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Motobecane Prolight / Pro Mark

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Motobecane Prolight / Pro Mark

Old 07-14-17, 09:52 PM
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Motobecane Prolight / Pro Mark

I rarely buy bikes for myself these days. Maybe 1 in 20 or 30. I often buy in my size so I can at least ride them, but know when I'm buying it's going to be fully restored and resold or at least fully overhauled and sold.

Fellow BF'er @bennie222 helped me scratch a bike off the bucket list this month, something I've wanted for a while. I still owe you one man, haven't forgotten!

I found a Moto Prolight at an overly-reasonable price on CL in his neck of the woods a few weeks ago. Posted it for a sec in the CL & eBay thread but after about 30 minutes I removed it, deciding it was worth the effort to try and make this mine.

I noticed the model on the TT was 'Pro Mark I' which suggested Euro (German?) market, so I found it doubly interesting. Texted the buyer, the second he heard I was in Atlanta, the line went dead. Got in touch with @bennie222 and he talked to the seller, picked up the bike, and it was on. Awesome pack job and short ground ship later, it's in-hand. I owe a big thanks to @dashuaigeh for his assist in helping me put the pieces together. Appreciate you, brother!

I've been known to remove vintage shop stickers, but the sticker under the rear cluster has some history and is pretty cool. Machnow is/was Berlin's biggest bike shop that started back in 1899 with brothers Ernst and Karl Machnow, apparently the shop was known for (Stern? Stadler?) bikes, and moreso Arcona wheels. Research on the address (Hauptstrasse 163) shows it rolled through a few names/owners over the years but remains a bike shop even today in different hands.

Seems the bike is lacking a head badge (touch of adhesive is still there) but otherwise... this is how it was served up over there: Full 600, bonded frame. They sold a Mark I, II, III. Over here they were badged "Prolight". Needs a bit of service before I take it for a ride and it's obviously not fully put together anyway. I'd always coveted but avoided bonded frames until I recently picked up one of the Raleigh 1000SP Titanium 853/531 mixed frames and loved the ride. Figured if I was going bonded, I might as well go French

Some hi-res pics here, smaller versions below: Motobecane Prolight - Pro Mark I - Album on Imgur
















Last edited by francophile; 07-15-17 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 07-14-17, 09:53 PM
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Old 07-15-17, 08:33 AM
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Very nice Moto!!
I've read somewhere that the "A Line" designation means something special on 979s. The fact that the 979 logo is engraved is engraved on the fork legs, instead of just the usual for decals, I think, backs that up.
I think A Line 979s were only sold in Europe, not the US.
Tell us how it rides when you get it on the road!
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Old 07-15-17, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1
Very nice Moto!!
I've read somewhere that the "A Line" designation means something special on 979s. The fact that the 979 logo is engraved is engraved on the fork legs, instead of just the usual for decals, I think, backs that up.
I think A Line 979s were only sold in Europe, not the US.
Tell us how it rides when you get it on the road!
Thanks!

I was curious about the A-Line decal. It exists on the US market bikes as well. I've seen Vitus-badged 979 framesets with feather icon etched into the fork, looks like the same fork. I'm curious if Vitus built the frames and MB just put their branding on them?

I was digging this morning trying to find more details but it's tough, "Pro Mark I" (or even II and III) only returns German websites for the most part. They're readable, but you're limited by the details discussed From what I can gather, the EU market bike used the different name and came with full 600 Arabesque versus the US market which was equipped very differently. That's about it. No catalogs found.

It's tough to find info on Prolight for the domestic sales also, outside of Bulgier's resources. I guess not many were sold, very few pics in Google Images. Looks like the earlier models in US ('81-'83) had TT guides, latter models moved rear brake thru-tube, maybe this is early 80s?

Family is in town this weekend, I'm fighting temptation to go downstairs and get this rebuilt. It's super gummy from dry Texas heat, it's going to take some work.
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Old 07-15-17, 08:58 AM
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Huh, looks like I missed this: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...tus-979-a.html

Note post #7

But the Moto catalogs for the years also show bikes with the A Line decal, so not sure how valid it is.
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Old 07-15-17, 09:07 AM
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Need a head badge?
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Old 07-15-17, 09:14 AM
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I've never been drawn to Moto's, but this would definitely be a keeper if I stumbled across one.

Very nice bike.
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Old 07-15-17, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Need a head badge?
I'd never argue with one

It's super tough to find a headbadge shot of one with top tube guides and Euro market but best I can tell the original headbadge was a raised one like:



Although I think this would look sweet with one of the decal badges like the Team Champion used in the early 80s:

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Old 07-15-17, 09:36 AM
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I guess the A Lines were sold in the US afterall, but I still suspect, not in as many numbers as non-A Line 979s. I just haven't seen them that much looking at 979s all these years.I've been also watching out for another special 979, the aero version with the oval "losange" frame tubes. I had a few chances to get one through the years, but they always seem to pop up when I'm short on funds, so it never happdned.....yet?
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Old 07-15-17, 10:40 AM
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Rats, I was thinking it was the round badge.
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Old 07-15-17, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Rats, I was thinking it was the round badge.
It's the thought that counts, brother.

That's more thru the 70s model bikes. Hold onto it! Never know when one might land in your workspace
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