Magnat-Debon 1914 3¼ HP 398cc 1 cyl OHV 3406



Magnat-Debon 1914 3 ¼ HP 398 cc OHV frame # 153 engine # 2278

In the year 1900 Joseph Magnat and Louis Debon founds a firm in Grenoble that starts to produce bicycles. In 1902 the first motorcycle is produced, equipped with a De Dion Bouton engine. Soon they start to use their own engines and in the years before the first world war the firm prospers: the machines have many novel features such as telescopic front suspension and some models have overhead valves. Both founders die at the end of the war and in the early twenties the company gets into financial problems. In 1922 the firm is taken over by the Terrot company. For model year 1913 the company abandons the side valve models and concentrates on two OHV machines. The 3¼ HP model has bore x stroke of 75 x 90 mm and a displacement of 398 cc, its more powerful brother measures 80 x99 mm and displaces 498 cc. New for 1913 are a bigger petrol tank (holding six litres now instead of five) and automatic lubrication of the engine, effected by the under pressure in the crankcase.
For model year 1914 the 4 HP single is dropped and replaced by a 4 HP 45-degree V-twin with bore x stroke dimensions of 66 x 73 mm and a displacement of 499 cc. Among the improvements for this year are a larger and stronger frame with reinforcement at the steering head, bigger petrol tank and new type of handlebar with integrated control levers.
Magnat-Debons are equipped with a reliable Bosch magneto and the company’s own aluminium carburettor that is operated by a single lever.

This charming French bike comes in authentic condition, with new tyres and belt. She has recently been technically refurbished while retaining the patina. Accessories include acetylene front and rear lamps, a leather pannier bag and a bulb horn. The saddle is a Brown No. 218. Veteran machines with overhead valves are pretty rare and this light and agile specimen is an excellent example of early OHV technology.