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Motobecane map Manufactured in France

Motobecane Logo

Motobecane Moped


Model: 50 VLC
Year: 1978
Engine: 49cc - two stroke
Horse Power: 4.0 at 4500 RPM
Transmission: Mobymatic Variator variable speed chain/belt drive (pedal via chain)
Ignition: Novi magneto
Tires: 2 ¼” x 17”
Dry Weight: 105 lbs (Actual 118 lbs)
Fuel Capacity: 1 US Gal.
Gas/Oil Mix: 50:1

Equipment: Variator, Horn, tools & air pump, fork lock, helmet hook, leg guards, deluxe seat & handlebars, baskets
Suggested Retail Price When New: $519.00

The Motobecane “Moby” is a cornerstone of 1970’s mopeds - millions have been sold worldwide since they debuted in 1949. (Today Yamaha owns Motobecane and the 50V is still manufactured for sale in France.).

It is a real pleasure to ride these mopeds; they are quiet, smooth and, (variator equipped), have the best all around performance of any moped I have ridden. The variator is a pulley controlled by flyweights allowing the belt to ride up or down the inside face thus changing the gear ratio. (The entire engine pivots to take up slack in the belt.) Braking is excellent and overall the moped feels very solid and comfortable. They also have a easily acessible tool box and well equipped tool kit.

By the late 70’s the list of options available from Motobecane dealers was very impressive, this bike sports many of them including the leg shields, special handle bars, long seat, fold-out chrome baskets and rear-view mirror. Motobecane USA also offered nice vinyl saddle bags, a handlebar extension rear view mirror and windshield among other options.

The down side to Moby’s is they are French - simply miserable to work on and repair with the engineering being over-complicated and counter-intuitive. Many jobs require special tools/know how (manuals are a must have) and parts are getting very hard to find here in the USA. The specially designed drive belt must be replaced with an original Hutcheson belt (available only in France as far as I can tell) or the bike will not perform correctly - a run of the mill Gates belt will reduce your top speed by 4-6mph. Another downside is the fuel economy; horrendous at only 50-75 MPG.

Synopsis: When running the CADILLAC of mopeds - to work on the Citroen of two wheelers.


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