French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

La Foudre Motorcycles

La Foudre

Manufactured 1902 to c.1905.

Paul Valter had previously traded under the Valter marque. In 1902 he and his de facto Caroline Meyer formed a new firm which traded as La Foudre. Their first machines had a Valter 1½ h.p. engine.

Translating as "Lightning", the 1903 model pictured runs a 2½ h.p. Buchet single of 250cc (67 x 70 mm).

A similar machine competed in the 1902 Château-Thierry, Rodolfo Muller rode the Tour de France on a La Foudre Buchet, and another competed against over sixty other machines in the Championnat du Monde des Motocyclettes of 1904 which was won by the four cylinder Adolphe Clément.

The La Foudre (termed Valter in the caption) was ridden by Jeanne-Aline Herveux who later achieved fame as an aviator. She appears with Madame Clouet in a photograph by Jules Beau, and it appears that they were friends.

From 1909 the Valter company exported motor vehicles to England.

Sources: Bourdache p209,

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