The de Dion-Bouton Motor Powers a Revolution
Hundreds of small European workshops aspired to design and sell motorcycles. And why not? Anyone who could make a bicycle could make a motorcycle, if only they could find a small, relikable motor that made reasonable power and was available at a cheap price.
Supplying those motors was the mission of two pioneering Frenchmen, Count Albert de Dion and Georges Bouton.
The De Dion-Bouton engine is considered to the first high-speed, lightweight internal combustion engine. They patented the small, gas engine and used it in automobiles of their own design. It was used on many pioneering moto bicycle brands and was widely copied by many makers including U.S. brands Indian and Harley-Davidson. What was important to their success is that they licensed their design to over 150 motorcycle companies and thereby sold thousands of motors.
1. Motorcycle Trivia by Mark Gardiner