THE SOLEX 4600
A star is born !
SOLEX 4600 SPECIFICATIONS
Overall length : 66''
Overall Height : 42"
Weight : 68 lbs ( 31 kg )
Frame type : pressed steel
Suspension : fixed front and rear
Power : 0.8 HP
Engine type: single cylinder,air-cooled,two stroke
Engine displacement : 49 cc
Transmission: roller on front tire
Consumption: 200 mpg
Tank capacity: 0.34 US gallon
Fuel mixture: Mix four ounces of high quality two-stroke oil with one gallon of unleaded gasoline.
Clutch: centrifugal, dry operating
Tires size : 1.75 x 19"
Brake: front-rim ; rear-drum
Ignition and lighting: by magneto
Engine Number: 7 digit number engraved on rear of engine housing
Serial Number: 7 digit number on steering head tube
Colors: blue, orange, yellow, black
SOLEX 4600 V2
VeloSolex returned to the United
States in 1974 with the model Solex 4600. In many states, the Solex is
not considered to be a motor cycle but a bicycle with an auxiliary engine.
This difference makes it possible to not have to wear a helmet in states
that do require helmets for motorcycle riders.
The Solex 4600 is first manufactured at SINFAC in Courbevoie, and later at SEMI in Macon.
IMPORTER OF THE SOLEX 4600 IN THE US
VELOSOLEX AMERICA, Ltd.
86, Orchard Street
NEW JERSEY 07601
The Effortless Bicycle
Exercise is great-in the right amount. That's why everyone needs a Solex motorized bicycle from Motobecane Pedal off the pounds, then turn the small engine on. You can even do your errands on the way back. While the Solex is unique, it is well-proven. There are over 6 million on the road.
When you want engine power, just flick a lever and an ingenious roller friction device delivers it. And with phenomenal gas mileage...up to 218 mpg.
The Solex is the most stylist, lightest, sleekest model in the Motobecane line, 66'' long and weighing only 68 pounds. It has fixed suspension front and rear, caliper brake in front, and drum brake in the rear.
Standard features of the Solex 4600 ( V2 & V3 ) include sealed beam headlight, stop-tail light, electric horn, tool kit, luggage carrier and tire pump.
This is definitely the exercise bike you take to the store.
THE " HORSE "
The Motobecane Horse was one of the
first motorized bicycles ever invented, and it' is still one of the world'
s most popular models. This rugged machine is unique in the Motobecane's
What' s so different about the Horse ?
The engine, for one thing. Mounted above the front wheel, it' s driven by an ingenious roller friction device that delivers phenomenal gas mileage...218 miles per gallon in road tests !
Standard features of the Horse include sealed beam headlight, stop-tail light, electric horn, tool kit, luggage carrier and tire pump
The solex 4600 aka "The Horse"
Solex Tells TV Viewwers:
"Get a Horse!"
"GET A HORSE"
- Solex America Ltd. is introducing its motorized bicycle, the Solex Horse, to the American market this summer through an intensive newspaper, television and point-of-purchase advertising campaign.
The Horse, which has been sold in Europe since 1946, is breaking into American television with a 30-second spot in which a Texas cowboy presents "The Bicycle with Horsepower".
The commercial advises that the Solex Horse,which delivers over 200 miles per gallon "can take a student through four years of college for peanuts" and "can be used for all those short trips that are killing your car".
The commercial emphasizes the theme "Get a Horse" throughout,and ends with a dealer tag naming the local "Horse Dealer".
THE SOLEX 4600 DESCRIBED IS THE USA/DOT APPROVED VERSION
( V2 & V3 )
• Headlight ( made by GE or
CEV ) is a sealed beam unit mounted on the handlebar stem nut.
• Switch is a separate conventional type on the left handlebar. Horn switch is also located here.
• Electric horn.
• Standard "Magura" brand hand levers as found on other mopeds. Equipped with stop light switches.
• Compression release on right side of handlebar resembles a small brake lever and operates through cable. Engine ignition ground switch is on right handle bar. A separate switch.
• Throttle is twist type.
• Tail light is a standard design unit with dual filament bulb for stoplight.
• Magneto has a third coil for the stoplight.
• The engines are essentially the same 3800 motor, except for the modified magneto and the fact that the front engine cover does not have provision for the headlight. A 4600 emblem replaces that.
• The SOLEX 4600 V2 & V3 have a tag on the neck that lists the frame number and states that the vehicle conforms to laws at date of manufacture, along with the manufacturing date. This tag is part of that law.
Eastern Speed Equipment Inc.
The House of Honda
816 E. Boston Post Road
1011 Eaton Avenue
THE SOLEX 4600
SEMI SOLEX FACTORY IN MACON
VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION PLATE
SOLEX 4600 V3
Made by SEMI MACON ( FRANCE )
1978 End of The Horse. About 8000 Solex 4600s were sold in the United States.
SOLEX 4600 STORY
Since the official beginning of
Solex production in 1946, there have been many different models produced.
New models appeared not only in France, but also in other countries. Surprisingly,
many of the new models appearing in other countries were not available
in France. For example, a version of the model 5000 was created for sale
exclusively in Holland that had 12” wheels instead of the standard
5000 wheels that were 16”.
One model not available in France was the 4600. It was created as an export model, finding its way to new homes in countries such as England, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Denmark, Austria and the United States. This first version, the V1, was basically a 1974 model 3800 Solex equipped with the handlebars, headlight and motor lift assembly of the model 5000. Also, it was available in not only the standard black color, but also blue, orange and yellow.
Most V1s use the taillight of the 3800, which was not intended for use as a brake light. However, some V1s have a crude brake light setup which operates off of the rear brake assembly and, therefore, only works when the rear brake is activated. One of these setups uses a resistor block attached to the inside of the left frame rail, along with a switch. Power to the taillight passes through the resistor resulting in a dimmer bulb. When the rear brake is applied, the switch is activated allowing full power to get to the taillight, and the result is a brighter bulb, giving the appearance of a brake light. The taillight is a SEIMA item and the headlight is from CIBIE. Another setup uses a MALY two-lens taillight assembly. Power is sent to the lower lens whenever the headlight is on. This lens also has a clear panel in the bottom to illuminate the license plate. Whenever the rear brake is activated, power is sent to the upper (brake-light) lens through a switch mounted on the inside of the left frame rail. The switch is connected to the rear brake cable with a chain, rod and clamp.
Standard pedals on this version are
from LYOTARD, white with orange reflectors. In Canada and the USA, motor
serial numbers of this version are in the 7,1xx,xxx range and frame numbers
are in the 8,06x,xxx - 8,07x,xxx range. In England, motor numbers extend
into the 7,2xx,xxx range and frame numbers get into the 8,08x,xxx range.
In Canada and the USA, this version was sold in 1974 and 1975.
Renault, and then Motobecane, took over VeloSoleX in 1974.
To conform to the USDOT and Canadian regulations of the time, requiring such things as a true brake light, non-inverted brake levers, electric horn, ignition kill switch and sealed beam headlight, a new 4600 version was created for sale in the US and Canada. The 4600 V2 was sold in 1975-76 and has motor serial numbers in the 7,2xx,xxx spectrum. Frame numbers fall into the range of 8,08x,xxx and up. Electrical parts on this version, such as the headlight, taillight and switches, were supplied by CEV, an Italian company.
The V2 was available in black, blue, orange, and yellow, and the standard pedals are from UNION, white with orange reflectors.
A new name came with the new version…it was to be known as “The Horse”.
For 1977, changes were made to the
4600, the result being the V3. The taillight is a Motobecane item from
ULO. The headlight and switches are from CEV, and the pedals are from
UNION, black and tapered in shape. In 1978, AEON black block pedals with
a Motobecane “M”are used. A GE headlight is mounted in a LUXOR
body and bezel, and switches are from APRILIA. Motor numbers are in the
9,0xx,xxx range and frame numbers start at 4,600,000. The V3 was only
produced in black, blue and yellow, and was only sold in the USA.
Both the V2 and V3 have a metal ID tag on the frame neck, and to power the brake-light, horn and large headlight, they have a third coil, a larger lighting coil, and more powerful rotor magnets. On the V1 and V2, the small front fender is painted white and the center-stand is black, while the V3 has these pieces painted the same color as the frame. On the V2 and V3, an engine crash-guard was standard equipment. The V2 and early V3s used rectangular reflectors on the sides of the crash-bar, while round ones are found on the later V3s.
The carburetor throttle-lever return-spring on the V2 and V3 is hooked up differently from other Solexes. Instead of the throttle barrel being held totally open by the spring, it is held in an idling position. Twisting the handgrip towards you opens the throttle, and when the grip is released, the throttle springs back to the idling position. The V1, on the other hand, has the same twist-grip and throttle-lever return-spring setup as the S 3800 and 5000.
All 4600s have motors with “CYCLO
MOTEUR 3800” cast into them, and, as mentioned earlier, some 4600
V1s (as well as some S 3300s, 3800s and 5000s) are equipped with a taillight
assembly from MALY that includes a conical light on top, a license plate
holder, and a typically-styled red taillight lens with a clear panel in
the bottom for illuminating the plate.
One very common mistake that many Solex owners make when trying to determine the date of manufacture of their Solex is thinking that the 14-3-1966 date that is cast into the motor is the date of manufacture. It should be noted that this date is cast into the motor, not stamped, and that this same date is cast into every 3800-type motor. It is actually the date of homologation or approval of the 3800-type motor. I would be happy to help anybody with determining the date of manufacture of his/her Solex.
I would like to thank everyone that assisted in the gathering of information for this article, including Jim, John, Bob, Pete, David and Tony from the Solex Owners of America Yahoo Group, Jean-Claude of the Solex-Millenium group and Simon from the Moped Army.
Happy Solexing to all !
IN MEMORY OF SARAH FROM MARYLAND
IMPORTER OF THE SOLEX 4600 IN CANADA
Assembled and distributed by:
LANIEL CANADA INC.
The Solex 4600 was sold in CANADA by
LANIEL Limite de MONTREAL
for Quebec, New Brunswick
CYCLEX Limited of TORONTO
for Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia
ATHOLVILLE NEW-BRUNSWICK (in the 70's )
For sale in certain states and provinces in the US and Canada, some 3300s, 3800s, 5000s and 4600 V1s had a factory-installed assembly from MALY that included a conical light on top, a license plate holder and a typically styled red taillight with a clear panel in the bottom for illuminating the plate.
Magneto has a third coil for the stoplight.
SPARE PARTS CATALOGUE
270 Beaupien St.
Montréal H2V 1C7
THE GARELLI MOPED AND SOLEX 4600
SOLEX 4600 PHOTO GALLERY
Repair operations Solex 4600 : (here)
Parts Catalog Solex 4600 D.O.T. : (here)