French Motorcycles

Motocyclettes fabriquées en France (MA-MY)

Notes on some of the rarer French marques

This page lists brands for which little historical information is currently available. 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 Gaillon et Cie, 1903

22 rue Garnier, Levallois Perret

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 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

17 rue du Débarcadère, Paris
Ets Chaigneau built a motorcycle with a Kratos water-cooled 1½ hp engine in 1902
Sources: Bourdache p438, Tragatsch p197.

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 Imperial sidecars
Source: 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.


The Valmobile was introduced at the 1952 Paris Salon. When disassembled, it fits in a valise. The prototype was powered by a 60cc Alter, production machines ran Villiers 98cc engines. The fastest of these were good for 75 km/h - not bad for a ride-on suitcase!
The firm produced the 48cc Variomatic moped in 1956 (probably using the Martinet engine), and also built the Royal Fabi.
See also Valmobile
Sources: Amis Terriens, scoot-toujours.over-blog.com, 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 parnership 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. He built another tricar with a much larger engine but it did not enter production. The company closed in 1950 and the factory was sold to Citroen.
Source: 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 Deckert engine engaged in the qualifiers for the international cup of 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

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

Marius Mazoyer, previously involved in aviation and bicycles, established the firm Mazoyer at 13-17 Rue Thiollière, Saint-Étienne in 1901. In 1928 they built motorcycles using JAP, Moser and Zurcher engines, with the first machine believed to have an engine of their own construction.
Models included:

  • 1928 Grand Sport 175cc Zurcher
    1928 Tourisme 250cc JAP

There does not appear to be any relationship with the machines built by René Mazoyer in the 1950s.
Both OTTW and Motos dans la Loire state that post-war, from 1951 to possibly 1958, the company produced cyclemoteurs using engines from Le Poulain, Mistral and Junior. There seems no other reference such late models.
Sources: OTTW, Motos dans la Loire. (NIT)

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.
La Moto Francaise
Métropole (La)


Built in Vendôme (Loire-et-Cher) by Louis Boccardo, formerly of BFG, in partnership with Siccardi and others, the M.F. (Moto Française) was powered by a Citroen Visa 650cc engine with gearbox and final drive from the Moto Guzzi V50. Some 90 machines were produced before the firm ceased trading in 1983.
See also Boccardo

Sources: bfg.asso.fr

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


Manufactured by Les Établissements Labinal in Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis), 1922

63cc bicycle auxilliary engines similar to the Cyclotracteur.

See also Labinal

Source: OTTW

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: midual.com, 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

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

Mimosa See Darracq


Manufactured by Manufrance d'Armes et Cycles, 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

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 Bucher 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

Monnier Monnier

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 1 ½hp. 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.
Source: wikipedia.nl

Charles Morel of Domène (l'Isère) patented many inventions in 1880s and 1890s, as a partner in the Morel-Gerard company he made his fortune selling bicycles to the French army.
In 1897 he patented a four-stroke vertical twin engine similar to that used by the British for many decades.
Source: OTTW

Created in 1902, their first tricycle used a Clement engine mounted about the front wheel with friction drive. In 1903 a chain was added, and later a V-twin Clement was used.
Source: OTTW

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.

Source: wikipedia.nl

Moto Payan
Founded in 1896 in Marseille by Victor Payan whose grandson was the cyclist André Payan. 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.
Source: 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. 26xl ¾in. 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.
Source: wikipedia.nl

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

Motoporteur 1919

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

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: conam.info, Wikipedia NL, BNF

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), encycloduvelo.fr

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.


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