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French Motorcycles

Motocyclettes fabriquées en France (U,V,W)

Notes on some of the rarer French marques

This page lists brands of 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.

U

Uldry

Established by Jules Uldry, the firm had premises in Neuilly in 1923, and by 1926 was at at 1 rue Hégésippe-Moreau Paris, near Place Clichy. The company built bicycles in the 1920s, and the firm was still active in 1938.

Advertised 175cc and 350cc motorcycles in 1926.

Sources: tontonvelo.com, BNF




Urago
Bicycle business in Nice (Boulevard du Riquier) believed to have built motorcycles. Founded by Dominique Urago, with his brothers François and Joseph in the mid 1930s, the firm produced bicycles until 1964 and operated until 2009. The bicycles were highly regarded and were exported to the United States.
Sources: encycloduvelo.fr, classiclightweights.net


Unica
Built a 250cc motorcycle in 1928 powered by an OHV Zurcher engine.
Source: Motos dans la Loire


V

Vacances
Built by Mercier from 1954 to 1960, some models had the 98cc Comet engine from Le Poulain
Sources: LMF


Vallière
Motor-bicycle with 2-stroke engine. Engaged in the M.C.F. in 1903. Rider: Jangneau.
Bourdache p166


Vannod
Louis Vannod of Neuilly (Seine-Saint-Denis) began building sidecars in the 1920s, and in 1958 displayed a three-wheeler with three seats at the Paris Salon.

Source: OTTW


Vaurs
Motorcycle which entered the Paris-Madrid 1903 event, ridden by its creator, Vaurs, who invented the carburettor of the same name.
Bourdache pp 172, 222, 252.


Veloserwa
These were four-stroke engines manufactured by Soma in St Etienne used by Alcyon in 1948. Production lasted until about 1954.
See also Serwa
Source: Motos dans la Loire


Veloto

Établissements VELOTO 6, Rue de Richemont - 59, Rue de Domrémy - PARIS-13• GOB 06-06
Salle d'Exposition : 120, Champs-Élysées, PARIS

Built from around 1948 using their own 50cc engines which were mounted in an unconvential fashion behind the pedal crank, the velomoteur had a long wheelbase. The fuel tank was mounted below the seat and directly above the spark plug.

Source: Wikipedia NL, period literature.




Velox
73 rue Claude Deschamps, Paris
Motorcycle entered in the one third of a litre criterium of 1903, and again in 1905 under the marque Velox-Levraux, ridden by Daudre.
In 1906 they built tricars and Velox engines.
Bourdache p209


Villemain
Motorcycles and Tricars
35 rue Arago, Puteaux
In 1904 and 1905 a Villemain motorcycle participated in the Criterium events.
"In general, the winner is still a tricycle driven by Villemain who achieves 47.120 km/h."
Bourdache pp 93, 209, 220.


Vimer
Pre-war address: 188 rue d'Alesia (Paris 14)
Manufactured by Ets. DF Constructors, Gentilly Seine, these were small two-stroke engines of 45 and 48cc built from 1950-57. The Vimer engine was used in the Wereld moped of the Netherlands.
The Vimer name is derived from that of M. Villard who is believed to have traded as Vimer-Mercier, so there was possibly a relationship with the Mercier firm. DF built aviation components both before and after the war, and closed in 1969.
Sources: Wikipedia NL, Philippe Lefebvre (Motos Francaise archive).


Vindex
Cycles and mopeds in produced in Saint Etienne. A photograph shows a moped with a Vap4 engine.

Source: Motos dans la Loire


Vinet
25 rue Brunel, Paris
Built motor tricycles and quadricycles powered by De Dion, 1899
Bourdache p442


W

Washington
Produced by Mercier (1899).
Bourdache


Wethy
Built BMA machines in the late 40s and possibly 1950s. Their address in 1932 was 51 Rue Désiré Claude in St Etienne
Source: Motos dans la Loire


White-Star

The marque is possibly from c1932, and the constructor may have been Pertuisot of 23 Rue des Acacias, Paris.

Two images both show similar models with 350cc Staub-JAP OHV engines with 3 speed gearboxes. No manufacturer details are on the images, and fairly exhaustive searches have proved unfruitful.

La Moto Francaise




Winster
Images show a badge on the steering stem which reads "Winster PMP", apparently French. Frame almost bare, no engine or tank. Front guard has toolbox mounted on it, making it quite distinctive.
Remains of gearbox and clutch, chain drive, sans pedales, rigid with girder forks, tank mounted between upper and lower frame rails.
La Moto Francaise


Sources

French Resources
Bourdache


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