Tuesday 27 September 2005
FOR those of you who want more information on
the e-SOLEX here
is a short transcription of the e-SOLEX
e-SOLEX : THE ELECTRIC SOLEX
CHARACTERISTICS AND PERFORMANCE
- Electric Motor in the Rear
- Speed: 30 kph (18.6 MPH)
- Weight: 35 kg (77 lb) with the
- Battery Life (no pedalling)
- 1 hour (approximately
30 km [18.6 miles]) when using the Original Battery in the
Central Tube of the Frame
- 1½ hours (approximately
45 km [28 miles]) when also using the optional Spare Battery under the
- Brushless Motor: 36V 350W
- Original Battery -
- Lithium-Ion 36V 15AH
(350 mm x 90 mm x 90 mm)
- Recharge Time: 3 hours
- Battery Life: 700 recharges
- Weight: 5 kg (11 lb)
- Spare Battery -
- Lithium-Ion 36V 8AH (350
mm x 90 mm x 35 mm)
- Recharge Time: 3 hours
- Battery Life: 700 recharges
- Weight: 2.8 kg (6.2 lb)
SAFETY & COMFORT
- Brakes: Front & Rear
- Suspension -
- Telescopic Front Forks
- Spring Seat
- Wheels: 17" x 2¼"
Front & Rear Tyres
- Equipment -
- Battery Charge Indicator
- Lockable Front Compartment
- Rear Luggage Carrier
- Battery Charger: Included
(found in the Lockable Front Compartment)
I have also updated the Paint
Chart in the Data
section and the Flywheel
Clamp on the Toolkit
Monday 26 September 2005
I am pleased to tell you that John
Ingram of Canada
has kindly sent me tables of Paint Codes for
the VeloSoleX and
using this data I have put up a Paint
Chart in the Data
Sunday 25 September 2005
YESTERDAY I received the latest news simultaneously
from Compiegne, France
York City, US that a new,
electric-powered e-SOLEX is to be sold from the
middle of 2006! This is the long-awaited
news that VeloSoleX enthusiasts have waited to
hear for some time from Groupe
CIBLE. So here is a
quick transcription of the e-SOLEX
Press Release I
THE ELECTRIC SOLEX
1 - «SOLEX» : A NEW OWNER
Created in 1986 by Jean-Pierre
Bansard, Groupe CIBLE quickly established itself
in the development and the management of warehouses
and shopping centres and then developed its activities
in the whole Real Estate sector, both in France and
in various Mediterranean countries.
The group recently diversified
into two sectors:
- In 2004, Orangina granted Groupe
CIBLE an exclusive license for the production
and of the distribution of the Orangina drink in Turkey
- In the same year, Groupe
CIBLE repurchased the trademarks "SOLEX", "SOLEXINE"
and "VELOSOLEX", and decided to give them
lease of life by launching a 21st century model:
2 - «SOLEX» : A LITTLE BIT
It is during the Second World
war and because of Marcel Mennesson and Maurice
Goudard that the "SOLEX" is born. This cyclomotor
is marketed in France from 1946 by Solex, already the
world leader in the manufacture of carburettors. The
"VELOSOLEX", a cheap and practical cyclomotor,
has a successful life with 8 million units sold in France
and around the world until 1988.
In 1974, Renault and Motobecane
join together to take over and develop the trademarks. In
1983, Yahama repurchases Motobecane (renamed MBK) and
becomes the owner of "SOLEX". In 1998,
the Magneti Marelli group, subsidiary of FIAT, becomes
the new holder of the trademark "SOLEX" and grants
to IMPEX Hungary a user licence. Evolving standards,
particular environmental, prohibited from now on the
sale in France of this product under its original design.
In June 2004, Groupe
repurchases the legendary trademark with the objective
of giving it a new lease of life.
CIBLE gains the help of 2-wheel
specialists and the great Italian designers,
Pininfarina, to define the new look of the "SOLEX"
and to integrate into its design the latest, technical
3 - «SOLEX» : IN THE FRENCH
In order to better determine the
"SOLEX" image and expectations of the
public, Groupe CIBLE made a study on a representative
of the French population. What came out of this study?
- «SOLEX» : An
- To the question Which
current makes of cyclomotors do you know?
22 % of those asked said "SOLEX" spontaneously,
which places it in 5th position after Peugeot,
MBK, Piaggio and Yamaha, even though the "SOLEX"
was not marketed anymore after 1988
- To the question Do
you know the "SOLEX" make? 98%
of the people questioned answered Yes.
This answer puts
"SOLEX" in 1st position,
in front of Peugeot (96%), Yamaha (87%), MBK
(82%) and Suzuki (82%)
- «SOLEX» : A remarkable
level of approval
- To the question Do
you approve of the "SOLEX" make? 70%
of the people asked answer positively
- To the question For
you, is the "SOLEX" a product which
can come back into fashion? 80% of the questioned
people think Yes!!!
- «SOLEX» : The return
- To the question "SOLEX"
plans to launch a model with a new look. Do you think
that this is a good idea?
the idea of a new look "SOLEX" pleased
over 85% of those questioned. The most interested
were females aged between 20 and 34 years old.
- «SOLEX» : A strong
- To the question "What
reasons would you give for buying the new "SOLEX"? more
half of the people asked confirmed that they would ride
a "SOLEX" if the design and the price were
- «SOLEX» : A strong
desire to wait for a non-polluting means of transport
- The majority of people
expressed their wish to see the
"SOLEX" as a non-polluting
product for a new generation
4 - «SOLEX» : WHEN MYTH BECOMES
It appears from this
study that the "SOLEX" product is:
is to keep these values while adapting
them to the wishes and needs of today's consumers.
The new "SOLEX" will enable
easy and enjoyable trips for customers concerned about
safety, sound levels and the environment.
ITS NEW LOOK
Italian designer Pininfarina knew that it had to give the
new "SOLEX" a certain style while preserving
the silhouette of the legendary cyclomotor.
Six months of intensive and rewarding collaboration
between the teams of Pininfarina and Groupe
CIBLE resulted in their
- Search for
a modern silhouette
- Maintain the "SOLEX"
- Integrate into its design
the latest, technical
ITS TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
The new "SOLEX" is named
"e-SOLEX" because it is propelled by electricity.
Like its older brother, it will run up
to approximately 35 kph
and will weigh approximately 35 kg.
motor in the rear hub will function without noise
or gas emission.
With a cost per kilometre
20 times cheaper than that of a petrol-powered cyclomotor,
the "e-SOLEX" will be the most economic motor
vehicle in the market like its famous predecessor.
The electric power will be provided by a Lithium-Ion
battery. Light (less than 5 kg) and removable,
this battery allows easy handling which facilitates
its recharging at home or at work.
Located in the central tube of the frame,
it can provide power for approximately 30 km,
which corresponds to the needs of more than 90% of cyclomotor
An additional, optional battery can
be carried under the rear carrier
in order to increase the range if necessary.
The battery is recharged in approximately
3 hours using its charger which has a standard electrical
This battery can be recharged
more than 700 times, that is, a life-cycle of approximately
6 years if the average use is 3500 km per year.
will be assured by means of front and rear disc brakes. The lockable
front compartment will be able
to accomodate the battery charger as well as personal
As on the original model, the pedals
will make it possible to use "e-SOLEX" as
price inclusive of tax will be in the region of 950
After homologation the marketing of the
"e-SOLEX" should start in France by mid-2006, by
an intermediate network of bicycle, cyclomotor
and motor bike retailers.
The internationalization of the
"e-SOLEX" will be organized thereafter in
Europe and other continents by the means of
exclusive importation agreements with the various, targeted
target of the
"e-SOLEX" is young customers in the 15 - 35
year old age bracket
and predominantly female.
user will live in the city, carrying out short and frequent
trips. They will be concerned withenvironmental protection and the low cost of electric power.
Novel, practical, enjoyable and
economic the VeloSoleX enticed millions of users during
the 20th century. While making the most of these values adapted
to the needs and expectations of today's consumers,
the "e-SOLEX" continues into the 21st
century the fantastic story of the SoleX which started
more than 60 years ago.
Groupe CIBLE - 99 Avenue
des Champs-Elysees - 75008 - Paris
Tel: 01 56 62
73 00 - Fax: 01 40 70 13 86
Perry of London, UK
has emailed asking whether I recommend the
Black'n Roll or the Hungarian VeloSoleX S
3800. Well, it looks
like I should introduce him to the "e-SOLEX"
as the 3rd possible option!
Tuesday 20 September 2005
THIS evening I added a new Fuel
Basics page which briefly explains some of the components of Fuel since owners have voiced some
concerns that Premium and Super Unleaded Fuel (ie:
may have a detrimental effect on some parts within the
VeloSoleX engine as well as to human beings.
particular, it is suspected that the higher level of
Oxygenates in Premium and
Super Unleaded Fuels may swell or shrink
the Seal(s) used
in the VeloSoleX S 3800 Crankshaft Roller Bearing
and / or the SPI Lip Seal behind
this bearing) depending on the level of
Fuel Aromatics (Arenes)
Olefins (Alkenes) also
in the fuel. So for
the present moment I have had to alter my recommendations
for Fuel and hence Spark Plug type until more information
I have also fully revised the
added a Decompression
Valve section to the Cylinder
Head page and added Cranking
Compression Pressure and Peak
Combustion Pressure sections to the Compression
Levine from Atlanta,
has asked me whether CYKLOPRESS K.F.T. are
back in production and I believe at the moment they
produce to order unless anyone can update me any further.
Jack Minto of Power
Assisted Bicycles Ltd has sent me his contact
details which I have updated the History
page with. Delia is looking
for a VeloSoleX 330 Workshop
Manual so if anybody can help please drop
me an email. Jerry
in Arizona, US is
not having too much fun with his new Hungarian VeloSoleX S
having 7 spokes break in his rear wheel within a short
space of time. I did provide Jerry some
clues as to the possible reasons:
- Spokes usually break in the rear wheel
- Thin gauge or poor quality spokes will tend
to fail early
- Rider's weight is an important factor in whether
higher gauge spokes are really required or not
- When one or more spokes breaks, the rest will
tend to break soon after even if the faulty spokes
- Spokes must be under the same tension (causing
them to stretch slightly but equally)
- Spokes break more often because of low tension
than high tension
- If the spoke(s) break near the hub it could
be due to high-mileage spoke fatigue and if so all
spokes should be replaced together not just the
- All re-spoked wheels should be stress-relieved
before use (see http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html)
- The more times a spoke crosses another spoke,
the more load and strain that spoke can tolerate,
hence 2-cross and 3-cross lacing (eg: the VeloSoleX S
uses 2-cross lacing)
- A batch of faulty spokes is possible and country
of origin may be an important factor in spoke material
I took a quick look at my low-mileage Hungarian VeloSoleX S
and found that most of the spokes had very large gaps in
the spoke holes in the hub and
there were definitely some spokes wobbling around! So maybe I
too will have some fun on the road in the near future!
It must said that since
7 November 1988 when the last VeloSoleX rolled
out from the Saint Quentin factory in France, quality
control HAS gone downhill, confirmed by the
from VeloSoleX owners.
I had to rebuild my
NEW Hungarian VeloSoleX S
3800 because so many parts required
attention from the very first day! Some replacement gaskets I subsequently
holes incorrectly cut by 1 - 2 mm! I have to
say that the situation has become quite sad because eventually a poor reputation sticks not only
with the distributor and manufacturer butalso with the legendary
names of SoleX and VeloSoleX as well,
thus affecting its possible sales in the future in whatever
Hence, I really believe everyone involved in the sales, after-sales
service and parts supply of the VeloSoleX need to look again at the role they play in building the image of the French legend that we as VeloSoleX enthusiasts
have grown to love. Some of the most successful ventures are
those associated with people who pay attention
to detail and through hard work gain the respect and
As any owner can tell you, a VeloSoleX is
before deciding whether or not to get one you must not
forget the fun that can be had riding a correctly built, tuned
VeloSoleX past bemused people in the street
not to mention the questions that people ask!
York City, US has just sent some
photos in (thanks Brian, I will have a look in a second!)
so it just remains for me to say: Happy Solexing and
keep sending your photos in! Yes, Jerry
I would like to see that VeloSoleX of
yours back on the road and then you can send me a photo!
I hope you get it sorted out soon...
Friday 9 September 2005
WELL, hello again VeloSoleX S 3800 enthusiasts!
Back in rainy old London! Well, there was a sunny day
Firstly, I must thank Jean-Claude
from Compiegne, France
for his VeloSoleX photos he sent me which
I have posted in the Photo
Gallery. Jean-Claude has an excellent Media
page on his Solex
Millenium website with links to several Audio, Video and PDF files.
Jean-Claude also mentions
that Solex Club Quiberonnais
are holding a Rallye Costume
Des SoleX this weekend at 14.00 on Sunday
11 September 2005 at Place Hoche, Quiberon, France.
It's a bit of short notice but I have only just got
around to updating the site as I have had a number of
projects that need to be finished soon!
Updated the History
page with details of the 330
versions and the Gnom
clip-on bicycle engines made in Poland. Updated the
Data page with details of the Crankshaft Bearings
and Oil Seal. Updated the Transmission
Roller Table and Speed
Calculator on the Transmission
Roller page. Changed the term "Woodruff
Key" to "Rotor Key"
in the How
do I replace a worn Rotor Key? section on the FAQs
page following a suggestion by Brian
York City, US (thanks Brian).
Updated the Engine
Numbers page with the different versions of the
VeloSoleX 330. Added details of a Flywheel Clamp to the FAQs page.
Added photo of Diode Fitted to the
Coil Modification section of the Magneto