1931 - Vélomoteur
Cycles Peugeot, founded in 1926, which produced bicycles and small motorcycles, was hit hard by the economic crisis of the 1930s. The range became more confusing than complete and only understandable to keen enthusiasts. The crisis was an opportunity to change direction. Peugeot developed, with a passionate team of engineers, the P515, a powerful motorbike which achieved many racing victories and broke several records in 1934. This reinvigorated the brand’s image.
Peugeot agreed to launch its first BMA (“bicycle à moteur auxiliaire”) in 1931, to fit better with the market and the new legislation that has been established in 1926. Weight was limited to 30kg and the speed was capped at 30km/h. The machine has pedals and cranks and a cubic capacity less than 100cc. Peugeot named his BMA “velomoteur” – the moped ! (Photo) - this rapidly became the generic name. Its rapid success saved Peugeot’s engine-equipped cycle sales while motorcycle sales were declining.