French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

L-Universel 1901

L'Universel Motorcycles

A motor bicycle built in 1901-1902 and possibly later which used various engines, including those of their own manufacture.

Bourdache, p120, writes:

    At the same time, Vigneron also sold a formidable 90 degree V-twin of 4 CV. In the 3 CV version only, it was proposed in an unusual way to "form a fixed engine that can operate sewing machines of all systems".

There is on view at Campbell's motor and cycle depot, Liverpool-street, a new motor bicycle, which has been specially constructed by Mr. A. M. Campbell for Tasmanian roads. It is fitted with a 1¾ horse power "L'Universal"* petrol engine, which is a facsimile of the one used by the great French chaffeur* Parteous* Butler last month when he lowered all records from 25 to 195 kilometres. The total weight of the machine is 65lbs., and it is said to be the lightest roadster in Australia. A distance of 125 miles can be covered at a cost of 2s. The whole of the works are within the bars of the frame, thus giving the machine a most graceful appearance. The machine is the first motor bicycle turned out in Hobart, and Mr. Campbell has also the distinction of being the maker of the first motor car built in Tasmania.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tasmania) Fri 29 Aug 1902
* Editorial quality has not greatly improved - the publication is now part of the Murdocracy.
Campbell (Tas.)

The "UNIVERSEL" two-cylinder motor-bicycle is one of the most interesting features of the motor-bicycle exhibits. It is remarkably compact and light, and the motor develops three horse-power. It has combined flat belt and chain drive. The motor is clamped in between the main and down tubes. A spray carburetter is used. On this stand several small motors, both air and water cooled, are shown. This machine is made by Porteus Butler, 24, Passage de l'Opera, Boulevard des Italiens, Paris.

Paris Salon 1902

Sources: Bourdache pp 109, 120, 146.; Trove NLA

See also Vigneron

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