French Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Stimula Motorcycles

Manufactured 1902-1914

Presented at the 1902 Salon, motocyclettes were built by the brothers Guy and Carl de la Chapelle at their workshop in the small village of Ateliers de la Grôsne near Cormatin (between Dijon and Lyon). The company was established in 1900, the year of the first patent obtained by their workshop manager, Alphonse Saclier.

The firm used engines from Minerva, Buchet and Peugeot, and also constructed their own 346cc and 492cc engines 1.

In 1904 Lucien Octave Vandelet began selling the Stimula marque at his Paris store which had been selling Werner motorcycles and De-Dion vehicles since about 1900. He advertised Stimula-Vandelet motorcyclettes and Stimula Tri-cars, the latter possibly built by Vandelet in Paris using the Chapelle brothers motorcycles as the base.

Vandalet brought the Stimula name considerable attention; he was responsible for preparing the machines for competition and recruiting riders for them.

The association with Vandalet ceased in 1906 when the Chapelle brothers bought his Paris business. That year production moved to a new factory in Puteaux.

In 1907 they formed another company, De la Chapelle in St Chamond 2.

Their motorcycles were fitted with suspension front and rear, "a double suspension". The front forks were leading link in the Trufault style, and at the rear there was a primitive monoshock.

The "Stimula" auto-bicycle, made at the Ateliers de la Grosne, Saone-et-Loire, is made on lines that are fairly familiar in England. The motor is of 2 horse-power, mounted in a loop frame, with extra horizontal tube. Large radiators are a special feature. A spray carburetter and high-tension ignition are used, and the sparkplug is placed in the centre of combustion chamber. Control of speed is effected by a single lever placed just behind the head clip. The brakes are good, a back-pedalling rim brake for rear wheel, and hand-applied rim brake for front wheel being provided. The weight of the machine is 93lbs., and price £35

Paris Salon 1902 in Motor Cycling, December 17th, 1902. Page 346


1. Tragatsch says ohv. Drawings of a 1903 model with the Stimula engine show overhead automatic inlet and sv exhaust. The crankcases are stamped "Ateliers de la Grôsne par Cormatin" and "BSGDG". For 1904 the Stimula engines were sidevalve.
2. The Chapelle page currently contains conflicting information.
3. The Stimula name was revived in 1975 by Xavier de La Chapelle - see


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