French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Motocyclettes fabriquées en France (G)

Notes on some of the rarer French marques

This page lists brands for which we currently have only an historical precis. There is also a page on really obscure French brands.
For a more complete listing visit the French Index.

André Gagnon, mayor of Chartres, founded Établissements Gagnon in the city of Chartes. There he built a variety of mopeds from the 1950s until the mid-1960s using the brands Carnutes , F.A.G. (Fabrication André Gagnon), Réalty and Radiane.
Source: Moped Archive (

1907 motocyclette.
The Moto-Club Vauclusien (Avignon) organized a motorcycle competition for Sunday 14 April 1907 during which 31 members competed. A M. Gaillard took 3rd place in one event, and 2nd in the 1/3 litre category. The make of the machine is not mentioned.
Bourdache p435;

Gaillardet 1899-1902

Bonnet, Guyonnet and Canonne built motocyclettes at 54, Rue d'Hautpoul, Paris, in 1907.
In December 1910 M. Canonne left, ceding all rights to to Bonnet and Guyonnet. The firm at that time were still building motorcycles and used the Phebus brand, which still existed in 1925 but did not appear to be building motorcycles., Bourdache p435

Manufactured by Etablissements M. Galland, 1929-1930
Produced commercial triporteurs powered by JAP engines as large as 500cc, they were also built without engines. An example of a motorised tricycle exists believed to have been built in the 1950s.
Source: jlbweb. (NIT)

17 rue Jean Goujon, Paris
The company "L’Electrique" manufactured electric voitures Gallia and Galliette. The firm also built the Viratelle
7, 8 juin 1930, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Circuit de la Ville - 250cc : 1. Hector Andréino (Clément-Gladiator), 2. Lavaine (Prester), 3. Hubert (Gallia) ..., Bourdache p316


French company selling rebranded MAG-engined motorcycles built by Condor of Switzerland. These were presented at the 1913 Paris Salon.
Sources: Bourdache p400; La Moto Francaise

1902 Motocyclette
An example pictured in The Motor Cycle of March 31st 1903 (No.1 Vol.1) in an article titled "Motor Cycle Monstrosities" by H.O. Duncan shows a machine with an enormous single cylinder engine said to develop 16hp. The motorcycle weighs 2cwt 3qrs.
Bourdache p435

Ets. Motos Garin of Lyon built mopeds and light motorcycles using engines up to 98cc.
Sources:, Tragatsch p143

Garreau 1899-1904


Manufactured in the 1930s by Établissements ch. Gautherot
Route de Langres
R. C. Dijon 4180
Gautherot sidecar gallery

Source: Period literature.

Gauthier, A.
Manufactured in Vesly (Eure), date unknown but apparently around 1905.
Advertised "First in the kilometer uphill and level at Dourdan and Gaillon. First in the general classification in Tourist Class". However, to date no record of the machine has been found in the press of the time.
Unrelated to Paul Gauthier.

Gautier-Wehrlé 1894-1903

Ets. Gérkinet & Co., Jeumont , Nord.
Géco was a French factory on the Belgian border 250km north of Paris. They built 175 and 350cc sv singles, and also produced the Harlette-Geco. They developed close links with Gillet Herstal in Belgium, and the firm became Geco Herstal.
See also Offenstadt


Manufactured by Gelem de Levallois

Presented at the Le Salon de Paris circa 1950.

Engines from ABG VAP.

Sources: Moped SE;

An assembler in St Etienne established as early as 1948, the firm had connections with Peugeot and Manufrance, and in the mid-1950s sold Cocymo motorcycles rebadged as their own. It is very likely they were a member of the Cocymo group.
Source: Motos dans la Loire

In the 1920s the J. et H. Gerkinet firm built bicycles and Geco-Herstal motorcycles at Jeumont, near Maubeuge and the Belgian border.
French law restricted the importation of manufactured products. In 1927 the Belgian company Gillet (1) bought Gerkinet to sell its production.
Notes: 1. says it was FN who bought Gerkinet.
Sources:, correspondence.

Manufactured by C. Gignoux of Lyon, who built bicycles and motorcycles, and from 1907 automobiles.
As of Jan 2022, no other reference to this marque has been found.

Giguet Frères of Saint-Denis built motorcycles with De Dion and Minerva V-twins using strong frames.
Sources: Tragatsch p145,

Girardot 1899

Bourdache (p434) refers the reader to Lurquin et Coudert which could indicate that the French Gloria marque was one of theirs, rather than a separate company to which they supplied engines. He also writes (p279), "In the following years we will find Lurquin-Coudert under the brands Olympia, Saving, C. Coudert and Gloria."
See also Lurquin & Coudert.

Same construction as Succès and Iris in motorcycles (1 ¾hp and 2 ¼hp), and adaptable engines.
Bourdache p436

The firm was established at Rue des vignes, La Fouillouse, St Etienne around 1977 by the Velay brothers who built 50cc racers using Kreidler engines, Van Veen frames and GMV components. They then built 80cc racers using Casal engines as late as 1985.
They competed in the 50c French Championship in 1983, and the 80cc European Championship in 1984.
Source: Motos dans la Loire

Gobron-Minerva 1903-1904

Godet Vincent

Godier & Genoud
Georges Godier and Alain Genoud were both endurance road-racers who built track machines based on Kawasaki and Honda machines, some of which used their own engine. In the 1990s they also built very fast road-going customs. The enterprise ceased in 1995.

Godmare Autocycle
Participated in the autocycle competition of the Club de France in 1904
Bourdache p436

Participated in the contest of alcohol (alcohol-fueled engines?) in Épernay in 1902. ranked 9th.
Bourdache p436

Two-stroke. horizontally arranged over the rear wheel, driving by chain a countershaft, on which is a friction wheel engaging with the edge of the wheel rim. Paris Salon, 1922

Manufactured cyclomoteurs in the 1950s at 23 rue de Rouffach, Mulhouse. Associated with GFM and possibly with Jeunet. Fitted Cucciolo engines under licence from Rocher.

A machine of this name was exhibited at the Salon of 1902
Bourdache p146

Manufactured in 1926 at 27 Place Massenet, St Etienne. The firm built both bicycles and motorcycles, and were still building bicycles in 1958.
Source: Motos dans la Loire

Grapperon, builder of a motorcycle which ranked first at the 1914 circuit du Sud-Ouest 1914 in the 500 class.
Bourdache Several references


René Grimault, Fontenay-aux-Roses, with a branch in Arcueil (1936)
Built bicycles in the 1930s, advertising "Manufacture de Cycles et Tandems" in 1932. Believed to have built motorcycles.
In the late 1920s his store advertised Terrot and Motobecane. In the 1950s sold Motobecane and Solex mopeds. René was a keen sportsman and motorist, and seems to have been widely regarded as an all round "nice guy".

Grivel 1896-97

3 rue des Immeubles Industriels, Paris
Manufactured light motorcycle engines, 1905
Bourdache p 436

Approximate location.

A. Groseiller, mechanic-builder
6 rue de l'Hôtel de Ville, Lyon.
Built motorcycles with gearshift and clutch, 1913
Bourdache p436

2½ hp tricycle with gear change and clutch presented at the 1899 Salon
Bourdache p436

Grossot 1899


L. Grunwald of 42, Rue d'Alsace, Luneville, built a 6 ½hp v-twin.

Lunéville was home to several motorcycle shops over the years including Maison Ch. Simonin and Maurice Chapleur, of whom much has been written.

Source: contemporary literature

Assembled in a cycle workshop at 4 Avenue Charras in Clermont-Ferrand using AMC engines during the late 1940s or early 1950s. An image exists of a motorcycle with girder forks and plunger rear suspension.

Marcel Guimbretiere was a professional cyclist whose name is mentioned in several cycling blogs.
A page speaks of a 1951 model with a 125cc AMC engine and flywheel magneto. It is a Type G87 and Georges Monneret appears to be the agent.
La Moto Francaise

Jéan Guignard established his company in 1933 in Lyon. He produced light motorcycles until 1938, mainly with 98 and 123cc two-stroke engines.
A 1936 document gives the address of E. Guignard as 27, Boulevard Périere, Paris, mentioning Cycles et Motos along with Colibri.
Associated with Colibri bicycles in 1933.
Source: Tragatsch p153,

31 Boulevard du Cours à Compiégnes - Oise. Compiégne is 90km north of Paris.
The brothers Jules and Edmond Guinard built parts for cycles, motorcycles and automobiles in 1909. Built Le Cerf bicycles in 1905.
L'usine Guinard and garage Guinard are mentioned in BNF several times in a document on WWI.
See also Keops, built by the same firm at Venette, Compiégne.

A champion cyclist Paul Guignard was active in 1910.
Source:, BNF Gallica,

French Resources

Rarer French Marques