French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Fournier Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

A Fournier & Knopf was shown at the 1902 salon.

There was also a Fournier pacer powered by a Buchet V-twin of 110x120mm bore/stroke, 2280.8cc.

Marcel Fournier designed and raced this enormously fast and powerful motorcycle. During a meeting on the cement track of the Parc des Princes on April 17 1903 he achieved the remarkable average of 89 km/h over 10 km, terrifying the crowd of 20,000 spectators who screamed as his machine slid through the corners.

A reporter from La Vie au Grand Air writes: "Maurice Fournier gave his monster only what was needed. Was Marius Tea trying to pass? Fournier was a little ahead of the ignition - he calls it "sauce" - and immediately he jumped to more than 100 km per hour, leaving his rival on the spot... What an awful sport!"

Fournier later rode a 3 litre parallel twin variously described as a Buchet and a Fournier-Buchet, and also raced a V4 Clement. His two brothers both raced and were also quite famous.

Fournier became Champion du Monde de Motocyclettes in 1903. He died in an accident during the 1911 French Grand Prix at Le Mans, his birthplace, at the age of 30.

Fournier cyclecars were built by "Société Anonyme des Anciens Établissements Fournier" in Levallois Perret from 1913 and 1924 by the surviving brothers. Charles Fournier built Zeiller-Fournier cars in the same factory.

Sources: Bourdache (pp 128, 146, 151);;

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