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French Motorcycles

Motocyclettes fabriquées en France

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.

A

Abeille
Established in Saint-Quentin, Aisne, in 1900, Veuve A. de Mesmay built mostly automobiles. There is mention of a tricycle in the literature.
Source: OTTW


ABF
The Association Bidalot Fourès manufactured 50cc racing motorcycles in the 1970s and 80s. Only a handful were built each year. Later machines were modeled on the Seeley design.
See also Bidalot
Source: OTTW


ABG
The firm was originally named Arìes and built automobiles at Asnières-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine in Paris from 1903 to 1938. After the war they began building 48cc auxilliary bicycle engines which became better known as VAP, often ABG-VAP.


ACS
1981
An endurance racer designed and built by Ateliers de Construction Siccardi.
René Siccardi and François Denin (Matra) built a three-cylinder 999cc engine, the ACS S.3, with DOHC and and four valves per cylinder. It developed 150 hp at 11,000 rpm for a top speed of 284 km/h. The chassis was built by Claude Fior. The project was scuppered when the FIM changed the regulations to admit only 750cc maximum capacity.
Sources: wikipedia.nl


Albert-Jean
Motorcycle classified 11th at the Criterium of Motorcycles 1901, riden by Echenoy
Bourdache p429 *


Alfred Faure
Faure was well-known cyclist who rode for Automoto. He established his own brand in 1922, building lightweights including BMA 100cc machines which he himself raced. Manufacture possibly ceased in 1925.
The address of the firm in 1923 was 11 rue du 11 Novembre, St Etienne, and in 1929 he had premises at 65 rue Chauzy, Reims.
Source: Motos dans la Loire


Alleluia
Re-branded version of the German N.S.U., ca 1914, the same year a cycle of this brand won Le Tour. Mopeds of this name were produced in the 1950s.
Bourdache (pp400, 429), encycloduvelo.fr


Alpha
1983-1990
Jacques Coll, originally from Perpignan, built trials machines using Honda engines and later 250cc two-strokes of his own design. Models included the Micra Trial 252.
Sources: wikipedia.nl, moto-collection.org


Alter
1955-56
Built 49cc mopeds using a variety of engines.
Sources: Tragatsch p73


Alpa Picquenot
1956
Built lightweights of 50cc and 80 cc for one year only.
Source: wikipedia.nl


Amstoutz
1900. Engineer and motorcycle engine manufacturer in Besançon who built Mirus and A.Z.
Motorcycles may also have been produced under the Amstoutz brand.
The Mirus was a bicycle auxiliary engine mounted on the front wheel, built from 1902.
Sources: Bourdache (pp 224, 280, 302.), OTTW


Andre (André)
7, rue Lafouge, Gentilly, Seine
La Moto Biplace - two-seater motocyclette twostroke with gearbox. 1925 advert.
1923 Modele G. 175cc two-stroke. 1923 Advertisement.


Andru
10 Rue de St Quentin, Paris
1903. Motorcycles with Mirus water-cooled engines
Bourdache p429


Anzani
Anzani (FR)


Aquila
Founded in 1900 by Claude Meunier in 1900. In the 1950s their address was 34 Bis Jules Janin, Saint-Etienne where the firm built bicycles and a variety of mopeds using Mistral, ABG VAP 48cc and Himo engines, some of which were branded Aquilette. Aquila absorbed Ballis in 1953.

Sources: Motos dans la Loire, encycloduvelo.fr


Aquilon
Two machines of this brand participated in the Grand Prix of Paris in 1909, ridden by Mouton and Johnson
Bourdache p327


Ardex
Manufactured by Marcel Tamine at 54 Rue Saint-Germain, Nanterre, 1934~1939
Built bespoke tricars and cyclecars using engines of up to 350cc.
Source: OTTW


Arzens
Manufactured by Paul Arzens in Paris in 1942, this beautiful three-wheeled creation known as L'Oeff (The Egg) is considered the first bubblecar. Initially battery-powered, post-war versions also had a 125cc engine. Arzens, known to Ettore Bugatti, drove his cars until his death in 1990 at the age of 87.
An example listed as a 125cc 1942 model is on display at Cité de l'Automobile, Mulhouse.
Source: OTTW


AS
ca. 1926. This was a rebadged Ravat 175 B1 sold by A. Sutter of Chatellerault, a Triumph dealer.


Atelier du Furan
The company appeared c.1905, and built cycles and motorcycles in their small factory which included a foundry. Possibly named Dombret-Jussy at that time. Mentioned in 1913, 1930, and 1931 when the name had changed to Furan. It is possible that in the 1950s they built the Slaughi powered by Mistral.
Source: Motos dans la Loire, encycloduvelo.fr


Athena
Dérozier participated in the 1905 Tour de France on an Athéna motorcycle.
Bourdache p430


Audax
Established in Rouen, Lenefait et Cie produced motorcycles identical to Lamaudière-Labre from c.1899 to 1904.
1904 models were advertised with 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 cv IOE engines and "Fourche Elastique sur demand, Supplément 50f".
They then built cyclecars from 1912 until 1914.
Bourdache p430, OTTW


Audouard
Manufactured cycles and motorcycles from c.1911. Based at 26 rue du Grand Gonnet, St Etienne
Source: Motos dans la Loire


Aureole
L. Bouchez, 7 Boulevard Victor-Hugo, 7 Saint-Oen (Seine)
ca early 1930s, 350cc & 500cc JAP SV and OHV singles, 750cc JAP V-twin
Source: period advertising


Aurore
79 Boulevard Haussmann Paris
In 1898, H. Deckert and Cie sold De Dion powered tricycles and automobiles named Aurore.
Bourdache p430


Autobiroue
Built by Robert Ligier of Puycasquier in the 1950s, the first prototype of 1954 had a roof, later versions being open with a fairing screen, and utilising Lambretta components.
autobiroue.over-blog.com


Autocyclette
Yves Guédon of 15 Rue du Louvre, Paris, built a chain-driven petrol-engined bicyclette in 1899
Bourdache p430


Automotette
Manufactured 1898-1899 by Compagnie Française des Cycles Automobiles in Paris, these were belt-driven tricycles similar to those of Leon Bollee. The machine was also sold in England by a firm based in Holland Park, London.
Source: OTTW


Aviator

Motorcycles built by Friès and Germain, 1906, at 52 bld de Strasbourg, Vincennes
Bourdache p430


Aya Components
Established c.1920 by Mj Paya at 27 Rue Denfer Rochereaux in St Etienne
Built brake hubs, tanks and frames which were supplied to Automoto, Dollar, Favor, Gnome & Rhone, La Française, Magnat debon, New map, Radior, Ravat, Rhony'x, Rochester, Styl'son, Terrot and others.
The company folded in the early 1930s as a result of the financial crisis.
Source: Motos dans la Loire


AZ
Engines manufactured by Emile Amstoutz 1900-1908, these were suitable for mounting on the front wheel of a bicycle. A partnership was established with Louis Ravel 1906. They were used by Cottereau and probably others.
Source: OTTW


Rarer French Marques

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

R

S

T

U

V

W


Sources

French Resources


If you have a query or information about French motocyclettes please contact us

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