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Help identifying a Motobecane

Old 06-13-20, 10:30 AM
  #1  
baloo
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Help identifying a Motobecane

Hello, I just picked up a Motobecane that had me curious and I need some expertise to figure out the model. It has been converted to a singlespeed so the shifting is gone. The crank and chromed fork crowns let me think 70s, while the exage sport hubs are late 80s.
I couldn't find a frame number and I haven't seen Motobecane decals like that before and, wonder if they are genuine. There is a "hand built 1/1" decal low on the seat tube. Was wondering if any of you have seen something similar before. I can take more pictures if helpful.
Greetings from Germany
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Old 06-13-20, 07:40 PM
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d_dutchison
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My guess is the late 60's to 70's. The frame, forks, and handlebar stem appear to be the only original parts remaining on the bike. The brakes could be Weinman's, which are unlikely to be original but just in case a model did come with them, that's the brand. Paint and decals are not original, I don't believe Motobecane ever used that style of decal.

Your best chance of identifying it is to look through on-line Motobecane catalogs from that era. Your bike would have had a rear rack and a pump under the top tube and brazed cable stops. Most French bikes equipped with racks would also have had fenders and possibly lights, and the chrome cap on the forks is quite distinctive as well. Those are what you'll be looking for in the catalogs.

This page (The Bicycle Info Project: Technical manuals home page) as a 1975 motobecane catalogue but I'm sure there are others, perhaps some of the members here know of better resources for this make.
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Old 06-13-20, 08:14 PM
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+1 to the prevous post

possible your machine began life as something akin to this Nobly model of 1972. the cycle on this catalogue page has the same braze-ons for brake & gear cables as well as the rack. as you can see it came with rack and mudguards. your frame shows guides for the wiring of a lighting system. absent from the catalogue bicycle is your fork crown cap with the winged M cutout. use of this cap seemed to end about 1971 so it just means your frame was built prior to its discontinuance.

what is your location? bicycle may be a european model which does not line up exactly with what was done for the North American market where most forum readers reside.




pic assist, poster's bicycle -




Motobecane did use a great deal of Weinmann brake so nothing unusual there.

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Last edited by juvela; 06-13-20 at 08:17 PM. Reason: spellin'
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Old 06-14-20, 05:49 AM
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baloo
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Greatly appreciate your help! Nobly indeed. I'll look further into pre 71 Motobecanes. I thought the decals were something noneuropean as I have never seen them before. But I guess those were added by the person/shop doing the single speed conversion. Picked it up in Berlin Germany. I took another picture of the brake and noticed they are from dia compe. The shape of the missing headbadge seems to fit with the angular one from the 70s on velobase.
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!
I am just getting into the world of vintage bicycles, but it's all so fascinating!
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Old 06-14-20, 06:28 AM
  #5  
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baloo wrote -

"The shape of the missing headbadge seems to fit with the angular one from the 70s on velobase."

if by "angular one" you are referring to this design it is a helpful dating aid as it was only employed for one year in 1973.





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Old 06-14-20, 07:34 AM
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baloo
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Forgot to add this image above. Did not know it was only issued in 1973 that would indeed date it, because I think the shape does fit.
Found a 1973 catalog here:

velovintageagogo.com/t1797-catalogue-motobecane-octobre-1973?highlight=catalogue

I think it could be the cyclotouriste or the serie sport. Can't really see the fork crowns, but they do seem to fit as well. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge!
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Old 06-14-20, 08:17 AM
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picture assist -

image of the head of baloo's MB:



MB catalogue page of 1973 -




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Last edited by juvela; 06-14-20 at 08:22 AM. Reason: add image
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Old 06-14-20, 03:26 PM
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steve sumner
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the chrome fork crown cover could indicate that it's an Astra. a model below the Nomade
and not in the catalogs. it had no Motobecane decals. the only "giveaway" that it was
made by Motobecane was the fork crown cover. Gitane did a similar thing with the Royal Asport
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Old 06-14-20, 03:49 PM
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Astra, Orly & Dynamax did indeed receive the fork crown cap with the winged M cutout, however they received head transfers rather than head plates. Some models of Monfor and of Motoconfort also were kitted with the cap.

Subject bicycle clearly has fastener holes for the head emblem it formerly wore. One can see the "ghost image"/silhouette for the specific pattern of Motobecane head emblem with which it had been fitted.


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Last edited by juvela; 06-14-20 at 08:50 PM. Reason: addition
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