Gnome et Rhone Motorcycles

Gnome & Rhone Motorcycles


B & C Models
B 1921 - 1924 500cc SV
C 1924 - 1928 500cc SV

1924 - 1928 500cc
1923 Grand Sport 499cc Sidevalve 85x88mm

1924 - 1926 250cc Two-stroke

H: 1925 - 1927 175cc Two-stroke
H2: 1927 - 1929

1926 - 1927 500cc OHV

1927 - 1929 250cc Two-stroke

Gnome Rhone Model D4 500cc OHV 1926
Photo by Hans Denzel

1928 - 1932 500cc Sidevalve

1928 - 1932 500cc OHV


1929 250cc SV


Produced from 1929 to 1933

1st serial number: 60001

Colour: red and black

This model is derived from the 250ccc E3 type, using the same double cradle frame, front fork with suspension spring, shock absorber and steering brake. The machine is powered by a 4 hp side-valve 306 cc (69x82 mm) engine with automatic forced lubrication, wet sump, multidisc clutch, variable advance magneto and double lever carburetor. It has a 3 speed gearbox with hand shift and has a top speed of 55mph.


1) Some sources give production dates of 1929-1934


1930 - 1938
500 cc HO Twin


Produced from 1932 to 1939

1st serial number: 105001

Colour: black (cream or turquoise blue available as an optional extra)

This model uses the same chassis as the V2 introduced two years earlier. It was modified over the years, the frame and the forks being reinforced and the three-speed gearbox used was be replaced by a four-speed gearbox on later versions.

Various options were available: Jaeger 8-day clock, speedometer, luggage rack, saddlebags, foot gear change and chrome mudguards.

CM1 1931-1932 350cc OHV

1932 - 1935 350 cc
CM2 1932 - 1936 350cc OHV


Produced from 1934 to 1939

1st serial number: 501

Colour: black

The chassis of the Junior takes up the main outlines of the V2 and the CV2. It will undergo a few modifications along the years.

The motor, which was fastened on three points on the first versions, will be fastened on four points from Nr 2238 on. The cylindrical tool box will be replaced by two metallic saddlebags fixed on both sides of the rear mudguard under the luggage rack. The latest versions will have a lit number plate, and the diamond-shaped fuel tank logos will be replaced by a round enamelled model.

The fork spring will be replaced by Neiman rings in 1938.

D5A - D5C
D5A 1936 - 1939
D5C 1938 - 1939


Produced from 1938 up to 1939

1st serial number: 32001

colours: black or beige or turquoise blue

The D5 was adapted from the army version (D5A) released in 1936. Unlike the military version, the frame is closed-in over the fuel tank, which makes it necessary to disconnect the tank from beneath for removal

Modifications of the fork and the steering brake will be done from Nr 32201 on. The controls and the handlebar will also be modified, and a new more robust sidestand will be mounted.


Police/Military escort machines ordered by the Vichy government as a replacement for head of state motorcycle squad's aging Rene Gillet 1000cc machines which could no longer keep pace with the fast cars in which Petain traveled, thereby posing serious risks for the riders. The X40 used cycle parts from the XA2, the 750cc engine of the AX2, and a number of X40 specific parts.

The machines were later used as escorts for General de Gaulle and Vincent Auriol, and after being retired from active duty in 1952 many were stored in Fontainebleau until the late 1960s.

Only 50 machines were built.

1935 - 1939

Shaft drive HO twin, 750cc

XA 1935 - 1939
Shaft drive HO twin, 750cc, 80x72mm, Solex carburettor. Tyres 400x19 F&R, weight 180kg, max speed 110 km/h.


Produced of 1938 to 1945

1st serial number: 160001

Colour: army green (with various shades depending on the regiments) or gendarmerie blue

This vehicle was strictly reserved for the military authorities. The motorbike uses the stamped metal frame inspired by the other models of the range (fork with Neiman rings). It is coupled with a wheel-drive sidecar (except on the first models).

The engine is a side-valve 800 cc flat twin fitted with a four-speed gear box. Power is transmitted to the rear wheel by drive shaft and conical torque, and the sidecar wheel is directly driven by the final drive unit. One engages the gear by the means of a pedal coupled with a hand lever, and the rotating throttle handle is coupled to a hand throttle for off-road use. The dog clutch is operated by a pedal.

A five-speed gearbox version with reverse gear was also available.

1935 - 1939 350cc

1936 - 1939 350cc, chain drive, pressed metal forks, rigid rear.

R and R1

Produced from 1941 up to 1946

1st serial number: 500001

Colours: black/red or white/red

The GNOME & RHONE factories produce in 1941 a 100 cc motorbike called “R type”. As the clutch is not satisfactory, it will be modified, and the new model will be called R1.

The frame is made of stamped metal elements screwed all together. The fork shock absorbers are Neiman rings. On some versions they will be replaced by a small cylindrical spring shock absorber, the new model will be called “R1A”.


Produced from 1946 up to 1947

1st serial number: 502298

Colours: black/red or black

The R1 capacity is increased to 125 cc in 1946, the bike is now called R2. The chassis is almost identical.


Produced from 1948 up to 1950

1st serial number: 508501

Colour: black

The R3 replaces the R2 in 1948. It is fitted out with a new chassis: tubular frame and telescopic fork. They were advertised concurrently.


Produced from 1949 to 1951

1st serial number: 525001

Colours: black or aqua green

The R4 model was released in 1949. The chassis is almost the same as the R3. As regards the engine, the inlet pipe is increased from 18 mm to 20 mm, the exhaust diameter is also bigger, and a foot gear selector is now used.


Produced from 1951 up to 1956

1st serial number: 535001

The R4 became the R4B in 1951. The main modifications are the rear wheel fitted with a pin hub, and a larger brake drum diameter.


Produced from 1953 up to 1958

1st serial number: 545001

Colours: black or reseda green

The main evolution is the rear shock absorber, and the new cylinder head mounted on the engine.

A streamlined version is being brought out in 1955, but it will be not be much distributed.


Produced from 1955 up to 1959

1st serial number: 600001

Colours: light gray, red or red/beige

Even if it is called R4, this motorbike has nothing to do with the original type, apart from the fact that it is a three-speed gear 125 cc.

The chassis is completely different: new fork and frame with oscillating back suspension. The engine is totally new too, and gear selection is now done by the means of a rotating throttle handle coupled with the clutch lever.

The R4d was also marketed by Follis under the type G26 and by Motavia under the type 8TV.


1955 - 1959 125cc 2T

The R4f was also marketed by Motavia  under the type 9TV

R4S/R4S sport

Produced from 1956 up to 1960.

1st serial number: 1601601

colour: red/white or red/black.

This motorcycle will exist in three different versions. Initially with a single-seat saddle, it then turns into a two-seaters with a small sport handlebar, and is finally for the 1957 show fitted out with a more profiled fuel tank leaving more room to the pilot’s knees and arms.

R4s was also marketed by Follis under the type G32


1956 - 1960, 125cc 2T


L53 LC531 L5

Produced from 1953 up to 1960

1st serial number: 555001

Colour: black, reseda green or burgundy

A prototype is made in 1951, consisting in an R4C cycle part with a four-speed gear 175 cc engine, but the chassis is entirely redesigned for the commercial model which is then released.

A streamlined version also exists, it is called L531.

An economical version will come out in 1955, with the fork and the fuel tank of the R4, the L5 model.


Produced from 1954 to 1960

1st serial number: 565001

Colours: black or reseda green or burgundy

This motorcycle uses the same chassis as the L53 and the engine is almost identical other than the bore which was increased from 60mm for the 175 to 64mm for the 200.

This model also exists in streamlined version and trials version.

The trials machine (colours: cream or vivid red) differs from the other versions by its high muffler, narrow mudguards, the addition of a sump guard and the replacement of the centre stand by a stand on each wheel as well as a sidestand. As regards the engine, the ports and the exhaust have been modified in order to bring more torque at low rpm.



1st serial number: 566001

The military version was available from 1957 on, and was derived from the trials LX200. Some modifications were made to meet the army's requirements: 12 liter fuel tank with filtering valve, solo saddle, armoured ignition, duplex primary chain, raised air intake and gearbox breather to be enable fording a 50 cm deep stream, with 18 cm ground clearance.


Produced from 1955 to 1960

1st serial number: 583001

Colours: black or light gray

This 125 was inspired by 175 and 200 types, it shares the same chassis as the L5, and has a 125 cc engine with a 4-speed gearbox. Many gearbox parts are common to the 125, 175 and 200. It was fitted with and  ABG magneto and a Zenith 20MX carburettor.

R5 carénée is the streamlined version.

Type P (prototype)
A military machine of 125cc with raised exhaust, high ground clearance, rigid rear end, racks front and rear, solo saddle and telescopic forks. Of a countenance which only a mother could love, it is rumoured to have been left on the steps of an orphanage.
Type WM 350cc twostroke twin with 4 pistons. Advertised, but apparently did not go into production.

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