French Constructeurs: Motorcycle and Bicycle Makers With Savoir Faire

From May 19, 2017 on

The MotoGP circus descends upon the fabled LeMans Bugatti circuit in France this week, and with French rookie Johann Zarco lighting up 2017 race action so far it’s the perfect time to reflect on the history of French motorcycle and bicycle manufacturing.

With Japanese and Italian manufacturers providing the lion’s share of the MotoGP machinery, one has to turn back the pages of history to see when the French were among the dominant makers of motorcycles. It’s telling that their reign ran concurrent with bicycle production. It’s also telling that the same two companies -- Motobecane and Peugeot -- are still producing two-wheeled machines. The former is now called MBK, a subsidiary of Yamaha Motor Company producing scooters, while the latter is sponsoring the Peugeot MC Saxoprint Moto3 team with its MPG30 motorcycle. Read more...