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Motosacoche Motorcycles

Motosacoche Ltd (GB)

Motosacoche-1912-Poster.jpg
Motosacoche 1912 V-Twin Poster

This machine is almost identical to the Royal Enfield - same engine, frame, forks, mudguards, tank...

Motosacoche was founded in 1899, by Henri and Armand Dufaux, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Motosacoche was once the largest Swiss motorcycle manufacturer, known also for its MAG (Motosacoche Acacias Geneve) engines which were used by many British and European motorcycle manufacturers. At the height of their powers they had factories in Switzerland, France and Italy, as well as substantial representation in the British Isles.

From 1900 the company produced a bicycle auxiliary engine which were supplied with a sub-frame that could be installed into a conventional bicycle. This looked like an engine in a bag, hence the Motosacoche name which translates as meaning "engine in a satchel".

The Dufaux brothers set up a subsidiary firm to market their machines in the UK, and this led to collaboration with Royal Enfield, who supplied most of the components to build a complete machine using a Motosacoche 344 cc 2.75 hp V-twin engine. Royal Enfield, in 1910, released effectively the same machine, and the two marques built all but identical V-twins for several years until Motosacoche left the motorcycle market to concentrate on their MAG (Motosacoche Acacias Geneve) engines, which by this time were doing exceptionally well. These were supplied first through H. and A. Dufaux and then, by 1912, Motosacoche Ltd (GB), with Osborne Louis de Lissa of Australia at the helm.

1910 Cycle and Motorcycle Exhibition
Motosacoche, Ltd.
Holborn Viaduct, London, E.C. Stand No. 36.
Very little alteration has been made in the Motosacoche for next season, for the very simple reason that the machine as a whole has proved so satisfactory and popular that it is difficult to see where improvement is possible. Catering entirely for the believers in handy lightweight motor-bicycles, the "Motosacoche" has come to be regarded as the machine of its class. For 1911 the actual bicycle has been very slightly modified in order to give a better clearance and more perfect alignment for the belt, whilst in addition to this a. belt rim brake. is added. For those who desire a somewhat faster type the company are bringing out a 2.5 H.P. model in which particular attention has been given to the balancing of the engine, with the result that it is, claimed that vibration is completely overcome. This new type is capable of high speeds, and yet, on account of the flexibility of the motor, it will run quite as slowly as the smaller pattern and will start equally easily. Mechanically operated inlet valves are fitted to this type. The ladies "Motosacoche" has been improved, and is designed for moderate speeds, being geared sufficiently low to enable the motor to take the rider up practically any hill on a main road without pedalling. In spite of this there is not the least tendency to overheat.

When the Bol d'Or 24-hour event was first held on the outskirts of Paris in 1922, the winning rider covered more than 750 miles on a 500cc Motosacoche.

There is a detailed history of Motosacoche in the UK written by Osborne Louis de Lissa. De Lissa was managing director of Motosacoche UK for 20 years, and died in Australia in 1961.

The article is quite entertaining:

  • Holroyd, Le Vack and I entered a race at Brooklands. To our astonishment we were on the mark with Stanley on Singer, Pullin on Rudge, Horsman on Triumph and some others. I tackled Ebby on the matter before the word "Go" and he replied "Well you are In the trade, and you ought to have something good and fast". We did - we only saw our competitors at the start and when we came in they were having tea.

O. L. de Lissa article.

Change of Fortune.

DUE TO OLD PHONOGRAPH ENGINEER'S' EXPERIENCES

Mr. Osborne L. de Lissa, who after an absence of 35 years, arrived in Sydney last week as a representative of a big engineering firm in Birmingham, and who had experience during the war as adviser on automobile engines to the British Air Ministry, left Sydney on the Orient liner Ormtiz in 1906 (?) as a trimmer, with pay of l/- a month, later being promoted to the position of greaser.

His change of fortune (says the 'Herald') is due to an old phonograph which he made in his workshop in Sydney. He used to entertain officers on board with muslc by the old-fashioned instrument, which was driven by an electric motor.

...

Mr. de Lissa has brought back large numbers of silver trophies which he won for motor-cycling in England, records of five years as a mining englneer on the Gold Coast, and of employment in British motor factories. He was the pioneer of placing on the market in England of a lightweight motor-cycle, which he sold at the rate of 900 a year. He has decided to settle in Australia and keep his phoncgraph.

Trove NLA


Sources: Graces Guide, National Library Australia, Moped Achive, et al.


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