1927 Motoconfort 308cc 2-Stroke Belt-Drive

1927 Motoconfort Model 308 MC1

308cc 2-Stroke Belt-Drive

Frame No 150 – Oldest Known Example?

Triumph Junior style Horizontal Coil Spring

(Now sold) 

I sold the Motoconfort in 2012.

With its mellowed paint and overall patina, it’s difficult to tell whether this beautiful old French belt drive machine is an older restoration or cosmetically original.

Frame No 150 could be be the oldest surviving example.

It was in storage in a private collection for decades before my friend Alain uncovered it. He has fired it up. After a basic service it would be ready for a new owner to ride.

The design of the machine is similar to that of Great Britain’s Triumph Junior, a 225cc lightweight made from 1913 to 1926. German Triumph sold a similar model, called the Triumph Knirps (‘Nipper’). The Junior filled a niche market, established by the Wall Autowheel, which had encouraged cyclists to upgrade to motorcycles and, in particular, female riders.

Ignatz Schwinn manufactured the Junior under license in the USA (as Excelsior), between 1916 and 1920, upgrading the engine to 269cc. It was called the Excelsior ‘L18.’

As production of the Junior ended in 1926, and the 308 appeared in the same year, presumably Motobecane bought the rights, upgrading the frame to incorporate a saddle tank rather than the original flat tank design, which went out of fashion at this time.

The Triumph Junior would therefore have been made in various forms in Britain, Germany, France and America.

An outstanding feature of the Triumph Junior – and this French Motoconfort 308 – is its ‘rocking-action’ fork with trademark horizontal coil spring. This was subsequently used in America for bicycles, notably the 1938 Schwinn Autocycle and, in the late 1960s, the Stingray Krate.






















The Triumph Junior’s rocking-action fork, with its trademark horizontal coil spring (above), was also a feature on the American version, the Excelsior Lightweight (L18), below.

The Motoconfort 308 was the licensed French version in 1926, the final motorcycle version. It appeared next as an optional extra on the Schwinn Autocycle bicycle (below)

Schwinn Autocycle Spring Fork


Its legacy even continued into more recent times, as Schwinn also used the Triumph’s springer on their ‘Krate’ series of Chopper bicycles of the late 1960s


1969 schwinn krate



INFO ON THE FRONT FORK – http://www.oldbike.eu/1930s/1930-1934/1930-excelsior-triumph-motobike/

THE MOTOBECANE CLUB – http://www.motobecane-club-de-france.org/gamme/308/308.htm