French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Motocyclettes fabriquées en France (LA-LY)

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.


Offices at 134, Boulevard de Clichy, Paris (XVII)

L'Électricar was displayed at the Paris Salon 1919.

Lacroix & Delaville 1896~1914

La Cyclette 1921~1923

La Fauvette
Came tenth in Chateau-Thierry race of 1904, ridden by Panzani.
Bourdache p 434

La Foudre 1902-04

La Guerrière
39 rue Pierre Joigneaux, Asnières (seine)
Jean Jaujard, manufacturer of motorcycles with a 278cc 2 ¼hp engine of his own construction. He also built tricycles and quadricycles.
Jaujard held a patent for a motorcycle rear suspension system.
Bourdache p436,

La Lorraine
Built motorcycles between 1922 and 1925 using 98cc to 248cc engines of their own construction. There is no evidence to suggest that these were a product of Lorraine-Dietrich of Luneville.
Source: Wikipedia NL

La Louve
42 rue du Louvre, Paris
A.Louveau built motorcycles with 2½ and 3hp engines in 1904
Bourdache p438

La Miotte

43, Rue de Danjoutin Belfort. Advertised mopeds powered by La Poulaine in the 1950s. The firm is believed to have also built bicycles.

There is very little information available.


La Parfaite by Durey, 1900

La Perle 1950s (St Etienne)

La Préféré 1913

La Va Bon Train

Larroumet and Lagarde of Agen, Lot-et-Garonne was founded in 1891 as a bicycle maker. Their first motor-tricycles appeared in 1900. Powered by a De Dion engine, the two-seater had a retractable hood. It was built in the same town as the La Nef.

Sources:,, et al

Engines manufactured in the 1920s by Les Établissements Labinal, 28 rue Arago, Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis)
The firm built the Micromoteur 63cc bicycle auxilliary engine (similar to the Cyclotracteur), the Microrameur boat engine and others.

Sources: OTTW,

Manufactured by Ets Lacombe, 5 rue Sébastien Gryphe, Lyon, Rhône
1948 - 1954
The tiny scooter first appeared at the 1948 Salon with a model name of FL22. Powered by a 49cc P.P. Roussey two-stroke, in 1949 it was also know as the Comindus.
Source: Amis Terriens, Tous les scooters du monde

Laforge & Palmentier 1902-03

Lafour & Nougier
Manufactured in Nîmes from 1927 to 1936, these motorcycles had engines from Aubier Dunne, Chaise, Train and Stainless, along with imported Villiers and JAP motors. Capacities ranged from 98cc to 490cc.
Source: Wikipedia NL
N.B. Nougier of St. Andiol and this firm were located only 50km apart, active around the same years.

Lamandiere et Cie.

Lamandiere et Cie., Levallois Perret, have a very fine stand with no less than 20 of their standard machines on show. The details of this machine were described in the Stanley Show report. A carrier tricycle with 2¼ motor is a novelty.

Paris Salon 1902 in Motor Cycling, December 17th, 1902.

Crankcase transmission motorcycle described in Locomotion No. 15 (1910). Two-speed planetary gear change in the rear hub, with a leather clutch cone.
Bourdache pp329, 342



Gaston Lapierre established his business in 1946 in Dijon to manufacture bicycles, and in the 1950s also built mopeds. His bicycles also appeared under the Orligné marque, and it is believed that the mopeds did too.
The firm became part of the Dutch Accell Group, and continued to build bicycles in Dijon into the 21st century.
Sources: Wikipedia NL,

Manufactured in Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1930 - 1937, the motorcycles had Aubier-Dunne, LMP, JAP and other brands of 2T and 4T engines of 98cc to 498cc. The company was owned by Alcyon.
Source: Wikipedia NL

Built a 4-stroke motorcycle circa 1903
Bourdache p438

Built light motorcycles from 1948 to 1953 using Aubier & Dunne 98cc and 123cc engines. They possibly also used larger JAP engines.
Sources: Tragatsch p190, Wikipedia NL

Moto which competed in the Paris-Madrid of 1903, ridden by M Large.
Bourdache p172

An established cycle firm in Lons-le-Saunier, they built mopeds named Debello, Clipper, Clarus and Triomphus
Source: Moped Archive (

Le Carabe

Powered by a Motobecane 175cc engine, this unique 3-wheeled microcar was built by Hippolyte Delimal in just 8 days in 1936 and was claimed to be the world's smallest car.

Source:, et al

Le Greves
Established by professional cyclist René Le Grevès at St Nicolas de Redon (Loire), the bicycle firm was associated with the Mercier group and produced lightweights in the 1950s.

Source: Motos dans la Loire

ca. 1904
Under the name of L'Elégante, a 250cc (70x70mm) Monarque engine was sold by Ets J.B. Mercier, 6, rue St-Ferdinand, Paris. An automobile manufacturer, it is not clear whether motorcycles were also produced.
Bourdache p200


Le Progres
Le Progrès, built in Vervins (aisne) in 1901, was a motor bicycle with the engine located behind the pedals
Bourdache p440

Le Sauvage 1956-1958


Manufactured 1954 by Lefol & Cie, Courbevoie, Seine. Jacques Lefol produced car and bicycle accessories from the 1930s.

The Scoot-Air appeared at the Salon of 1954 powered by a two-speed 98cc Comet engine. It may also have been marketed briefly as the Aero-Scoot.

Source: Amis Terriens, Wikipedia NL

Lehaitre Monotrack c.1937

Leloir 1922~1927

Leon Buat

Leon Buat began production in 1901 in Senlis, France, building light cars with a single-cylinder 904 cc and 8 hp engine, designed for medical professionals and the like. It is believed they ceased manufacture in 1908, but there is evidence to suggest that larger machines were built until 1912.

It is unclear as to whether they built a tricycle prior to quadricycles and voiturettes.

Sources:, Graffigny p.129.

Based in Issy les Moulineaux, Paris, the firm built a motorcycle with a De Dion engine and transmission by chain. They took part in the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris in 1904
Bourdache p438

Lesprillier 1900-02


Létang entered his machine in the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris of 1895. Having been tested over 250 km on the road to Hénin-Liétard (Pas de Calais) in 1896, a patent was filed in 1898.

The motor bicycle consisted of B.S.A. chassis components housing an engine of his own design with 55 x 55 mm b/s, automatic intake valve and coil ignition. The "Le Pratique" fuel tank was concealed within a the wicker basket on the handlebars.

In 1901, Létang, Herbin and Bordes patented a detachable motor for bicycles.
Sources: Bourdache pp 43, 44;

28 rue Demours, Paris
1903. Inventor of the 2-stroke engine "Bichrone"
Bourdache writes, "such as Lepape who built a two-stroke piston-pump (deux-temps à piston-pompe) ancestor, a system that was to make the German racing machine famous on the eve of the Second World War."
Bourdache pp 163, 438

Levassor & De Boisse

Leyat Helica 1913-1925

Ets. Liaudois, Paris, built lightweights using Train engines of 98cc to 173cc
Source: Tragatsch p221

7 rue Mousset Robert, and 149-151 rue Michel Bizot, Paris
Built 1¼ hp and 2¼ hp petroleum bicycles ca 1902. The smaller engine had a water-cooled cylinder head.
Bourdache p438

L'Idole Tricycle
De Dion motor tricycle which participated in la cote de Chanteloup of 1898.
Bourdache p438

Manufactured by Pierre Ligé, 118, rue de la Boëtie, Paris.
In 1904 Ligé obtained a patent for a motorcycle gear change mechanism.
The following year a "Pierre Ligez" tricar appeared in the press, consisting of a motorcycle with a 4½ h.p. Buchet V-twin engine, to the front of which was mounted a two-wheeled platform with leaf-spring suspension.
Shortly thereafter he entered the aviation field, producing engines under the name P. Ligez of 3, 5 and 7 cylinders.


In 1985 Guy Ligier, a French motorcycle racer and formula one car racer, built a Paris-Dakar competitor in collaboration with Cagiva who had recently taken control of the Ducati factory. The fuel tank of the 750cc twin carried 60 litres, sufficient for 600km. It was named the Cagiva Ligier.

Previously, Legier had been a professional Rugby player. When that career ended, he switched to motorcycle racing, winning the 500cc French Motorcycle Championship on a Norton Manx in 1959 and 1960.

He also built sports cars, microcars and ATV quads, and later formula one cars.
Sources: François-Marie Dumas;;

Bicyclette with Grillon engine housed in the frame built 1902. Chain drive with friction clutch.
Bourdache p438

Ets Cochot 45 rue de Tanger, Paris
Tricycles et voiturettes displayed at the 1898 salon. One of these, powered by a 500cc Automoto engine, came third in a race behind two Koehler-Escofier machines.
Bourdache pp 396, 400


Loriot & Cie, 57 Avenue Marceau. Courbevoie

Manufactured 1927-1930 using mainly JAP engines and Bredier & Charon gearboxes. There was also apparently a shaft-drive model.

Sources: Wikipedia NL; Moto Revue.

44 rue du Louvre, Paris
Motorized bicycle, 1896
Huzelstein could be the German mechanic who presented the Hildebrand and Wolfmuller in France and bought the company after the bankruptcy of Duncan and Suberbie
Bourdache p46

Louis Pitard 1940s-1950s

Louis Vineis
rue Monteil, St Etienne
Louis Vineis ran a heavy vehicle workshop on rue Coty in Méons, St Etienne.
The Moto 250 was first registered in March of 1947 and is rather similar to the Lutece in concept. A shaft drive single cylinder two-stroke with square-section steel frame, it has primitive front suspension, rigid rear end and far from adequate brakes. The carburettor is on the right and the exhaust port on the left. To suggest it is unattractive would be a kindness - it is likely winner of the "bog ugly" award. Thankfully only one was built.

The motorcycle has been displayed at the Musée Auto Moto Vélo in Châtellerault in 2015.
Sources: Motos dans la Loire, La Moto Francaise


Built a tricar in 1897 with a 2-stroke engine of unusual design which operated like a 4-stroke with automatic valve on intake and exhaust.
Bourdache p438


Lutèce (1895)

Baron F. Blanc of Geneva hired a Lutèce motorcycle for the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris event in 1895.

"Five other motorcycles are engaged in Paris-Bordeaux with dozens of cars, but two will really start: it is once again the Millet and the Wolf ... sorry, the Duncan and Suberbie renamed "Queen-Petrolette". The other three are a Lutèce, engaged by Baron Blanc, of Geneva; a Létang, steam engine due to Marc Létang; Briest gasoline, Briest Company, 109 rue de Rennes, Nantes. That's about all we know about these 3 machines."

Bourdache, page 44.

N.B. For other marques with the name Lutetia or Lutece see Disambiguation

Lutetia engines

Lux by Atelier du Furan

Manufactured by Établissements Baud of Doubs (Franche-Comté), 1950~1968
The firm built mopeds under the names Betty, Elfil and Jurasport, as well as Luxia.
Source: OTTW

Manufactured by Eugène Brossard at 48 rue Denis Papin, Blois
Named by the founders for their daughers Lyliane et Jacqueline, the cycle firm had been operating for decades. In the late 40s or early 1950s they built cyclomoteurs.
Source: tontonvelo

French Resources

Rarer French Marques