Gnome-Rhone Motorcycles

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Gnome Rhone Motorcycles

Gnome Rhone Logo

Gnome et Rhone X with Paul d'Orléans

Manufactured: 1919 - 1959
Société des Moteurs Gnome et Rhone
14 rue de Lisbonne
PARIS (8°)

Gnome & Rhône built aircraft engines during the Great War, achieving a reputation for quality workmanship and reliability. After the armistice they turned their skills to motorcycle production, first adopting the Granville Bradshaw design of Sopwith's ABC HO flat twin. Production costs of the English machine were high, forcing the price up to the point where sales faltered and the Sopwith firm went into liquidation in 1921.

Gnome & Rhône continued development of the ABC, releasing a 493cc version in 1921 which remained in production until 1925. ¹

The company began building models of its own design in 1921 beginning with the Model B, a 500cc SV single with a 3-speed gearbox presented at the 1920 Paris Salon. This was soon followed by a variety of two-stroke and four-stroke models including the D series which achieved considerable competition success at the hands of Nass and Bernard, two well-known riders of the day. The D2, D3 and D4 were OHV machines, the D4 adopting a saddle tank in 1928.

The 1930s saw continued success for the marque with numerous developments and new models including the V2 horizontally-opposed transverse twin, 250cc and 350cc Junior, Major, and Super Major models with pressed-metal frames, and later in the decade D5, XA and AX2 military models.

The Model X with a 728cc HO engine in dual carburettor form developed some 38hp and achieved over 100 sporting victories and records including a run of over 50,000 kilometers.

The 800cc AX2 combination with drive to the sidecar wheel introduced in 1937 remained in production through the war years (as did the Model R), with the company supplying engines and other machinery to the occupying forces.

After the defeat of the Nazis, Gnome and Rhone was nationalised and became SNECMA (Société Nationale d’Etude et de Construction de Moteurs d’Aviation). Production resumed with Type R 98cc and 125cc lightweights, followed by L53, L31, L5 and the 200cc LX. A 500cc machine was on the drawing boards when the company ceased motorcycle production towards the end of the 1950s.

The company continued in the aviation industry and built engines for military and civilian aircraft including Mirage, Boeing and Airbus.

1. gives 1922 as final production year.

Sources: JLB Creations, Wikipedia France,

simpson at
1929 D3 500cc OHV
I have this Gnome Rhone D3 motor cycle that I bought from the original owner in Bordeaux in 1970
I brought it back to South Africa in very original condition and did a complete rebuild. I rode it on a number of rallies here including 4 or 5 DJ commemorative rallies (Durban to Johannesburg vintage dated before 1936 when the last race was completed) and many Magnum rallies to the Eastern Transvaal (now named (Mpumalanga) all during the 1970's and early 1980's. I would be interested to know if there are many of these D3 motorbikes still in existence what sort of value they would fetch should I one day decide to sell (see attached photos)
Ian Simpson
South Africa

  • Gnome-Rhone-1929-500cc-D3-ISi images posted to Comments.

Wed, 21 Feb 2018
richardwright1964 at
Ax2 1946

I have bought this bike and engine and frame parts. Have you any details of any suppliers thanks
Richard Wright
Huddersfield United Kingdom

  • Bikelinks may have more information: Bikelinks

Wed May 27 2015
lrj2904 at<
Gnome Rhone R3 125cc from 1949
Gnome Rhone R3
Hi, do you know anything about a Gnome Rhone R3 125cc from about 1949? I know someone who is selling it for a widow and we can't figure out, how much it's worth. It's original and functional.

Best regards Lars

Wed Sep 29 2010

Gnome-Rhone D2
Hallo, Search Engine type D2, may be incomplete, it is important for me to cylinder and cylinder head, thank you

Thu Jan 08 2009
ian at
Spare pars required
Gnome Rhone 1922 398 cc with side car
The engineer making up a new crankshaft and conrods copying my old ones lost the crankcase/engine housing. Is there anywhere I find a spare engine or housing? The engine is different to the ABC.
Johannesburg, South Afri

Wed May 09 2007
paulo.simoes at pararede dot com<
Side car from Gnome-Rhone
Side car from 500cm3
I would like to receive several photos and features from side car that is available in some pictures of the book "le grand dictionaire des motos françaises";

Mon Sep 18 2006
aquazur at piscineaquazur dot com<
richiesta prezzo

buongiorno , posseggo una gnome rhone tipo E2 del 1928 volevo sapere il suo valore
la mia email è aquazur at piscineaquazur dot com<
distinti saluti

Translation: buongiorno, I have a gnome rhone E2 type from 1928 I wanted to know its value

Wed Apr 27 2005
senzorezo at
sale Gnome Rhone Motorcycle
Je desire céder ma Gnome Rhone 1957 R4D du type 601559
La moto est en état de marche d'origne mais elle n'a pas roulée depuis 10 ans

Si cette offre peut interessée l'un des membre de votre association merci de faire suivre cette annonce.
Pour voir la photo de cette belle machine aller à : (404)
Merci de me faire une offre.
Vous pouvez me contacter par mail en me donnant vos coordonnés ou par telephone au 00(33)03 89 59 36 61

Translation: I desire to yield my Gnome the Rhone 1957 R4D of type 601559. The motor bike is in original operating state but it has not rolled for 10 years. If this offer can interest one of the members of your association thanks for making follow this advertisement. To see the photograph of this beautiful machine go to:<
Thank you to quote to me. You can contact me by mall while giving me your coordinated or by telephone to 00(33)03 89 59 36 61