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Road Test/Bike Review (1977) MOTOBECANE Grand Touring

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Road Test/Bike Review (1977) MOTOBECANE Grand Touring

Old 08-12-19, 12:11 PM
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Road Test/Bike Review (1977) MOTOBECANE Grand Touring



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Old 08-12-19, 07:45 PM
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That review is spot on when they talk about the budget factor. Even more so today because these bikes get lumped into the beginners class and can be had dirt cheap. The GT was always a hi-ten frame except for a few years in the late 70s. These are Vitus 172 frames with forged SunTour dropouts, the excellent Suntour GTV Luxe derailleurs and a respectable weight of 25 pounds. They feel like a much more expensive bike. It is a quick handling bike and the review is rather kind in saying it's best suited for smooth roads. These are one of the best deals on the vintage market today. I've had on since new in 1976, love it. Never bothered removing the turkey levers.
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Old 08-12-19, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BigChief View Post
That review is spot on when they talk about the budget factor. Even more so today because these bikes get lumped into the beginners class and can be had dirt cheap. The GT was always a hi-ten frame except for a few years in the late 70s. These are Vitus 172 frames with forged SunTour dropouts, the excellent Suntour GTV Luxe derailleurs and a respectable weight of 25 pounds. They feel like a much more expensive bike. It is a quick handling bike and the review is rather kind in saying it's best suited for smooth roads. These are one of the best deals on the vintage market today. I've had on since new in 1976, love it. Never bothered removing the turkey levers.
Thanks Chief. I always enjoying reading about BF members' experiences with these Road Test bikes.
Do you think it is a better performer during fast club/recreational rides than it is for touring as the author suggests?
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Old 08-12-19, 10:15 PM
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Touring at that time could mean two things: a camping bike, or else simply a recreational bike used for a pleasant Sunday ride to see the sights.

My up the street neighbor when I was a kid actually had this exact same bike. '77 grand touring. I remember oohing and aahing when he got it. The neighborhood wars to see who could ride the furthest and the fastest soon intensified... Before then we were all on huffys, royce unions, all pros, and other junk of that ilk.
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Old 08-12-19, 10:23 PM
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Enjoyed this review OP, I have a 78 Vitus tubed Moto_GT and like it very much. Took it the market the other day...it really deserves a longer more spirited ride. Its my most bone stock vintage ride, when I over hauled last year I only changed a few things like the brake levers as I had no love for the combo safety levers it came with but the levers are period correct and were a bit of a challenge since they mount right onto the bars and not via a band. And I went with a Brooks saddle and also swapped to a 38t inner ring to get a slightly easier hill gear than the stock 40t ring. I happened to rehab and sell a 23" frame Super mirage and found it fit me like a glove so I looked on and off for about 3 years for a nicer 23" model and finally found the Moto_GT.



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Old 08-12-19, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ryansu View Post
Enjoyed this review OP, I have a 78 Vitus tubed Moto_GT and like it very much. Took it the market the other day...it really deserves a longer more spirited ride. Its my most bone stock vintage ride, when I over hauled last year I only changed the brake levers as I had no love for the combo safety levers it came with but the levers are period correct and were a bit of a challenge since they mount right onto the bars and not via a band. I happened to rehab and sell a 23" super mirage and found it fit me like a glove so I looked on and off for about 3 years for a nicer 23" model and finally found the Moto_GT.


Yours is a very classy looking bike. Now that I think about it, I've felt that way about most Motobecane bikes I've seen over the years. Thanks for posting!
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Old 08-13-19, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by SpeedofLite View Post
Thanks Chief. I always enjoying reading about BF members' experiences with these Road Test bikes.
Do you think it is a better performer during fast club/recreational rides than it is for touring as the author suggests?
The steering is quick. Great for dodging potholes. I do think the ride is a bit more harsh than other touring bikes. @ryansu has the right idea with the sprung Brooks saddle. Very pretty bike. The big feature though is the price/value aspect. You really do get a nice, mid range 10 speed for the price of a hi-ten clunker.
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Old 08-13-19, 04:52 AM
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Two winters ago I was looking for a bike to use on my trainer and found one that fit (60) me in a thrift store for $18. It was a 90% mint GT ; pretty sure it's an 1980, had a triple. Label on fork sez Vitus 888 and label on frame Vitus 888 1.0-.8. It was not going to be a trainer bike but where I ride it (WV) is major hills so made a few changes. I SAVED ALL THE ORIGINAL PARTS !

I built new 700 wheels, using a Campy hub in the back. Courtesy of my 40 yrs of part accumulation now has 6sp Sun Tour index bar end shifters, Biopace triple crank, a Winner Pro freewheel, a Terry Liberator seat, and new brakes. It weighs 23 .8 oz lbs ready to ride per my Park scale and feels OK at 35 mph. The "ride" is better than my alum frame/carbon fork "modern" bike.

Please note : I SAVED ALL THE ORIGINAL PARTS

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Old 08-13-19, 05:34 AM
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I was never a big fan of French road bikes. The Moto GT changed that for me. Like Ryansu's, mine is a '78. Great riding bike, and it doesn't wear me out me out on 40 to 50 mile rides. It is also incredibly reliable, and very low maintenance. I would compare it to a Fuji in that regard. It is also a beautifully made bike with many nice details (lugs, paint, hand-painted pinstriping, etc.). I recently put the comfy leather Sella Italia Grand Prix saddle back on it. I actually prefer it on this bike. The brake lever extensions work for me. I like them on this bike (and only this bike). I ride the hoods, and often grab upwards on the section closest to the brake levers. They are hidden behind my 40 YO C'Dale bag anyway. I don't ride with toe clips, and I switched to a nice pair of alloy MKS pedals (circa 1983)

The original pedals were probably the only weak point on this bike, but that is from a 2019 perspective.
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Old 08-13-19, 08:21 AM
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My 1976 GT is a great ride. My father bought it new, and I resurrected it about a little over a year ago after it had been hanging from ceiling hooks since 1982. I appreciate the bike for both the ride quality and sentimental value.

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Old 08-13-19, 10:01 AM
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Here's mine. Tall frame. This is a very old picture. I really should get around to taking a new one since the camera built in to my phone is 10 times better than my first digital camera that I used here.

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Old 08-13-19, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by BigChief View Post
Here's mine. Tall frame. This is a very old picture. I really should get around to taking a new one since the camera built in to my phone is 10 times better than my first digital camera that I used here.

You guys are going to get me to buy one of these elegant looking bikes, I swear!
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Old 08-13-19, 07:23 PM
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My 1983 GT. Vitus 888 frame. Great riding bike.

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Old 08-13-19, 08:05 PM
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During the spring of 1975 I saved enough money to buy a Motobecane Grand Touring. It was the most beautiful deep candy red I’d ever seen. I was friends with the shop owner who gave me parts to remove the safety levers. Before summers end I added Suntour Bar End shifters, bought 2 Cannondale bags to tour with and rode my first century. A couple years later I sold it to a neighbor and regretted it ever since.
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Old 08-14-19, 01:16 PM
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My daughter has one in very nice condition. She bought it in R.I. when she was living there as she left her Gran Jubile' here in So Cal. She didn't want to part with it when she moved to San Diego so she still has it. It survived a New England winter as she didn't have a car! Joe
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