French Motorcycles

Motocyclettes fabriquées en France (P)

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.


Water-cooled motocyclette which competed in the 1903 Moto-Club-de-France (M.C.F.)

The radiator consisted of coiled copper tubing mounted adjacent to the front of the fuel tank. Engine most likely Z.L.

Bourdache pp 146, 440

P.A.L. Motorcycles
Potier, Aze et Lecorsier of 196/198 bld Voltaire, Paris, founded 1902.
1905. Motorcycles with 2 ½ and 3hp engines by Buchet. There is a record which states that in 1904 the Succès marque used P.A.L. engines.
Later the firm became Ets Potier Lecorcier building the 113cc Velotouriste, and around 1930 were taken over by JP, Ets Jeanne and Philippe. The P.A.L. name remained in use until at least 1931, catalogues advertising a range of motorcycle accessories.
The JP firm still existed in the 1950s and marketed the mopeds La France, Salmson [1], Messina (Paris) and Aquilon from the original Paris address.

  • Paris Salon, 1922
    Velotouriste 60x40 mm., two-stroke unit designed to fit under bottom bracket of a pedal cycle. The crankshaft is at right angles to a countershaft, from which the final drive is taken.

N.B. 1. There was also a Salmson of Billancourt (SMS), builders of cyclecars and automobiles.
Sources: Bourdache (p440), 30kmh.forumactif.com

Built in Morteau (Doubs), 1906
Motorcycles fitted Mirus 3 ¼hp and A.Z. 1 ½hp engines.
Bourdache p302

Manufactured in Lyon 1941-1950
These were electric three-wheelers for personal trasportation and trade.
Source: OTTW


Manufactured: by Ets. P. Pasquet, Avenue Michelet, Salon (Bas du Rhin).

Paul Emile Pasquet had a long career in cycling and motorcycling. He won races on high-powered motorcycles as early as 1905, and established a bicycle firm which produced up to 5000 units per annum.

From 1932 to 1939 he built BMA 100cc Aubier-Dunne two-stroke machines.

Sources: cyclememory.org, OTTW

This 49cc scooter appeared at the 1947 Paris Salon. It promptly vanished.
Source: Amis Terriens

Tricycle exhibited at the Salon des Tuileries in 1899
Bourdache p440

Motorcycles manufactured by Ets. Pauvert, Lyon, using 98cc to 198cc two-stroke engines, 1933~1939.(1)
Built 175cc, 250cc and probably 350cc two-stroke engines 1928~1930. These were fitted to CP Roleo in 1928.(2)
1. Tragatsch p247. 2. zhumoriste.

Péa Engines
The Pea company built engines in the 1920s and 30s which were fitted to Ravat, Styl'ett, Styl'son and others.
Models: P1 175cc 2T 2 and 3-speed, P2 250cc 2T 3-speed, P3 350cc SV 3-speed.
Source: Motos dans la Loire, stylson.net


G. Pécourt builder, 3 rue Brunel, Paris.

Also known as La Victoire

1901. A machine classified only 7th has yet caught the public attention: the Pécourt. It owes this interest mainly to the fact that it was driven by the graceful Mme Jolivet whose bouffante skirt-panties (daring!) was to be of a not insignificant supplement in a tailwind.

Although of quite orthodox design with its engine in front of the pedals, the Pécourt deserves closer attention. It is one of the first French machines to be equipped with the famous Z.L. engine.

Bankruptcy pronounced on April 17, 1905
Bourdache pp 105-107, 110, 133, 141, 146, 149, 168, 187.

Motorcycle classified 9th in the 1902 Deauville event, ridden by Demay
Bourdache p440

Mercier built bicycles of this name from 1932, and mopeds around 1953.
Francis Pélissier was a famed French cycling champion in the 1920s who worked with the Mercier firm for some years, and also, apparently, with La Perle.
Sources: httpcyclomotosloire.e-monsite.com, et al.

Daniel Vouillon and Edouard Morena had been building specialist racing machines for some time befor beginning production, in 1985, of their very fast Kawasaki GPZ-powered machines 750cc and 900cc machines.
Source: OTTW

A motorcycle of this name took part in the elimination trials for the 1904 Criterium event. There is no further mention. Bourdache p209


Built by G. Lotteau in Choisy le Roi, 1906
Lotteau also built motorcycle engines of 2¾ hp and 3½ hp, as well as the G.L. marque.

1899. Powered motorcycle using a Labitte engine mounted behind the rear wheel, this machine won the world's first motorcycle race in 1899, "Le Criterium des Motocyclettes". The term motocyclettes had been trademarked by the Werner Brothers (who possibly used a Labitte engine in their first machine) but was later ruled by the courts to be in the public domain.
One of these machines was in the Musee de Sury-le-Comtal Collection Lefranc.
Sources: Guélon Collection, Bourdache (pp 75, 84, 86, 87, 98, 99, 109, 309)

Pernot (Est. 1905)

13 rue Victor Hugo, St Chamond (Loire)

1908-1910. Built by Savoye et Cie in Saint-Chamond (Loire), this was a motorised bicycle equipped with a Keller-Dorian adaptable engine and gear change by Pernot. The firm was still operating in 1922.

Sources: Motos dans la Loire, Bourdache p440

Pernod (GP Racing)

Perreaux, L-G. 1871

Perrenoud (Engines)
COMEF, 44 Rue La Fayete, Paris 9
Built (or possibly marketed) 48cc single speed engines 1953-54
Source: La Moto Francaise

Bicyclette built by Macquart et Fils in 1907.
Bourdache p112

Pernette (André)
The Pernette machine (of 1906) is a 572cc V-twin (90 x 90mm) with belt drive. With a monstrous Buchet engine (probably an 8 CV, or about 1,000 to 1,200cc) that Pernette made a reputation as a champion.
Bourdachepp 220, 223, 241, 261-263, 272, 312, 364, 382, 422.

Motorcycle built and ridden by Petit at the M.C.F. 1903
Bourdache p440

Built by Albert Boullier in Puteaux, the name P.E.U.P.L.E. is derived from the description "Petits Engins Utilitaires, Practique, Légers and Economique."
Lightweight motorcycles (1921-24) but are better known for their sidecars, which were produced until at least 1929. The 1924 catalogue stretched to 160 pages with many colour images, the final ten pages of which are devoted to describing the joys of the sidecaristi in an attempt to convert the sadly solo.
Zhumoriste, who has a field day with this one.

P.G. Engines

1903. Adaptable motor of 1¾ hp
Bourdache p440

Manufactured by Piat et Cie in Saint Etienne
The firm was founded in 1870 as an arms and bicycle manufacturer. From 1953-1959 they built mopeds fitted with 48cc Mistral engines, and they also produced tricycles powered by Lavalette engines of 70 and 98cc.
Sources: OTTW, Motos dans la Loire

Picard Fayolle
The firm was founded in 1894 in St Etienne, and between then and the end of WWII built arms, bicycles and sewing machines.
In 1947 the address was 42 Rue Martin Bernard in Saint Etienne, and mopeds appeared in 1950. These were powered by Poulain, Vap and Lavalette.
They joined Cocymo in 1955.
Source: Motos dans la Loire

Manufactured by Établissements Pierton in Courbevoie, Altos del Seine, 1922 to 1925.
Built BMA lightweights using 98 and 123cc Aubier & Dunne engines, and motorcycles of up to 498cc powereed by Blackburne, JAP, Train and Villiers.
Sources: OTTW, Tragatsch p250

Built Paillard motorcycles, and engines fitted to the Liberator in 1903. See also Paillard.
Bourdache p440

Grenoble firm which built light motorcycles using two-stroke and 197cc sidevalve engines produced in-house.
Sources: Tragatsch p251, wikipedia.nl


Built by M. Raynal in Fretin (Nord) from 1951 to 1956, the range included 125 and 175cc fourstroke scooters along with 125cc to 250pcc motorcycles with engines from AMC, Ydral and Aubier et Dunne. M. Raynal was also associated with BCR motorcycles.

There is also Pierre Poinard of 54 rue E. Dolet, Cachan (Seine), builder of sidecars and three-wheel 125cc utility vehicles. Poinard was also associated with BCR, so it seems likely that they are one and the same.

Source: OTTW, contemporary advertising.


Motorcycle built in 1901~1905 by Ernest de Pontherey, Faubourg Montmartre, 57, Paris

Sometimes misspelled as "Pontheray" or "Pontheret".

An example exists in the Collection de Maurice Chapleur

Bourdache p440


Built by Joël Portal who was previously partnered with Seurat and Queirel, these were enduro and mx machines powered by Sachs and Rotax engines of 125cc to 250cc. Production took place in Labastide Saint-Pierre in the 1970s.

Source: OTTW

Circa 1904, motorcycles with an OHV Buchet engine were built by Edgar Son of 12 rue de la Pompe, Paris

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

Established c.1928 at Rue Ferdinand de Saint-Étienne, prior to WWII the company built BMA motorcycles using 98cc Stainless and Aubier & Dunne engines. Their postwar address was Rue de Montbrison in 1947, and production consisted of 48cc mopeds in the mid-1950s.
Source: Motos dans la Loire

Motocyclettes built in 1900 at
4 rue de Paris, Puteaux
Bourdache p440


Built by fashion designer Jean Pierre Ponthieu, the first model appeared in the 1960s, a tiny microcar. Later he built a highly unusual 250cc machine which looked rather like a helicopter on wheels.

Pussycar Video


French Resources

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