Web Analytics

 Gillet Herstal - 500 Bol d'Or Mk 2
 Back to brands list

Gillet Herstal Bol dOr Mk 2 motocyclette motorrad motorcycle vintage classic classique scooter roller moto scooter
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : Bol d'Or Mk 2
Production : 1937 - 1944
Category : (R) Street Bike


500 Bol d'Or - 1937

Celebrating a victory

In 1936, a Gillet-Herstal won the French Bol d'Or for the third time. To celebrate this triple victory in France's premier motorcycle endurance race, the Herstal-lez-Liège company decided – as they had once before – to give the race's name to their new model.

In Civilian Clothing

The new Gillet had absolutely nothing in common with the victorious Bol d'Or racer, but was a civilian version of a military model developed for the Belgian Army in 1936.

Two Exhausts for the Price of One

Following the traditional layout of the marque's four-strokes, it had a four-speed gearbox built in unit with an engine available in three different types – "L" (side-valve), "ST" (overhead-valve standard) and "Bol d'Or" (sports) – and two displacements (500 or 600cc). The gearbox incorporated a new selector system, and even the standard version received a shift pedal. The starting handle was shifted to the right side. The crankshaft retained the extra roller bearing on the oil-pump side, and the fork damping could be adjusted by a single knurled knob. The cylinder head, also new, had hairpin valve springs and could be fitted with either one or two exhaust pipes to choice, for the same price. The rockers operated the valves though intermediate lifters. This motorcycle was chosen by the Belgian authorities to equip the special police responsible for keeping order on the highways, who escorted the Belgian Government during its retreat from the Germans in 1940.


Engine: 500cc (84x90 mm) air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke; dry-sump lubrication by double oil pump

Valves: overhead; hairpin valve springs; one or two exhaust ports

Fuel System: 29mm Amal carburetor

Transmission: 4-speed foot-shift, chain final drive

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

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 3.50x19 inch (front & rear)

Weight: 375 lb

Maximum Speed: 87 mph

This 500 Bol d'Or from 1937 took part in the retreat of the Belgian government in 1940, but only got as far as the north of France, where it was machine-gunned by the German Luftwaffe.

Le fichier Moto Passion réalisé par François-Marie Dumas réunit près de deux mille photos accompagnées d'un historique très complet des machines présentées.
Il sera progressivement mis à jour ici et toute information complémentaire est la bienvenue sur info@moto-collection.org.

Cette documentation unique, qui constitue sans doute l'encyclopédie la plus exhaustive jamais écrite sur l'histoire de la moto, a été réalisée avec l'assistance de nombreux spécialistes dont principalement Didier Ganneau, Christophe Gaime, Mick Woollett, Jean Goyard, Bernard Salvat, Christian Rey, Yves Campion, Helmut Krackowizer, Michael Dregni, Michel Montange, etc. que je remercie ici.

Disponible sur demande :
- Les fiches originales sur papier
- Les photos et archives signées de mon nom en haute définition ou les documents originaux.
Me contacter sur info@moto-collection.org pour les conditions et droits d'utilisation.