Condor - D 50
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Condor D2-492-61-17
Photo ou archives : D. Ganneau

Capacity : 500
Model : D 50
Production : 1930 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


500 D 50 - 1930

Swiss alliance

Condor was based at Courfaivre, near Neuchatel. Motosacoche, whose works were a little further south, in Geneva, sold its engines under the marque name MAG.

Close Relationship

Both being French-speaking Swiss companies, the two struck up a close relationship. In the early 1920s, Condor bought its engines from Motosacoche. It was something of a favored client, particularly with this model, whose MAG D 50 power unit was only available to a few customers, such as New-Map, Standard and Triumph (and to Motosacoche itself, who used it in their Type 422).

Excessive Height

The D 50, from the Jubilee series launched in 1930, was a client-competition engine. It was sketched out by the British engineer-tuner Dougal Marchant, and realized by in-house Motosacoche engineer Nebel. Its dominant characteristic was its excessive height, which made it difficult to install in a frame. The height was due to the cast-aluminum oil reservoir mounted beneath the crankcase and the interposing of short pushrods between the rockers and valve stems. Marchant used this technique on most of his engines. The gearbox was Burman built – under license by Condor – because the oil container under the engine had to be tilted forward by 90 degrees. And though it was one of the few "privateer" engines in its class, the D 50 was dropped in 1934. For his part, Cordey, the Condor works rider, used an A 50, which was more powerful and less prone to overheat.


Engine: 496cc (82x94mm) air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke; magneto ignition; drysump lubrication

Power Rating: 30 hp @ 5,500 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 4-speed, chain final drive

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

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 2.75x21 inch (front); 3.00x21 inch (rear)

Weight: 265 lb

Maximum Speed: 100 mph

Condor obtained its best sport results in hill-climbing, a discipline which made the most effective use of the D 50's torque and acceleration.

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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