Pernoo Motorcycles

Manufactured by Ernest-Leon Pernoo of 10, Cité Trévise, Paris (IXth)
Later at 47 bis, route de Versailles, Boulogne-sur-Seine

In July 1899 a machine using a Labitte engine mounted behind the rear wheel won the world's first race for two-wheeled motor bicycles, "Le Criterium des Motocyclettes", a course of 100km between Étampes and Chartres. The Pernoo was piloted by one of the Labitte brothers.

A surviving machine has a "frein à tampon cuillère" (spoon pad brake) on the rear wheel, but a drawing of another version shows a drum brake on the front wheel.

The term motocyclettes had been trademarked by the Werner Brothers (who possibly used a Labitte engine in their first machine) but was later ruled by the courts to be in the public domain.

Pernoo also built motor tricycles. He had considerable experience in the field, having worked with a Rudge and Whitworth cycle dealership in Paris. (As Bourdache points out, that concession was previously held by Duncan and Suberbie who built the Hildebrand & Wolfmüller under licence.)

One of these motorcycles was part of the Musee de Sury-le-Comtal Collection Lefranc.

Ernest Pernoo entered bankruptcy in July 1901. In 1906 he formed a partnership to build Eureka cars which lasted until 1907. He is mentioned again in 1912 as "Pernoo, from the Bozier house" participating in the Tour de France.




Guélon Collection,
Bourdache (pp 75, 84, 86, 87, 98, 99, 109, 309)

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