Marcel Viratelle (1877-1954) built motorcycles, sidecars and cyclecars in the years 1906 through 1924, in Paris and Lyon-Villeurbanne.

At the Paris Salon of 1906 Viratelle presented a motorized bicycle with advanced features: four-stroke engine 178cc with an overhead exhaust valve and an automatic inlet. It was water-cooled with a honeycomb radiator system somewhat similar to the Bradshaw, with a belt-driven fan from the magneto drive. The gearbox was three-speed in unit with the engine controlled by Bowden cable from the handlebars, with another similar lever controlling the clutch. The ignition was by magneto, the front fork had suspension and transmission was by chain. The footpegs could be dismantled and placed at 90 degrees for use as pedals in case of engine failure.

In 1916 Viratelle designed a 350 cc side-valve machine which was built in very limited numbers between 1918 and 1922, along with a 700cc V-Twin. Final drive was by chain in a fully-enclosed chain-case. Behind the engine was an integral three speed gearbox with preselection from a lever on the handlebars, and the gear was engaged by depressing the clutch pedal.

Of the V-twin, the cylinders were parallel with a 360° crankshaft. On both models the radiators were placed at the sides of the fuel tank and behind the forks, while the fan was driven by a belt from the crankshaft. The starting mechanism was by means of a detachable crank handle located on the the rear mudguard supports.

The front forks consisted of steel blade springs integral with the fork assembly. The frame was rigid, but the seat and the footboards were sprung and linked together allowing the rider to maintain a steady position.

Picture from The Motor Cycle supplied by Dave Richmond

1921 Viratelle Twin – water-cooled side-by-side four-stroke twin engine, placed across the frame, with integral gear box, the final drive being by chain. Two circular radiators are located at the fore end of the tank.  From The Motor Cycle  13 Nov 1921


Author: muzza