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Swiss Motorcycles

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.

Acabion
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


ADM
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


Alpa
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


Amsler-1951.jpg
Amsler 1951 Sachs Motorcycles

Amsler Sachs Leichtmotorräder
Aco K 150 Sachs
Aco K 100 Sachs
Aco P 100 Sachs

Amsler
Amsler & Co. AG
Carl Theodor Amsler built a business in the United States around 1852, and after fire destroyed his premises returned to Switzerland in 1862 where he joined his cousin, Prof. Jakob Amsler, in a business in Schaffhausen. After his death in 1888 his two sons ran the company.

The Amsler brothers became the Swiss distributors for the Sachs Torpedo around 1904, and in 1909 they began bicycle production.

In the 1950s they marketed motorcycles with 100 to 150cc Sachs engines. 1961 saw the advent of moped production, and the results were more than satisfactory - by the beginning of 1990 there were over 650,000 Sachs-powered mopeds on Swiss roads.

The company is now run by the 5th generation of the Amsler family - they still build mopeds (the Pony) and are the Swiss importer for Beta off-road motorcycles and Kymco scooters.

Amsler also builds bicycles and various motorised appliances including chainsaws and brushcutters.
Sources: amsler-feuerthalen.ch, motor-lit-berlin.de


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


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


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


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


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


Butikofer
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.

Système BUTIKOFER
BREVETÉ EN FRANCE, EN ALLEXAGNE, ET OANS TOUS LES AUTRES PAYS
Les brevets portent sur le de l'application du cylindre du moteur comme axe fixe de la roue motrice.
Sources: zhumoriste, archive.org


Cilo
Manufactured by Cilo Fahrradwerke, Lausanne
The name is an acronym of Charles Jan Lausanne-Oron (with the J changed to I).
Established in Oron-la-Ville as a bicycle firm in 1914 it operated until 2002, and then under new owners selling Asian imports from 2006 to 2009. In 2015 the Cilo brand was bought by the Colag company.
Moped production began in the 1950s, and in the 60s the range included single and two-speed models with German engines and Ceriani suspension. 507 Hobby SL had 16" wheels, Cilo 2G Super and 2G Super GS had 23" wheels. There was also a 2G Super Spezial.
Sources: mop-ed.se, factory literature, Wikipedia FR.


Comodo
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).


Cosmos

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

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



Darling
Friedrich Lochner Motorradbau, Sumiswald, Bern 1924 - 1926

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


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


Dufaux
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


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


Egg & Egli
Manufactured by Rudolf Egg, Zurich 1893-1896
In 1893 Rudolf Egg built a two-seat three wheeler powered by a 3-hp De Dion-Bouton engine. In 1896 he founded Automobilfabrik Zürich Egg & Egli with the financial backing of Swiss banker Egli and technical assistance from Fritz Moser.

The tricycle was later renamed the Rapide, and was manufactured under license by Bächtold & Co of Stekborna in 1898 until 1899. Several other Swiss firms also obtained manufacturing licences for the vehicles.

Production of the three-wheelers ended in 1899, but several four-wheeled automobiles were built from then until 1904 when Rudolf Egg left the company to form Motorwagenfabrik Excelsior.
Sources: Wikipedia DE, et al.


Famo


Fiducia
1902-1905
Giesserei Weber of Uster constructed motorcycles powered by 450cc engines of their own manufacture.
Source: morger.net


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


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


Helvetia
1898-1900
Built in Combs-la-Ville Paris, an "Elektromobile". It is listed as a Swiss firm.
Source: morger.net


Helvetia
1905-1906
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


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


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


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


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


Keller

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


Landi
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


LCR
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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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


Lista
Josef Popart of Erlen built lightweights 1955-1960
Source: morger.net


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


Mako

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


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


Maltry
Manufactured by Werner Maltry, a Motobi importer in Zurich in the 50s and 60s. He increased the capacity of the Motobi 175cc Catria engines to 250cc and achieved good results in local races, winning the Schweizer Bergmeisterschaft (Swiss mountain championship). Working with Hans Georg Reiter he produced 250 and 350cc singles and a Motobi-derived 500cc twin dubbed the "Reima". Most machines were badged Motobi, as was the sales literature, but the address on the brochures was Zurich.
The machines were popular with Swiss and Italian privateers - Paolo Campanelli took 3rd place in the 1962 Italian Championship, beating Aermacchi.

Originally the company name was Reima, derived from the names Reiter and Maltry. Hans Georg Reiter died in an accident in 1962, and the project came to an end with only six machines built. Five have survived.
They are not related to the Swedish Maltry.
Source: motohistorica.ch


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


Motoclette

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

Sources: Wikipedia, La Moto Francaise, Tragatsch p217




MV
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

Nomo
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



Oris
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


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


Quantya
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


Quick

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


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


Rico
Moped manufactured by Rico Fahrradwerke, Wallisellen
Hans-Rudolf Fries ran a bicycle factory which had operated as early as 1953, and at some stage produced mopeds. The firm was disolved in 2006.
Source: mo-ped.se, et al.


Riva
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.


Royal
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


Schmid

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


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


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


STAS

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.


Strübi
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


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


Swiss Boy 1951


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


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


Tigra
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 correct spelling.


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


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


Vaucher
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


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


Walco
Walco of Biel built mopeds with Sachs engines around 1967
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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