French Motorcycles

Bichrone Motorcycles



Henri Lepappe of Paris built motorcycles with their own two-stroke engines which were supplied to manufacturers. The firm was one of the first to use two-stroke engines. The machines were advertised by J.C. Hencke of London in the first edition of The Motor Cycle in March 1903. The advertisement has the line, "One explosion at every revolution, which means Power".

Also referred to as "Lepape".

Au premier abord, on peut prendre le petit moteur Lepape - baptisé Bichrone - pour un banal bicylindre en V dont un des cylindres serait dépourvu d'ailettes.

At first glance, we can take the small Lepape engine - named Bichrone - for an ordinary V-twin with one of the cylinders having no fins.
~ Bourdache

Martin Shelley writes:

Hasluck describes how, "in this motor, the explosive `mixture enters from the carburetter at A, is compressed in pump B, and forced through C to the motor cylinder D". This was an idea copied from the Dolphin or Korting two stroke design and was later revived by DKW for their successful 1930s racers.

"Le Bichrone" Two-Cycle Motor.

This remarkable little motor was shown at work on one of the underground exhibits at the Paris Show. It works on the two-cycle principle, and fires every revolution. The spray carburetter supplies gas to a small cylinder connecting with the crank case, and on the up stroke of the piston a supply of gas is drawn into the crank case through a valve, and compressed when the piston descends, which is also the firing stroke. When the piston reaches a certain point in its stroke, a port is opened in the cylinder, and the compressed gas rushes in, and at the same time forces out the exhaust through another port in the lower part of the cylinder. It has an external flywheel, with the belt pulley on the inner face. The motor fits neatly into the angle formed between the diagonal and down tubes of the bicycle, and it can be adapted to any roadster machine. The motor is made in two sizes, 1½ and 2¼ horse-power, and is priced at £13 and £15 respectively. The Paris Agency for "Le Bichrone" is 28, Rue Demours.

Paris Salon 1902 in Motor Cycling, December 31st, 1902. Page 388

T. C. Henckce — The 1904 Bichrone Motor.

This is a 2¼ h.p. two-stroke motor of great simplicity, and with few parts to get out of order. The following changes have been made in the new model: Wipe contact ignition, which works with ordinary coil, the petrol being vaporised in the latest type of Vaur's carburetter. In the old pattern the exhaust pipe and sparking plug were in close proximity to the down tube; their positions have now been altered. The plug is protected from oil by a baffle plate, and the lift of the inlet valve can be regulated. The crank chamber is made of phosphor bronze instead of aluminium ; the flywheel is screwed on to the crankshaft, not bolted: the pulley is detachable, and is suitable either for a V or flat belt. One charge of oil is sufficient for fifty miles. There will be also a new 3½ h.p. engine, the same in all details as the 2¼ except that it will be water cooled.

Mr. Hencke also deals in motor cycle accessories, and is sole agent for the well-known Invicta accumulator. He is also showing the Dary coil and the J.M. wipe contact, and some excellent tanks for motor bicycles. One of the most interesting items to be exhibited is the Rationnel voltmeter. It has no wires, and differs from other voltmeters even in appearance. When put across the terminals of an accumulator the hand moves round the dial with a slow stately movement, and stops dead at the actual voltage contained in the cells. The Papon sparking plug with platinum points will also attract attention.

The Motor Cycle, November 18th 1903
Stanley Show 1903

Bichrone Motors.

Three examples of the two-stroke Bichrone motors are staged on this stand. Two have a loop frame passing under the crank chamber, and one has the engine fitted close down to the bracket in the ordinary panel of the diamond frame. The engine has been previously described in our pages, and for the benefit of our readers we illustrate herewith the interior of the crank chamber, with the cover plate removed. This shows the method of balancing and other details. The engines, frames, etc., of the Bichrone motors are particularly well finished, and the latter show signs of considerable improvement over last year's exhibit. In addition to the Bichrone motors, Mr. Hencke is showing various accessories in the form of accumulators, tanks, coils, contact-breakers, etc. (Stand 7.)

The Motor Cycle, November 25th, 1903. p831
Stanley Show 1903

Sources: Tragatsch p87, Martin Shelley, Graces Guide, Bourdache, The Motor Cycle.

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