Motocyclettes fabriquées en France

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.


A.B.C. (c1905~)
Manufactured by Ateliers Balestibeau of rue Michel-de-Montaigne, Castillon-sur-Dordogne, Gascony, built an A.B.C. motocyclette prior to the first war and these were advertised around 1904-1905, along with Mototri-Contral. ABC was probably an acronym for Ateliers Balestibeau Castillon. (M. Fernand Balestibeau sold Peugeot in the same town in 1935.)
Sources: zhumoriste, motocollection

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

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

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 Siccardi

Albert-Benoît Jean is regarded as the father of the French tricar.
Presented at L'Exposition Universelle of 1900, his machine was a tricycle with a De Dion engine mounted forward of the front axle.
Offices: 5, Place Pigalle à Paris IXe
Workshops: 84 rue des Martyrs, Paris.
Jean & Cie was disolved in November of 1902, but production continued. In August 1904 a new company, Édouard Cheilus & Cie, was established at the same address.
A motorcycle classified 11th appeared 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


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),

Jacques Coll, originally from Perpignan, built trials machines using modified Honda engines and later 250cc two-strokes of his own design. The Micra Trial 252 was presented at the 1987 Paris Salon. The 72 x 58.8 mm six-speed two-stroke was destined for water-cooling, but the venture failed in 1990 or 91.
Sources:, François-Marie Dumas

Built 49cc mopeds using a variety of engines.
Sources: Tragatsch p73

Alpa Picquenot
Ateliers A. Picquenot et Fils
40-44 rue Leledia
Cherbourg (Manche)
Built lightweights of 50cc and 80cc in 1956 only. They also built two-stroke engines:
Type T49 49.7cc, two-speed
Type W80 80.7cc, two-speed
Sources:, Cycle Memory

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.

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

Anzani (FR)

Founded in 1900 by Claude Meunier. 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,

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

Arcoma during the 70s held around 30% of the market for microcars. The 1975 Mini Comtesse could be driven sans permis, was rather unstable with a single front wheel aided by a pair of training wheels.
The Mini Comtesse Break was introduced in 1978 with four wheels and even more outlandish styling to its predecessor. Arcoma production continued until about 1984.
Source: Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

Manufactured by Marcel Tamine at 54 Rue Saint-Germain, Nanterre, 1934~1939
Built bespoke tricars and cyclecars using engines of up to 500cc. Production resumed post-war using engines from SABB of 100cc and 125cc, and vinyl-covered plywood bodies.
Sources: OTTW, Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

Manufactured by Daniel Manon of Lyon from 1976 to 1983, when the firm was renamed to Aixxam.
The Type 11 was a three-wheeler powered by a Sachs engine. Later models included 4-wheelers with Motobecane 50cc engines and a BCB 125cc was fitted to the Type 18.
Associated with the names Minoto, Veloto and Bel-Motors.
Source: Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

Manufactured by Paul Arzens (1903-1990) in Paris in 1942, this beautiful aluminium and Plexiglas three-wheeled creation known as L’Oeuf Electrique (The Electric Egg) is considered the first bubblecar. Initially battery-powered, post-war it was converted to use a 125cc engine. Arzens, known to Ettore Bugatti, drove his cars until his death in 1990 at the age of 87.
His bubblecar is preserved at Cité de l'Automobile, Mulhouse.
Arzens also built a rather beautiful electric automobile with a range of 300 km and a futuristic appearance. He is best known for his work in the railway world, where he designed locomotives, carriages and railway stations for the SNCF.
Sources: OTTW,

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

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

Established in Rouen, Lenefait et Cie produced motorcycles identical to Lamaudière-Labre from c.1899 to 1904.

1904 models were advertised with 3½ and 4½ cv IOE engines and "Fourche Elastique sur demand, Supplément 50f".

They then built cyclecars from 1912 until 1914.

Bourdache p430, OTTW

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

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

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

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.

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

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


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

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























French Resources

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