French Motorcycles

Motocyclettes fabriquées en France (MA-MY)

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.

Macquart et fils
1900 Macquart and Vexiau petrol bicycle with clutch and chain transmission named the Pétrocyclette
Bourdache p438


Motocyclette built by Gayon et Cie, 1903

22 rue Garnier, Levallois Perret

See also Mireille

Bourdache pp 208, 209, 213, 220, 221, 223, 233, 239, 251, 262, 309.

Built autocycles using 98cc engines from Train and Stainless, 1931 to 1937.
Source: Tragatsch p198.

A division of Magnat-Debon which built Moser engines under licence at Grenoble between 1906 and 1914.
Source: Wikipedia NL

63 rue Frédéric Petit Amiens (Sommes)
Winner of the first motorcycle race on the velodrome at Amiens, 1901, ridden by Baudelocque
Bourdache p438

Manufactured by Eugène Maître, 1928-1938*.
He built 200 to 300 machines using engines from LMP, Moser, JAP and Train, the latter of four cylinders. Some machines had three saddles, one behind the other.
Moto Revue No. 240 of October 15, 1927 featured a Maitre with LMP engine.
* A forum post indicates that the last were built in 1950.
Sources: François-Marie Dumas,

Victor Mallen built a two-seater pedal tricycle in 1898. This was followed by a similar but somewhat more robust machine which was designed to accept a De-Dion engine. It is unclear whether a motor tricycle was constructed.


Manufactured by Etablissements Manom, Pantin, in 1953.
A SABB 125cc two-stroke drove the front wheel by chain. Only two of the two-seaters were built.
Source: Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

Manon 1902

150 avenue du Roule, Neuilly
Presented motocyclettes at the 1908 salon.
Bourdache p438

Constructed lightweights with Aubier-Dunne 125 and 175cc two-stroke engines in Villeurbanne from 1947 to 1951.
The same firm built Marmonnier and Imperial sidecars.
Sources: Wikipedia NL,

Marquet Engines
17 rue Antonin, Perrin, Villeurbanne
Manufactured by Soma, founded 1912. In the years 1952~1956 they produced engines fitted to Automoto, Follis, Helyett, Magnat Debon, Monet Goyon, Peugeot, Terrot and others.
Models include:

FS2 48cc b/s 40/38mm 1953
TD1 48cc b/s 40/38mm 1954
TD2 48cc b/s 40/38mm 1954

Sources: Motos dans la Loire, et al.


La Mascotte

Manufactured by Moteurs et Motorcycles Mascotte, Courbevoie, 1923-1924.
Advertising also gives the manufacturer as Poinsard & Sivigny, 160, Rue de 10 PARIS
Built 125 and 174cc lightweights.

Taken on May 20th 1923, the image caption reads: Bol d'Or moto 1923 - Etienne Chèret sur Mascotte P.S. 125cc (vainqueur de la catègorie)

The name Mascotte may well be based a piece by composer Edmond Audran, "La Mascotte", whose operetta "Miss Helyett" was probably the basis for the name of the Helyett.

Sources: Wikipedia NL, BNF


Émile Ernst Mathis worked with Ettore Bugatti at a firm in Alsace from which they were both dismissed. The pair set up their own business under the Mathis name c.1904, and in 1906 the partnership ended. Mathis maintained his involvement in the motor trade and during the second war developed a three-wheeler with Jean Andreau which was presented at the Paris Salon of 1946, of which 10 were built. Development of the Mathis 333 began in considerable secrecy whilst France was still under the jackboot. The project was named the VEL 333 (3 wheels, 3 seats, and 3 litres per 100 km).

In 1948 a new front-wheel-drive vehicle was designed which was powered by an 80 bhp, 2.8 litre horizontally opposed six. Like its predecessor it was very futuristic, but did not enter production.

The company closed in 1950 and the factory was sold to Citroen.

Sources: OTTW;;

Mauxion and Devinant
5 rue Jouvenet, Paris
Entered the 1903 du M.C.F., ridden by Mauxion
Bourdache pp 186, 438

Manufactured by Ets. Motos Max of Levallois from 1927 to 1930, these were motorcycles using engines of 98cc to 500cc along with components from both British and French suppliers.
Source: Wikipedia NL, Tragatsch p205

In 1904 a Mayeski-Deckert engaged in the qualifiers for the September 25th Coupe Internationale du Motocycle-Club de France (M.C.F.) ridden by Mayeski.
Their address in 1907 was 3 rue du Pas de la Mule, Paris
Bourdache p190


This company was the successor to Motobecane, with Yamaha as the majority shareholder. It was based in Saint-Quentin.

An image exists showing the rider Moret on an M.C. at the Paris-Nice race, 1921


4 Rue Pasteur, 45200 MONTARGIS, France

The firm builds specials based on HD and Triumph, and has been operating since 1997 or earlier.

Triumph models include Bobster, Bonneville TT Speedback and Thruxton GT.

Sources:, et al

Motocyclette exhibited at the 2nd Salon of 1901
Bourdache p439

Mercier (1899)
4 rue Jacques Coeur, Paris
Built tricycles powered by De Dion-Bouton engines. One model was named Washington.
Source: Bourdache
There is also a much later marque, Mercier 1930s-1950s


One of the many marques produced under the France Motor Cycles mantle.

These were engines built in Paris by société des frères Caffort, one of which was fitted to a c.1902 Brilliant.
Sources: Guélon Collection

There is a record of a BMA-style machine built in 1950.
Source: La Moto Francaise
Métropole (La)
MF Moto Française

Mic Per
Michel Perret constructed a racing moped in St Etienne in 1951.
Source: Motos dans la Loire

Micromoteur see Labinal

Midroit was a rider for Ravat who in 1927 built his own machine powered by a JAP engine.
Source: Motos dans la Loire

Built by Olivier Midy, this is a modern superbike of typical French beauty. The first of his machines, a flat twin, was presented at the Paris Motorcycle Show in 1999. Development to some years, and the first road test was by none other than Alan Cathcart, in 2014. The liquid-cooled 975cc DOHC 8v engine is inclined at 25º and produces 90 HP via a 5 speed gearbox and chain drive to the rear wheel. Yours for just 140,000 Euros.
Sources:, et al.

GP rider Jean-Louis Guignabodet began building racing motorcycles in 1985 using 250cc Rotax twins equipped with a carbon-fibre fuel tank. Later he built racing exhaust systems.
Source: OTTW

Between 1924 and 1937 the Mignorac firm of Romainville (Seine-Saint-Denis) built motorcycles under the brand names Lalo, Mignorac and Poinsard, along with LMP engines.
Source: OTTW


Charles Mildé founded the Société des Automobiles Mildé & Cie in 1897.

The following year, he and Robert Mondos entered the Concours des Fiacres with an electric goods van. The battery accumulators were housed beneath the floor and it had a range of around 50 kilometres.

Then in 1900 Mildé built an electric tricycle nicknamed "the electric pony", powered by a Greffe motor with three batteries. It had a six-speed gearbox (4 forward, 2 reverse) and a maximum speed of 35 km/h - the range of 50 km, however, was still problematical. One of these electric tricycles is exquisitely displayed in the Musée Henri Malartre in Lyon.

The company continued to develop electric automobiles until 1942.

Sources:,, et al

See Darracq


mimosa logo

Manufactured by Manufrance d'Armes et Cycles, 84, Cours Fauriel, St-Etienne, the Mimosa Type A was built from 1923 until about 1938. It was a BMA style lightweight powered by an Aubier & Dunne 100cc two-stroke.

See also Manufrance

Source: Motos dans la Loire


Ets Minimotor, 310 avenue d'Argenteuil, Asnieres (Seine)

49cc cyclemotors built in 1951 and 52, poss other years. It is unclear whether these were actually built in France under licence, or the company was the main agent in France for the Italian firm.

See also Mini-Motor by Piatti

Source: La Moto Francaise

30 rue du Point du Jour, Boulogne Billancourt
Minerve motor tricycle, 1899
Caption to Bourdache image: The very personal architecture of the Minerve engine (unrelated to the Belgian Minerva) is determined by the shape of its piston. In order to improve the internal cooling of the engine, this piston is extended by a hollow sleeve and open at both ends.
Bourdache p83

Minima Bicycle Engines
3 cité Griset (125 rue Oberkampf), Paris
Engine adaptable to all bicycles, 1903
Bourdache p439

13 rue de l' Aquedue, Paris
Stuart & Stichter built motorcycles, 1904
Bourdache p439

Gayon et Cie, 22 rue Galloy, Levallois
Built in 1904 by the same company responsible for the Magali, apparently, but at a different address. The motorcycle had a fourstroke side-valve engine. The Mireille was a competitor in the 1/3 litre qualifiers of 1905. This machine had chain drive and there all semblance of common sense seems to have evaporated, according to a somewhat humorous account Bourdache gives of its convoluted drive-train.
Bourdache pp 223, 251.

Schneider built an "adaptable rear wheel drive" in 1902 named Mistral
Bourdache p439

ca 1905
Meunier et Nexon, Limoges, builder of motorcycle engines
Bourdache p439

A 1952 65cc example of the type Mehari is described on the site of M. Dumas.
La Moto Francaise

Philippe Moc prepared two Benelli Sei racing machines for Motobécane to compete in the 1977 Bol d'Or. Termed the Benelli-Moc R900, they had their own frames, a TZ700 dry clutch, the fuel tank position low in the frame and six mufflers on a "spaghetti" exhaust system.
Source: OTTW

Ateliers de Construction Mécanique Maurice Charotte
169/173 bld Pereire et 51 rue Laugier, Paris
From 1905 built 3hp single cylinder and 6hp V-twin motorcycles; also tricars, automobiles and motorboats
Bourdache p439


1904, Motorcycles and Engines

Monarque has emulated Buchet with this elegant machine on offer at a very competitive price. Under the name of L'Elégante, this 250cc (70x70mm) engine is also sold by Ets J.B. Mercier, 6, rue St-Ferdinand, Paris.

Bourdache p200

Manufactured by Etablissements F. Simon of Agen, built (or rather, assembled) mopeds between 1950 and 1960 under the brands Elite (Agen), Esper, Prester (Agen), Semper, SIF and Sport.
Source: OTTW
See also F. Simon

Moneclair Motos
77, Av A-Briand Cachan (seine)
98cc and 175cc two-stroke motorcycles 1955, perhaps other years.
La Moto Francaise


Monin Tricycles
3 Bld Poissonnières, Paris
Tricycle exhibited at the Paris salon, December 1896
Bourdache p439

See Schlenker Monoroue under German Marques (S)

Messrs Mont, father and son, patented an explosion engine in December 1903
Installed on the wheel and driven by a roller, the engine was rated at 1½ hp. It was named Le Quand Même.
Bourdache p439

Built in 1974 by Bernard Droulhoile of French Yamaha importer Sonauto, the Moto Moraco was based on the TZ250/350 using a moncoque frame and campaigned by Christian Bourgeois and Patrick Pons.

Morel 1897

The famous car manufacturer also built tricycles which probably used De Dion-Bouton engines.
Bourdache pp 131, 174, 175, 329.

Mors Speed



Presented at the Paris Salon in October 1919, it was produced by Etablissements Paz & Silva.

The 248 cc two-stroke engine was from SICAM, (Société Industrielle de Construction Automobile et Motocyclette) of Pantin.

In late 1922 the Motosolo Baby appeared, a smaller machine.

Motosolo was represented for some time by Donker's Motorhandel in Arnhem, Netherlands.


Moto Payan
Founded in 1896 in Marseille by Victor Payan whose grandson was the cyclist André Payan. In the 1950s the firm began marketing rebadged lightweight motorcycles built by Automoto or Hirondelle, with a nameplate stamped "Moto Payan St Etienne". At least two examples are known to have Aubier & Dunne 125cc engines, and another is listed with an Ydral 125.
The company ceased trading in 1996.
Sources: Motos dans la Loire,

Mototouriste 1922 Dame

A Mototouriste lady's bicycle fitted with spring forks.


An ordinary bicycle frame fitted with a spring fork. Velotouriste proprietary engine unit. Chain transmission. 26 x l¾ in. tyres.
Paris Salon, 1922

23, ave; Grande Armée, Paris
From 1950 to 1955 built motorcycles with two-stroke engines of 125 and 250cc, and 340cc OHV.
La Moto Francaise

Moteurs Bi-temps.
"Moteurs Bi-temps, Paris, specialise, as their name implies, in two-stroke engines, both air and water-cooled. These engines have ball bearings in the main bearings and big ends, and are of 2 h.p."
Paris Salon, reported in The Motor Cycle, October 1919


Built powered bicycles using auxiliary engines from a variety of different manufacturers.

Built by Sanciome, 1900, at Route des Salins, Clermont Ferrant
Motorized bicycle with roller transmission on the rear wheel
Bourdache p439

Motoporteur A.R.M.

Motoporteur 1919

A motor-driven trailer intended for pedal cycles, the Motoporteur. A.R.M.

One of the most curious vehicles in the motor cycle exhibit was a self-propelled trailer intended for attachment to pedal cycles. A small sidecar body contains the passenger, and the outfit is propelled by a single-cylinder Anzani engine through an almost incredibly short belt drive.

Paris Salon, 1919

56, rue du Fg-St-Honore, Paris
First seen at the Paris Salon in October 1919, they were built by Paz & Silva usinng a 248cc two-stroke engine from SICAM. Production continued until at least 1923.
The marque was represented in the Netherlands by Geldersche Motorenhandel, Arnhem, (1920-1921) and Donker's Motorenhandel, Arnhem, (1921-1922). It is believed to have also been marketed under the name Motosol-Motobijou.
Sourcse:, Wikipedia NL, BNF

Motox gives the following information:
Ets Paul Ladeveze, 50 rue Brunel, Paris (17°)
Ets Darris, 8 rue de Richelieu, Paris (1°)
Engines: Type MD and Type A, both 40cc.


Manufactured at 130 Rue du Bois, Levallois Perret

The firm built compact vehicles which typically offered space for two occupants in tandem. A Jan 1899 advertisement in Le Vélo gave the powerplant as a 3 hp Dumond, and a listing from circa 1900 shows a quadricycle with a de Dion et Bouton moteur.

Sources: Amis de Maurice Chapleur (FB); period literature.

D. Motte et Cie, 101, Quai de Courbevoie, Courbevoie (Seine)
1910 Built a motorcycle with a Zurcher 2hp engine.
From the early 1900s the firm manufactured steam and petrol engines, pneumatic and hydraulic pumps, compressors and bicycles. They were in operation until at least 1921.
Bourdache (p439),

M & P (Lille)
Marechal & Poste, Fives, Lille-Nord was established by Francesco Ferrier. From c.1928 to the beginning of WWII (or possibly 1928-1932), these were lightweights with 100 and 125cc Aubier & Dunne engines.
Source: Wikipedia NL, Tragatsch p221


Erroneously listed elsewhere as a moped manufacturer, the name applies to a moped engine built by Le Poulain.

French Resources

Rarer French Marques