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News - Aug 2005
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Wednesday 17 August 2005

WELL, I shall be away for another two week holiday starting this weekend, so in the meantime please continue sending your emails and I will answer them as soon as I return. Many thanks to all who have emailed me and given me useful comments on the site so far.

I must thank Jean-Claude from Compiegne, France for the photo of his VeloSoleX 5000 which I have posted in the Photo Gallery. Joel from the US has asked about piston lengths and as a result I have updated the Specification section of the Engine Data page. I have also updated the How do I replace a worn Rotor Key? section on the FAQs page. Until the next time...


Sunday 14 August 2005

JEAN-CLAUDE from Solex Millenium has forwarded me the link of Bernique's new forum at Forum Cyclomoteurs a Galet. Bernique's website also has some Crankshaft Bearing (6203) replacement information for the VeloSoleX at Les Doubs Du Solex.

There's a new Economy Single Passenger train service situated in the Parc De Chanteraines, France, the creation of Daniel Guilloux and Vincent Timcowsky. Powered by the awesome VeloSoleX S 3800  engine it does appear to be lacking in certain safety features... For more information, look at the Trolex at the website Solex Millenium.

For those who would like to find out more about the VeloSoleX S 3800 in Hungary, there is the website Solex Barati Kor with an English page and the Solex Barati Kor Forum. It should be possible to translate from the Hungarian using an online machine translation such as Translate Now.

With regard to the website I've added a Printer button to the top left-hand corner of each page. That's about it for now.


Friday 12 August 2005

I received a request from Don in the US yesterday on how to determine to location of the keyway in the rotor, as the key has been worn away on his 1966 VeloSoleX S 3800 and he needs to replace it. I had the details at hand and decided it may be a good idea to also paste the information in the FAQs section.

I've also added a couple of photos in the FAQs showing the long and short pistons that have been used on the S 3800. Well, it is time for my dinner, so for now, "Au Revoir".


Thursday 11 August 2005

I CHANGED the website menu again (!) and also added a new Site Map to navigate quicker. I just noticed that the German site IG have updated their website with a smart new menu. A new SOLEX website at Van de Ven SOLEX  in Limburg, Holland has popped up offering Accessories to buy and also a Forum to read and post to (although a bit empty at the moment!). Ik denk dat het kijkt alsof een interessante website!


Tuesday 9 August 2005

JUST a few organizational changes to the website menu and a new Carburettor Venturi Diameter Calculator on the Carburettor page. My goodness - my fish and chips are getting cold! I must go...


Thursday 4 August 2005

FIRST, I must thank very much Brian from New York City, US for the many photos he emailed me of the Bastille Day Event on Sunday 17 July 2005. Despite an earlier slight drizzle, 4 Solexes turned up along with 18 French automobiles. Howie from VeloSoleX America, one of the event organizers, rode his 1973 Pli-Solex that was recently rebuilt by Brian for him. Manny showed up on a 1965 model S 3300. Glen participated on his boss's 1975 S 3800. His boss, Steve of Steve's Moped asked for a volunteer to go to the event with the Solex which had Steve's Moped advertising all over it and hand out business cards and brochures. Young Glen (15 years old) reluctantly volunteered, anticipating a horrible day. By the end of the day, he was saying that it was the best day of his life and that he had never had such a good time. Brian rode one of his 1974 S 3800 models. Monsieur Francois Delattre gave a little speech in French then waved the flag for the start and they were off! It looks like everybody had a ball of time that's for sure! Over 60 photos of the event can be seen at

As far as the website goes, well, I must say I am quite busy in the process of adding and reorganising sections, so for now I have only time to paste a quick transcription of a French news article on page 18 of this month's Capital Magazine that Jean-Claude of Solex Millenium forwarded to me:


Capital Magazine N 167, August 2005

Two industrialists begin to clash again, each one from his corner, about the puttering two-wheel vehicle of which they both remain insanely in love.

It's a like a Clochemerle fight that only the French can manage. And it will have as a background the World Of Two-Wheels Show this October in Paris. In the middle of the Japanese and Italian motor bikes fighting each other with power and decibels, visitors will see two reincarnations of the Solex clashing, this puttering symbol of French mechanical engineering. Because this machine formerly ridden by Brigitte Bardot and Jacques Tati still arouses passion. So much so, that two fanatics of this machine bitterly argue about its heritage.

In the boxing ring: Dominique Chaumont, a 59 year old qualified engineer, the head of the Mopex company, defender of the original version and Jean-Pierre Bansard (65 years old), co-founder of Usines Center, promoter of a completely revised 21st century version of the Solex. The first dreams of launching on the market a faithful copy (though equipped with a catalytic exhaust pot) of the S 3800 model which goes back to 1965. It's nearly 20 years since Domenica Chaumont, who repurchased the production line of the two-wheeled vehicle of MBK, had tried to resuscitate the animal, in between two engineering trips to Asia.

The Problem: the VeloSoleX trademark belonged during these years to the Italian firm Magneti Marelli and Chaumont never succeeded in repurchasing it because the asking price (200,000 Euros) seemed excessive to him. So, not being able to use the trademark, he renamed his clone Black'n Roll.

His competitor, Jean-Pierre Bansard, for his part, didn't hesitate to sign a cheque with the Italians. At the end of 2004, he owned the names Solex and VeloSoleX. He immediately attacks Domenica Chaumont for counterfeit and commercial gain. The Reason: his Internet site used the VeloSoleX trademark. The co-founder of Usines Center asks Pininfarina to re-design the Solex, while his rival prepares a faithful copy of the S 3800 from 1965. It's because he has ridden this cyclomotor for a long time, like thousands of French not so well off, that Bansard launches out in this venture.

This self-taught person, today at the head of the Cible Group, specialized in commercial real estate and with his subsidiary company SINBAR swore to himself to bring the first two-wheeled vehicle he had, back into fashion. He even asked Pininfarina, the prestigious Italian body designers, to re-design the animal. Nobody yet has seen the latest sketch, but the SINBAR camp has good morale.

"The Black'n Roll is just a cheap imitation of a something from the past" adds a collaborator. "We, we want to reinvent the cheap and reliable machine - the dream of many young people."

So, the next fight will take place at the World Of Two-Wheels Show. While waiting in Courrieres, situated in the large suburbs of Lille, the team of Domenica Chaumont are working. A handful of workmen start to assemble the Black'n Roll, starting with the parts produced by Hongdu, a Chinese aeronautical manufacturer. Tons of components are loaded onto a boat, down a tributary of the Yang-Tse river, via Shanghai and across the ocean to Antwerp before arriving by container to Lille.

"For 15 years, this conglomerate in China has manufactured copies of the Solex without problems. I gave them the original plans." says Chaumont. He even insists that the son of Marcel Mennesson, the inventor of the Solex (and also a qualified engineer), yielded to him the invention rights of this cyclomotor. "As I have them until 2030, I could attack my competitor for taking the intellectual property rights" he threatens. While waiting, he hopes to knock out some 6,000 examples in 2006 and 15,000 in 2009. The Selling price: 900 Euros.

On the other hand, the Solex, will also be put on sale for less than 1000 Euros. That's what you call sticking to your way.
Patrick Chabert


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