French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

La Francaise-Diamant Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Manufactured: 1901-1954

La Française was founded in 1890 by Victor Pierre Besse and François Tripier, and endured a complex variety of relationships over the ensuing decades.

In 1901 the firm produced the Autocyclette Clément under license. In December that year they presented a motor tricycle at the Salon d'Automobile.

Models using Diamant engines were named thus, but there were also machines from 1905 listed in a catalogue for Societe La Francais with the brand of simply Diamant. They also sold automobiles and bicycles under the Diamant label in 1912, and in the same year they advertised LMD motorcycles with Diamant 64x75 2hp engines and Quentin 76x85 engines.

1913 saw the introduction of the Modele A Monocilindrique 64x90mm. The same catalogue announces the Modele B 2¾ hp V-twin, 54x75mm. There were also handsome automobiles.

In 1914 the factory address is given as 47, Rue Cartier-Bresson Pantin (Seine), with the head office in Paris at 8, Rue Descombes.

All of the 1914 models were named La Francais Diamant. The Type A remained in the catalogue and the Type E V-twin was introduced, 4hp 66x73mm, with pedals and belt drive, along with a more expensive Type E bis, sans pedals. A combination was also offered, the 6hp Type D, 68x100mm.

The company was absorbed by the Gentil group in 1923, after which their output was very similar to Labor, Alcyon, Thomann, Olympique and Armor lightweight models.

Before and after the 2nd World War they built BMA machines.

Sources: JLB Creations,,

Society La Francais, Rue de la Grande Armee, Paris, show the Diamant motor-bicycle. This has a 2 h.p. vertical engine, held in clamps between the bracket and down tube. A Longuemare spray carburetter is used. Control is effected by four levers, placed well forward on the top tube of frame. The frame is strongly built, with an extra horizontal tube, duplicate front forks are fitted. A Bowden back rim and front tyre brake is used. Ignition and lubrication are effected on the usual lines. This machine is listed at £35.

Paris Salon 1902 in Motor Cycling, December 17th, 1902.

Sun, 03 Sep 2017
lenka.pazoutova at
motorcycle La francaise 1922?

Hello, unfortunately, i cannot find information about our motorcycle La francaise diamant. Could you find out what year is it and send me information, image and list of parts, which to the motorcycle belongs ? I want my motorcycle to go back to original state. Thank you for answers. Greeting Lenka Pa...outov...

Mlad... Boleslav Czech Republic

La-Francaise-Diamant-1922c-MBo.jpg posted to Comments

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