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French Motorcycles

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 visit the French Index.


Carley

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 1 1/2hp et 1 3/4hp, 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 the firm 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.
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


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 1 1/2hp or 2 1/4hp 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 (1 1/2hp and 2hp)
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
Chanon, owned and managed by H. Gaubert, is a brand best known for its tricars.
In 1905 a Chanon motorcycle with a Villemain engine was ridden (by Gaubert?) to 7th place in the criterion of 1/3 litre.
Bourdache p220


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 and it is possible that Mercier used his name on a moped.
Motos dans la Loire says that a company of the same name was formed in 1909. Charles was born n 1903.


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 3/4hp engine in 1902
Bourdache p433


Chauffourier
Motorcycle with engine behind the pedals presented at the Paris Salon 1902
Two models 1 3/4hp and 2 1/4hp. It was also known as The Royal
Engaged in the Paris-Madrid of 1903
Bourdache pp 146, 172.


Cicca Véloreve
153 rue Noisy le Sec, Les Lilas (c.1949)
The firm was founded ca 1921 and became a car and motorcycle dealer. From 1949 until ca 1953 C.I.C.C.A. built 48cc single-speed auxilliary bicycle engines. They filed for bankruptcy in 1958.

Source: Motos dans la Loire


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
The marque was established in St Etienne around 1912 by cycling champion Joanny Panel (Jean Baptiste Panel, previously with RPF) with his friend Claudius Bouillier, building bicycles, derailleurs and weapons.
The first mopeds appeared in 1952 powered by Le Poulain engines, and at the 1953 Paris Salon machines with Briban engines were presented. In the following years they used Junior, Comet, Vap and Mistral two-strokes.
In 1956 they offered scooters and mopeds which were likely built by Bernardet. Production ceased in 1957. Joanny Panel died in 1970.
Sources: Motos dans la Loire, tontonvelo.


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


Clement
Adolphe Clement built motorcycles from c1901 to 1903, when he left the company he founded. He had become very famous as a motorcycle manufacturer and quite wealthy from his exclusive distributor rights for Dunlop tyres in France.
See also Clement-Gladiator


CMR
1945-1948
Centre de Montage et de Recuperation (C.M.R.), Neuilly-sur-Seine
Built motorcycle sidecar combinations and solos after the war from BMW parts in a German warehouse in Paris, using mostly BMW R 12 and R 71 engines.
During the war components were sourced from some twenty French companies, with BMW co-ordinating efforts from their offices on the Champs-Élysées.
In May of 1945 most of the Germans had fled and a number of French technicians took over production, with the the newly formed company moving to Neuilly-sur-Seine.
See also CEMEC
Sources: Tragatsch p105, wikipedia.nl


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


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



Costantin & Cabannes
A small workshop in Bézier 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
64 avenue de la Grande Armée, Paris
From 1906, Camille Contal built tricars with engines of his own and with Villemain engines.
Bourdache p433


Coq de France
Manufactured by Mazoyer-Besset, founded in 1928 and based in Rochereaux (Loire)
During the 30s or 40s the firm aquired the Racer brand, and in 1952 the two brands were advertised together. Mistral-powered motorcycles were produced in the 1950s. The firm probably joined Cocymo 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
1899
1 rue Chevalier, Levallois (seine)
and 54 rue de Villiers
Corre & Cie was formed by Jean Marie Corre in 1894. Built tricycles with De Dion and also La Licorne engines. From 1902 built automobiles. The firm became Corre La Licorne around 1907. Also well known for their bicycles.
Bourdache (pp 62, 433), mini.43.free.fr/corre.html, corre-lalicorne.com


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.
Sources: Motos dans la Loire, La Moto Francaise


Cottereau
Louis Cottereau, a champion cyclist, formed the company in 1891. The firm is also known as CID, Constructions Industrielles Dijonnaises.
1 Rue des Lentillères and route d'Auxonne, Dijon
Built motorcycles with Minerva engines (1904), and also A.Z. engines. In 1910 the company was bought by Terrot.
The firm also built bicycles and automobiles, both touring and competition.
Bourdache (pp 146, 217, 320), encycloduvelo.fr


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


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
1946
Hispano Gadoux of Paris revealed a an auxiliary bicycle engine at the 1946 Salon. Available in both single and twin-cylinder two-stroke versions, both the single 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


Sources

French Resources


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