French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Lutèce Motorcycles

Manufactured from 1921 to 1926 at Colombes, Paris, by SECM, the firm created by pioneer aviator Félix Amiot.

Also known as Avions Amiot, they produced surprisingly large unit construction parallel twins of 997cc and 1016cc with shaft drive.

The motorcycle shares its name with one of their aircraft, and is quite possibly a nod to an earlier establishment based in Colombes (12km NW of Paris) which built automobiles named Lutèce. The name is derived from the Latin for Paris, Lutetia Parisiorum.


Lutece 1921 Combination

A real dinghy sidecar on the Lutece. It is superbly finished in the natural colours of the wood - teak for the hull and bird's-eye maple for the deck.


Lutece 1921 Parallel Twin

(Right) The Lutece, which has a side-by-side twin engine (built integral with gear box), shaft drive, and car type springing.

Motor Cycles at the Paris Salon.

On the other hand, the Lutece was a lovely model with a graceful, comfortable sidecar shaped like a boat. The machine itself had a self-starter.

A side car on the Lutece stand is so like a boat, having a correct bow and a yacht pattern stern, that it looks as if one could rig a small mast and sail, put it in the water, and sail away. The deck is of varnished bird's-eye maple and the hull of mahogany, copper fastened... curiously enough, these boat pattern bodies do not look too uncomfortable.

Car Practice.

The Lutece is unconventional in another direction, and conforms more to accepted motor cycle practice plus certain features borrowed from the car. It has a vertical twin engine with gear box integral with the crank case, and the final drive is by shaft. Like the Janoir, it is sprung at the rear on leaf springs, but no torque rods are fitted, and stays, pivoted at the rear of the saddle, are intended to ensure lateral rigidity.

The Motor Cycle, October 13th, 1921

Sources:,, Tragatch p196, The Motor Cycle 1921.

N.B. For other marques with the name Lutetia or Lutece see Disambiguation

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