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 Militaire / Militor - 1100 1917
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Militaire / Militor 1917 motocyclette motorrad motorcycle vintage classic classique scooter roller moto scooter
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 1100
Model : 1917
Production : 1914 - 1922
Category : (R) Street Bike


1100cc - 1917

The bike that wanted to be an automobile

This unorthodox four-cylinder machine was only in production for a short time, yet it appeared under four different names from several distinct factory sites. The one common factor was the irrepressible N.R. Sinclair.

First Production Model

Sinclair's first model, built in Cleveland in 1911, was the "Patent Underslung" 480cc single-cylinder Militaire with friction drive. He soon switched to the four-cylinder design that the marque is remembered for. In 1914, he shuffled off to a new factory in Buffalo. Between 1911 and 1913, the Militaire four was license-built in St. Louis as the "Champion."

Unorthodox at All Costs

In 1917, the name "Militor" was adopted when Sinclair moved his troubled company to Jersey City. The final, 1922, machines (in Bridgeport, Conn.) were known as "Sinclair-Militor." The Militaire four was nothing if not unorthodox. It had a car-type chassis, hub-center steering controlled by massive handlebars, wood-spoked artillery wheels, a three-speed and reverse gearbox and – on the earliest models – a steering-wheel and retractable stabilizer wheels. Militaires were intended for Army use, and Militaire sidecar outfits came to France in 1918. They proved too heavy and sank in the battlefield mud. In 1919, Sinclair modernized the design, adopting overhead-valves and rear suspension, and spoke of building 5000 units a year. But faulty design destroyed any possibility of large-scale production. Anyway, the Militaire was enormously expensive.


Engine: 1125cc (63.5x88,9mm) air-cooled Militor four-cylinder four-stroke; magneto ignition

Power Rating: 10 hp

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed and reverse; dry multi-plate clutch, double-cardan shaft final drive

Suspension: hub-center steering; leading-link with leaf springs (front); leaf sprung fork (rear)

Brakes: drum (rear)

Wheels: 28x3.00 inch wood-spoked clincher (front & rear)

Weight: 805 lb with sidecar

Maximum Speed: 65 mph

Technically, the Militaire was a very advanced machine for the times. But its unorthodoxy and questionable reliability were its downfall.

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.