French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Magali Motocyclettes

Motocyclette built by Gayon et Cie, 1903, fitted with a Deckert engine.

22 rue Garnier, Levallois Perret

"Une autre machine quel'on a vue pour la première fois en public au Critérium du 1/5 de litre apparait comme moins banale : c'est la Magali, de la Société Gayon et Cie à Levallois-Perret. Le moteur de la Magali (en course c'est un Deckert culbuté) est un classique monocylindre à soupape automatique. Sa transmission par chaine est une exception remarquable ainsi que son enmbrayage à cone cuir incorporé dans la couronne du pédalier. Nouvelle encore, la fourche avant élastique à longs balanciers avec un ressort de suspension en arc de cercle dissimulé dans le garde-boue avant."

(Another machine that we saw for the first time in public at the 1/5 liter Criterium seems less banal: it is the Magali, from the Société Gayon et Cie in Levallois-Perret. Engine de la Magali (in the race it's an OHV Deckert) is a classic single cylinder with automatic valve. Its chain transmission is a remarkable exception as well as its leather cone clutch incorporated in the crown of the crankset. New again, the elastic front fork with long pendulums with a suspension spring in an arc of concealed circle in the front guard.)

See also Mireille

A contrast to the direct drive bicycle is the Magali, the motor being carried between the down tube and the diagonal. (See illustration in The Motor Cycle, page 598) The engineshaft drives a pinion which runs free on the pedal axle and is clutched internally by a sliding flanged disc. This clutch is kept back by a flat spring by fixing of a small cam between the end of the flat spring and the tube, the cam being operated by a rod terminating in a small hand wheel above the top tube. On turning the cam the clutch springs back, and the flanged projections alternate with corresponding projections inside the pinion. On the opposite side of the machine the pedal axle carries another pinion which transmits power by a chain to a pinion on the rear wheel, this latter pinion having a friction disc arrangement similar to that on the Humber chain-driven bicycle. The friction discs are permanently adjusted to slip when the effort greatly exceeds that would no doubt be very convenient if only its advantages were not neutralised by a loss of power in transmission.

Loss in Transmission.

When a motor of so low a power as 2¼ h.p. is used it is inadvisable to adopt a system "of transmission which will absorb any of it unduly, and it is very easy for a transmission composed of a train of moving parts to absorb 25 per cent. of the motive power. As the motor on the Magali is a Zedel, of the same type as that used on the Griffon bicycles, it is very instructive to make a comparison between the two machines, and it must be confessed that the crushing superiority of the Griffon over the Magali in point of speed left no doubt that the simple belt drive is infinitely preferable to this more complicated system.

The Motor Cycle, Sept 30th 1903

Bourdache pp 208, 209, 213, 220, 221, 223, 233, 239, 251, 262, 309.

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