Already a successful maker of bicycles and pneumatic tyres he owned the Dunlop patents in France - Adolphe Clément diversified into motorcycle manufacture in 1897, having just bought the Gladiator cycle company, and built his first four-wheeled automobile two years later, taking an interest in the existing Gladiator concern. Around 1902 Clément began supplying motorcycle engines to Charles Garrard in the UK, who fitted them in frames supplied initially by James Lansdowne Norton and marketed his products under the Clément-Garrard name until 1911. Norton was impressed by the French-built motor and used it to power the first of his own motorcycles in 1902. In October 1903 Adolphe Clément broke his connection with the company he had founded and set up a new factory in Levallois-Perret, adopting the trade name 'Bayard'. The original Clément-Gladiator enterprise continued to manufacture motorcycles until 1935.
Looking remarkably similar to the contemporary Motosacoche-engined Royal Enfield, this Clément is fitted with an engine carrying a plaque engraved, 'Moteur Clediaber'. Cycles Clediaber and Gladiator were both based at Pré-Saint-Gervais, which suggests that they were, in fact, the same firm. This rare early Clément v-twin was restored in the late 1990s and has been in the deceased owner's private collection for many years. Re-commissioning will be require before it returns to the road. There are no documents with this Lot, which is sold strictly as viewed.