Monday, September 19, 2016

1929 La Mondiale for sale


La Mondiale was a Belgian marque in business from 1923 to 1934 that used a variety of proprietory motors. This particular bike has a rather nice 500cc JAP motor fitted, dates from 1929 and is offered for sale in the Czech Republic. A machine like this is hard to value, this particular one was offered for sale on ebay in the US a bit over a year ago where it didn't find a buyer. The bike then made its way over to Europe in a deal outside of ebay and is now offered on the market again. The seller is looking for around 12,500 euro. It's a rare bike but there's no formula that says rare is equal to strong money. A few months ago the price would have seemed a lot better to a sterling buyer! I'd expect an on the road equivalent British machine like a Cotton with the same motor to be around the £14k mark. As they say, it's all down to supply and demand and just how much you want something. Make your own mind up as to value and speak direct to the seller.

The La Mondiale is unquestionably a very rare bike and any machine fitted with a 500 ohv JAP of the vintage era is instantly desirable. I personally am a big fan of the late twenties and thirties pressed steel framed machines, there's something very Art Deco and stylish about them though the design was seldom used on a sporting mount like this. There's certainly work needs to be done on this example, by the looks of it ideally a full restoration or be it a very straightforward one. I would be surprised if the bike was not supplied with lights from new, the handlebar levers are definitely of a later period and would need to be replaced, there's something wrong looking about the exhausts too but all in these are fairly minor issues. I would guess that the petrol tank panel originally held at least a speedometer and probably a switch for the lights too, replicating this part properly might be a slightly tougher task. I've seen a picture however of a racing La Mondiale which has no lights or speedo and there's a chance that the example in question here was originally built for the track.

The sale is in no way connected to this site, the owner has simply gotten in touch and I've posted up pictures as it is a fascinating bike. If you are interested I can put you in touch with the vendor via his email address. As with anything sold over the internet best to make sure 100% you are happy with the deal and have ideally met the seller and seen the bike in person before parting with any cash. Caveat emptor and all that.

1929 La Mondiale.

Overall not bad looking. Clutch and brake levers are wrong,
the twist grip probably too.

That tank panel may have held a speedo and light switch or it
could just be that this is a race bike.

I'm not 100% on my JAP engine numbers but I think KOZ
denotes a 500cc (K) ohv (O) dry sump (Z) and the next letter is
either a H which means 1931 or  R which is either 1935 or race.
JAP engine numbers have a set pattern but every so often they
seem to throw in a few off the wall variations just so you don't
get complacent.

Gearbox number seems right for a late '28 or '29 Sturmey LS.


  1. Hello,

    I have a Terrot 500 NSSL with exactly the same engine.
    It's from 1931.

    There is also one here :

    This type of 500 JAP engine is not very common ...

    1. Hi there. Thanks for your comment. I've just taken a look at your Terrot on your webpage. What a beautiful machine. Personally I've never tried an ohv JAP engined bike, I'd love to sometime. Apologies for taking so much time to respond. It would be great to feature your bike on the blog if you were to send me some pictures and information.
      With best wishes, Richard