PAGE 35. French Cyclemotors: Le Poulain 1949 Model A; 1950 Motobloc Standard & Luxe; 1952 Selection

This is a brief resume of the models offered by le Poulain.

Front-mounted engines:
1949 Model A
1950 Motobloc Standard
1950 Motobloc Luxe

Centrally-mounted engines:
1952 Selection ‘Select 52’ Cyclemotor

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1949 Le Poulain 50cc Model A – Cycle Attachment on Eulette Cycle

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I’ve always liked le Poulain cyclemotors. The company was a well-respected upmarket manufacturer. The first le Poulains were front-mounted engines, and later they also developed the engine to fit in the conventional moped position. At the bottom of this page you can see my new-old-stock matching 1952 Selection ‘Select 52’ cyclemotors as an example of manufacturers that used le Poulain engines.

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The company started producing their range of ‘moteurs auxiliaires’ in 1949, and the Model A was the first model.

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Unlike some of the other engines fixed over the front wheel, le Poulain is a well-balanced machine.

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The only design faults I’ve found in these units is that the original gear levers used to rock the roller-wheel down onto the front tyre have nearly always disintegrated over the half a century they’ve been in existence. You’ll observe a re-manufactured set-up on this one, on the left side of the engine.

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This Model A was restored in 2007, and the attractive Eulette bicycle matches the engine’s interesting ‘fifties futuristic’ style.

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The follow-up models were introduced after only one year, so the Model A is now particularly scarce.

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1950 le Poulain Monobloc Standard and Luxe

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Compare the ‘Standard’ model in the advert above with the ‘Luxe’ in the advert below.

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I sold the two le Poulain Motoblocs pictured below earlier this year.

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The first (above) is an unrestored Motobloc Standard on a Terrot cycle. As the Luxe model introduced in the same year was so much more ‘modern’ – similar in looks to the very popular Dutch Berini, but much more stylish – the Motobloc Standard is now as rare as the Model A.

The restored le Poulain Motobloc Luxe is on a 1946 Peugeot frame

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1952 Selection Cyclemotors with le Poulain engines

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I managed to find a pair of new-old-stock matching Selection cyclemotors. I bought the first one in March 2007; here’s the story:

1952 SELECTION ‘SELECT 52’ CYCLEMOTOR with LE POULAIN ENGINE: Black

This is a 1952 Selection ‘Select 52’ cyclemotor with a Le Poulain cycle-attachment engine. It has never been used – at least until it was fired up recently.

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It’s quite an innovative arrangement – the Le Poulain engine operates via 3 gears on the back wheels. And there’s a spring inside the front handlebars for the front suspension!

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This cyclemotor was ‘new-old-stock’ in a French cycle shop that closed down in 1953. All I’ve had to do to it is replace the tyres. The tyres in these photos are its original French whitewalls (presumably with 1952 French air still inside). Unfortunately, although they look the part, the sidewalls are cracked so I’ve now installed replacement black tyres.

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Here’s a photo of it as it was stored, unused in the cycle shop.

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Selection was a well-respected upmarket cycle manufacturer/ distributor; and Le Poulain made a variety of cycle-attachment engines to fit to bicycles. Although I have come across various Le Poulain engines on cycles, I have never seen another model of the Selection/ Le Poulain.

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1952 SELECTION ‘SELECT 52’ MOPED with LE POULAIN ENGINE: Red
UPDATE 10th June 2007:

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I’ve now managed to track down another, nearly identical 1952 Selection. When the cycle shop in Paris closed down in 1953, its unsold stock was put into storage. Over 50 years later this collection was discovered and the 5 new-old-stock mopeds as well as 14 brand new Selection bicycles were sold off. My friend Patrick bought the black one, and I got it from Patrick when we did a British-French bike exchange in February 2007.

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But now I’ve tracked down the others. I’ve visited Herve, in Rouen, who had purchased the rest of the Selection collection; and I’ve swapped my Cyclemaster, a Minimotor and some euros for the red Select 52 moped pictured here, plus the unused 1952 Selection Racing Cycle shown at the bottom of the page. I’ve also bought another black Select 52 moped from him for my friend Peter.

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The two Select 52’s make ideal ‘his-and-hers’ mopeds. The tyres on the red one seem quite sound; I’ll get it running this week.

UDPATE November 2007:
Restoring vintage vehicles usually involve some saga or another. It turned out that the red Select 52 had a new piston in place, but no rings. Peter Stratford remanufactured the rings for me and they arrived back this week. So the red cyclemotor is still not finished, but should be soon.

FINAL UDPATE January 2008:

Here’s the Red 52 the first time I heard it run (bench-start):

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And now a picture of it in all its glory:

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I’ll have the pair of Select 52’s out at a show somewhere this summer

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To see the latest pictures of the red Select 52 PLEASE CLICK HERE

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1952 SELECTION CYCLE

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The other cycles in my collection are considerably older. But even though this 1952 Selection has very modern styling I could not resist its charms.

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It’s not often you manage to find unused 55-year-old vehicles. But it’s even more unusual to locate matching unused cyclemotors and unused bicycles from the same company!

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