Ultima was a well-respected upmarket French marque, and an early 1920s 350cc side valve motorcycle from this manufacturer is a sought-after machine in the 21st century.
The Model B was current throughout the 1920s. It was a state-of-the-art machine in 1920, being one of the first models to be fitted with Ultima’s own engine. Because France had a large rural population that depended on motorcycles rather than cars, despite being superseded by newer chain drive models, belt-drive motorcycles were still being sold as a cheap option up to 1930.
1922 Ultima Type B
350cc s/v Belt-Drive
For Easy Restoration
I sold the Ultima in 2011.
This superb – and rare – French motorcycle from the early 1920s has been in dry storage in a private collection for the past forty years.
My French friend Alain, who finds or collects most of my French motorcycles, is selling it for the elderly owner.
It has not been started four many years but, as you can see from the photos, is in very good condition for its age. Everything turns freely, the engine has good compression, and it is complete except for handlebar grips, levers, cables. The front mudguard needs some welding, as you can see in one of the photos. The paint has probably been touched up over the years.
It’s an easy restoration, an ideal winter project. After stripping it down, cleaning, greasing, replacing tyres, doing whatever is needed to the magneto, etc you will have a beautiful 90-year-old machine that oozes style and is ready to provide the next 90 years of vintage motorcycling.
Etablissements Eugène BILLION
24 & 24bis rue du Commandant Faurax
The Ultima starting point was in 1902 when Franscisque Croizier Ronzière leaned – according to him – the crucial problem of motor bicycles. After four years of study and development , the mechanic asked Lyon April 21, 1906 a patent for a “new arrangement of operating parts for motorcycles ” and , with the help of investors, founded the company F. Croizier Ronzière at 8, rue Dumont d’Urville in Lyon (Croix – Rousse) . It was early December 1906. It also laid the motorcycle brand ” C R ” , a catalog edited and presented his motorcycle at the 9th Motor Show which was held at the Grand Palais in Paris from 7 to 23 December 1906 . He began to build in his studio BMA , in fact , his craft was installing an engine in the frame of a bicycle , and with a magneto ignition switch. Unfortunately, despite good results in competition and lack of customer cash the firm F. Croizier Ronzière et Cie was quickly bled , and the Tribunal de Commerce de Lyon appointed Master Chevallet as liquidator . He proceeded to dissolve the company 31 December 1907 . Note that the legal publication of this dissolution in Trade Archives of France January 15, 1908 gives name as ” Soc. F. Croizier , Deronzière et Cie ” . Franscisque Croizier Ronzière then sold his patent to Eugene Lyons , Auguste Billion and Cumin – Michelin importer of Swiss motorcycle Motorcycle Dream … Eugene Auguste Billion later founded the Ultima brand. ( Didier MAHISTRE ).
Eugene Billion manufactures engines by patent Ronzière , but it improves the patenting of ” improvements .” It sells its engines Lyonnaise Manufacture of motorcycles Deronzière created by Mr. Cumin -Michelin in 1908 . The model manufactured by MLMD is a lightweight motorcycle equipped with an engine of 232 cm3, with automatic inlet valve and exhaust valve side controlled . Over the years, the model in question evolve : it will in 1911 to 249 cm3 and 283 cm3 in 1913. Changes to the chassis also intervene , for example to lower the center of gravity. This machine will also be marketed under the brand Rupta (because of the ignition switch ) by the famous Manufacture d’Armes and Cycles of Saint-Etienne, the Manufacture d’Armes modest Special Fines and Cycles RPF ( Rivolier , father and son ) , and under the name ” Superior” by the company ” Thimonier & Co. ” , a manufacturer of sewing machines in Lyon.
In 1914 appears the first Ultima : this is similar to a motorcycle Deronzière , but the engine has an intake valve and a classic tumbled magneto ignition HT. Deronzière society , meanwhile , is experiencing difficulties. It changed hands and was finally dissolved in 1919 and acquired by E. Billion . The engine is now a real motorcycle manufacturer . It makes almost everything that makes up his machines , and this policy will continue until the death of the brand. This case is very special in the history of the motorcycle industry , since there from the beginning until the collapse of the 60s , a multitude of manufacturers who were actually assemblers . They built a frame, and complemented by countless subcontractors put on the market engines and gearboxes (separate ) , tanks , wheels, forks , brakes, carburetors, control , electricity, etc. . Ultima subcontracted the smelter , but assured machining, and ignition magnetos . However , the constant complexity of motorcycles was the last models used Motaz tanks, Saker handles , headlights or Ducellier Marchal, and other elements available on the market .
1920: first true Ultima – The first two are true Ultima types A and B, born in 1920, and fully derived from E. Institutions Billion. Both models have a 346 cm3 engine with side valves and magneto. Model A has an antique direct belt drive, and the B box (patent Ultima) two-speed with clutch, primary and secondary chain drive belt. You can mount a sidecar on the model B. Both type A and type B were pure utilitarian, but had an excellent reputation for quality, reliability and endurance for a good price. They had some success in competition.
Between 1920 and 1930 models are improving: appearance interchangeable spindle wheels (1925), stiffer fork (1927), the reservoir “entretubes” password “in the saddle” (1929). There are commercial versions, tourism, luxury, and even a model for “lady, church and city.” It will be understood that this model had an open framework authorizing the wearing of skirts (long course) or cassocks.
[Translation from French: http://ultimalyon.jpcor.fr]