Web Analytics

 Gillet Herstal - 350 Luxe à courroie
 Back to brands list

Gillet Herstal Luxe à courroie motocyclette motorrad motorcycle vintage classic classique scooter roller moto scooter
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 350
Model : Luxe à courroie
Production : 1922 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


300cc Luxe - 1923

The first of many

Belgium benefitted little from the large stocks of Allied motorcycles abandoned in France at the end of WWI. Its need for basic transportation was filled by Ateliers Gillet. Founded in 1919, Gillet marketed a lightweight motorcycle that combined durability, quality and performance.

"Backwards" Engine

In those days of the Depression, when people couldn't afford repair bills, the public demanded simple, reliable motorcycles – and what could be more simple than a two-stroke? Oddly enough, the engine was mounted "back-to-front" in the frame, with its exhaust at the back and its gearbox in front. The explanation was simple: The idea was to avoid belt slip by lessening the angle formed between the front and rear pulleys.

Competition Record

On the first Gillets, the cylinder head was a detachable aluminum casting, but subsequent models had fixed heads. Launched in 300cc form, the engine had its capacity raised to 350cc, then remained much the same until the end of production in 1927, the same year that Gillet abandoned belt drive. To demonstrate the quality of its products, Gillet entered them in competition and the victories soon began to pile up, starting with victory in the 350cc class of the first Belgian Grand Prix in 1921. For that race, the Gillets were fitted with chain drive and the clutch was separate from the gearbox, directly below the saddle. The same machines competed in the 1922 Tour de France and this model was the French champion in 1923.


Engine: 300cc (74x70 mm) air-cooled Gillet single-cylinder

Power Rating: 3 hp

Valves: two-stroke, three transfer ports

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 2-speed, chain final drive

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

Brakes: bicycle-type rim brake (front); belt rim (rear)

Wheels: wire clincher (front & rear)

Weight: 176 lb

Maximum Speed: 55 mph

The 3 hp Gillet was offered either in this "Luxe" version or as the cheaper "Sport", which had neither kick-starter nor clutch.

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.