Solex is a French manufacturer of carburetors and the powered bicycle
Solex carburetors were used by many top European automobile marques,
such as Rolls-Royce, Citroën, Porsche, Volkswagen, SAAB, and Mercedes
Benz. They were also licensed, with Japanese maker Mikuni supplying
them to Toyota, Suzuki, Yamaha, and others.
3 Powered bicycles
4 Company timeline
6 External links
Solex company was founded by Marcel Mennesson and Maurice Goudard
to manufacture vehicle radiators. These were fitted to several makes
of early cars including
Delaunay-Belleville and buses of the Paris
General Omnibus company.
After World War I, the radiator business went into decline and the
company bought the rights to the carburetor patents of Jouffret and
Renée and named them
Solex after their business.
Solex brand is now owned by Magneti Marelli. The original Solex
company changed its name in 1994 to
Magneti Marelli France and on May
Magneti Marelli France partially bought its assets
(including the trademark SOLEX) from
Magneti Marelli Motopropulsion
Solex manufactured carburetors used by some of the most famous
European marques, including Rolls-Royce Motors, Citroën, Volvo, and
Volkswagen. They were also employed in performance vehicles by makers
such as Porsche, BMW, Alfa Romeo, and Mercedes Benz, which also used a
3x2 set-up on its W194 endurance racer.
Solex carburetors remained widely used by many European makers and
under licence to Mikuni in Asia until the mid-1980s when fuel
injection was widely adopted to conform with increasingly strict auto
Among the makers who used
Solex carburetors were:
Land Rover Series
Solex carburetors have been made under licence by a number of
companies including Mikuni of Japan which entered into a licensed
manufacturing agreement with
Solex in 1960 and further developed many
of Solex's original designs. Domestic automakers and motorcycle
manufacturers using Mikuni carburetors include:
Main article: VéloSoleX
VéloSoleX has a 49 cc (3.0 cu in) motor mounted
above the front wheel. Power is delivered via a small ceramic roller
that rotates directly on the front wheel by friction to the tire.
The first prototype of a
VéloSoleX was created in 1941 and used
regular bicycle frames such as those under the
Alcyon brand and were
powered by a 45 cc (2.7 cu in) engine developed by
VéloSoleX were produced commercially and sold starting in 1946
with a 45 cc engine without clutch, then later with a 49 cc engine.
The solex, although not varying much from one version to the next, was
sold in these models:
1946–53: 45 cc
1953–55: 330 (first 49 cc engine; no clutch)
1959–61: 1700 (first version equipped with a clutch)
1964–66: 3300 (first frame with a square section)
Export versions were also created (sold outside France)
4600 (V3 Sold only in the US)
Current version (made in France)
More than eight million were eventually sold, mostly in Europe. It was
also constructed under licence in many countries. Today, the
VéloSoleX is again manufactured in France. The trademark "VELOSOLEX"
is the property of Velosolex America, LLC which markets the VéloSoleX
motorized bicycle worldwide.
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1905: The company was created by Maurice Goudard and Marcel Mennesson,
both graduates of the École Centrale Paris.
1973: the carburetor division is taken over by Matra, and later by
Magneti Marelli, then by
Motobécane in 1974.
Motobécane is bought by
Yamaha and becomes MBK.
1988: production in France, at Saint-Quentin, ends.
Circa 2001 production ceased in China and restarted in France.
In June 2004, the mark "Solex" was bought by the French group CIBIÉ
In October 2005 CIBIÉ launches the e-Solex, designed by Pininfarina
and produced in China (400 W brushless electric motor, 35 km/h,
autonomy of 30 km)
In 2009, CIBLE launches the e-
Solex 2.0, a new version with a lithium
Solex, Velosolex and Solexline are trademarks, property of SINBAR SARL
The trademark "VELOSOLEX" is the property of Velosolex America LLC who
markets the Velosolex worldwide.
Pininfarina and Cible Present e-Solex; Design News". Dexigner.
2005-10-27. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
Velosolex America official web site
Velosolex collection - technical descriptions
Steve McQueen rode a Velosolex
SoleXin - a list of SoleX resources
Major and notable French motorcycle marques
Gnome et Rhône
French bicycle manufacturers
Gnome et Rhône