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 Gillet Herstal - 350 Sport Gazogène
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Gillet Herstal Sport Gazogène motocyclette motorrad motorcycle vintage classic classique scooter roller moto scooter
Photo ou archives : M. Montange

Capacity : 350
Model : Sport Gazogène
Production : 1937 - 1942
Category : (R) Street Bike


350 Sport (with gas producer) - 1937

First of the real gas-guzzlers

The Gillet 350 four-stroke first appeared in 1939. Its all-new engine had an inclined cylinder in the latest style. The three versions available were side-valve 350, overhead-valve 350 and side-valve 400 (75x90 mm). They all shared the same frame and front suspension, with an oil-bath-damped central spring. They also had the same bottom-end, built in unit with a three-speed gearbox using three pinions for the primary transmission, with the camshaft mounted in the middle.

Sturdy Sportster

Strongly-built and ably promoted by the victories and records gained by Gillet across Europe, these new models sold well. In 1932, a racing version was available.

Modernized Version

In conjunction with the launch of a new inclined 500, Gillet modernized its 350 by fitting it with the same center-sprung fork (the damping was now controlled by two wing nuts), plus a four-speed gearbox and selector pedal. These bikes remained virtually unchanged until just after WWII, when the final version was fitted with a telescopic fork. These models were also assembled in France, with minor differences. During the German Occupation, gasoline was virtually unobtainable, so an old invention called "Gazogène" ("gas producer") was revived, in which a slow-combustion stove generated inflammable "producer gas" from coke or wood, the gas (carbon monoxide) then being used to drive the engine. Though cars and trucks were powered by gas producers during WWII in Europe, few motorcycles were converted because of the bulk of the equipment.


Engine: 350cc (70x90 mm) air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: carburetor fed by Grange gazogène

Transmission: 4-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: girder forks rigid (rear)

Brakes: 7 inch drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 19 inch (front & rear)

Weight: 309 lb

Maximum Speed: 72 mph (on gasoline)

As clumsy as it was lacking in performance, the gazogène was difficult to fit to a motorcycle. But at least it enabled motorcyclists to use their machines – if they had the necessary passes.

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.