Clement 1903 143 cc aiv




Clément    ca.  1903   “Type B”    142 cc   aiv     engine # 1833

Adolphe Clément  was born in 1855.  
He became an orphan at an early age. He was very interested in things mechanical and, as an apprentice at  the village blacksmith’s, managed to build a simple bicycle out of wood for his own use. At the age of 17 he left his village on this bicycle to seek his fortune in other parts of  France.  
In 1876  he started to take part in  cycle races  and set up a small cycle manufacture. He  decided to move to  Paris and in 1880 he established a cycle business at the Rue Brunel under the brand name of “Clément”.   
This business  was successful and pretty soon he had 150 labourers working on the manufacture of his bicycles.  
In 1889 he visited the cycle exhibition in   London and witnessed  a demonstration of the  Dunlop pneumatic tyre. 
One of his companions advised him to secure  the manufacturing rights for France of this new invention. 
Adolphe was rather hesitant, but finally agreed. The Dunlop tyre became a huge success and   were sold in fantastic numbers in France:  Clément  soon became a millionaire.  
He  formed a huge  bicycle factory  by combining the companies of Clément, Gladiator and Humber-France.  
From 1895 on he started to focus on motorized vehicles: first tricycles, quadricycles and cars and  in 1902 he entered the  field of motorized bicycles with a  small engine of 142 cc capacity. 
This engine has an automatic inlet valve,  an overhead exhaust valve and an external flywheel.
The  cylindrical tank with petrol and oil  compartments and hand operated oil pump  is fixed behind the saddle and the batteries for the coil ignition are stored in a leather case that is strapped to the horizontal frame tube. 
This small machine became very popular and quite a few were sold as complete machines fixed to a Clément  or Gladiator cycle. 
You could also order an engine with  fittings and bolt this to any bicycle. 
In Britain the Clément-Garrard  was well known at the time. 
This ca. 1903 Clement-driven  Clement bicycle  is in a well preserved,  unrestored  condition. 
It comes complete with period magneto conversion, a practical  addition to be sure!