The developments over the next two decades would see an increase in manufacturers and by the start of first world war motorbike production was being stepped up to help with the war effort.
Now, as the prices of classic British motorbikes continue to rise steadily, an interesting emerging market of small engine motorcycles and mopeds has started to flourish, becoming popular amongst collectors and enthusiasts alike.
France was one of the most prolific producers of small engine motorcycles and mopeds. Many of the designs were not only good mechanically but focused massively on the aesthetics.
Being as stylish as they were there is a strong market for these early machines. Especially if they are in original paint and in unrestored condition.
There is a cross over interest with these bikes in the design world where they feature as eye-catching décor in bars or as design features in shop window displays and advertising campaigns.
Lots of well know manufactures of full sized motorbikes such as James, Rudge, BSA and Duccatti also ventured into making small engine two stroke machines during the 1940’s 50’s and 60’s.
The machines of the day ranged from ‘Clip On’s’ where a roller made contact with the tyre as in the well know design by Velo Solex. English manufacturers Trojan with the Mini Motor and Sinclair Goddard with the Powerpak adopted the same principle. These engines were often half or a third of the size of a full size 98cc autocycle.
Autocycles are complete machines that didn’t exceed 98cc and were often similar in looks to lightweight motorcycles. They mostly ran on two stroke fuel where oil and petrol are pre mixed, although there were four stroke examples too. They were cheap to run, easy to work on and especially popular during times of austerity.
We have 5 Interesting machines in our next fine art sale on the 14th July including a Peugeot, 3 Motobecane’s and a Gitan Autocycle.
It may surprise you to learn that if you have a Honda Cub sitting in your garage it could be worth anything from £500 - £1500 depending on condition.
Puch Maxi’s have also gained a cult following recently with prices achieved ranging from £450 - £850 for a nice example
So check the shed or outbuilding, as there may be a little forgotten gem in there that is just waiting to go onto a new home.