Page 133. 1953 Solex 45. SOLD. (1951 Model now Available)

1953 Solex 45


In 2008, we took a short holiday in Normandie. While there, I took the opportunity to visit my pal in Paris and swap more boring British cyclemotors for some of the French and German ones he’d restored. Among them was this beautiful 1953 Velosolex 45. I used it to bomb around the area and couldn’t resist some photos of it in the village where we stayed. Ha ha – a captive audience for my holiday snaps 🙂

I sold it to a chap in New York, but have kept the page for public reference.

UPDATE 23rd March 2010: I’ve now bought another Solex 45, a very original 1951 model, and will add details in the next week.


Restored iconic machine in good running order

It runs well, looks good and is the most collectible early model of Velosolex, the ’45.’ I already have a (later) Velosolex in similar condition with sentimental value, so I’ve decided to sell this one.

The only point to detract that I can find with this cyclemotor is that the paint on the chaincase is scratched and the chaincase itself has a kink in it (the pedal obviously knocked the chaincase at some time, though its clearance is fine now).

My mechanic has had it in the workshop to check it over. It’s in running order and ready for summer rallies and shows. It has new whitewall tyres, and I’m selling it with a delightful period accessory, the original Solexine BP oilcan.

Of course, in France, Velosolexes do not need a license or registration. But here, you’ll need to join the NACC, which provides excellent support. Through them you can obtain a dating certificate, MOT it and register it with DVLA and then you can use it legally on the road.


Of course, all vintage vehicles are a little quirky; you may have to ride it round the block a few times to get used to postwar cyclemotoring. But Solexes are without a doubt the easiest cyclemotors to use. And with a decent availability of spares they are surely also the most practical 1950’s cyclemotor to own and maintain.

Though I love old vehicles and am interested in social history, I’m not over-attached to the 1950’s. I do not glorify that era as I remember its austerity and restrictions. I really enjoy the 21st century. But I do like reliving the past through the vehicles of an era.

Ownership of a 55-year-old cyclemotor is a wonderful way to tap into times past and learn about the postwar period. – And blokes no longer have to hide in the potting shed of an evening with their roll-ups tinkering with their motorcycle. A Velosolex is like a family pet. This is something the whole family can enjoy.


THE VELOSOLEX 45 (The first model)

The Velosolex 45 was sold from may 1946 to august 1953 :

Month Year Moteur number Wheels size
may 1946 1000 650 wheels
january 1947 4200
january 1948 12975
january 1949 38980
Janvier 1950 76670
Janvier 1951 117.020
June 1951 140.096 600 wheels
January 1952 179.400
January 1953 254.685

The Solex was exported all over the World…


“Motorcycling” obtains First-hand Impressions of the Velosolex Motorized Bicycle.

Velo-Solex motorized bicycle,which is to be produced in this country by Solex(Cycles), Ltd, 223-231, Marylebone Road, N.W.1

A sunny Wednesday afternoon saw the Velo-Solex setting off from Henly Hall, the depot of the London Distributors. The remarkable degree of silence achieved was at once noticeable, and at times it was difficult to hear whether or not the engine was running. A chance to test the model’s behaviour in London traffic was afforded almost at once, the little machine sliding effortlessly through four consecutive Oxford Street traffic jams. The steering was positive and light in operation, probably due to the well-known propensity of front wheel drive for pulling the machine in the required direction.
At 5 p.m, just 1 3/4 hours after leaving Henly Hall, a stop for refreshments was made at a Coulsdon pull-up café.
Here the VelosSolex attracted considerable attention from the drivers of various heavy lorries, who displayed interest in the potentialities of the marque. On the road again after 15-minute halt, and a few miles farther south the writer overtook a homing pedal-cyclist.

“That’s a natty gadget !” he claimed. “What’ll it do?”.
“About 16 m.p.h.on the level.”
“What! – without pedaling? How much does it cost?”queried the cyclist.

The information that the price, including purchase tax is £48 was given, and, as one of the lesser spurs of the North Downs loomed up, the cyclists dropped behind, while the Velo-Solex chuffed up the slope, a few revolutions of the pedals near the crest sufficing to keep up the speed.
The light was falling at Sam’s Half-way House, near Horley, and the Sussex border was reached by dusk. Crawley’s quiet streets were left behind and the Velo-Solex commenced the long climb into Pease Pottage. Here early pedal assistance was given, but it was possible to sit at ease on the sprung saddle, with only one hand on the bars, while surmounting the hill. A relatively level strech led to Handcross Hill necessitated the rider’s assistance, after which occasional pedalling was called for in the undulating Wealden country. The passage through the South Downs to Pyecombe where the model passed a cyclist pushing his mount when at only a third of the way up the rise was the only part of the journey where really vigorous pedalling was necessarily resorted to.
At Preston Park an escort of young cyclists on sports machines, firing questions, admiring the layout, and commenting on the abnormal silence of the engine, drew alongside. The clock of St.Peter’s indicated 8.15 p.m., as the Velo-Solex passed, making the time for the 55 miles 4 hrs.40 mins.
This average speed of 11 3/4 m.p.h. would be probably be equalled by a good touring cyclist. If so, then the markers of the machine have fullfilled their avowed intent to provide a pedal cycle “with the work cut out”. A quick check showed the petrol tank to be almost empty, which meant that, with a fuel consumption of 205.5 m.p.g., the petrol for the trip had cost 6d.!

The following Sunday was spent in testing still further the hill-climbing capalities of this fascinating machine little machine, and in trying by fair means and foul to induce roller slip. King George V Avenue in Hove a steep half-mile ascent up which even the young and energic cyclists usually push was ridden non-stop, albeit by dint of hard pedalling. The only hill upon which the model failed was a short, steep climb in the same vicinity.
Several muddy, unsurfaced lanes were traversed and even ill-treatment resorted to in the process. By letting go the decompressor too suddenly when starting the rear wheel was made to rise clear of the ground, yet no trace of slip between the carborundum-faced roller and the tyre could be seen.

from the superb Velosolex website ‘Solex Millenium’ which I recommend you browse –













– Solexine a suitable mixture.
As early as 1947, Velosolex asked the BP petroleum company to research a special mixture for the velosolex 45cc for maximum optimization of the motor. It should be pointed out that the BP service stations already sold the “Energic” and “Energol” mixtures for the other motorbikes.
Solexine will be sold in filled and sealed 2 liter yellow cans ( the yellow color lasts until 1957 ), and also at the pump in the BP service stations.




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VEHICLE CONDITION: Vintage vehicles are wonderful beasts – but each has an individual personality and they sometimes have bad days just like you and me.
You will need basic mechanical skills (or a local mechanic) to use one on a regular basis.
2-Stroke engines – and cyclemotors in particular – are notoriously unreliable. Basic servicing is generally required if unused for even a few weeks.

These are rare vehicles whose values are not necessarily based on running order.
Unless an auction description specifically states that the vehicle is running, THE VEHICLE IS SOLD FOR RESTORATION.



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Published on July 23, 2008 at 6:04 am  Leave a Comment  

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