Universal Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Universal Motorcycles

Made in Switzerland 1928-1964

Universal History
The company produced Helvetia motorcycles prior to making the Universal brand machines using Praillet & Antoine engines from Belgium and later JAP, Python, Anzani and Ilo engines, among others. They also built their own sidevalve engines of 676cc & 990cc which were fitted to motorcycles produced for the Swiss army. After WWII they produced a BMW-like flat twin of 578cc along with a shaft-driven 250cc single.


Python Four Valve Head

Rudge Python 250, 350 and 500cc engines were introduced in 1931. Borgo used 4V heads in 1920.

In the 1960s they had an agreement with Rabeneick to whom they supplied Universal 250cc shaft-drive engines.

1929 175 Modell F, 2 HP Praillet & Antoine engine
1931 350cc JAP OHV
1938 500cc OHV single, Scintilla dynamo, Burman gearbox
1944 1000cc V-twin military
1949 580cc B 40 flat twin
1950 580cc B 50 flat twin
1953-1961 250cc Junior shaft drive single
1954 580cc B 50 Météor
1957 250cc JLO Twin

Sources: moto-collection.org, et al.

arnoutbeeck at hotmail dot com
B50 flat twin
Dear Sir/Mrs.
I have a B50 flat twin, he works perfect only stationary doesn't work, you have always to play with the accelerator handle to keep him turning.
I clean the carburator, control al the canals that they are open but no result.
He don't have enough fuel stationary, can you give me a tip, or have you a manual from the carburator OBA R├ęglage 2K 30 HVF
Kind regards,
    Sorry, do not have carburettor manual. Perhaps try one of the Swiss clubs. Ed.

theredbaron at xtra.co.nz
Hi, I purchased this motorcycle in pieces, can anyone tell me if my motorcycle is positive or negative earth to frame also how the dynamo connects to wiring. Its a 1952 580cc boxer, engine number 170864, pic attached.
Ray Jacob
Auckland, New Zealand

Universal-1952-580cc-RJa image posted to Comments.

Fri Mar 17 2017
antiquemotorbikes at gmail.com
Manuals, specs., clubs, information, parts
1949 Universal B50
I own a 1949 Universal and looking for any information for this seemingly uncommon machine. Books, manuals, clubs. Anywhere I might find parts. Any information at all.

  • There are links in the resources section to Swiss clubs - they would be the best to contact. Almost all Swiss speak good English.

Fri Apr 22 2016
oshadawijesekara at yahoo.com
Catalog & owners manual
Universal 250
I'm Oshada and I'm from srilanka. My grandpa used to ride a Swiss bike called universal and it's a 250 shaft driven. It hasn't been used since 1985 and because its with me now I'm going to restore it. But before that I need to know more about the bike, if you can find me some information like owners manual or a catalog that would be awesome. I couldn't find any details about this on the internet. And I'm attaching you some photos of it for more info.

Sat Nov 29 2014

theredbaron at vodafone.co.nz
universal 1952 600 boxer
hi, i recently purchased a universal boxer and i am after any information especially a workshop/service manual


new zealand

Wed Nov 19 2014
theredbaron at vodafone.co.nz
club/forum for swiss universals
universal 580 boxer
does anyone know of a forum/club for owners of swiss universal motorcycles
new zealand

Mon Jul 08 2013
drayon-almeida<at> yahoo.com
Universal boxer twin 1958
Please help me restoring my universal 600cc boxer twin
It's in scrape condition now

Thu Dec 27 2012
wardesaniya at yahoo.com
universal moterbike
1950 650cc
1 of my friend having 1950es 650cc universal motorcycle ...is it valuable or nt ?plz tell me.....

Fri Jan 08 2010
tharan1990 at yahoodot com
switzerland Universal
Sell For this bike, send your offer

Mon Mar 24 2008
ianki at telefonica.net
Any information
Rabeneick (Universal) Universal 250cc
I have come across a Swiss Universal 250cc (model Junior?) which is aparently the same as the 1955 Rabeneick Universal. Any information is highly appreciated.
Las Palmas
The Universal (Swiss) and the Rabeneick (German) 250 cc motor cycles were quite similar designs and equipped with the Universal motor. I attach a photo of the Universal version. By accident I found a picture of the Rabeneick version in Hugo Wilson's "The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle".
Kind regards
Jan K.T. / Las Palmas

Sat Jun 16 2007
masergo59 at hotmail.com
Universal with Sidecar
Vendo moto original para restaurar.

More motorcycles from this vendor here...

Mon Nov 27 2006
masergo59 at hotmail.com

....... The motorcycle Universal 600 cc., of origin Switzerland, and of the year 1950, it is working perfectly and she came equipped with that sidecar that I restored to be outside of the motorcycle about 30 years. The price of her is of u$s 7000 (dollars).
The motorcycles have documentation to export.
I will thank him to publish these motorcycles. That you have a good day. Greetings, Marcelo from Argentina.

See also Classic Motorcycle Collection for sale, Argentina

Mon Jun 26 2006
indiangus101 at gmaildot com
workshop manuals -spare parts - info
universal 600
any information about universal 600cc, for restore it, thanks from uruguay ,

thu may 11 2006
roqueseguros at iol.pt
motorcycle parts universal
c580 ( 1952 )
eu procuro o kickstarter completo.
Cantanhede Portugal

Translation: looking for a complete kick starter.

Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005
subject: Universal Swiss Motorcycle
Email: donfuller at netzero.net
message: I purchased a 1955 Swiss Universal motorcycle back in 1972. It was a mirror image of a BMW R50/2. The front engine cover was stamped aluminum - not cast aluminum. It came with a manual that was in 4 languages (I believe it had german, french, italian and spanish), none of which was english. I have not been able to find any information on this type of motorcycle since I sold it to help pay for collage. Have you heard of it or have any information about this type of motorcycle?
Thank you.

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