1914 Magnat-Debon 'Motocyclette 3 HP 1/4' Engine no. 2410
Lot 401
1914 Magnat-Debon 'Motocyclette 3 HP 1/4'
Engine no. 2410
Sold for €11,500 (US$ 12,142) inc. premium

Lot Details
1914 Magnat-Debon 'Motocyclette 3 HP 1/4' Engine no. 2410 1914 Magnat-Debon 'Motocyclette 3 HP 1/4' Engine no. 2410 1914 Magnat-Debon 'Motocyclette 3 HP 1/4' Engine no. 2410
1914 Magnat-Debon 'Motocyclette 3 HP 1/4'
Engine no. 2410
Already an important French bicycle maker based in Grenoble, Bicyclettes Magnat-Debon diversified into powered two-wheelers in 1902 using Dufaux, De Dion and the high-quality Zedel engines. By 1908, Zedel's distinctive design of an inclined engine with rear-mounted magneto, mounted by Magnat-Debon in a single-loop frame, was being extensively tested in competition.

From 1910, the Zedel company was developing advanced overhead-valve, fixed-head motors and, following extensive trials, Magnat-Debon listed these for their 1914 range together with a new and distinctive cylindrical petrol and oil tank. The 197cc engine had the pushrod-operated valves set in individual bronze caps and both inlet and exhaust ports were on the right-hand side with ignition by high-tension magneto and suction lubrication. The frame was a simple cradle with pedal-gear and belt-drive fittings built in, with the tank mounted between the top-tubes by straps and buffers with a minimum of tank-top controls. An early form of telescopic front fork completed the machine, which sold at 1,325 francs and was immediately hailed by the press.

The Magnat-Debon offered here is an example of the cutting-edge of French two-wheel technology, cut short by the Great War period, making it not only a rarity but a highly desirable one. Beautifully restored, it is a Magnat-Debon from the company's early period, eligible for the best events and not to be missed. Please note that at time of cataloguing it was not possible to discern the frame number, which could either read '9572' or '9512'.

Footnotes

  • Magnat-Debon « Motocyclette 3 HP ¼ » 1914
    Moteur n° 2410

    Fabricant de bicyclettes situé à Grenoble, la firme Magnat-Debon aborda le motocycle en 1902 en montant des moteurs de Dion-Bouton, Dufaux puis l'excellent Zedel. En 1908, le modèle Magnat-Debon caractéristique – moteur à cylindre incliné monté dans un cadre simple berceau interrompu et magnéto à l'arrière – a déjà été amplement essayé en course.

    À partir de 1910, la société Zedel développa des moteurs à soupapes en tête et culasse fixe que Magnat-Debon adopta après des essais prolongés sur sa gamme 1914 en même temps qu'un nouveau réservoir (essence et huile) cylindrique. Le moteur de 197 cm3 était doté de soupapes logées dans des chapelles en bronze séparées et placées du côté droit, d'un allumage par magnéto haute tension et d'un graissage semi automatique à dépression. Le cadre est un simple berceau avec un pédalier et une transmission par courroie et le réservoir « entre tubes » tenu par des pattes et des tampons porte un minimum de commandes. Une intéressante fourche télescopique primitive complète une machine vendue 1 325 francs et saluée par la presse.

    La Magnat-Debon proposée ici est un exemple de ces motos françaises à la pointe du progrès technique dont la carrière commerciale fut brisée par la Grande Guerre d'où son caractère rare et son intérêt pour les collectionneurs. Superbement restaurée, elle appartient au passé de la marque alors autonome et inventive. Éligible dans les meilleures manifestations, elle ne peut que retenir l'attention des connaisseurs. On notera qu'au moment de la rédaction du catalogue, le numéro de cadre est impossible à lire avec précision : « 9572 » ou « 9512 ».

Saleroom notices

  • Cette motocyclette est équipée d'un moteur à soupapes en tête Magnat-Debon de 397,61 cm3 et non pas d'un moteur Zedel de 197 cm3 comme indiqué par erreur au catalogue. This motorcycle is powered by a Magnat-Debon overhead-valve engine of 397.61cc and not a 197cc Zedel as implied in the catalogue description.
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