This page lists brands for which we currently have only an historical precis.
For a more information see the List of Swiss Motorcycles.
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
Aregger Mechanik, Lorensäge, Emmenbrücke
1986- Sidecar construction
A. Berlier built 500cc motorcycles in Geneva, 1917
In 1896 Karl Bleidorn of Maschinenfabrik Arbon 1896 first built Switzerland's first motorcycle.
Buratti, Ponte & Roch of Geneva built motorcycles from 1929 to 1932
These were 48cc single speed horizontal two-stroke bicycle attachment engines. Perrenoud of Paris built them under licence to Comodo in the mid 1950s.
Schild & Co AG of Madretsch, Biel, 1904 - 1913
Built motorcycles using Zedel and Fafnir engines, and also built bicyclettes.
Friedrich Lochner Motorradbau, Sumiswald, Bern 1924 - 1926
Constructed motorcycles powered by 246cc two-stroke engines of their own manufacture.
Doranie & Cie., Geneva, built motorcycles from 1906.
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.
Furrer & Fröhlicher of Solothurn in 1904 built a 3hp single-cylinder motorcycle
Further details have proved elusive.
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.
Giesserei Weber of Uster constructed motorcycles powered by 450cc engines of their own manufacture.
Grüter & Gut Motorradtechnik GmbH, Ballwil.
From 1994 they built highly distinctive motorcycles and quads.
1896 Karl Bleidorn, Maschinenfabrik Arbon, built the first Swiss motorcycle.
Built in Combs-la-Ville Paris, an "Elektromobile". It is listed as a Swiss firm.
G.A. Saurer & Cie., Arbon built a motorcycle with a Z-L engine
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.
A steam-powered tricycle built by Fritz Henriod, Biel 1896-1903
E. Hegetschwiler of Ottenbach built sidecar combinations using BMW engines and components from 1964.
Imholz Fahrradwerke AG, St. Gallen 1924-1927
Built motorcycles using Moser two-stroke and four-stroke engines.
Jean Jenny of Chàtelaine, Geneva, built a two-stroke motorcycle in 1926
Walther Schmid of Geneva built a motorcycle with rear suspension in 1906
Louis Ischy of Payerne built motorcycles beginning in 1905
Alfred Morgenegg of Geneva built a 750cc motorcycle in 1917
Bonnet & Jaquard of Romainmötier built several motorcycles 1904-1906
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.
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.
See also Krauser
Motosport AG of Moutier built an unusual tricar with a 495cc V-twin MAG engine from 1923 to 1925.
Josef Popart of Erlen built lightweights 1955-1960
1901-1905, built motorcycles with 215cc engines. The firm was the forerunner of Motosacoche.
Built in Geneva by Pierre Dunant, 1903
Manufactured by Werner Maltry, a Motobi importer in Zurich in the 50s and 60s. He increased the capacity of the Motobi 175cc engines to 250cc capacity 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.
The machines were popular with Swiss and Italian privateers.
They are not related to the Swedish Maltry.
Séchehaye & Cie of Geneva produced Zedel-powered machines from 1910 for a short period.
Frizt Haag & co, Geneva. Built 1904-1915 using Zedel, Moser and other engines.
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
Built by Oris-Velofabrik of Liestal in 1903 using a Zedel engine.
Gilbert Piot built performance engines and specialised in carbon fibre components in the 1990s.
Lightweights built by Amsler & Co. AG of Feuerthalen from 1948
Werner Maltry built high-performance 490cc twins for racing purposes during the early 1960s.
Motorcycles built by Maschinenfabrik Gränichen AG (MAFAG) of Gränichen 1932~1950
Solec AG of Bern began building electric motorcycles in 1992
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
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.
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.
SA de Construction Mécanique of Geneva built motorcycles with engines from external suppliers from 1904.
Erich Vaugnat built sidecar combinations for road-racing.
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.
The Burgdorf has been building engines for automobiles and motorcycles since 1987
P. Taddeoli of Geneva built motorcycles between 1901 and 1906
Desplands & Cie. of Lausanne built a number of different of motorcycles from 1903
Rewaco Fahrzeugbau AG of Oberentfelden built three-wheelers from 1989
Motorcycles built by E. Vaucher of Geneva from 1910
The Vélosolex Type 330 was built entirely in Switzerland, in the famed Hispano-Suisse factory, from 1952
See also Velosolex
Mowag Fahrzeugbau of Kreuzlingen produced 50cc scooters in 1958
Walco of Biel built mopeds with Sachs engines around 1967
Zürcher, Lüthi & Cie of Saint-Aubin-Sauges built motorcycle engines between 1897 and 1908. See Zurcher for more information.
If you have a query or information about these classic Swiss machines please please contact us