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Motosacoche Motorcycles

Motosacoche Models

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Notes on several interesting machines from the Motosacoche firm

Motosacoche Sparkbrook 1902

A 1902 Motosacoche mounted in a Sparkbrook bicycle frame is unrestored although a few components that were once missing have been accurately reproduced. The 147cc engine has an atmospheric inlet valve and a mechanical exhaust with a cable-operated lifter. The band rear and stirrup front brakes are cable operated from the handlebar.

From 1900 Motosacoche produced a bicycle auxiliary engine in a subframe that could be installed into a conventional bicycle. This looked like an engine in a bag, hence the Motosacoche name, meaning "engine in a bag". The Sparkbrook firm of Coventry built bicycles.


Motosacoche 1904 Type A

The Type A was the first motorcycle built by the factory in Geneva. It used a chassis by Terrot.


Motosacoche 1905 Type B

The Type B differs from Type A in the use of magneto ignition of a type used in 1905 only. There are no other differences in either in the engine or the frame.


Motosacoche 1919 V-Twns

Motosacoche-1919-Paris-Salon-TMC-01.jpg

The 6 h.p. M.A.G. engined Motosacoche, which is fitted with three speed expanding ring type.

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Motosacoche at the Paris Salon

Our readers need no introduction to the Motosacoche either as regards its leading features or the excellence of its workmanship. There are, however, some interesting details incorporated in the new models, the chief of which lies in the new three-speed gear. This gear is similar to the Enfield two-speed in general layout ; there are, however, three primary chain drives and three expanding clutches, the adjustment for each of which is independent and easily accessible. Another important feature is the springing system, which is arranged somewhat on the lines of the Bat and insulates the rider only, the saddle tube and footrests being supported by a large tension spring placed behind the down tube. All wheels are now detachable and interchangeable, and fitted with special dummy belt rims in which both front and rear wheel brakes act. 4 h.p. and 8 h.p. models are shown, the former being a twin of 64x77 mm., and the latter a twin of 82x95 mm. All models are, of course, fitted with the well-known M.A.G. engine, which has undergone practically no alteration.

The khaki finish, combined with first-class fittings and entirely armoured tool-bags, gives the machine a very pleasing and clean appearance.

Paris Salon, 1919

The Motor Cycle


1929 Grand Tourisme 750 IOE

The 750cc machine has a bore and stroke of 72mm x 91mm and is rated at 8hp, with chain drive to the rear wheel via a three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox. Gear change is by hand shift lever on the right with a foot-operated clutch pedal on the left. Bosch electrics powere the headlamp and tail light, and it has a klaxon horn.


1936 Type 312 Grand Sport 350cc

Built in France at the Motosacoche factory in Lyon, the machine was fitted with a Swiss-made MAG 347cc twin-port engine with a bore & stroke of 72mm x 85mm. The remainder of the components were either built in the factory or supplied by French component suppliers like Magneto-France and Marchal.


1953 Type 212 Opti

In 1953 the factory revealed a model with a 250cc OHC Opti engine. This engine had been designed for UT of Germany by Richard Kuchen, and the machines marketed under the Motosacoche name. Market conditions for motorcycles were unfavorably influenced by the influx of cheap cars, and production ceased in 1955.

Sources: Bretti Brothers, et al.



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Allen Motorcycle Museum
Allen Motorcycle Museum
Private museum in Boston, MA, with many highly collectable vintage motorcycles for sale.