French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Fournier Monster 1903


FOURNIER is a name associated with speed when talking of anything that is motor driven, and the latest news from Paris — the home of the speed monstrosities of the motor cycle breed —is that Maurice Fournier is the possessor of a machine capable of attaining a speed of about eighty miles an hour.

This latest swallower of kilometres is driven by a two-cylinder engine, air-cooled, and of 22 h.p. ; each cylinder is 4 3/8in. bore by 4 3/4in. stroke. It is interesting to note that the drive is by a chain, as the motorshaft pinion has twenty-one teeth and the driving wheel thirty-eight teeth. The gear is rather tall ; approximately the road wheel gets with two cylinders an impulse every half revolution.

To provide for slipping while starting, the motor pinion or chain wheel is held between two discs or washers of leather. This takes the shock off the chain, and no doubt makes a fairly elastic drive.

The front fork is Truffault's patent, and consists of a spring fork like those used on the De Dion racing tricycles ridden by Osmont and others. The frame is of the utmost simplicity, and consists of one tube of enormous diameter, which runs from the bottom socket lug down under the motor , crank chamber and up to the seat lug. The motor is attached to this tube by two angle lugs. The tyres are 26in. by 3 %in., and the weight ready for riding is about 360 lbs. This machine is to be ridden on the Parc des Princes track, which we hope will be sufficiently banked at the corners to prevent- the plucky man who rides it from being killed.

Some of the manufacturers of motor bicycles on the other side are evidently paying more attention to the production of these nightmares than the perfecting of a reliable mount for the tourist, if We, are to judge from the exhibits at the show in Paris, where British-made motor bicycles, although few in number, quite out-classed the foreign article in finish, design, and the methods adopted for operating the various levers for carburation and ignition.

If you have a query or information about these vintage French racers please contact us