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  1. #1
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    Motobecane Serial Number Database

    OK people, I've only got another 500 posts remaining , so I've decided to make an attempt at decrypting one last serial number format. It seems Motobecane's format has been giving people fits, so I'm willing to give it a shot, if you want to play along.

    Most of you already know the drill. Post pictures of your Motobecane (full drive side and detail pictures of major components, tubing decal, headbadge and serial numbers). Provide as much info as possible on the components including brand, model and date codes (when available). Refer to the components page of the Vintage-Trek website if you need a primer on component date codes. Bonus points if you already know the year.

    NOTE: Motobecane often have several sets of numbers on the bottom bracket shell. I need ALL of them, as we don't which which holds the key to dating.

    I'll be tabulating and analyzing the data. A summary of the findings will be posted here (i.e. post #1). Hopefully, it will as successful as the other, similar threads (Bianchi, Centurion, Fuji, Miyata, Nishiki, etc.). TIA.

  2. #2
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    T-Mar -
    Great idea and long overdue.
    I'm not as enthusiastic about your self imposed 10K post limit though. (We'll have to address that separately.)

    My '75 Le Champion - with an unoriginal crankset and brakes... S/N 2345861, as near as I can tell, located on the left rear DO. No other numbers.



    French Reynolds decals:




    - Auchen

  3. #3
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    '76 or '77 grand record came to me with 531 decals on the fork, campy drops, suntour cyclone gearing, sugino arms and atom 700 pedals. it had rigida 700c rims on campy nr hubs i assume were an upgrade. i swapped out the gearing, headset, and seatpost (26.6) for campy nr/sr. the fork crown was french sized when it arrived (later milled) and the steerer is standard diameter with french threads. the bb shell is swiss with a sakae bb as found.

    bb shell s#: 3606 443 701





    edit: after researching my latest acquisition, i've realized my gr is either a '76 or '77. moto started using suntour cyclone on its jubilé in '76. as my gr came to me with this instead of campy gearing, it almost has to be a '76 or '77. by '78, the gr no longer looked like the gr. gone was the traditional trim and campy nr componentry altogether.
    Last edited by eschlwc; 06-29-13 at 05:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    Great idea and a noble mission. (Where's the little 'saluting' smilie?)

    My Grand Record is almost certainly 1974; it has the original Pat 74 Campy RD. (Okay, 'almost certainly' original, take it up with my friend Bill Occam.) SN, as found on the rear non-drive DO: 2993974. There's a single, obscure letter B or possibly a numeral 6 or 8 on the bottom of the BB shell. It would be really neat if the 974 referred to the date, but no way is this that easy!

    Here are some pics, 'as found' and current. Tubing is 531 '3 Main Tubes.' Derailleurs are NR (pat 74), Cranks TA, pedals Atom, brakes Weinmann, hubs Maillard 'red label' Competition with Weinmann clinchers. Bars, stem, seat and seatpost had been changed out and Suntour barcons added.

    I have put the 'correct' NR shifters and a Nitto 'Pearl' stem and bars on, and a recent Brooks Team Pro on an SR LaPrade seatpost. Also Tektro aero levers for the sake of my old, sore hands, and have been trying different pedals, lately 80s Specialized Touring. Most recently added new wheels, Campy HF hubs with modern Sun rims.











    My GR has a Swiss thread TA BB, everything else is English sizing.

    I started a thread specifically for the Grand Record, and several people contributed SNs and pictures...the SNs were all over the place.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...e-Grand-Record

    I also picked up a later 70s Mirage mixte for my daughter; thought I had the SN noted but apparently not; I'll add that later.
    Last edited by Chicago Al; 06-08-13 at 04:43 PM.
    I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking on this project.

    Here's my one owner 1978 TC, purchased April 1979. Huret dropouts match the 1978 catalog specs. 1978 date code on RD. Original downtube decals were removed; what you see are replacements. Top tube lettering is hand-painted, as is "Made in France" on NDS chainstay.

    BB and fork are both French.

    Numbers on BB are 4368575; 050. As you can see in the last photo, in the second number the first digit looks like a zero; the third, a lower case o.


    Last edited by due ruote; 06-04-13 at 11:21 PM.

  6. #6
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    Yes, great idea, T-Mar. But I'll only add to your data base if you promise to hang around past 10K posts.

    OK. No pics but:

    Circa 1973 Team Champion_____ 13104 stamped on the BB shell. No other numbers anywhere.

    Circa 1975 Le Champion ________2904702 stamped on the non drive side dropout.
    Number stamped on BB shell is very faint but the last few digits are ....702.

    Hope this helps your worthy effort and that after collecting a bunch of data we can make some heads or tails out of it.
    Thanks.

  7. #7
    apg
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    Senior Member apg's Avatar
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    Hey, I've got this old Moto, it's a Mirage. I've changed rims and BB and Chain ring, but some of it's original. I've put in the details for you too. I couldn't make out many numbers there though. C09 maybe?

    photo copy 2.jpg

    photo copy.jpgphoto copy 3.jpgphoto.JPG
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I will see what I can dredge up after Andrea gets done inundating us. I have a Nomade and possibly a Nomade II. I know the Nomade has a Swiss BB, the original derailleurs are long gone, but probably the old plastic Simplex if memory serves me.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    This is a 1970-'72 Grand record. Nuovo Record shifting, Normandy "red label" hubs, Fiamme rims, Stronglight seatpost, competition head set and bottom bracket. Stronglight 49A cranks and Universal 61 calipers. The pedals, brake levers and stem were changed. The handlebars are still original Pivo. The saddle is not original, Ideal 90

    Inside right drop 64316
    Outside left drop 6 (2 or 8) 73418




    30 751 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr


    30 750 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr




    8 024 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr








    And we have the 1978 Le champ frame. Original color was gold. nine tubes Reynolds 531, Bocoma competition long point lugs and Huret dropouts.

    On the BB shell 42(8 or 3)6898-883


    30 757 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr


    30 044 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr


    30 763 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr

    Last edited by ftwelder; 06-08-13 at 06:01 AM.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

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  10. #10
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    1978 Grand Jubilé purchased new spring 1978 from Cyclocentre Sportif on Notre Dame in Winnipeg. Bike shop changed SR stem to shorter 3TTT at my request as part of sale. Price was $378. Crankset, RD, freewheel & saddle not original. Serial No. is 4304087. That is from my records, as the bike is not accessible to me. I believe it came from the bottom bracket, and if there were other numbers I likely would have included them in my records, so probably that's the only number on the bike.



    May I suggest that you get your serial # database threads added to the sticky threads index or put the links in a stand-alone sticky? I have several other bikes that I could probably add to your databases.

    Thanks for all your diligent efforts!
    Geoff
    "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am"

  11. #11
    Senior Member 1 Lugnut's Avatar
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    My '74 Grand Record has the same paint scheme as old's'cool's. I'll take some closeups & look for the serial # by tomorrow. It was my 1st race bike & have had it since I bought it new from a Frenchman at the LBS as a 'frame-only' in '77 & built it up w/ some cheap funny parts.

    ~ Thx T-Mar...!

  12. #12
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    Well, it really interesting to see the variation on the serial number format. Some are on the dropouts (both sides no less), some are the bottom bracket. Some have five characters, most are seven (for the base number). One has a supplemental set of three characters and another has two supplemental sets of three characters.

    Initial analysis indicates that most appear to follow a simple sequential numbering arrangement. There are two major exceptions. First is rootboy's Team Champion, which is also the sole sample with a five character number. However, this may be indicative that the Team Champions were made in a separate division. The other exception is Frank's Grand Record which starts with a "6", while others appear to be pre-1979 and don't get above a "4". Of course, with the limited number of samples at hand, it's too early to make any definitive statements but I just wanted to pop in and thank the contributors and let them know I am working on this.

    Lugnut, I've got your serial number. I found it while scrounging some other threads for Moto S/N.

  13. #13
    Senior Member 1 Lugnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    Lugnut, I've got your serial number. I found it while scrounging some other threads for Moto S/N.
    Good enuff T...!

  14. #14
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    '80 grand jubilé



    serial: 4704049 901 (1675 on bb and nds dropout)

    this beautiful vitus 172 frame in traditional black came to me without the original fork and what i assume were original equipment: sakae swiss bb, moto headset, weinmann center pulls, sr seatpost, and pivo bars/weinmann levers wrapped in the mb patented faux leather wrap.

    how do i know it's an '80? well in '81, the jubilé got bottle bosses, and my frame is spaced at 126mm, a 6-speed, introduced in '80. it's a good guess. also of note are the top tube brazed cable guides and neither the rear dropout adjustment holes nor the rear rack mounts are threaded. that, i don't like. otherwise, i'm extremely happy with it. in a nutshell, the ride quality feels incredibly long, fast and smooth.
    Last edited by eschlwc; 07-02-13 at 05:42 PM.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Maver71's Avatar
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    Here it is late '70's Moto Grand Touring. All original but I don't know about the seat, tires and toe klips? Has Suntour derailleurs. Everything works and rides great.

    The one of the rim hubs says "Normandy M 03 78"

    Motobekane 001.jpgMotobekane 007.jpgMotobekane 002.jpgMotobekane 003.jpgMotobekane 005.jpgMotobekane 006.jpg

  16. #16
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    Addendum. My TC BB shell also has the frame size stamped into it. 61. FWIW.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Gasbag's Avatar
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    I bought a 1972 Le Champion this week from the original owner. He bought it new in 1973. The only non original parts on it are bar end shifters and he added a third ring to the crankset. He is going to send me the original shifters, frame pump, and sales slip. Unfortunately for me, he painted over the teal and white with a red & black scheme and I am going to have to do a repaint. I dated the bike by the 72 patent on the RD and the 1972 catalog which shows the teal and white bike without chrome fork tips, which matches mine perfectly.

    There are numbers on the BB that are engraved and I suspect are the original owners drivers license number - so I won't be posting them.

    The numbers on the ND rear dropout are: 1419322

    My Le Champion has the plastic, riveted on, head badge.
    Last edited by Gasbag; 08-31-13 at 08:27 PM. Reason: update

  18. #18
    Senior Member acoffin's Avatar
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    Here is my recently acquired early 70's Grand Record.

    2013-08-01 17.34.26.jpg

    Number on outside of left drop out: 1426239 (note that the 6 is a best guess, also the line between 3 and 9 is not a 1)

    CAM00011.jpg

    Number on inside of right drop out: 64216

    CAM00012.jpg

    Here are the components and other details (note shown are the Normandy Competition gold label hubs, Stronglight Competition headset, Brooks Pro with no date digits visible, and Weinmann 610 brakes). I strongly believe everything is original equipment, with the possible exception of the Weinmann clinchers.

    CAM00022.jpgCAM00021.jpgCAM00020.jpgCAM00019.jpgCAM00017.jpgCAM00015.jpgCAM00024.jpg

    Edit: I forgot to mention there are no markings on the bottom bracket.
    Last edited by acoffin; 09-01-13 at 11:38 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    I was just offered a c. 70-72 Le Champion much like the one Gasbag described above, in the blue/teal color but with the ivory headtube and bands painted over. And it's just a frame/fork. It has the geometrical decal headbadge with 'Pantin,' as on ftwelder's bike. I am probably going to pass on it though, not what I need at this time...I will get the serial number though.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member gbalke's Avatar
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    T-Mar,

    I posted this information back in October 2009 but I'll repost it here to help in your efforts.

    The local CL had a post last week where the seller was cleaning out her shed. For the asking price of $10, I was able to pick up a 70's Motobecane mixte in Champagne color with brown stripes, and additional mixte frame and fork stripped of its original paint, a set of 27" steel wheels, a new gum wall tire and a box of mics parts; several kick stands, some reflectors and several bells.




    The bike's serial number on the bottom bracket is 7749062 followed by 702. The numbers stamped on the drop outs are 47917.




    Cranks are Suntour Tourney with 40 and 52 tooth chain rings. The crank arms have the following numbers stamped on the backs, 76.7 on the left arm and and 76.11 on the right arm. I assume these are date stamps.




    The rear derailleur, a Suntour VGT Luxe, is missing, the FD is a Suntour Compe V. The shift levers, which were stem mounted SunTour Power Shifters, are also missing. Rear brake is a Weinmann 750 center pull, front brake is missing. Wheels are Weimann alloys with Normandy high flanged hubs dated 77.




    Based on this information and the following pictures, can someone tell me exactly what year and model Moto I have? I believe it's a '77 model year.

    Here's the most recent photo taken during it's rebuilding process, though not yet complete:

    Last edited by gbalke; 09-01-13 at 05:24 PM.
    1968 Robin Hood 3 speed...1970's Raleigh Sports Pathracer
    1972 Raleigh Sports............1973 Raleigh Sports
    1974 Raleigh Grand Prix......1974 Raleigh Grand Prix (made in Holland)
    1969 Peugeot UO-18...........1971 Peugeot UO-8
    1980's Giant Project.............2007 Trek 3700 mountain bike
    1971 German 3 speed.........1977 Motobecane Super Mirage Mixte
    1970 Raleigh Twenty...........1972 Raleigh Sports (donor bike)
    1954 Humber Sports (my newest project)

  21. #21
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    Have you tried comparing the specs on your mixte to ones that might be in catalog scans on the net? Do a Google search on Motobecane Catalogs. There's quite a few on the net. Bulgier.net. Velobase. And a couple other sources. The internet is your best bet.

  22. #22
    pneu a' plat rootboy's Avatar
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    For instance. Check out the Nomade Sprint. And page 15, specs #2
    http://bulgier.net/pics/bike/Catalogs/Motobecane/76/

  23. #23
    Senior Member gbalke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    Have you tried comparing the specs on your mixte to ones that might be in catalog scans on the net? Do a Google search on Motobecane Catalogs. There's quite a few on the net. Bulgier.net. Velobase. And a couple other sources. The internet is your best bet.
    I've checked out those exact sites back in 2009 when I originally posted my photos of the Super Mirage. Comparing the catalog photos and spec sheets, I determined it is a '77. That year the tubing changed to 2040, they first offered the Super Mirage in Champagne Gold and the saddle was suede. In '78 the saddle changed to a black Record "E" Touring padded saddle.
    1968 Robin Hood 3 speed...1970's Raleigh Sports Pathracer
    1972 Raleigh Sports............1973 Raleigh Sports
    1974 Raleigh Grand Prix......1974 Raleigh Grand Prix (made in Holland)
    1969 Peugeot UO-18...........1971 Peugeot UO-8
    1980's Giant Project.............2007 Trek 3700 mountain bike
    1971 German 3 speed.........1977 Motobecane Super Mirage Mixte
    1970 Raleigh Twenty...........1972 Raleigh Sports (donor bike)
    1954 Humber Sports (my newest project)

  24. #24
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    Thanks for taking this on, and perfect timing on my end. I came to the forums yesterday actually looking to find a way to date my garage sale pick up of a Moto Mirage. It was cheap and would have bought it anyway since it's the coolest color frame I've come across in a while. I've given it a quick once over and think it's actually going to stay with me now rather than sell. Like it a lot.

    I am guessing, just from quick reviews of 70's catalogues that this is around 74? 75? I don;t know, just a guess, based somewhat on the 1020 tubing specs. Seems all original except for the bars of course. Suntour GT RDR. Maillard hubs, Nervar crank... If anyone has a better idea than my guess I'd love to hear it.

    Only id's I found were the "609" under the frame and the "2426850" and the "A24" on the dropout.

    photo-76.jpgphoto-77.jpgphoto-78.jpgphoto-79.jpgphoto-80.jpg

  25. #25
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbalke View Post
    …Cranks are Suntour Tourney with 40 and 52 tooth chain rings...
    is 'suntour' etched in the crankset? it looks like a takagi crank that was used on some moto models. i happen to have a takagi tourney set from '76 (without the guard). i don't know if these two brands were affiliated.

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