Saroléa - Cross Grand Prix
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Saroléa D2-492-38-19
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : Cross Grand Prix
Production : 1953 - 1954
Category : (Off-Road) MX


500 Cross - 1954

The redesign of the Cross

Saroléa continued production of its successful Cross model until 1952, just making detail changes like adding auxiliary hydraulic dampers to the plunger rear suspension.

Redesigned Suspension

The suspension in particular, with its jerky action, compelled the engineers to make fundamental changes to the Cross. Initially, in 1954, the works mounts were fitted with a new frame with swing arm rear suspension, which maintained the driving wheel in more constant contact with the ground and made things more comfortable for the rider. It was with this redesign, which retained the original tank and engine, that Rene Baeten placed second in the European Championship.

Improved Engine

At last, the Saroléa management decided to enclose the valve gear in an oil-tight casing, to the great enhancement of lubrication. Another innovation was the replacement of rockers by direct-acting tappets as an intermediary between the cams and pushrods. On the other hand, to save costs, an aluminum cylinder replaced the magnesium casting used on the original model. The downside was that the bike put on weight, with the more complicated frame construction to incorporate the swing arm and dampers, the enclosure of the valve gear and a bigger cylinder head. Nevertheless, that didn't prevent the Cross from once again taking second place in the European Championship at the end of the 1954 season, thanks to the talented Baeten.


Engine: 494cc (80.5x97mm) air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 35 hp @ 5700 rpm

Valves: overhead; fully enclosed va lve gear

Fuel System: Amal 10 GP 9 carburetor

Transmission: Saroléa 4-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swing arm (rear)

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 3.00x19 inch (front); 4.00x19 inch (rear)

Weight: 364 lb

This Saroléa competes regularly in the two main European events for classic motocross bikes – the Norman Scramble at Beauval-en-Caux (France) and the Belgian Pre-1965 Motocross.

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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