Motobécane was a French manufacturer of bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, and other small vehicles, established in 1923. "Motobécane" is a compound word made up of two colloquialisms stuck together. "Moto" is a slang word for motorcycle; "bécane" is slang for "bike."
Motobécane manufactured motorcycles from its inception in 1923 until its demise in 1981.
Motobécane was a major and respected manufacturer in the French bicycle industry. They built high-quality, low-cost frames that were a step ahead of many other French manufacturers.
In 1981, Motobécane filed for bankruptcy, and was subsequently purchased by Yamaha and reformed in 1984 as MBK; the French company continues to make motorscooters, and has no relation to Motobecane USA, which imports bicycles from Taiwan and China, manufactured to their specification under the Motobécane trademark.
Most moped companies were short lived enough that the evolution of their logo was slight or never happened. The Motobecane logo is an exception to this as it changed numerous times throughout the evolution of the company.
Repair and performance tuning guides
- Guide to Motobecane spark and timing
- Converting from stock Gurtner AR carburetor to a Dellorto SHA carburetor
- Use of the Motobecane engine engagement switch
- Motobecane repair manual for models 40, 50, and 7 in PDF format, made from the scans at mopedriders.org.