This history of the Solex is taken from the American Velosolex company website.
'Invented in 1946 by the French, the Solex is a powered bicycle rather than a moped, as a low cost,reliable transport for a decimated country. It is a classic design which, since its invention, has sold over 8 million, mainly in Europe and Scandinavia. They have a tremendous reputation for being fun, reliable and economic.
When the founder died, the business was passed on to his sons who quickly sold it to Yamaha, who in turn closed the plant and ceased production. The original tools, however were sold and with them, a new company, Impex has started production again now in Hungary. although the Velosolex brand is registered and produced in the US.
The 'new' Solex is therefore not a replica but the original, and a current power unit could be fitted to a 1946 model. The wonderful simple engine has, however, been modified to run on unleaded fuel and a tiny oil ratio of only 2-3% oil.
In the U.K. the Solex has to be licensed. The rider has to be 16 years or over and must wear a crash helmet. The Solex's outstanding reliability and performance figures, 23 mph+ and 200+ mpg, make it just as attractive a proposition for work or leisure today, as it was when first introduced.'
The Americans first discovered mopeds and small engined bikes like the Solex 40 years ago. At that time France was a major supplier of this unique two-wheeled cross between a bicycle and a motorcycle. Now that the cost of energy has become America's top- preoccupation, fuel-efficient vehicles are back in fashion. The old-school Solex powered bicycle is being resurrected. It is still manufactured in France but the “Velosolex” trademark is now American.
If you'd like a taster of what's in store on 2nd October, here's a video.
And a nice story by a Solex owner.
Visit the Monet & Goyon museum at Melle to see more of these bikes
Date - Sunday, 2nd October 2011
Time - Midday start- Midnight finish
Moules/Frites from 1900
Not recommended for dogs unless they can cope with motorbikes and lots of people