French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Cyclone Motorcycles of France

On September 5, Alexandre Fessard and his son Eugène registered the name Fesard père et fils. Two days later, Alexandre died. Eugène built workshops on Boulevard de Maisons and filed numerous patents, particularly for engines (Cyclone, Pygmée) which were successful. In February 1900, he sold his company and his patents to the public limited company "Automobiles et Moteurs", with its headquarters in Brussels, set up specifically for the operation of the factories on the Boulevard de Maisons.

Moteur « Cyclone ». O’est une machine à deux cylindres accolés sur un carter en forme de tambour. La fig. 8 montre une coupe transversale par l’un des cylindres. La bougie est placée comme dans le modèle précédent, mais les soupapes sont disposées dans une chambre spéciale sur le côté du cylindre et commandées par les moyens ordinaires.

Cyclone engine. This is a two-cylinder machine attached to a drum-shaped casing. Figure 8 shows a cross section through one of the cylinders. The igniter is placed as in the previous model, but the valves are arranged in a special chamber on the side of the cylinder and controlled by ordinary means. The "cyclone" applied to light carts provided, and satisfactory results are claimed. We fear however that a rapid heating does not occur by this provision and that the same defect of the lack of force on the coasts can be blamed on this engine.
Source: Graffigny Chapter III

The factory was destroyed by fire shortly thereafter, and the remnants were purchased by Louis Soncin, who built engines for the "Cyclone" machines.

Powered by the Soncin engine, the Cyclone ridden by Beconnais took the kilometre world record (48 seconds, 75 km/h) on September 21, 1899, at Achères.

In 1902 Soncin's shares were bought by Pierre Joseph Grégoire. The workshops were purchased by Jacques Bignan in 1924, who closed up in 1926. Matford built a modern factory on the site in 1938, and it was bombed twice during the war. Afterwards, the SIMCA concern bought the works and modernised it, and some years later it came into the hands of Peugeot-Citroën.

Sources:, et al.

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