Swiss Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Motocyclettes fabriquées en Suisse

Notes on some of the rarer Swiss marques

This page lists brands for which we currently have only an historical precis.

For a more information see the List of Swiss Motorcycles.

Manufactured by Peter Maskus, Technopark Lucerne
Having previously worked with Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Toyota, Maskus established his company in 2004 and began testing the Acabion GTBO in 2006. Developing some 750 bhp, it has a claimed top speed approaching 500 km/h. It is also claimed to achieve fuel efficiency of up to 42 km per litre.
Sources: swissinfo.ch, et al

Designed by Charles Auf der Maur and developed over a period of five years, it had its debut at the 1983 French Grand Prix, ridden by Andreas Hofmann. Powered by a flat-four two-stroke engine aligned fore-and-aft, in Douglas fashion, power was transmitted through a six-speed Yamaha-based gearbox via chain to the rear wheel.
The wheels were 16" front and rear in order to keep the C of G as low as possible. The wheel size proved problematical as suitable tyres were scarce - though of course they became commonplace just a few years hence.
The ADM proved an expensive exercise and only the one was built. Auf der Maur went on to build engines for sidecar racing.

Source: François-Marie Dumas

Manufactured by Alpa-Werke AG, Sirnach.
Alpa mopeds included the Bobby of 1976 along with Turbo, Enduro, Mini, Cross, Chopper and M1.
They also produced mopeds under the Staco brand. An example of the Staco has a Sachs 50cc engine, a drum front brake and no suspension front or rear.
Sources: mop-ed.se Sweden, mofaclub-oberwallis.ch


Aregger Mechanik, Lorensäge, Emmenbrücke
1986- Sidecar construction
Source: morger.net

Manufactured in the 1960s by Adolf Bühler of Willisau.
A Sachs-powered moped was offered in 1967
Source: mop-ed.se

A. Berlier built 500cc motorcycles in Geneva, 1917
Source: morger.net

In 1896 Karl Bleidorn of Maschinenfabrik Arbon 1896 first built Switzerland's first motorcycle.
Source: morger.net

Buratti, Ponte & Roch of Geneva built motorcycles from 1929 to 1932
Source: morger.net

Edouard Butikofer displayed a "motocycle" (motor bicycle) on the Peugeot stand at the Paris Salon of 1898. The Butikofer is discussed in "The Horseless Age" of April 1896, and in a short article in The Automobile Magazine of December 1899
In 1906 he created a flat-twin engine which he mounted in a tricycle.

Les brevets portent sur le de l'application du cylindre du moteur comme axe fixe de la roue motrice.
Sources: zhumoriste, archive.org

Cilo 1950s~1960s

These were 48cc single speed horizontal two-stroke bicycle attachment engines, displayed at the Salon de Paris in 1950. They were single-speed and drove the rear wheel by roller. Perrenoud of Paris built them under licence to Comodo in the mid 1950s.

Sources: mo-ped.se, VELO Moteurs No 9 Octobre 1950 (Belgium).


Schild & Co AG of Madretsch, Biel, 1904 - 1913

Built motorcycles using Zedel and Fafnir engines, and also built bicyclettes.

Cree 2002-2003


Friedrich Lochner Motorradbau, Sumiswald, Bern 1924 - 1926

Constructed motorcycles powered by 246cc two-stroke engines of their own manufacture.

Source: Wikipedia

Doranie & Cie., Geneva, built motorcycles from 1906.
Source: morger.net

Henri and Armand Dufaux of Geneva built their first powered bicycle in 1895, forming the company H&A Dufaux & Co in 1899. Their primary passion was aviation, and they sold motorcycles to finance this, forming the Motosacoche company in 1903.

Duss Evolution GmbH
Entlebuch, near Lucerne.
Developed between 2004 and 2007, the Duss 1000cc 90º V-twin supermotard was in style somewhat like the KTM. It was claimed to produce 120 hp weighed only 145 kilos, and had componentry by Öhlins, Wilbers and Marchesini. It does not appear to have reached production.
More recently the firm has designed a straight six motorcycle engine.
Source: duss.ch

Furrer & Fröhlicher of Solothurn in 1904 built a 3hp single-cylinder motorcycle
Further details have proved elusive.
Source: morger.net

Egg & Egli 1893-1899


Feru Mopeds

Built in Zurich-Seebach, Switzerland, early 1960s, by Ferdinand Ruppnig who began a bicycle workshop in 1941.

Giesserei Weber of Uster constructed motorcycles powered by 450cc engines of their own manufacture.
Source: morger.net

Grüter & Gut Motorradtechnik GmbH, Ballwil.
From 1994 they built highly distinctive motorcycles and quads.
Source: morger.net

1896 Karl Bleidorn, Maschinenfabrik Arbon, built the first Swiss motorcycle.
Source: morger.net

Built in Combs-la-Ville Paris, an "Elektromobile". It is listed as a Swiss firm.
Source: morger.net

G.A. Saurer & Cie., Arbon built a motorcycle with a Z-L engine
Source: morger.net

Helvetia (Willisau)
Motorcycles built in 1928 by Dr. Antonio Vedova using 170cc Praillet & Antoine engines. The firm then produced Universal motorcycles.
Over the years there were several companies which used the Helvetia name.
Source: Wikipedia

A steam-powered tricycle built by Fritz Henriod, Biel 1896-1903
Source: morger.net

E. Hegetschwiler of Ottenbach built sidecar combinations using BMW engines and components from 1964.
Source: morger.net

Manufactured by Horlacher AG, Switzerland
The firm has built a variety of electric vehicles including a 3-wheeler, the Horlacher GL88 "Egg" of 1988. The Egg could achieve 80 km/h, with a range of 100km.
Horlacher vehicles have won many races and rallies including the Tour-de-Sol and have been very successful in their class.
Website: horlacher.com
Sources: 3-wheelers.com, Wikipedia, et al

Imholz Fahrradwerke AG, St. Gallen 1924-1927
Built motorcycles using Moser two-stroke and four-stroke engines.
Source: Wikipedia

Jean Jenny of Chàtelaine, Geneva, built a two-stroke motorcycle in 1926
Source: morger.net


La Chaine
Walther Schmid of Geneva built a motorcycle with rear suspension in 1906
Source: morger.net

La Colombe
Louis Ischy of Payerne built motorcycles beginning in 1905
Source: morger.net

La Genevoise
Alfred Morgenegg of Geneva built a 750cc motorcycle in 1917
Source: morger.net

La Routier
Bonnet & Jaquard of Romainmötier built several motorcycles 1904-1906
Source: morger.net

AG J. Zehnder & Söhne of Gränichen built a 750cc motorcycle in 1939. That same year, Condor built a sidecar machine named Landi, and Motoscoche released a 500cc single-cylinder Landi model.
Source: morger.net

Louis Christen of LCR Engineering, Rheineck, built racing motorcycles and sidecars (Motorrad-Renndreiräder) from 1976. In co-operation with Krauser they built 80cc racers and the famed Domani sports sidecar combination. The Zundapp LCR was another 80cc machine.
LCR sidecars have won 18 World Championships and 6 World Cups, and are one of the most famous racing sidecars ever produced.
Source: lcr-sidecar.com
See also Krauser

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Side-Motor logo

Le Side-Motor
Motosport AG of Moutier built an unusual tricar with a 495cc V-twin MAG engine from 1923 to 1925.
Source: moto-collection.org


Josef Popart of Erlen built lightweights 1955-1960.

An advertisement gives the company name as Industrie Kontor Zurich AG. Talacker 35, Zurich.

Source: morger.net

1901-1905, built motorcycles with 215cc engines. The firm was the forerunner of Motosacoche.
Source: Wikipedia


Manufactured small numbers of scooters around 1953 to 1955 powered by JLO 125cc engines. The scooters bore an unmistakeable resemblance to the Lambretta LC.

Built in Geneva by Pierre Dunant, 1903
Source: morger.net

Maltry 1960s

Moto Geneve
Séchehaye & Cie of Geneva produced Zedel-powered machines from 1910 for a short period.
Source: morger.net


Frizt Haag & co, Geneva. Built 1904-1915 using Zedel, Moser and other engines.

Motoclette V-twin c.1905

Sources: Wikipedia, La Moto Francaise, Tragatsch p217


Müller-Vogel & Cie of St. Aubin built high-performance engines for cars and motorcycles. They produced the 737cc V-Twin used in the aptly named Quick of 1917.
Sources: morger.net, moto-collection.org

Manufactured by Nomo AG., Bern.
Built mopeds powered by 50cc 2-speed Sachs engines. Models included Nomo Luxe with 21" wheels and Nomo Super de Luxe with 23" wheels, both restricted to 30 km/h.
Source: mop-ed.se Sweden

Built by Oris-Velofabrik of Liestal in 1903 using a Zedel engine.
Source: morger.net

Paul Speidel

Piot Moto
Gilbert Piot built performance engines and specialised in carbon fibre components in the 1990s.
Source: Wikipedia

Lightweights built by Amsler & Co. AG of Feuerthalen from 1948
Source: morger.net

Manufactured by Quantya SA, Lugarno
Founded in 2005 by Claudio Dick, the company produces of electric sports motorcycles.
The Quantya EVO1 Track is for motocross, and their road machine is the Quantya EVO1 Strada.
Source: motorencyclopedie.nl


Werner Maltry built high-performance 490cc twins for racing purposes during the early 1960s.
Source: Wikipedia

Motorcycles built by Maschinenfabrik Gränichen AG (MAFAG) of Gränichen 1932~1950
Source: morger.net


Moped manufactured by Rico Fahrradwerke, Wallisellen

Paul Fries ran a bicycle factory which had operated as early as 1953, which at some point produced mopeds. A 125cc scooter named the Rico Roller was advertised in 1954. The firm was disolved in 2006.

The name Hans-Rudolf Fries is also mentioned.

Rico 125cc Scooter 1954

Rico Roller 125cc 1954

Source: mo-ped.se, et al.

Solec AG of Bern began building electric motorcycles in 1992
Source: morger.net

Roger Barbier
Known also as R.B., during the 1920s the Geneva firm built 250cc four-stroke motorcycles and later oil-cooled OHC 500s.
Sources: morger.net, et al.

Helvetia-Fahrradfabrik of Basel built motorcycles 1900-1912
Source: morger.net

Royal Standard

Schwalbe (Uster)
One of two Swiss marques of this name, this one was built by Ruegg & Co of Uster, Zürich from 1901 - 1905 using a 2¾ hp Zedel engine.
The other Schwalbe was built in Aalen, and was also fitted with Zedel engines.
Source: Wikipedia


Built in Geneva by Carl Schmid in 1923 as a project to display his comprehension of engineering and aerodynamic design, the futuristic machine featured a monocoque chassis and hydraulic brakes. Powered by a 175cc OHV engine it was believed to be capable of 70 kph.

Some fifty years later, many of his concepts were becoming commonplace.

Senn Moto-Spezial
Georg and Walter Senn built custom Harley-Davidsons in the 1970s and 80s. It was a large firm for a custom builder, having over 40 employees.
Source: Wikipedia

SA de Construction Mécanique of Geneva built motorcycles with engines from external suppliers from 1904.
Source: morger.net

Erich Vaugnat built sidecar combinations for road-racing.
Source: Wikipedia


A. Souverain et Cie, 41, Avenue des Abattoirs, Geneva, exhibit a well-designed motor-bicycle, fitted with magneto electric ignition. The motor develops 2¼ b.h.p., and is placed in an inclined position in a neatly designed loop frame. The drive is by a twisted hide belt, and a jockey pulley is used for tensioning, this being worked by a lever front the horizontal tube. A simple form of spray carburetter is used, this being fitted close to the inlet valve. The petrol tank and lubricator pump are fixed behind the back forks. The magneto is driven by a piece of cased-in gearing from the two to one shaft, and the ignition can be advanced or restarted to control the speed. A powerful back rim brake is fitted. The weight of the machine is about 90lbs., and the price £ 34. The general finish and workmanship are good.

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


Built by Fritz Moser who had previously worked with Zedel. He had established a company building engines under his own name in 1906, but during WWI changed the name of the firm and the brand name to S.T.A.S. (St. Aubin Schweitz) as he felt the German-sounding name would affect sales. After the war the name reverted to Moser.

The Strubi was a motorcycle with a fully enclosed cabin and a door. It had a JLO 250cc two-stroke twin located at the front of the cabin directly below the steering column, between the rider's knees. The steering was conventional. Nothing else was.
Source: ig-jlo-twin.eu

The Burgdorf has been building engines for automobiles and motorcycles since 1987
Source: morger.net

Swiss Boy 1951

P. Taddeoli of Geneva built motorcycles between 1901 and 1906
Source: morger.net

Manufactured by Tebag AG., Zürich
A 1963 moped was fitted with a Flandria engine.
Source: mop-ed.se

Tigra Logo


Manufactured by Maschinenfabrik Gränichen AG

Using engines from Puch and Sachs, in the 1960s the Swiss firm produced mopeds named Tigra Caravelle Pionier*, Mustang S30 E, S40 R and S40 RA.

The MAFAG company had considerable experience in the motorcycle industry, having built both Zehnder and Standard machines since the early 1930s. They bought the Tigra concern from Eric Griesshaber and Eduard Piguet, who had established it as a bicycle manufacturer in the late 1940s. MAFAG entered bankruptcy in the mid-1980s and sold the Tigra name to another Swiss bicycle firm.

Sources: mop-ed.se, et al

N.B. Pionier is the correct spelling.

Desplands & Cie. of Lausanne built a number of different of motorcycles from 1903
Source: morger.net

Tribelhorn 1918-c.1940

Trike HS
Rewaco Fahrzeugbau AG of Oberentfelden built three-wheelers from 1989
Source: morger.net

Motorcycles built by E. Vaucher of Geneva from 1910
Source: morger.net

Velosolex H-S
The Vélosolex Type 330 was built entirely in Switzerland, in the famed Hispano-Suisse factory, from 1952
See also Velosolex
Source: moto-collection.org

Mowag Fahrzeugbau of Kreuzlingen produced 50cc scooters in 1958
Source: morger.net

Walco Logo

Walco of Biel built mopeds with Sachs engines around 1967. A forum post mentions a "Walco 2100 with a manual Sachs 504 engine". The firm also produced bicycles, and these may have been supplied to Schwinn in the USA.
Source: morger.net

Zedel (ZL)
Zürcher, Lüthi & Cie of Saint-Aubin-Sauges built motorcycle engines between 1897 and 1908. See Zurcher for more information.

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