Sunday 7 December 2008
Hello again from BALLS EMPORIUM!
Bonne Route !
Winter is now fully upon us, and many of us have retreated to our sheds, basements and/or workshops to wile away the long, cold nights working on our winter projects, whether they be tuning up our favorite Solexes, or perhaps bringing back to life some new acquisition.
As for news in Solex World, a group of Dutch riders have completed their trip along Route 66 on their new Velosolex 4800s, overcoming hardships and making new friends along the way. Read about the trip on the Velosolex-America website website .
In Hungary, whatever original Velosolex machinery is left has been moved to a new factory. All of the heavy, large chains of machinery have been scrapped, but Mr. Safar and company can still supply their customers with about 80% of their catalog. The only machines to go to Mopex were a flywheel magnetizer/demagnetizer and two motor test benches. Unfortunately, some key pieces of machinery no longer exist, including the machine used to finish the connecting rods, the machinery used to make the air filter bases, and the piston-making machinery. A mad scramble seems to be taking place to locate a new source of pistons, which are not easy to fabricate correctly.
Last time around, I mentioned a rumour about a large cache of NOS parts being found in the US, and this has turned out to be true. Jeff from Velocruz has a connection to these parts and has been shipping out beautiful original motor hoods, air filters, breaker points, pedals, stickers, and whatever else he can get his hands on. The owner of the parts has also been assembling and selling complete Solexes from the stash of parts. Unfortunately, I have seen the bikes advertised as having been found in a warehouse in France, which is not true. Very nice bikes all the same, though.
Long-awaited…new brake shoes for the 83 mm drums are now available from several sources, including VSX71 and Mobillex, both in France.
Across the Swamp, I often see Brian’s workshop light on late at night into the early morning hours as he toils away repairing and/or rebuilding Solexes and Solex motors for his customers near and far. He often posts photos and videos of his work on his photo and video pages and invites everyone to check them out:
With Brian’s mechanical help, Brooklyn Solex continues to put more and more Solexes on the streets of New York City. I suspect another large showing of Solexes at the 2009 Bastille Day Rendezvous, so start making plans now for the only annual Velosolex event in the States.
The folks over at Solex Millenium are constantly updating their site with newly found photos, advertisements, stories, recent event photos, and more, so be sure to check back often.
This year is coming to an end and a new one will soon be upon us, and so I wish unto everyone out there a safe and healthy holiday season, and the same for the coming year.
Please keep the questions and comments coming!
Saturday 13 September 2008
Bonjour Solexists !
All reports are in, and the word is that the huge VeloSolex gathering in Holland was a big success, with nice weather and over 600 Solexists in attendance, including brothers Ani and Ototo Shimoyama from Japan. Ototo designed the logo for the event, and Ani’s photos can be seen on his website .
Also present was Jean-Claude Toudy and the Solex Millenium team. One can see five pages of event photos on their website .
The weather was also beautiful this year for the annual Greater New York Citroën and Velosolex Club’s Bastille Day Rendezvous in New York City. Twenty-five Solexes and thirty Citroëns did battle with the famous Manhattan traffic for the largest concentration of Solexes ever in New York. Robert Arbor from Le Gamin.
provided pre-ride café and croissants for the participants, after which I unfortunately had to leave in order to lecture at an international metaphysics conference being held downtown. Brian was of course present for the whole Bastille Day event and has posted photos as well as some videos .
Big news in Solex World is that new white plastic petrol tanks are finally available. I guess those rumours were true. It seems that Jeff Matthews from VeloCruz played a major part in getting this task done. Jeff is selling the new petrol tanks, new white rotor hoods, and many other Solex parts and accessories on his comprehensive website .
Several rumours this time around…Velosolex piston and rotor fabricating machinery going to Slovakia…modified Solex motors being made in the US…a huge cache of NOS parts being sorted and inventoried…
Just received an email from David in N. Hants who is having a bit of trouble getting up the hills; remember that Solexes, having only 0.8 HP and friction-drive, are not hill climbers whatsoever, and that Solex and rider must work together to get up the hills.
The weather is getting cooler here at night now, and summer is coming to an end. It’s time to start gathering parts for that winter rebuild you’ve been planning. Keep the queries and comments coming!
Wednesday 2 April 2008
Hello Solex friends !
Spring is officially here, and hopefully you have completed your winter project. Charlie over in Rowlands Castle, which is about midway between Chichester and Portsmouth, is having some motor stalling trouble with one of his two Hungarian Solexes and is looking for help in his area. If anybody out there thinks that they would like to help Charlie, please contact me at:
and I will put you in contact with him.
Steve at STEVE’S MOPED & BICYCLE WORLD in New Jersey has contacted me to let me know that he has received the first shipment of new .VELOSOLEX S 4800 bikes from the Mopex factory in France. All of the bikes are black and are slightly different from the standard Blacknroll bikes sold by Mopex, including being equipped with a plastic fuel tank instead of the usual metal tank. Information about these bikes can be seen on his website.
Preparations continue for the huge international celebration of the “60 YEARS OF THE SOLEX IN HOLLAND”. Over 500 Solexists have signed up so far! Check the Events page for details and a link to their website.
I have seen some evidence that new white fuel tanks and rotor hoods may soon be available to help you complete that restoration of your model 5000, 4600 or 3800 Super Luxe, so keep your fingers crossed! Here is a link to the most recent VeloCruz Solex newsletter :
My good friend Patrick in Alès has caught Solex fever, having purchased his first Solex, a beautiful S 3300, and completed his first “balade”, the Solex’Aude – BaLLade Cathare, photos of which have been posted on this page:
La Balade du Pays Cathare
Patrick hopes to attend many more balades, having discovered that special something, that special feeling, that all of us Solexists have already found.
Bonne Route !
Monday 25 February 2008
Hello Solex friends !
Winter is nearing the end, and I am hearing from Solexists everywhere who are venturing out with their winter-time rebuilds and acquisitions. Pete over in Brighton rode his German S 3800 with a group of about 30 other riders of similar low-powered machines, including five other Solexes, with the only Solex breakdown in the group being from a fractured fuel pipe. For others who have suffered through this catastrophe and don’t wish a repeat performance, you may want to change your fuel lines to copper pipes as explained on the FAQS page : http://briansolex.free.fr/faqs.html.
Ray, also in the UK, contacted me wondering where the frame number on his newly acquired S 3800 could be found, swearing that he looked everywhere. I informed him that not every Solex has a frame number, and that the engine numbers were used for identification, a list of which can be found on the Engine Numbers page :
Larry in the US is now the proud owner of a fine model 1400 and is anxious for the snow to melt so that he can take his new machine for a proper run. Larry got a nice surprise when he opened the bell to find two spare bulbs screwed into their secret hiding place.
I’ve recently heard from my friend Jean-Claude in Compiegne who is constantly updating his international, multi-language Solex website SOLEX MILLENIUM. Many rare advertisements and photos can be found on his excellent site :
Jean-Claude is always looking for new photos for his Photo of the Month page, so if you think you have a photo that is appropriate, be sure to send it to him, along with a short caption detailing the place and date that the photo was taken.
Many questions come in about the status of the Hungarian factory. Word from Mr. Safar is that they “have not stopped production of spare parts for the Solex.VELOCRUZ :
http://www.velocruz.com continues to be a major supplier worldwide of the Hungarian-made parts.
Lastly, I’ve updated the Links page with several new links.
Bonne Route !
Sunday 3 February 2008
Hello to all of my Solex friends!
I do hope that everyone is making it through the winter in good order, working on those rebuilds and restorations, perhaps in preparation for attendance at one of the many Solex events that will take place this year.
Pete in England has been busy adding to his growing collection of Solexes and related items, getting closer to his apparent goal of having one of each model Solex. And Masayuki in Japan has purchased a model 5000 which he hopes to bring back to life. Be sure to look for Pete and Masa at what will no doubt be the biggest Solex celebration of the year,
"The 60 Years of the Solex" event in Holland; check the events page for details. If you happen to be across the pond in July, make plans to attend the only major VeloSolex event in the US, the GREATER NEW YORK CITROËN AND VELOSOLEX CLUB's Bastille Day Rendezvous, which will take place in New York City on Sunday, July 13th.
Again, check the events page for details. For photos and review of last year's event, go to the SOLEX MILLENIUM site :
My assistant is working on the travel arrangements at the moment, so I hope to see you there!
Please note the new email address to contact me here at the Balls Emporium with your questions and comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until the next news,
Happy Solexing !
Saturday 27 October 2007
After a long period of rest and solitude,
I am back and feeling better than ever! I do hope nobody thought
that I had actually died. It was just my spirit that was not doing
so well. I guess it happens to all of us at some point in life.
But, with the help of my Solexes and my Solex friends, I have conquered
my demons and made it back to Solex World. I would like to thank
my brother Lein for keeping the website in good order while I was
away. Good show, my dear man! OK, let’s get right into it.
I have been informed by Jean-Claude in France that the great international,
multi-language, Solex website, SOLEX MILLENIUM, has a new address: http://cyclo60.pagesperso-orange.fr
All Solexists are advised to check the site often, as
it is being constantly updated. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it
to the Bastille Day Citroen and VeloSoleX Rendezvous in New York City
as I had planned, but I can see by the photos and review posted on
the SOLEX MILLENIUM site that all went
well with the rally: BASTILLE
The big news I suppose is the upcoming "60
YEARS OF THE SOLEX IN HOLLAND " event that
will be taking place next year. Check the details on the Events
page. Please note the new email address to contact me here at the
Balls Emporium :
Well, it’s time now for my nightly ritual of riding one of my Solexes around the neighborhood; perhaps a ride down to the swamp to see who and what is out and about…
Friday 19 October 2007
I am coming Back !
I updated the Events
page with the poster of the 60 YEARS OF THE
SOLEX event taking place in OOSTERBEEK
, in the Netherlands on 10 & 11 may 2008.
Tuesday 25 April 2006
I ADDED some information on Danish patents to the
History page after an email
in Denmark. I also added a link on the Links
page to the VeloSoleX Annual Rally on the Danish island of
I have updated
page with the poster of the 60 YEARS OF THE VELOSOLEX event.