South Salem Cycleworks: Salem, Oregon
(503) 480-2001
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Motobécane Bicycles and Frames

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Founded in 1923, Motobécane was a highly respected builder of bicycles, moped and motorcycles. Of the major makers of French bikes in the post-war era, Motobécane probably produced the highest quality bikes. This has been attributed to his American importer, Ben Lawee. When other bikes of the late 1970s used dated French components of dubious quality, Motobécane equipped its bikes with the more advanced Japanese parts.

Motobécane frames exhibited a much higher level of finish work than other French frames of the era. They simply looked very good.

Motobécane went bankrupt in 1981. Yamaha bought the company and in 1984 began producing product under the MBK name. We do not believe the MBK firm produces bicycles anymore, their current (2020) production being devoted solely to scooters.

There is now a company in Taiwan producing bicycles under the Motobécane name, but it has no relationship with the French firm that went under in 1981.

On this page: 58cm Le Champion frameset

58cm Motobécane Le Champion frameset. Used, $400.00

58cm seat tube x 57.5cm top tube

  • 156mm head tube
  • Made with Reynolds 531 double-butted tubing
  • French threads (35mm x 1mm bottom bracket)
  • We believe this frame was produced in the mid-1970s
  • Campagnolo dropouts and fork tips with eyelets
  • Forged fork crown
  • Headset included


A re-spray will yield a wonderful piece of French workmanship and a bike that will be a joy to ride.