1949 Moteur Auxiliaire ‘Hemy’
Engine No 5659
Fitted to 1948 Randonneuse ‘Ravat’
This is one of the rarest postwar French cycle-attachment engines. They were expensive to build, so were not competitively priced when they reached the market. This 50cc engine is fast, probably faster than necessary for a bicycle – there comes a point when the speed of an auxiliary engine requires its mount to be upgraded until it has been transformed from a bicycle into a moped.
In 1949, the overwhelming majority of customers bought a Veloxolex or VAP3 rather than a Hemy. By 1950 so many other companies had introduced new auxiliary engines, cyclemotors, mopeds, scooters and motorcycles that the French market became saturated. As a result, the Hemy had only a limited production run, and very few still exist. I’ve sold well over 100 cyclemotors over the years (many of them obscure models), and this is only the second Hemy I’ve owned.
This example was recently restored by my old friend Patrick in Paris, and it’s ready to ride.