1925 Motobecane MB1 pedal start motorcycle project (on a budget)

Discussion in 'Antique Motorized Bicycles' started by Loose Nut, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut Member

    The 1st picture is what a restored one of these looks like. As I noted in another post, I had wanted one of these for a while and made similar looking thing out of bike and moped parts. I am living in Holland right now and saw a classified ad for a Motobecane frame for 100 euros (135$) Motobecane mostly built nice bicycles and mopeds, but they did used to make motorcycles. I was shocked when I saw the picture (2nd picture) A powder coated frame, forks, 2 gas tanks, and handle bars. These bike were a sales success in Europe in the '20s, but out of date when it was built: Motobecane used belt-rim drive until 1925, Harley and Indian stopped doing so more than 10 years before. The front suspension was also out of date. The result for me is that when done, the bike will look even older than it is, basically like a 100 year old motorcycle. I think I can finish the whole project for under $2,000. What would it cost to own a 1st generation motorcycle in the States? likely more than $2,000. I am trying to use period parts, but not original to that make and model. This will keep me on budget, increase parts availability, and make a faster bike. An MB1 came with a 175cc 2 stroke. I bought a 260cc 2 stroke from a 1920's Favor (another French brand) it needed a new bearing. I have a brass Villiers carb, and an old Bing carb, I'm not sure which to use. And an old Ruthardt magneto. In Holland there are a lot of cargo bicycle type machines, and some use very heavy duty 26" wheels. I got some of those rims, 2 inches wide, and 10 gauge spokes. I got one NOS 26x2.25 motorcycle tire, and am looking for another. I widened a pedal crank from a Mobyette. I just got 2 old Motobecane leather saddles this week and a belt rim pulley. No pics of those yet. The main missing part is an exhaust. The Favor engine uses dual 38mm pipes. I would like to use my lathe to scale-up a Mobylette clutch/starter clutch set up, but I may just use a simple drive pulley until I get that done. It's slow finding metal for machining in Holland. I'm also working on another pedal start Motobecane: a 1936 b1v2.

    Attached Files:

  2. tony hutchinson

    tony hutchinson New Member

    Motobecane mb1

    Hello Im restoring a mb1 similar to yours. Can you tell me the wheel rim and tyre size you have used, many thanks

  3. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut Member

    Hello Tony, I am not using original rims/tires. They are too expensive. I am using 26 inch rims that came from either a light motorcycle, or heavy industrial bicycle. I laced them up with 10 gauge spokes. I have one 26x2.25 tire, and I am looking for another. 26x2 are more available. I do not want to use 26x2.125 bicycle tires, but they do fit. I would love to see pictures of your project.
  4. tony hutchinson

    tony hutchinson New Member

    Hello if you text me your email address I will send then to you rather than me trying to get them posted on the site.

  5. tony hutchinson

    tony hutchinson New Member

  6. tony hutchinson

    tony hutchinson New Member

    Hello again do you know if the rims you used are readily available and do the have a make or manufacturer stamped on them.

    How do the wheels compare for size with the originals?

    Thanks Tony
  7. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut Member

    Tony, your bike looks very complete. Good score! I don't have original wheels tires to compared to, but I know a guy who does. They look to me like 26x2 tires on something very close to standard 26inch rims, about 1 3/4 wide. But, as I understand it, they are the old type of tires which are called different things in different countries: Heel Wheels or Beaded edge wheels. The original tires are expensive, difficult to find, and have a safety concern: they fall off when the tire pressure gets too low. My Wheels are bit wider than stock and have no stamps. I used wheels like these:



  8. tony hutchinson

    tony hutchinson New Member

    Thanks for the reply, I will have a look and see what rims are available.

    I also have a 1934 Monet Goyon similar to the Other Motobecane shown in your photos, do you have a decent saddle cover like the one on the bike that you would sell or swap?

    Thanks Tony
  9. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut Member

    I'm afraid I don't have such a cover. You know this site? http://www.leboncoin.fr/ It is the best source for antique French Motorcycle parts. You will likely end up learning French in the process. What part of the world are you in?
  10. tony hutchinson

    tony hutchinson New Member

    hello Im in the UK and yes my French is getting better thanks to leboncoin.
  11. tony hutchinson

    tony hutchinson New Member

    Hello again can you tell me where you got the belt drive from or the size of it? thank you.

  12. eddy2dice

    eddy2dice New Member

    Motobecane Mb1 Required

    Hi guys, I'm looking for a motobecane Mb1 project (or something very similar), either complete or even as little as just frame & forks.
    does anyone know of one up for grabs? I'm in England
    cheers, Ed :)