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 Koehler Escoffier - 500 Mandoline 2 speed
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Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : Mandoline 2 speed
Production : 1914 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


500 Mandoline - 1914

A brilliant career

At the end of 1912, Jules Escoffier and Marcel Kœhler began an all too brief partnership: the former passed away in 1914 and the latter failed to return from the war. Despite its tiny output, in less than two years the marque had become one of France's best-known firms, thanks to the sporting success of the Mandoline.

A Blend of Ideas and Money

At the start of 1912, Escoffier resigned from his job as a mechanic with Magnat-Debon to practice his skills in preparing Magnat-Debons for racing. He rapidly acquired an enviable reputation – and a rich backer, the amateur racer Kœhler. To beat the single-cylinder Magnat-Debon 400, they had to act quickly and develop a twin-cylinder.

An Instant Success

The V-twin designed by Escoffier was quickly nicknamed the "Mandoline" from the perceived shape of its deep crankcase and tall magneto-drive casing. The parallel-valve cylinder-heads were recognizably closely related to those of the racing Magnat-Debons, as were the cycle components: telescopic forks, tank, and direct belt drive. A stunning 1-2 victory at the Mont Verdun hill climb in 1912, where Escoffier and Kœhler finished first and second, was followed by numerous other victories. In 1914, the Mandoline adopted an Enfield double-chain two-speed transmission. It was a successful move: it won the Argenteuil hill climb as well as a gold medal in the Paris-Nice rally.


Engine: air-cooled 491cc (61x84mm) 42-degree V-twin four-stroke with cast-iron cylinders and heads; total-loss lubrication

Power Rating: 10hp

Valves: overhead valves

Fuel System: one carburetor

Transmission: expanding clutch; 2-speed

Enfield gearbox with separate chain for each ratio

Suspension: sliding forks (front)

Brakes: rear belt rim

Wheels: 650x65 clincher

Weight: 187 lb

Maximum Speed: 60 mph

The sole surviving 1914 Kœhler-Escoffier Mandoline had astounding performance for its day plus a curious exhaust system with a single curved pipe linking both exhaust ports.

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.