very famous as a motorcycle manufacturer and quite wealthy from his exclusive distributor rights for Dunlop tyres in France.

See also Clement-Gladiator
Sources: Graces Guide, et al.


CMR


Codridex
49cc and 65cc mopeds built by bicycle manufacturer Robert Codridex of Angoulême, 1952-56. Bicycles were also built under the brand Royal-Codrix.
Moto Revue 16th Feb 1957 lists the company as building 6,100 cyclomoteurs from 1954 to 1956.
Sources: Tragatsch p106, Moto Revue


Cohendet
Marcel Violet was associated with this firm which produced cyclecars powered by two-stroke engines from 1908 to 1913, and also post WWI.
Sources: bernardet.com


Colomb
1950-54
Société Colomb of Bagnolet, Paris, built (or assembled) lightweight motorcycles and scooters.
Sources: Wikipedia NL, Tragatsch p106



Constantin & Cabannes
A small workshop in Béziers established in the late 1890s began building motorcycles in 1902, an example of which exists with a 330cc four-stroke engine mounted horizontal and high in the frame. It has chain drive, and a "tampone" brake on the front wheel which acts directly on the tyre. The company name is clearly visible, cast into the crankcase.
On page 110 Bourdache writes that the 1901 Constantin horizontal motor is attached to the upper tube of the frame, and later there is reference to the marque in 1905.
Sources: amicidellemotobicisottocanna.blogspot.com, Bourdache pp 110, 255, 287.


Contal

Coq de France
Manufactured by Mazoyer-Besset which was founded in 1928 and based in Rochereaux (Loire).
During the 30s or 40s the firm acquired the Racer brand, and in 1952 the two brands were advertised together. Mistral-powered motorcycles were produced in the 1950s. The firm joined Cocymo, probably in the mid-1950s.
Source: Motos dans la Loire


Cormery
1902
Built 2-stroke engines for motorcycles. Patent of May 15, 1899 by Henry Cormery
Bourdache p433


Corre 1894


Cote d'Azur
Another of the many brands built by Mercier, these lightweight two-stroke machines were produced from the early 1950s until 1962. The first models had primitive telescopic front forks and rigid rear. Dam models were available. Engines included the 100cc 2-speed Comet and 100cc Villiers.
The Cote d'Azur model was also sold as the Lapébie Sb98, Salmson, Louison Bobet and André Leducq.
Sources: Motos dans la Loire, La Moto Francaise


Cottereau


Couffinhal
Motocyclette presented at the Paris Salon of 1905 fitted with horizontally-opposed twin engine and shaft-drive.
Bourdache p434


Couronne
Only one known to exist, currently in a French museum. It raced in the Coupes de France and in also in Paris and Bordeaux. It is powered by the very rare 1903 375cc Zedel engine with a rotating disc for opening the valves.
Source: Anibal Martinez, Motorcycles 1867-1930 (FB)


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Cousturo
Images published on La Moto Francaise indicate a mid- to late 30s machine fitted with a bevel-driven OHC engine. It appears to be of unit construction, with a hand shift mounted to the rear RHS of the engine with kickstarter adjacent.
A second machine is a BMA on 30kmh.forumactif.com which has several images, one of which shows a Cycles Cousturo metal badge on the steering head. Engine is Stainless type BMA.


CPC
1931-1937
C.P.C. built BMA lightweights powered by engines of less than 100cc in Paris.
Sources: wikipedia.nl


Curey
1979-1983
At least two of these remarkable machines were built, the second having a frame based on both the Ducati and Tonti Moto-Guzzi designs. It ran a 1000cc HO twin with belt-driven OHC and four-valve heads, and completed the 47th Bol d'Or.
Although the two companies were in direct communication given the similarity of their projects, Curey and BFG did not collaborate.
Sources bfg.asso.fr


Cycleauto, 1919

A three-wheeler with a single steering wheel in front is by no means a new proposition, but the lay-out of the Cycleauto is unusual in many respects. A heavy motor cycle type spring fork is employed for the front suspension, and long semi-eliptic springs attached to the tubular frame are responsible for absorbing the road shocks at the rear. The engine is a two-cylinder water-cooled two-stroke, having side-by-side Vertical cylinders. Transmission is by chain to an epicyclic gear on the countershaft, and two long belts running over large front pulleys provide the final drive. Driver and passenger are accommodated side by side in a comfortable body, provided with hood and screen. Steering is direct through a wheel and link motion. A radiator is placed in front of the engine.

Paris Salon, reported in The Motor Cycle, October 1919


Cyclex
Moteurs Cyclex, 17 rue Ybry, Neuilly-sur-Seine (Seine)
1946
Hispano Gadoux of Paris revealed an auxiliary bicycle engine at the 1946 Salon. Available in both single and twin-cylinder two-stroke versions, both the 48cc single (Types B and C) and the 98cc twin were mounted upside-down adjacent to the rear wheel, the twin mounted on both sides. They weighed 10 kg and 16 kg respectively.
Source: wikipedia.nl, Cyclememory.org


Cyclocette

Manufacture Orléanaise de Cyclomoteurs (MOC) (c.1949)

Produced Cyclocette mopeds with 50cc VAP engines in Orléanaise.
They also built William bicycles, which had an eagle with oustretched wings represented on the logo.
Sources: cyclovap.fr, encycloduvelo.fr, et al

N.B. Not to be confused with Cyclorette by Terrot



Sources

French Resources

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