The story of Automoto

Monocylinders 2 HP

Moto “Automoto” 2 3/4 HP type Toerist D

Engine : – 2 cylinder in V, “Automoto-Moser”, bore size: 56 mm – Stroke : 70mm – operated by valves.
Magneto (magneto ignition): – Bosch high voltage armoured
Carbu : “Automoto-Moser” with throttle slide control on the handlebars – throttle on the carburator for corresponding air flow.
Gas tank : nickel plated and ornamented copper with a met a capacity of 6 liters of gasoline and  1 liter of  oil. – drain tap.
Drive : By means of a trapezium shaped drive belt
Springy frontfork: Type “Wright” with  compensation springs
Brakes: Front – braking on a  op een pulley-rim, operated by a pedal, left, next to the magneto
Frame:made from straight tubes, at the bottom interrupted to allow support of the engine by steel engine plates.  Distant between ground level and the central top tube 0,725 meter.
Mudguards: enforced and easy to demount – Mud-rag attached to the bottom of the front mudguard
Tires: “Continental”  600 x 50, enforced behind.

1911 – After being disrupted in 1907, the production was resumed by the firm: “ Nle CML”, (New CML)
An agreement with the Swiss motorcycle manufacturer Moser was made for the production of the Mono cylinders 2 HP ( bore size 68 x stroke 78 mm, volume 283,3 cc ) and the two cylinders in V of 2,75 HP ( bore size 68 x stroke 78 mm, volume 552,2 cc).

Magneto ignition and carburetors were made by Moser. The frame parts look like to be copy’s of the Moto Rêve. And because these frames were offered rough to be used by manufactures, you can ask yourself if it wasn’t a Moto-Rêve frame that was delivered for some time in St-Etienne .
This hypothesis is worked out through the following argument.

Moto-Rêve of 1913, shows the two cylinder type C on the same scale as the drawing of the two cylinder Automoto

An excellent illustration from the catalog of Moto Rêve of 1913,shows  the tw0 cylinder type C on the same scale as the drawing of the two cylinder Automoto, published in the edition “Cycles et Automobiles Industriels”; then the frame of the Moto-Rêve was turned and the frame of the Genevian motorcycle was overlayed on the stéphanoise (Automoto) motorcycle.
As the sequence of the 4 illustrations on the left proves, a certain doubt is justified.
The frames of some Moto-Rêve’s of 1912 and 1913 are more likely to originate from Automoto even though they were differently equipped in Genève.

Moto AUTOMOTO one cylinder : 850 Fr

Engine … …  Automoto Moser 2PK
Valves … …  Operated
Bore size … …  68 m/m
Stroke … …  78 m/m
Magneto … …  Bosch high voltage
Carburetor … …  Carburetor Moser
Tank … … Nickel plated copper, volume 5 liter gas and 2 liter oil.
Transmission … By means of trapezoidal belt
Two brakes … At the front of the rim and the back of the hub
Frontfork … … Springy
Mudguard … …  Steel plated
Frame … …  Special enforced, height 50 cm
Wheels … …  Diameter 600
Foot rests … …Reversible
Luggage carrier …behind
Saddle … …  With springs, especially for motorcycles
Weight … … 35 kilo
Tires … … “Persan” enforced.

1912

On the right, a photo from the 1912 catalog, showing the right side of the motorcycle, this time equipped with the swinging fork.

The 2,75 HP of 1912

The same basic models, offered for, respectively, 850 and 950 Francs.
A first form of suspension, which does seem to be light, is introduced. It closely resembles that of the motorcycle KD
There are two catalogs, one with a purple cover and one with a maroon cover.

Engine Moser 2,5 HP model M

1913 – In 1913 a complete reversal finds place:  In a new chassis, now far more modern, 2 Moser side-valves engines are built in:   The type T , gets the “promised” old two-cylinder  3,5 HP ( without any modification of the dimensions: still a bore size 68 x stroke 76 mm for  552,2 cc), on the other hand the model M profits from a new vertical mono cylinder of 2,5 HP (bore size 68 x stroke 80 mm,  being 290,5 cc); completely different than the previous 2 HP engine. A clutch was an option , but the beautiful hanging front fork made by “Wright”, brought to you by the firm, is being used.
It seems like that, despite the accompanying catalogs which aren’t dated, the models of 1912 were further sold under the name SCL till the beginning of World War I in 1914. The engines were still delivered by  Moser, but have now the inscription Automoto.

2, 5 HP type M, version “toerisme” without belt tensioner
Clutch Automoto

The Clutch Automoto

“Our new clutch with a kind of plates, what seemed best for the motorcycle, it allows the maximum progressiveness and gives the slightest tension.
We felt a need to shift from annoying sticking out pulleys and clutches which were realized by the tension of the drive belt, which is a second choice and a poor technical solution, with a frequent irregular operation which caused the rapid wear of the belts, and had no other benefit than a lower second-hand price.
This clutch is the most robust and the most solid one that can be made. In addition the disassembly is extraordinary easy and the lubrication takes care that the clutch always keeping its progressive function without additional  adjustments.”

The Wrigt front fork
Just one motorcycle during the Salon in 1913; the bicycle is dominant.

1914

The range was significantly expanded: with a 2 1/2 HP mono cylinder type M and a 3 1/2 HP mono cylinder (type to be specified further); a two cylinder, 2 3/4 HP which reappeared under the name type D, a 3 1/2 HP type T stays maintained, however a 6 HP appears ( type not established), whereby the the latter two models can be supplied with sidecar. Two kinds of clutches and forks depending on the cylinder volume of the engine. In addition to the standard versions, the so called  “Tourists” versions, were offered as the “Luxe” versions; the main difference is the belt tensioner. You can have for the 2 1/2 mono cylinder and the 31/2 two cylinder a clutch with gear drive on a engine pulley with a big diameter, which is a positive contribution to the performance of the belt and to limit slippage.

They are identical – a picture from a catalog to prove it – a combination of a clutch with gear drive with chain drive, that made sure the 3 1/2 PK “Sport T” was placed in the top range of the technology.
At last the possibility of a rear hub with clutch appeared and 2 or 3 gears for the “Touriste” and “Luxe” versions; on invoices 420 or 470 francs. When no brand like Armstrong or Sturmey-Archer was added people thought that they were home made.

Moto “Automoto” 2 3/4 PK type Toerist D

Engine : – 2 cylinder in V, “Automoto-Moser”, bore size: 56 mm – stroke : 70mm – valve operated.
Magneto (magneto-ignition): – Bosch high voltage armoured
Carbu : “Automoto-Moser” with throttle slide control to the handlebar – throttle on the carburator for corresponding air flow
Gas tank : nickel plated and ornamented copper with a met a capacity of 6 liters of gasoline and  1 liter of  oil. – drain tap.
Drive : By means of a trapezium shaped drive belt
Springy front fork: Type “Wright” with  compensation springs
Brakes: Front – braking on a  pulley-rim, operated by a pedal, left, next to the magneto
Frame: made from straight tubes, at the bottom interrupted to allow support of the engine by steel engine plates.  Distant between ground level and the central top tube 0,725 meter.
Mudguards: enforced and easy to demount – Mud rag? attached to the bottom of the front mudguard
Tires: “Continental”  600 x 50, enforced behind.
Collapsible parking stand which automatically attaches to the rear mudguard
Price : 975 francs

Accessory for brake working on the inner part of the pulley-rim:                                      25 fr
Accessory for silencer with valve for free or restricted passage of exhaust fumes           25 fr
Accessory for springy front fork “Automoto”                                                                         50 fr
Accessory for luggage carrier in tube structure, gas welded:                                               10 fr
————————————————————————————–
Only the equipment of the “Automoto” factories can realize such a perfect machine for such a low price.

Moto “Automoto” 3 ½ PK type Sport T

Engine : – 2 cylinder in V, “Automoto-Moser”, bore size: 68 mm – stroke: 76mm – valve operated.
Magneto (magneto ignition): – Bosch high voltage armoured
Carbu : “Automoto-Moser” with throttle slide control to the handlebar – throttle on the carburetor for corresponding air flow.
Gas tank : copper, descending from behind, extra luxurious decorated  – filter in fuel pipe  – drain tap.
Drive: By trapezoidal drive belt, extra reinforced, choice of leather “Houben” or rubber.
Belt tensioner: patented “Automoto”, functions automatically.
Springy Front fork : “Automoto” a dubbel jointed parallelogram.
Two brakes:  Front and rear- braking on the pulley-rim, one controlled by a pedal and the second controlled  by a lever at the handlebar.
Frame : lowered at the back – top central tube, arched – covered with enameled black lacquer and decorated with lines.
Foot rests: with aluminum rests
Mud guards: enforced with flanges/side pieces to the side and easy  to demount – Mud-rag attached to the bottom of the front mudguard
Tires : “Continental”  600 x 50, enforced behind.
Collapsible parking stand which automatically attaches to the rear mudguard

Price : 1300 francs
Type “Sport D”, same model but with a engine  2 3/4 pk,  tire size 600 x 55
Price : 1.180 francs
Ideal machine for many rides through the country.

People saw the rise of the “Sport” T of D versions with lowered frame and an alternative free silencer controlled by a pedal. In those days motorcycles had an exhaust without significant damping materials in their silencers.  Dit werd niet geplaatst, omdat de 2 en 3 PK motoren uit die tijd al niet zo veel vermogen hadden, helemaal geen vermogen meer zouden hebben. Dus reden ze toen allemaal lustig rond met een vrije uitlaat. Dit gaf veel herrie.

Op zich was dat in het wijdse Franse platteland geen probleem, maar in de steden en dorpen kwamen er snel verordeningen om deze herrie aan banden te leggen. Dus bouwden de fabrikanten in de knalpot een soort klep die de uitlaat (en de herrie) bijna volledig afsloot waardoor het probleem weer eens goedkoop van de baan was. Eenmaal buiten de steden en dorpen kon men al rijdend via een pedaal binnen voetbereik, deze klep terug openzetten en had je weer de beschikking over het volle vermogen (en de herrie) van de motor.

To be continued….