Author Topic: Marusho Lilac Le Mans  (Read 860 times)

Offline 33d6

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Marusho Lilac Le Mans
« on: August 03, 2023, 01:38:43 AM »
Iíve been ploughing through the old registration records for my home state of Victoria in Aus and came across a Le Mans motorcycle. Not thť Moto Guzzi Le Mans but just plain Le Mans, all dating from the 1959-61 period.

After much faffing about Iíve ascertained these were actually Lilac 250 and 300cc  transverse vee twins and Iím now wondering if anyone out there can tell me why they were sold here under the Le Mans banner rather than Lilac.

Itís no great drama, just a matter of cleaning up an administrative mess as I also have Lilac records some of which are duplicates of the Le Mans records. The eventual aim is simply to be able to provide any owners of surviving Lilacs an accurate record of what came to Victoria.

Offline R

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Re: Marusho Lilac Le Mans
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2023, 11:27:10 PM »
How many bikes are we talking about here ?

I'm wondering if it was like the owner of a Matchless here, who registered it just after the Y2K kerfuffle.
He said they couldn't find it as a maker, so they registered it as a Yamaha.
And had the papers to prove it !!
It does sound like there will be a better story behind ye Lilacs though.

As an aside, I always liked the look of those little Lilacs - and the (unrelated) Lambretta race ones.
Did end up with a LeMans ...

Offline 33d6

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Re: Marusho Lilac Le Mans
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2023, 02:41:33 AM »
The majority of Lilacs in Victoria were first registered as Le Mans. I havenít counted them to get the exact number but thereís about 50 of them with about a dozen or so registered as Lilacsó- and some of those are duplicates of bikes originally registered as a LeMans. It seems that years later down the track if a bike was returned to the road the Le Mans bit was long forgotten so it treated as a first time registration and the paperwork filed as a Lilac.
Itís all very odd and Iíd like to know why.
As it is itís taken a bit of faffing about to record and reorganise this stuff so Lilac owners can actually track down their bikes history Iíd like to know the story behind it.

Offline cardan

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Re: Marusho Lilac Le Mans
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2023, 04:22:49 AM »
I know almost nothing about this one, although I did discover a Lilac (or Le Mans) engine in a box "out the back" of the motorcycle wreckers in Abbottsford c1979! I'm surprised so many made it to the road in Victoria.

Looking at the papers, I can find nothing, but a short article in Old Bike Australia https://www.pressreader.com/australia/old-bike-australasia/20140601/281573763773939 includes a recollection that they were sold by LeMans Motors.

Leon

Offline 33d6

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Re: Marusho Lilac Le Mans
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2023, 07:38:51 AM »
I had a quick look through the cards and found records for two only of the Electra. Engine numbers R2/0615 and the other R2/1108.
R2/0615 was in frame number F9-0609 and first registered DK 631 on 10/3/67 and re-registered JS 310 on 12/7/74.
R2/1108 was first registered DT 229 on 16/7/68. No more known.

I think the Le Mans Motors comment answers the Le Mans badge name question. We had yet to  come to terms with Japanese naming conventions back then and perhaps it was thought Lilac was a step too far for many riders?


Offline R

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Re: Marusho Lilac Le Mans
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2023, 09:30:24 AM »
Don't know if it adds anything, but that article mentions that Harry Beanham took an interest in Lilacs.
There is a webpage about him and them.

https://www.marusholilac.com/beanham

Note the comment about Mahler's importing "hundreds of them"   
??
« Last Edit: August 04, 2023, 09:42:20 AM by R »