Motobécane, who was a manufacturer of mopeds, bicycles, motorcycles, as well as other small vehicles, was founded in 1923 in France. The word Motobécane comes from two words joined together; Moto, which is a slang word for motorcycle and bécane which is also slang and means bike.
Two gentlemen named Charles Benoit and Abel Bardin had joined forces in 1922 in which they designed their first motorcycle by 1923 which was a 175 cc single cylinder bike with a two stroke engine mounted in it and by 1933, the two under the name of Motobécane produced a four-stroke motorcycle which featured a 250 cc engine in it.
By the end of World War II Motobécane produced a very popular one-cylinder motorcycle that was necessary to fulfil a need for cheap yet reliable transportation in post war France.
The 1960's, thanks to the onslaught of the Japanese motorcycles throughout the world, proved to be a very difficult time for the Motobécane motorcycle. As a result of this Japanese onslaught coupled with the fact that the average person could now afford a car, motorcycle sales decreased.
During the late 1970's and into the early 1980's, Motobécane competed in a series of Grand Prix motorcycle racing competitions in which they claimed several victories in the 125 cc division in which they had entered as well as managing to finish in second place in the 1980 125 cc road racing division of the world championship.
Motobécane filed for bankruptcy in 1981 and was purchased by Yamaha where it was to be reformed in 1984 under the name of MBK. MBK still today, continues to make motor scooters, and has no relation to Motobécane USA, which imports bicycles from Taiwan and China, manufactured to their specification under the Motobécane trademark.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 09/06/2008