Motosacoche France - type 312 Grand Sport
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Motosacoche France D2-492-12-01
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 350
Model : type 312 Grand Sport
Production : 1936 -
Category : (R) Street Bike

350cc Type 312 Grand Sport - 1936

Swiss-made – in France

Motosacoche may have been one of the best-known Swiss marques, but the bike shown here was built in France. In 1922 the Swiss company established a factory in Lyon, cradle of the French motorcycle industry. The first French Motosacoche was the Type 2CR, an F-head 600cc V-Twin, which sold for less than the 500 single built in Geneva! And when President Poincaré devalued the French franc by 80 percent in 1928, the Swiss product became even more unaffordable. In order to hang on to its share of the French market, the Swiss marque stepped up production at the Lyon factory.

From Geneva to Lyon

Only the twin-port MAG engine of the Type 312 Motosacoche was imported from Switzerland; the rest of the machine was built in the Lyon factory or supplied by French accessory manufacturers, like the Magneto-France ignition, the Amac carburetor, and the Marchal headlamp.

A Dramatic History

This French Motosacoche also differs from the Swiss version in the design of its fuel tank and its Burman gearbox, used instead of Hurth or Sturmey-Archer transmissions. In any case, the 350 was less popular in Switzerland, where they preferred the 500 to cope with the mountain passes. Now looking as good as new, this Motosacoche was requisitioned by the FFI – the resistance fighters of the Maquis – during the war. Discovered in a state of advanced dereliction, many years later, it was then restored.


Engine: 347cc (72x85mm) MAG single-cylinder four-stroke; Magdyno France ignition/lighting

Power Rating: 14 hp @ 4800 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: Amac carburetor

Transmission: Burman 4 speed hand change; chain final drive

Suspension: girder forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: offset 7.9 inch drums interlinked front/ rear

Wheels: 19 inch interchangeable

Maximum Speed: 75 mph

Though it was built in Lyon, this Motosacoche is painted in the colors of the city of Geneva – khaki and garnet red.

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)
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François-Marie Dumas

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