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Motorworld’s newspaper № 14
Test-drive video
Heavy René Gillet motorcycles (both the solo and the sidecar version) first appeared in 1928, and they quickly became a favorite means of transportation in the French army and police. The 750-cc René Gillet became a standard army motorcycle in France by the late 1930s (the military version was named Type G1).

A French soldier driving a René Gillet 750 Type G1

The René Gillet 750 was a typical heavy motorcycle of its time, and its base was a single tubular steel frame. The front suspension was designed as usual: it was a combination of a rigid fork with movable levers that were affixed to the lower part in order to hold the wheel. One of the levers was a bicycle fork that transmitted the wheel vibrations to a spring located in the upper part under the handlebar. The rear suspension was offered in two versions: the standard one was rigid, but at an extra cost, the René Gillet would install a unique soft rear suspension. Four longitudinal beams affixed to the front frame envelope lead back by pairs around the rear wheel, which was located in the middle of the long triangular tubular crossbeam. The beams were connected to the vertical cylinder, which had a powerful spring inside. The crossbeam of the rear suspension was connected at one end to the frame behind the gearbox and its other end was affixed to the suspension spring which made it possible for it to make vertical movements together with the wheel.

Armored René Gillet 750 (1927 prototype)

The specially designed soft suspension by René Gillet was offering an unsurpassed driving comfort. Motorcycles on which it was installed were mostly purchased by tourists and travel enthusiasts. The military version of the René Gillet 750 still used the rigid rear wheel suspension.

The engine was an L-head, V-shape model with a rating of 14 hp at 4,000 rpm. The transmission was 3-speed on earlier units, but later, in 1939, it became 4-speed. The motorcycle was chain-driven.

The motorcycle presented in our museum according to the classification of René Gillet belongs to the ‘K1’ model, which differs from the earlier models in the shape of the rear suspension (can be compared with the example 1932 René Gillet Type H ). A new version of the rear suspension was introduced in 1934.

Rene Gillet Club Motos classification

Information provided by “René Gillet Club Motos”

The production of René Gillet 750 was temporary stopped in 1940, as a result of the Nazi occupation, but it was resumed after the war and continued until the late 1950s.

Manufacturer René Gillet, France
Years of manufacture 1928 – 1958
Quantity produced, units
Price 7 800 F
Today’s value 25 530,18 $
Type Twin-cylinder, V-shape, L-head
Engine capacity, cc 750
Bore and stroke, mm 70 х 97,7
Engine rating 14 h.p.
Sparking Magneto
Carburetor Amac 5 / 221
Battery 6 V
Clutch Multiple-plate, oil-bath
Transmission 4-speed
Frame type Steel, tubular
Front suspension Short leading link
Rear suspension Soft suspension (special design by René Gillet)
Brakes Spot-type, with internal arrangement of brake shoes on both wheels
Wheel size 4,40 х 27
Length, mm
2 260
Width, mm
1 640
Height, mm
1 000
Wheelbase, mm
1 500
Ground clearance, mm
Seat height, mm
Mass, kg
Gas tank size, l
Maximum speed, km/h
Range, km

* – Data from the results of the measurement of the “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov” exhibit.