Peugeot - 2 1/2 HP Paris Nice moto légère
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Peugeot D2-492-09-11
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 350
Model : 2 1/2 HP Paris Nice moto légère
Production : 1914 - 1914
Category : (R) Street Bike


Moto Iégère 350 cc Paris-Nice - 1914

Starting over from the bottom

Peugeot's 1912 models were reliable and well-developed, but technically they were beginning to pass their "best-by" date, with such archaic features as automatic inlet valves and round, limited-capacity fuel tanks. Their competitors, on the other hand, offered mechanically-operated side, and even overhead, valve engines in more modern

rames. Peugeot's reaction was to modernize its smallest-capacity model, the 2.5 hp.

Evolution, Not Revolution

The 2.5hp Moto Légère ("Light Motorcycle") gained mechanically operated side valves. Its elegant new flat tank curved downwards at the rear to lower the saddle height and also boasted nickel-plated fittings and maroon paintwork lined out in gold. Elsewhere, traditionalism still reigned supreme. Peugeot knew better than to frighten its clientele with too much rapid progress.

The Cheapest French Twin

The direct belt drive was retained (with a variable ratio engine pulley which could only be adjusted when the bike was stopped) and Truffault spring forks, which had a long travel but wore out quickly. Sold for just 1050 francs (approximately $190) with a complete tool kit, the Moto Legere was the cheapest twin cylinder bike on the French market and its chief rival was the Terrot Motorette No.3, which was only a single-cylinder but cost 985 francs ($178). The new Moto L€~gere won its

category in the 1913 Paris-Nice rally and was catalogued as the "Paris-Nice" model.


Engine: air-cooled 345cc (56x70mm) 45 degree V-twin four-stroke with magneto ignition

Power Rating: 6hp

Valves: Side-valve

Fuel System: Claudel carburetor

Transmission: belt

Suspension: Truffault leading link (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: two brake shoes on belt pulley rim

Wheels: wire clincher

Weight: 132 lb

Maximum Speed: 44 mph

Produced between 1913 and 1915, the Paris-Nice was offered with a range of options, such as a Peugeot rear bub clutch (125 francs), a Britishmade Armstrong 3-speed bub with tank change (350 francs) or a sidecar (325 francs).

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
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