MR - BMA Tandem
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MR D2-492-29-02
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 100
Model : BMA Tandem
Production : 1939 - 1940
Category : (R) Street Bike


Mandille & Roux / 100cc BMA Tandem - 1939

And baby made three

In 1936, the Socialists came to power in France, bringing an end to the wave of strikes that had crippled the country. Workers were granted a 12 percent pay raise, collective bargaining, a 40-hour work week and two weeks paid annual vacation.

All Going on a Summer Holiday

Those first national vacations saw the roads crowded with a ragtag assortment of vehicles heading for the mountains, country and seaside. French makers courted this new market with a new kind of tax-dodging power-assisted bicycle. To escape taxes, these feeble featherweights had to have engines of less than 100cc, no more than two speeds and weigh less than 66 lb.

They Even Raced

Among the leading manufacturers of this new breed of powered two-wheeler was a Parisian maker named Mandille & Roux, better known under the name "MR," who used the reliable unit-constructed Sachs two-stroke. Surprisingly, 98cc Sachs-powered machines won their class in the Bol d'Or endurance race from 1934 to 1937. In 1937, an MR covered 1000.4 miles in 24 hours at an average 41.7 mph. In 1939, MR unveiled an oddball, a powered "family" tandem. Its two-speed gearbox certainly complied with the law, but the single-chain drive incorporated a Derailleur gear, which gave a somewhat random choice of three final drive ratios. With its light "baby buggy" trailing behind, and aided by pedal assistance, the MR family tandem could cruise at an erratic 25 mph but they only sold 40 of them.


Engine: 98cc (49x52mm) air-cooled single-cylinder; flywheel magneto

Valves: two-stroke

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 2-speed gearbox plus three-speed Derailleur gear, single-chain final drive for power and pedal

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

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: wire (front & rear)

Maximum Speed: 25 mph

Despite its quirky appearance, the MR Tandem was a reasonably practical touring machine.

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

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