The Genial-Lucifer. The greatest name for a bike in motorcycle building history…
The French builder of small to midsize motorcycles, Genial-Lucifer, managed to hang in there against tough competition for 28 years from 1928 to 1956.
You think that’s a crazy name for a motorcycle? Think again, pard.
Lucifer has always been the name, at least in modern English common usage, which refers to the Devil or Satan before he ran into problems and was cast from Heaven. But it’s not the original meaning of the name, and in Latin from which the English word is derived, Lucifer actually means “light-bearer” and given my weak grasp of that most elemental language is something like lucem ferre, it was used to refer to the dawn appearance of the planet Venus at daylight.
So when did the name “Lucifer” get it’s naughty and not-so-Christian connotation? Well, in a Biblical sense it came from the name of a king of Babylon known as Helel, a Hebrew word that refers to the Day Star or Morning Star, and the Latin name for that is, well, Lucifer.
While they never managed to challenge Indian or Harley-Davidson in terms of production numbers, they did stomp both of those iconic manufacturers into the Terra when it came to naming their bikes…
Insuring your collectible or vintage motorcycle
You can spend a lot less, but if you plan to ride the bikes in your collection, the above pricing is a reasonable approximation of what you can expect to pay.