Moto Gima

Moto Gima with AMC 125cc motor
There’s an intriguing story behind this super-stylish motocyclette. Despite appearances, it’s not a vintage machine: it’s an accurate recreation of a 1950s GIMA, and costs just €4,290 (US$6,000). GIMA was a short-lived French manufacturer that made small but stylish bikes from 1947 to 1956, and would have slipped into obscurity were it not for a businessman called Hilario Gonzalez. After working for engine maker AMC and then starting his own business, Gonzalez restored a GIMA for his son a few years ago. Bitten by the bug, he decided to remanufacture a 125cc GIMA using the original design, subtly updated with modern engineering—including electronic ignition and contemporary carburetion. Permissions were obtained from Paul Josué, the original frame designer, and from Gilbert Chartoire, the son of AMC’s founder. Gonzalez revealed the prototype to the public in 2005, and by early 2009 small-scale production was underway. Since then, production has been steady and demand strong. But the financial crisis has virtually crippled GIMA’s parent company—Gonzalez’ general engineering business—and it threatens to drag down GIMA too. We hope it survives: if you do too, there’s an online petition you can sign that requests support from the French government. [Spotted on Rollin’ Free.]

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