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News - Sep 2005
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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 Technical Document:



  • Electric Motor in the Rear Wheel Hub
  • Speed: 30 kph (18.6 MPH)
  • Weight: 35 kg (77 lb) with the Original Battery
  • 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 Rear Carrier


  • 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)


  • Brakes: Front & Rear Discs
  • Suspension -
    • Telescopic Front Forks
    • Spring Seat
  • Wheels: 17" x 2¼" Front & Rear Tyres
  • Equipment -
    • Speedometer
    • Battery Charge Indicator
    • Lockable Front Compartment
    • Rear Luggage Carrier
    • Pedals
  • 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 page.


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 section.


Sunday 25 September 2005

YESTERDAY I received the latest news simultaneously from Jean-Claude from Compiegne, France and Brian of New 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 received: 


e-SOLEX - Front

e-SOLEX - Side 

Press Contacts
Magali Alzraa:

Olivier Cohen:
Herve Lacroix:

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 a new lease of life by launching a 21st century model:  the "e-SOLEX"

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 CIBLE repurchases the legendary trademark with the objective of giving it a new lease of life.

Groupe 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 innovations.

In order to better determine the "SOLEX" image and expectations of the public,
Groupe CIBLE made a study on a representative sample of the French population. What came out of this study?

  • «SOLEX» : An exceptional reputation
    • 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 by referendum
    • 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 desirability
    • 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 right
  • «SOLEX» : A strong desire to wait for a non-polluting means of transport
    • The majority of people questioned expressed their wish to see the "SOLEX" as a non-polluting product for a new generation

It appears from this study that the "SOLEX" product is:

    1. Novel
    2. Practical
    3. Enjoyable
    4. Economic

The objective 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.

The celebrated 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 resolve to:

  • Search for a modern silhouette
  • Maintain the "SOLEX" heritage
  • Integrate into its design the latest, technical innovations

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.

The electric 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 users.

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 connector.

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.

Braking 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 effects.

As on the original model, the pedals will make it possible to use "e-SOLEX" as a bicycle.

The retail price inclusive of tax will be in the region of 950 Euros.

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 markets.

The prime target of the "
e-SOLEX" is young customers in the 15 - 35 year old age bracket and predominantly female.

The average 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: above 95 RON) may have a detrimental effect on some parts within the VeloSoleX engine as well as to human beings.

In particular, it is suspected that the higher level of Oxygenates in Premium and Super Unleaded Fuels may swell or shrink Elastomers (eg: 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) and 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 becomes available.

I have also fully revised the Toolkit page, added a Decompression Valve section to the Cylinder Head page and added Cranking Compression Pressure and Peak Combustion Pressure sections to the Compression Ratio page.

Joel Levine from Atlanta, GeorgiaUS 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 3800 after 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:

  1. Spokes usually break in the rear wheel
  2. Thin gauge or poor quality spokes will tend to fail early
  3. Rider's weight is an important factor in whether higher gauge spokes are really required or not
  4. When one or more spokes breaks, the rest will tend to break soon after even if the faulty spokes are replaced
  5. Spokes must be under the same tension (causing them to stretch slightly but equally)
  6. Spokes break more often because of low tension than high tension
  7. 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 broken ones
  8. All re-spoked wheels should be stress-relieved before use (see
  9. 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 3800 uses 2-cross lacing)
  10. A batch of faulty spokes is possible and country of origin may be an important factor in spoke material quality

After that, I took a quick look at my low-mileage Hungarian VeloSoleX S 3800 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 many reports 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 bought had 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 guise.

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 custom of others.

As any owner can tell you, a VeloSoleX is unique and before deciding whether or not to get one you must not forget the fun that can be had riding a correctly built, tuned and buzzing VeloSoleX past bemused people in the street not to mention the questions that people ask!

Oops! Brian of New 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 yesterday...

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 Engine 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 of New 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 Magneto Coil Modification section of the Magneto page.


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e-SOLEX, SOLEX and SOLEXINE are trademarks of Societie SINBAR - Groupe CIBLE

Copyright © 2008 BRIAN'S VELOSOLEX. All rights reserved. This is a personal website containing information for and by VeloSoleX enthusiasts. It is not intended to replace any official information and whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of all published information no guarantee is offered nor liability accepted for any loss or damage that may arise from any errors or omissions.