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BCR D2-492-06-15
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : HS
Production : 1929 - 1930
Category : (R) Street Bike


500 HS – 1929

Comfort before anything else

At the end of the Twenties, the French motorcycle industry was in good shape. It exported a fifth of its production and only eight percent of new sales were imported machines. Alongside the major makes, like Peugeot and Terrot, a host of small manufacturers jostled for a place in the sun, and it was frequently these little companies that, in seeking to attract the enthusiasts, reached for more and made the technical breakthroughs.

Innovative Little Company

Typical of these innovative little companies was BCR, based in the Paris suburb of Kremlin-Bicetre, who produced a wide range of bikes between 1923 and 1930 — 175cc two-strokes, and 250cc, 350cc, and 500cc JAP-engined four-strokes.

Twin-Port Head

But the flagship BCR model was the 500 HS, powered by a 500cc Chaise engine with overhead valves and a twin-port head, one of the very first French machines to be fitted with rear suspension that actually performed as intended. In this case, the swinging fork acted directly on quarter-elliptic springs bolted to the frame, with sliding friction dampers rather than the telescopic shock absorbers used on modern machines. The rest of the design was conventional enough — the twin exhaust downpipes of the Chaise single were the height of fashion. Popular between 1920 and 1939, Chaise engines were made in Paris by Omnium Metallurgical Industries.


Engine: 500cc (85x89nun) single-cylinder four-stroke

Valves: overhead valves, twin exhaust ports

Fuel System: carburettor

Transmission: 3-speed, chain drive

Suspension: (front) Druid parallelogram forks; (rear) swinging fork

Brakes: drum

Wheels, wire

Weight: 375 lb

Maximum Speed: 68 mph

The BCR 500 HS had a rather heavy look but was distinguished by its effective rear suspension system.

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 info@moto-collection.org for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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