French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Raphael Géminiani Motorcycles


The marque was founded in Brive, SW France, in 1952 (possibly by Rochet) and was represented at the Paris Salon that year, but possibly only displayed bicycles. In 1957 mopeds built by Randoin were offered, most likely rebadged, and they displayed 8 cyclomoteurs at the 1958 Salon. The firm changed hands in 1959, with Rhonson as the new owners. After this rebadged Gitane machines were offered. 1964 was the last year for mopeds, but they continued with cycles until at least 1966.

An owner reports that his machine has "a two speed ABG VAP Pi2 engine... produced from 1958 to 1960". His photographs demonstrate that it has a great deal in common with the Rhonson, including the beautifully sculpted tank. Another machine with similar styling is fitted with a Sachs engine, and is a rebadged 162/163 Gitane. This was also marketed by VAP ABG as a Squale type S13.

Géminiani raced cycles with Métropole prior to becoming an assembler. His father had brought the family to France to escape Italian Fascism, according to the Online Bicycle Museum.

Dealers: Ets R. Curi à Sorgues, Vaucluse. Another, A Cavagna, put his name on the tank above the "Raphael Geminiani" decal.

Sources: Motos dans la Loire;; et al

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