Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas
35 C6 Monotube - 1935
A mount for daring riders
Belgium's oldest marque produced its first motorcycle in 1901 and won the Belgian speed championship in 1902. The firm, from Herstal, near LiÃ¨ge, retained its sporting image right up to the end of production in 1960.
Late in 1923, Saroléa announced its first cataloged ohv 500, which was soon being raced with success. It was followed by many other high-performance models. Then, in 1934, came the 34 C "Monotube," also known as the "Grégoire" since it was a replica of the works racer with which Robert Grégoire had won the 1933 Belgian championship, before being killed during practice for the Belgian GP. Introduced as a 500 with an English Sturmey-Archer gearbox, from 1935 the Monotube was also available in 350 and 600cc form for sidecar racing, and fitted with an original gearbox.
Ahead of Its Time
The astounding competition record of the Monotube cannot be attributed to technical sophistication; this uncomplicated ohv single won repeated victories in the hands of noted riders of the day like Grégoire, Grizzly, Cora, Monneret, and Berthier. These wins were achieved by daring riders who made full use of the outstanding power and torque Â– and reliability Â– of the Monotube engine. Nevertheless, the gear-change was imprecise and the frame of the 350 and 500 was notorious for its lack of rigidity. Only that of the 600 was truly satisfactory, for it was joined beneath the crankcase.
Engine: 589cc (88x97.7mm) single cylinder; dry-sump lubrication; magneto ignition
Power Rating: 36 hp @ 5600 rpm
Valves: overhead; hairpin valve springs
Fuel System: carburetor
Transmission: 4-speed foot change
Suspension: girder forks (front); rigid (rear)
Brakes: drum (front & rear)
Wheels: 3.00x21 inch (front); 3.50x19 inch (rear & sidecar)
Maximum Speed: 87 mph with sidecar.
This 600 Saroléa 35 C is the sole known survivor. Designed to original specifications, it is still capable of climbing the Mont Ventoux hill-climb at 50 mph and reaching 87 mph on the level.