Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas
GNOME & RHÃ”NE
100 R -1941
A late arrival
Although most French motorcycle firms had jumped right into the vital 98cc lightweight sector in the early 1930s, it was another ten years before Gnome & Rhone entered it.
Gnome & RhÃ´ne had virtually completely revised its range in the 1930s. It was the era of the pressed-steel frame and the unit-constructed engine, which saw the launch in 1930 of the V2, soon followed by the CV2 and AX2, flat-twins of 500, 750 and 800cc. In the following years, this rejuvenating treatment was applied to the Junior and Major (150 and 350cc side-valves), Super-Major (350 overhead-valve) and the D5A (500 sidevalve), built for the army like the AX2.
Child of the Occupation
But after the nazis occupied France in 1940, Gnome & RhÃ´ne was forced to work for the German army, which only authorized the production of an ultra-lightweight machine - the 100 R was developed. Like its discontinued siblings, it had a pressed-steel frame and girder forks with eirnan rubber springs. The powertrain was a compact engine, built in unit with a three-speed transmission Â– in contrast to competing marques, which had separate construction of engine and gearbox. But in other respects, it followed the technical trends of the time, with a deflector-top pi ton, twin exhausts and a carburetor mounted on the side of the cylinder. Various modifications led to the Rl. After 1000 examples of the R and R1 had been built, Gnome & Rh one developed the 125cc R2, R3 and R4, which continued production until 1953.
Engine: 98cc (49x52mm) air-cooled singlecylinder; flywheel magneto
Power Rating: 2.8 hp @ 3400 rpm
Fuel System: Amac carburetor
Transmission: 3-speed, shift lever on tank; chain final drive
Suspension: girder forks with eiman rubber donuts (front); rigid (rear)
Brakes: drum (front & rear)
Wheels: 2.55x24 inch (front & rear)
Weight: 132 lb
Maximum Speed: 37 mph
Though the 100 R shared the pressed-steel frame of the larger 250 to 800cc models of the day, its successors had a new tubular frame.