My Motobecane Adventures

So I’m diving into the Motobecane world. I’m starting with this 1978 model 50V. It supposedly runs, but I haven’t tried starting it yet. I’m no stranger to mopeds, I have 13 in my collection. But I am new to French mopeds. This Motobecane is part of a five bike lot I picked up last week. I’ve been reading in the wiki about them, and also on some of the threads in the forums. But I’ve still got a lot to learn about them. What are the most important things I should know? You know, the “don’t do that” things or the “you need to know this before you do this” kind of stuff. Maybe like the top five Motobecane do’s and don’ts would be really cool. It has a Dellorto clone carburetor. I’m going to keep reading up on ‘er and tinkering on it in the meantime, while y’all think about your responses. Here’s a couple pics. If you see something that looks out of sorts, point it out to me please. Everything seems fine to me visually, other than missing side covers. Thank you for your advice.

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Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Get extra exhaust crush gaskets. Safety wire the exhaust manifold nut. Replace ht coil. Replace condenser and route it outside of the cover. Tighten fork with 32mm socket.

I put 3k miles in a summer like that. Also, I welded the freewheel mode lock since its a failure point.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Yep, don't EVER disengage the pedal/engine mode switch on the large driven pulley, they can be very hard to re-engage, if you have to pedal the bike or just roll it any distance, push the engine back and slip the belt off. Flywheel (novi) nut is reverse threaded. Get a new belt. Check and or replace the engine mounts, (flexi blocs) get the more expensive ones from Treats. Read everything in the Wiki Rebel Moby has put in there. Have fun! Once riding well, you will love it. Look in the compartment under the seat, see if the og tool kit is in there, if so you will have a easier time getting the plug out, if not you have to cut down a standard plug socket, as most will not clear the tank.(edited)

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Hilarious! The first thing I did is, "What's this for?" And turned that sucker. Fortunately, it re-engaged easily. Smack my hand, I won't do it again!

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Gonna follow this post closely as I've been thinking about a cheap non-running Moby that's on CL about 2 hours from me. Never owned one as I've been sticking with QTs forever and my Hero Panther is a long term project. But French stuff ( cars ,mopeds and women) have had my attention for a long time.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

> Seth B Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> Hilarious! The first thing I did is, "What's this for?" And turned that

> sucker. Fortunately, it re-engaged easily. Smack my hand, I won't do it

> again!

If it went back ok, maybe your pulley is not as rusted as mine was, I ended up replacing it, some go as far as to drill a hole in the pulley and bolt the arm in place...just been my experience that they are more of a pita than they are worth.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Ya my moby was great. 15.15, modified pipe, ported lightly and cruised at 40-42 all day. Great bike.

Also, i always road with a spar belt zip tied to the bars.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

So I put some fresh gas in it and it fired right up. It ran a little rough at first, but smoothed out after it warmed up. It def needs some jetting work, as it is pretty boggy when I crank the throttle, but seems to rev out good once it gets going. I don't know if the PO changed the clone carb internals to Dellorto SHA stuffs or not, but I doubt it. So I will replace the atomizer and slide, and rejet. The exhaust may be plugged up a bit too, so I'll give it a good cleaning.

It needs a little electrical attention, too. The lights don't work, but I'm guessing it has something to do with that goofy led headlight. The horn works great. Loud AF, and when you put the kill switch to the off position, the horn sounds until the engine completely stops. Sounds like a dying deer when you shut the bike off with the switch. Beeeeuuuoog. That's what it sounds like. Good thing it's got a decomp!

I haven't tried riding it yet. I don't think it's running well enough yet & I don't trust the brake cables or tires.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Lolz dead deer.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Hate that sound, always shut down with de-comp.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Seriously tho.

Most European mopeds used the ignition circuit to power horn. So it sounds like this one used same circuit to ground out coil to kill motor.

Doesnt seem difficult to run a dedicated ground wire for kill switch instead of horn curcuit.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Do all Moby's do that when you shut em down? That's one way to announce an arrival!

It's running much better now. Upjetted a bunch. This Runtang clone carb had a 56 jet in it. I went up to 61. May be a bit rich, but we'll see. May have to take it for a short ride to try it out.

Does not have the tool kit, and it needs motor mounts. More to come...

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

> Seth B Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> Do all Moby's do that when you shut em down? That's one way to announce

> an arrival!

Or maybe it was designed that way so you would know that the kill switch was activated.

How many times has that happened?

Hey my moped won't start. Whats wrong with it? Turn off kill switch.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Actually only European mopeds that were exported for the US market had the common end of the exciter coil power horn or tail lights to comply with a USDOT regulation.

> live ɘvil Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> Seriously tho.

>

> Most European mopeds used the ignition circuit to power horn. So it

> sounds like this one used same circuit to ground out coil to kill motor.

>

> Doesnt seem difficult to run a dedicated ground wire for kill switch

> instead of horn curcuit.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

hmmm dos and donts…

DO change the silentbloc motor mounts - yours are finish.

DO adjust your ignition timing to 1,5mm BTDC (will help rid of the bog at low RPM)

DO get rid of the internal condenser, wire in a external condenser to the grey external coil wire. Put the new condenser at the lower mount stud for the external coil.

DO replace the bonding strap wit a new wire going from a intake stud to the lower mount stud for the external coil.

DO deristrict the 15mm intake for your SHA15:15 carb (oh wait a minute, you still have the 13mm bendy, so buy a 15mm intake and derestrict it)

DO cleanout the exhause AND at least change the exit pipe for 11mm inside diameter pipe (and make the new exit pipe only 1/2 length of the pea shooter you need to remove)

DO think about hard wiring the bike to get rid of the master switch from hell.

DONT pedal the cycle like a bicycle to start it, give it a proper tune up so it can start on a single kick.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

> live ɘvil Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> > Seth B Wrote:

>

> > -------------------------------------------------------

>

> > Do all Moby's do that when you shut em down? That's one way to

> announce

>

> > an arrival!

>

> Or maybe it was designed that way so you would know that the kill switch

> was activated.

>

> How many times has that happened?

>

> Hey my moped won't start. Whats wrong with it? Turn off kill switch.

It does it every time. And yes, the horn sounds if you try to start it with the kill switch in off, so you sure know it

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Rebel, all great advice; thank you. I'll be building a basket of treats over the next few weeks. Meanwhile I'll give her a proper tune up and thorough cleaning. I'll have to research how to set timing on these, as I've only timed Puch's & Minarellis thus far, and I do those in degrees BTDC. I did glance over the procedure in the service manual, but I will have to try it with my old dial caliper. We'll see.

Stay tuned!

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

> Rebel Moby Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> Actually only European mopeds that were exported for the US market had

> the common end of the exciter coil power horn or tail lights to comply

> with a USDOT regulation.

>

> > live ɘvil Wrote:

>

> > -------------------------------------------------------

>

> > Seriously tho.

>

> >

>

> > Most European mopeds used the ignition circuit to power horn. So it

>

> > sounds like this one used same circuit to ground out coil to kill

> motor.

>

> >

>

> > Doesnt seem difficult to run a dedicated ground wire for kill switch

>

> > instead of horn curcuit.

Mopeds were long a way of life with Europeans before the 1973 oil crisis hit, which opened up the flood gates to the American market. 99% of Americans were clueless as to how to operate a ped. I'm thinking the Americans needed help where as the Europeans did not.

So why would such a dot regulation apply to European peds and not the jap peds??

None of the jap peds were wired like that.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Yup, mine always farted when I used the kill switch....some people say ditch the Novi coil, I never hadda problem.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

> Aaron Blair Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> Yup, mine always farted when I used the kill switch....some people say

> ditch the Novi coil, I never hadda problem.

All mine does it also.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Just imagine the delight in rolling to a stop from 30 mph with the kill switch on as you pull up to your destination.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Pushrod Fifty /

I loved the sound of the horn dying out but the best is when you ride by a bunch of people about 20mph and kill it for about 3 seconds while under power, sounds first like an arial siren and then makes a horrendous backfire!

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

> live ɘvil Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> Just imagine the delight in rolling to a stop from 30 mph with the kill

> switch on as you pull up to your destination.

That's what my wife said when I showed her the lovely feature. She especially liked that she can shut it off with the decomp, so that feature is optional, but available on demand.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Yes.

Think The Jetsons.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Jetsons! Ha!

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

What's up with these flimsy-ass center stands made of peanut butter?

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This is the OG one. It currently has a different one off another Motobecane I got. It's not much better; it's straight, but far from vertical when down. Sure wouldn't want to sit on it on the stand, as it might fold the rest of the way under.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Some maybe helpful videos here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/RebelMoby1/playlists

*Audio sux on some of it but what do you expect from some old deaf guy...

> Seth B Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> Rebel, all great advice; thank you. I'll be building a basket of treats

> over the next few weeks. Meanwhile I'll give her a proper tune up and

> thorough cleaning. I'll have to research how to set timing on these, as

> I've only timed Puch's & Minarellis thus far, and I do those in degrees

> BTDC. I did glance over the procedure in the service manual, but I will

> have to try it with my old dial caliper. We'll see.

>

> Stay tuned!

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Mobys were meant to be started with a single kick and not pedalled like nutz on the stand like some folks tend to do. If you hammer the legs straight they will be likely much happier.

How to start a Moby - open the petrol tap, give a little choke, counter rotate the throttle, one thrust of the pedal and rotate throttle forward and release choke.

> Seth B Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> What's up with these flimsy-ass center stands made of peanut butter?

>

> This is the OG one. It currently has a different one off another

> Motobecane I got. It's not much better; it's straight, but far from

> vertical when down. Sure wouldn't want to sit on it on the stand, as it

> might fold the rest of the way under.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

Good videos, Rebel. Thanks.

That's how I like all my bikes to start. This one will soon.

Re: My Motobecane Adventures

if u haven't pulled the pulley off yet, remove and grease the probably grease-less needle bearings in there. and screw the engagement switch into the pulley so it doesn't slip and strip. remove the speedo cable, there's no way it's still accurate :-)

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