Photo ou archives : D. Ganneau
1000cc Racer - 1907
A giant from the dawn of motorcycling
The origins of the 1000cc Peugeot V-twin go back to 1904. Peugeot brought out a 12 hp monster with a 1489cc (92x112mm) engine that set two world records: a 76.58 mph flying kilometer at Dourdan and a 75.57 mph kilometer ascent of the Gaillon hill-climb.
Peugeot, from LA to London
The 1000cc engine began its life as a racing machine and ended its career on sale as a sporty bike for riders in search of thrills. A "big-twin" Peugeot raced in 1907 at the Agricultural Park in Los Angeles, ridden by Walter "Skinny" Collins. The engine was also
used by other makes like the British-built NLG (North London Garages), whose first-ever
bike won, at Easter 1908, the first-ever full-scale motorcycle race on the Brooklands
A Costly Monster
Even though France in 1907 was a country that had taken the motorcycle to its heart, monsters like the Peugeot 1000 were very much the exception, and utility machines were in the majority in that period of financial crisis in Europe. While a gallon of gasoline cost the equivalent of 35Â¢, a laborer in Paris earned just 14Â¢ an hour, about the price of a bottle of red table wine. So a bike like the Peugeot-which cost the equivalent of $185 with coil ignition, plus $20 for a Simms-Bosch magneto driven by chain (or $25 for a geardriven magneto) - was beyond the reach of most people. By comparison, an imported four-cylinder Model N Ford sold in Paris for the equivalent of $700, and the cheapest single-cylinder French cars cost $450.
Engine: 945cc (80x94mm) air-cooled V-twin four-stroke
Valves: automatic intake, side exhaust
Fuel System: Longuemare carburetor
Transmission: direct belt final drive (no clutch or gearbox)
Suspension: leading-links (front); rigid (rear)
Brakes: two brakes on the belt rim (rear)
Wheels: wire clincher (front & rear)
Maximum Speed: 60 mph
Miraculously preserved in its original condition,even today this rare and beautiful 1000cc Peugeot racer is an impressive performer.