Wednesday 17 August 2005
WELL, I shall be away for another
two week holiday starting this weekend, so in the meantime
please continue sending your emails and I will answer
them as soon as I return. Many thanks to all who have
emailed me and given me useful comments on the site
I must thank Jean-Claude
from Compiegne, France
for the photo of his VeloSoleX
I have posted in the Photo
from the US has asked
about piston lengths and as a result I have updated
section of the Engine
Data page. I have also updated the How
do I replace a worn Rotor Key? section
on the FAQs page.
Until the next time...
Sunday 14 August 2005
Millenium has forwarded me the link of Bernique's
new forum at Forum Cyclomoteurs a Galet.
Bernique's website also has some Crankshaft
replacement information for the VeloSoleX
Doubs Du Solex.
There's a new Economy Single Passenger train service
situated in the Parc De Chanteraines, France, the creation
of Daniel Guilloux
and Vincent Timcowsky.
Powered by the awesome VeloSoleX S 3800 engine
it does appear to be lacking in certain safety features...
For more information, look at the Trolex
at the website Solex
For those who would like to find out more about the
VeloSoleX S 3800 in
Hungary, there is the website Solex
Barati Kor with an English page and the Solex
Barati Kor Forum. It should be possible to translate
from the Hungarian using an online machine translation such
With regard to the website I've added a Printer
button to the top left-hand corner of each page. That's
about it for now.
Friday 12 August 2005
I received a request from
Don in the US
yesterday on how to determine to location of the keyway
in the rotor, as the key has been worn away on his 1966
VeloSoleX S 3800
and he needs to replace it. I had the details at
hand and decided it may be a good idea to also paste the information
in the FAQs
I've also added a couple of photos in the FAQs
showing the long and short pistons that have been used
on the S 3800.
Well, it is time for my dinner, so for now, "Au
Thursday 11 August 2005
I CHANGED the website
menu again (!) and also added a new Site
Map to navigate quicker. I just noticed that the
German site IG
have updated their website with a smart new menu. A new
SOLEX website at Van de Ven SOLEX
in Limburg, Holland has popped up offering Accessories
to buy and also a Forum to read and post to (although
a bit empty at the moment!). Ik denk dat het kijkt alsof
een interessante website!
Tuesday 9 August 2005
JUST a few organizational changes to the website
menu and a new Carburettor
Venturi Diameter Calculator on the Carburettor page. My goodness - my fish and chips are
getting cold! I must go...
Thursday 4 August 2005
FIRST, I must thank very much
Brian from New
York City, US for the many photos he emailed me
of the Bastille
Day Event on Sunday 17 July 2005. Despite an earlier slight drizzle, 4 Solexes turned
up along with 18 French automobiles. Howie from VeloSoleX
America, one of the event organizers, rode his 1973
Pli-Solex that was recently rebuilt by
Brian for him. Manny showed up on a 1965 model
S 3300. Glen participated on his boss's 1975 S 3800.
His boss, Steve of
Steve's Moped asked for a volunteer to go to the event with the Solex which had
Steve's Moped advertising all over it and hand out business cards and
brochures. Young Glen (15 years old) reluctantly volunteered, anticipating a
horrible day. By the end of the day, he was saying that it was the best day of
his life and that he had never had such a good time. Brian rode one of his 1974
S 3800 models. Monsieur Francois Delattre gave a little speech in French then waved the flag
for the start and they were off! It looks like everybody
had a ball of time that's for sure! Over 60 photos
of the event can be seen at http://home.comcast.net/~chomitz/NYC2cv05WebGal/index.htm.
As far as the website goes, well, I must say
I am quite busy in the process of adding and reorganising
sections, so for now I have only time to paste a
quick transcription of a French news article on page
18 of this month's Capital
Magazine that Jean-Claude of
Solex Millenium forwarded to
Capital Magazine N° 167, August 2005
- A DUEL TO THE DEATH TO RESUSCITATE THE SOLEX
Two industrialists begin to clash
again, each one from his corner, about the puttering
two-wheel vehicle of which they both remain insanely
It's a like a Clochemerle fight
that only the French can manage. And it will have as
a background the World Of Two-Wheels Show this
October in Paris. In the middle of the Japanese and
Italian motor bikes fighting each other with power and
decibels, visitors will see two reincarnations of the
Solex clashing, this puttering symbol of French mechanical
engineering. Because this machine formerly ridden by
Brigitte Bardot and Jacques Tati still arouses passion.
So much so, that two fanatics of this machine bitterly
argue about its heritage.
In the boxing ring: Dominique Chaumont,
a 59 year old qualified engineer, the head of the Mopex
company, defender of the original version and Jean-Pierre Bansard
(65 years old), co-founder of Usines Center, promoter
of a completely revised 21st century version of the
Solex. The first dreams of launching on the market a
faithful copy (though equipped with a catalytic exhaust
pot) of the S 3800 model which goes back to 1965. It's
nearly 20 years since Domenica Chaumont, who repurchased
the production line of the two-wheeled vehicle of MBK,
had tried to resuscitate the animal, in between two
engineering trips to Asia.
The Problem: the VeloSoleX trademark
belonged during these years to the Italian firm Magneti
Marelli and Chaumont never succeeded in repurchasing
it because the asking price (200,000 Euros) seemed excessive
to him. So, not being able to use the trademark, he
renamed his clone Black'n Roll.
His competitor, Jean-Pierre Bansard,
for his part, didn't hesitate to sign a cheque with
the Italians. At the end of 2004, he owned the names
Solex and VeloSoleX. He immediately attacks Domenica
Chaumont for counterfeit and commercial gain. The Reason:
his Internet site used the VeloSoleX trademark. The
co-founder of Usines Center asks Pininfarina to re-design
the Solex, while his rival prepares a faithful copy
of the S 3800 from 1965. It's because he has ridden
this cyclomotor for a long time, like thousands of French
not so well off, that Bansard launches out in this venture.
This self-taught person, today
at the head of the Cible Group, specialized in commercial
real estate and with his subsidiary company SINBAR swore
to himself to bring the first two-wheeled vehicle he
into fashion. He even asked Pininfarina, the prestigious
Italian body designers, to re-design the animal. Nobody
yet has seen the latest sketch, but the SINBAR camp
has good morale.
"The Black'n Roll is just
a cheap imitation of a something from the past"
adds a collaborator. "We, we want to reinvent the
cheap and reliable machine - the dream of many young
So, the next fight will take place
at the World Of Two-Wheels Show. While waiting in Courrieres,
situated in the large suburbs of Lille, the team of
Domenica Chaumont are working. A handful of workmen
start to assemble the Black'n Roll, starting with the
parts produced by Hongdu, a Chinese aeronautical manufacturer.
Tons of components are loaded onto a boat, down a tributary
of the Yang-Tse
river, via Shanghai and across the ocean to
Antwerp before arriving by container to Lille.
"For 15 years, this conglomerate
in China has manufactured copies of the Solex without
problems. I gave them the original plans." says
Chaumont. He even insists that the son of Marcel Mennesson,
the inventor of the Solex (and also a qualified engineer),
yielded to him the invention rights of this cyclomotor.
"As I have them until 2030, I could attack my competitor
for taking the intellectual property rights" he
threatens. While waiting, he hopes to knock out some
examples in 2006 and 15,000 in 2009. The Selling price:
On the other hand, the Solex,
will also be put on sale for less than 1000 Euros. That's
what you call sticking to your way.