Griffon Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Griffon 1902-1904

The GRIFFON Co., Courbevoie, show a very light touring motor-bicycle with a Clement motor fixed on the main tube. The petrol tank is carried on a pair of duplicate front forks. The coil is placed behind the diagonal, and the battery slung from the horizontal tube. The drive is by a small diameter hide belt, with jockey pulley adjustment. A back rim and front tyre brake is fitted. The weight of the machine complete is 65 lbs., and the price comes out at the very low figure of £30.

Paris Salon 1902

Griffon, of Courbevoie and Paris, has a most interesting display of motor-bicycles. These include a standard 2 h.p. machine, with vertical engine fitted between the down tube and bracket, with twisted belt drive. A Longuemare carburettor is fitted, and a powerful belt rim brake is used for the rear wheel and lever rim brake for the front. Another pattern, with engine similarly arranged, has a gear and pedal chain-drive on to a two-speed back hub. This is worked by a small lever on the top tube. A third pattern has the motor of 1½ h.p. arranged on the Minerva lines. The famous racing motor bicycle, as used at the Gaillon Hill, Chateau Thierry, and Deauville meetings, is shown. The engine is of huge dimensions, and it is noteworthy that the cylinder is minus radiators, but there are very large ones on the head. The belt used is of a special type, having right thicknesses of leather and being pinned throughout its length with steel rivets, like a chain. The petrol tank is of very small size, torpedo shaped, to reduce wind resistance.

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

In August, 1904, the Motor-Cycle Club of France offered a valuable cup for an international race at eight weeks’ notice. France would have won in any case, but so brief an interval gave us no chance to prepare. A course of 168 miles in five laps near Dourdan was selected, and the French club held eliminating trials on September 11 over the actual course. Thirteen riders contested the three places, which were all secured by Griffon machines, the winner averaging 46.5 miles an hour - a fine feat for those days.

From Reminiscences of Motor Cycling, by Ixion. (Canon Basil Davies, BA)

Further information:
1903 Griffon at