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 Gillet Herstal - 500 HG 25 Coupe de France
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Gillet Herstal HG 25 Coupe de France motocyclette motorrad motorcycle vintage classic classique scooter roller moto scooter
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : HG 25 Coupe de France
Production : 1936 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


500 HG 25 / Coupe de France - 1936

Inclined singles

At the end of 1930, alongside its range of vertical singles – characterized by the letter "D" (for Droit-"upright") – the Ateliers Gillet, of Herstal (Liège), launched a new series of inclined singles. These included 350 and 400cc side-valves and an overhead-valve 350. A 500cc range on the same lines appeared in 1934 in side-valve, ohv, and racing versions; there was also a side-valve 600 for the Belgian Army.

Successful Transplant

The 500 overhead-valve engine had, in fact, first seen the light of day in a 1932 grass-track racer as the top end of a 1930 500cc Bol d'Or engine mounted on a 350 crankcase. Known as the "Lightweight 500", it was developed into the 500 GP34, which in turn fathered the 500 HG25 (pictured). The four-speed "box" was optional on all models except the Racing HG26, which had close-ratio gears and could exceed 90 mph. Also optional was a foot-change mounted alongside the engine, with the tiresome habit of shearing off if the bike fell over!

Champion in a New Sport

The inclined singles re-emerged in 1946, fitted with telescopic forks, though that marked the end of the production run; they were replaced by more modern models, notably the new 250 "Superconfort" range. However, the inclined singles distinguished themselves in the new sport of motocross. They gained an impressive victory at Montreuil (France), but were particularly successful in their homeland where Victor Goovaerts won the 1946 and 1948 Belgian Championships riding a Gillet-Herstal.


Engine: Air-cooled 500cc (84x90 mm) inclined single-cylinder four-stroke with dry-sump lubrication and double oil pumps

Valves: overhead valves

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 4 speeds

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

Brakes: 7in drum

Wheels: 19in

Weight: 320 lb

Maximum Speed: 78 mph

This 500 HG25 "Coupe de France" bas the distinctive multiplate clutch first fitted in 1936 plus optional high-level exhaust pipes.

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.