Antoine - 4 cylindres
 Back to brands list

Antoine D2-492-22-11
Photo ou archives : D. Ganneau

Capacity : 414,6
Model : 4 cylindres
Production : 1904 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


1000cc four-cylinder -1905

Pioneer four-cylinder

The factory of Victor Antoine Fils & Cie, founded in Liege in 1899, began production with light cars but abandoned them in favor of motorcycles in 1903. Their production was always believed to have consisted of singles and V-twins, but to the amazement of historians, this remarkable machine was unearthed during the 1980s, powered by a four-cylinder engine bearing the stamped initials "VAF"- V. Antoine & Fils."

The Only One Ever Made?

There is no mention of this motorcycle in the contemporary press, just a description of the engine in an Antoine catalog of 1905, offering power units for sale to other manufacturers. It seems likely that this machine, which was discovered in the Savoie region of France, is the only four-cylinder Antoine motorbike.

Which Four Came First?

The engine, it seems, was designed by Paul Kelecom, who had previously designed several engines for Antoine and been commissioned by FN, in 1904, to perfect the original four-cylinder conceived by their engineer Clarus. The design of the Antoine four-cylinder is very similar to that of Kelecom's FN -and it's fascinating to conjecture which engine came first! The magneto, protected from the weather inside the brass fuel tank, is driven by a chain running inside the two tubes at the front of the engine. A clutch avoids the need to stall the engine when the machine is at a standstill and the crankshaft runs in three ball bearings (the FN had five). An advanced touch is the use of a twistgrip throttle.


Engine: 1000cc air-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke; magneto ignition

Valves: automatic intake, side exhaust

Fuel System: carburettor

Transmission: shaft drive

Suspension: leading link forks with spring plungers (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: rim (rear)

Wheels: 650x60 wire clincher (front & rear)

The unrestored 1905 Antoine four is very similar in design to the contemporary FN; engineer Paul Kelecom is believed to have had a hand in both power units.

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.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

Accueil - Motos NOUGIER - Motos insolites - Motos japonaises - Unusual Motorcycles - Scooters du Monde - Motos Passion - Motos GILLET - Liens - Contact

Moto Collection - François-Marie Dumas

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional CSS Valide !

Mentions légales