c.1913 Griffon 350cc V-twin
Ets. Griffon were established at 40 Rue Louis Blanc at Courbevoie-sur-Seine in 1902 and were just one of a mighty army of small French manufacturers battling for a share of the burgeoning motorcycle market. Their early models were essentially bicycles fitted with proprietary engines, however by 1903 they displayed no less than ten models at the Paris Show. Just one year later they boasted that one of their machines achieved a remarkable 65mph. Griffon understood the publicity gained from competition successes and participated actively in early motor sport. Production was later moved to Avenue de la Grande Armée in Paris. Their V-twin models built in the years immediately preceding the Great War offered state-of-the-art motorcycling in their period. Like so many other smaller manufacturers Griffon was swallowed up by the mighty Peugeot operation in the 1920s.
At the time of cataloguing little information is available regarding this machine although it was acquired for the Collection approximately six years ago, then described as dating from 1913. Our feelings are that it may possibly be slightly earlier. It is a lightweight sporting machine powered by a clip-on, twin-cylinder Moto Rêve engine a jewel-like unit built in Geneva. Final drive is by belt with pedal assistance for the steeper gradient and the machine is equipped with a brass oil headlamp and furnished throughout with nickel-plated fittings. The frame design accommodates a sporting type set-back saddle, enabling the rider to crouch forward, reducing wind resistance to a minimum for maximum performance. This French/Swiss machine so typifies the lightweight sporting motorcycle of the pre-war era. We hope that more information may be forthcoming regarding the history of this machine prior to the sale.