Magnat Debon 1955 250cc SSD
Originally founded in 1893 by Joseph Magnat and Luis Debon in Lyon as a bicycle manufacturing company which moved into motorcycles.
In 1902 the first motorcycle was produced, equipped with a De Dion Bouton engine.
In the years before the first world war the firm prospered: the machines had many novel features such a telescopic front suspension and overhead valves.
Even a 500cc V-Twin overhead valves machine was developped with still direct belt drive and that V-Twin was very light and extremely fast.
Both founders died at the end of the war and in the early twenties the company got into financial problems.
In 1922 the firm was taken over by the Terrot company.
For a number of years the machines of Terrot and Magnat Debon kept their own identities: the Magnat Debons were mostly equipped with English Blackburne engines while some of the the Terrots had JAPs.
In this way separate agencies could be kept and in the market the two makes operated as separate companies.
From 1929 on the machines were practically identical, including the side valve power source of Terrot’s own manufacture.
By the 1950s the makes were almost identical, differences being mainly in colour scheme and badging, the Terrot OSSD forming the base for both. Mechanically, the firm’s ‘square’ OHV 250 SSD was a reliable and sporting ride and is a sought-after model.