Benoit Gonin - Anzani
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Benoit Gonin D2-492-11-04
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 350
Model : Anzani
Production : 1921 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


350 Anzani with "Ladies' Attachment" – 1921

Touring for the family

The eternal question that has bothered motorcyclists is simply: "How can you take the family along?" The pioneers quickly developed tricycles and quadricycles with the passenger seat between the two front wheels; equally popular at the turn of the century were elegant trailers pulled behind tricycles which had two rear wheels. According to the weather, such trailers were fitted with leather splashguards or a parasol to protect the occupants. Motor tandems were also sometimes seen. Then, around 1903, a sort of one-wheeled wicker armchair attached alongside motorcycles appeared in Great Britain, and the sidecar was born.


Sidecars quickly took over and by 1912 the trailer ­— or, as it was more poetically known, the "ladies' attachment" — was obsolete. So the rider of this 1921 Benoît-Gonin outfit was not exactly in the height of fashion. Despite its up-to-date sidevalve Anzani engine and English-made Sturmey Archer three-speed hand-change transmission, the Benoît-Gonin abounds with anachronisms like belt final drive and Brampton swinging front fork, along with some other oddities.

Cradle of the French Industry

Benoît-Gonin was a tiny marque founded at Lyon, the cradle of the French motorcycle industry. In spite of its size, though, it contributed significantly to the history of cycling.


Engine: 350cc Anzani single-cylinder four-stroke engine

Power Rating: 3 hp

Valves: side

Fuel System: carburettor

Transmission: 3-speed Sturmey Archer hand change. Primary drive by enclosed chain; final drive by leather belt

Suspension: Brampton swinging fork (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: rim brake (front); belt pulley brake (rear)

Wheels: wire clinche

Maximum Speed: 31 mph

Obsolete even when it was new, this Benoît-Gonin outfit nevertheless exudes antique charm.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

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François-Marie Dumas

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