Clement Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Clement Autocyclettes


A Brief History of the Marque

Built in France from 1901 to 1935
76 Grande-Rue Pre-St-Gervaise (Seine)

The Clement concern produced high quality bicycles before the factory turned to making motorcycle engines at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Adolphe Clément, born 1855 and orphaned at an early age, was apprenticed to a blacksmith where he built his own wooden bicycle. He began entering races, rode his bicycle to Paris and in 1880 set up a workshop building bicycles which before long employed 150 people. In 1899 he took up the Dunlop manufacturing rights for France and this venture was enormously successful - Adolphe became a millionaire. The bicycle factory was expanded considerably, combining Clément, Gladiator and Humber-France.

Clément left the firm in 1903, later creating a new marque for his automobiles, Bayard, with a factory in Levallois-Perret, and in 1909 changed his name to Adolphe Clément-Bayard. He was also an aviation pioneer, and was the first to cross the English Channel by airship, which he built. He became very famous and was awarded the Légion d'honneur.

In 1922 his successful automobile company was sold to Citroen who used the large factory to built the 5 CV, the car that made their name.

Clément Motorcycles

The 1¼ hp engine of 1902 had an automatic intake valve and an overhead exhaust valve, with a large flywheel acting as a pulley for the direct belt transmission to the rear wheel.

Clement supplied engines to the British company Clément-Garrard, and these engines powered the first of the Norton machines in 1902.

They became successful in the 1920s when some potent 248cc JAP-engined ohv machines left the old works on the Seine. Clement was also a pioneer of good rear suspension which they used with triangular frames during the late 1920s - Andreino won many races on these machines. The range of models included machines from 98cc to 498cc with two-stroke, side-valve and OHV engines.

Quite extensive model information available at JLB-Créations

Motocycles Clément. — La grande fabrique de bicyclettes Clément s’est adonnée à la construction des automobiles, et le modèle de tricycle, exposé au dernier Salon du Cycle, se distingue surtout par son train arrière muni d’un différentiel à trois compartiments. Son encliquetage de mise en marche est enfermé dans le carter au lieu de l’être dans le pédalier, de telle sorte que la chaîne reste immobile quand le moteur travaille seul. Les roulements extérieurs de l’axe des roues motrices sont logés sous les moyeux, ce qui supprime tout porte-à-faux. Enfin toutes les pièces sont interchangeables et ajustées avec toute la précision désirable à l’aide de machines-outils perfectionnées.

La magnifique usine du quai Michelet, à Levallois, est d’ailleurs installée suivant les dernières prescriptions de la science moderne et possède, avec un personnel d’élite, un outillage de haute précision, capable de produire les machines les plus parfaites. Aussi est-ce à juste titre que les amateurs recherchent et vantent les motocycles et les voiturettes montés dans les ateliers Clément, et qui présentent un cachet d’élégance et de bon goût tout particulier, qualités qui ont contribué au succès de la grande marque française.

Clement Motorcycles. — The great bicycle factory Clément devoted itself to the construction of automobiles, and the tricycle model, exhibited at the last Salon du Cycle, is distinguished above all by its rear axle equipped a three-compartment differential. Its snap starter is enclosed in the crankcase instead of being in the crankset, so that the chain remains motionless when the motor works alone. Bearings outside of the axle of the drive wheels are housed under the hubs, which eliminates any overhang. Finally all parts are interchangeable and adjusted with all desirable precision using advanced machine tools.

The magnificent Quai Michelet factory in Levallois is moreover installed according to the latest prescriptions of the modern science and has, with an elite staff, a high-precision tooling, capable of producing the most perfect machines. It is therefore right that the enthusiasts look for and praise the motorcycles and carts assembled in the Clément workshops, and which present a stamp of elegance and very particular good taste, qualities which have contributed to the success of the great French brand.
Source: Graffigny Chapter VII Tricycles (1900)

Clement and Co., Paris, have a complete line of ordinary cycles, motor-bicycles, motor carrier tricycles, cars and one chassis. The motor-bicycles include the well-known featherweight pattern and a new 2 h.p. design, and the two-cylinder and four-cylinder racing machines. The motor carrier tricycle is a distinct novelty. The motor fitted is the new 2 h.p. The carrier is very capacious. The car chassis has many points of interest in the design. These include the new dynamo ignition, Mercedes type radiator with rotary fan for forced draught. Two light voiturettes are shown, one finished off in crimson lake and the other in dark green, the latter being a four-seated vehicle. No very special features are embodied in the designs of these vehicles.

Paris Salon 1902 in Motor Cycling, December 17th, 1902.

Sources: Tragatsch, JLB Creations, Wikipedia.fr, et al.

maypeter at xtra.co.nz
Clement 1911
hi. I have been given a early clement bicycle Engine. Its missing the carburetor and exhaust. I would like to know more about how to start this Engine.
Peter May
New Zealand

This group may offer assistance: https://www.facebook.com/groups/654324954604252/

davidgeorgecopland at icloud.com
Late 1890s/early 1900s
I own the collection of medals & a couple of other items won by early motorcycle racer, F. Graeme Fenton who rode a Clement-Gladiator machine. Happy to share photos if anyone interested.
David Copland
North East England

Clement-Fenton-Medals-DCo jpg images posted to Comments.

Mon Dec 07 2009
stbergner at web.de
1st International Six Days Trial 1913 in Carlisle
make ? Clement Gladiator
Hallo, ich bin seit langer Zeit auf der Suche nach einem Bild einer Clement-Gladiator. Dieses Motorrad soll 1913 bei den Six Days im Nationalteam Frabkreich eingesetzt worden sein. Ist darüber etwas bekannt ? Könnt Ihr helfen ? MfG Stefan
Zwickau, Germany

International Six Days Trial 18.-23.8.1913 Carlisle/England

French Team:
Bourbeau und Devaux auf Bedelia Cycle Car
1 rider on Clement-Gladiator

2nd Day:
The competitors considered that the first day's route was extremely difficult, but it was child's play to the second day.

The first competitor to pass through Kirkoswald exactly up to time on his French-built 3 œ h.p. Clement-Gladiator, was A. J. Sproston, gallantly riding for the French team (???) in place of one of the three entrants disabled in France a fortnight ago. It was matter for regret that the other two, the rider of a Clement Gladiator machine, and Bourbeau with his Bedelia cycle car (which was much admired the first day) , were amongst Tuesday's 28 absentees.

The Frenchman Bourbeau in the Bedelia cycle car did not start in Tuesday's run (2nd Day), whilst the Clement riders failed on most hills, and had not arrived at a late hour.

I don't understand that A. J. Sproston was gallantly riding for the French team and won a Bronze medal , but an other information is, that "A trio of Frenchmen who retired on second day". When Sproston won a Bronze medal and the French Team retired complete then it is not possible that sproston was a member of French team.

--- A.J.Sproston won a Bronze medal (list of results)

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Stefan Bergner

I found the follow information ISDT 1913:

France, racing with blue colours - Entrant: Union Motocycliste de France
M. Guilloreau on a Clement-Gladiator 350cc, twin cylinder, 2,75 HP
M. Gabriel on a Clement-Gladiator 498cc, twin-cylinder, 4 HP
M. Bourbeau on a Bedelia Cyclecar 1100cc, twin-cylinder, 8 HP

Best regards

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