Mercier 1937 Moto Chenille 350cc 1 cyl ohv

Mercier 1937 Moto Chenille 350cc 1 cyl ohv

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Mercier 1937 Moto Chenille  engine # IOS/D/37402

One could say, what a pity to spoil a beautiful Jap 350cc OHV Sports engine for a track driven "motorcycle".
This "Moto Chenille" as the French call it, has been designed in Bois-Colombes, by the Swiss inventor, Adrien Mercier.
Tested by the French army on slopes between 42 and 45% in 1936, it was deemed as highly interesting.
Only a handful of these motorcycles have been made in various configurations.
The 350 Jap OHV Sports engine was quite powerful for a motorcycle of the time.
Starting the engine is by kick starter which can be operated while sitting on the saddle.
The hand change “Soyer” gearbox is a 3-speed with hand operated clutch.
The engine drives a fan which takes care of extra cooling of the cylinder head by means of a flexible metal hose.
This Mercier has a long tubular rear frame which supports the motorcycle saddle and fuel tank.
From the rear wheel to the front there are two skids , supporting the collapsible foot rests and these skids allow to slide over the surface if the terrain is too rough to let the rear wheel touch the ground.
The rear wheel has a size of 270 x 90 .
There is a hand operated internal expanding brake, supported by the drive wheel of the track.
The complete drive is sprung by two leaf springs at the left and right side of the tracks.
The bike has Duplex steering to the front.
This surviving example is in excellent condition and is still going strong.
With a top speed of about 40 mph it is a pleasure to "ride".