by Ron Kujawa
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I bought this a few years ago when you could still find mopeds at a reasonable price in AZ. It was rough, but mostly complete. It took me days to clean rust out of the tank with vinegar, water, and eventually Evaporust. It was a pain and I'm reluctant to ever use the reserve setting on the petcock, but it doesn't leak and fuel seems to come out clean. Then, I split the cases, did some mild match-porting done with small hand files, installed new seals, a new intake and SHA clone carb. I was able to get it running on the Gurtner carb, but poorly. The bike came with side panels, so I cleaned them up and rode stock, except for the carb and intake. That was fun for awhile, but I wanted to see how it looked and rode without fenders. The rear fender always seemed too big to me. After engineering a new mounting point for the taillight, I dug it, but I missed the toolbox. I loved the engineering, look, and practicality of it, so I figured a way to mount to the frame instead of the fender that I removed. Then I got the bug to lighten it up even more, and go for a racier look and feel. So far I had removed both fenders, side panels, and fork covers. The hacksaw came out and off went the rear rack and frame supports for it. Then the lower engine bar extension was cut out. I wanted to go as low as I reasonably could with the seat, so I cut the mount down and tried to build new mounting hardware, but it didn't work. Eventually, I chopped the frame seat mount flush with the frame, removed the seat mounting hardware, and it became an almost perfect friction fit over the frame. I may find a way to fasten it in the future, but it feels very solid as is. I decided I liked the bobber look of a shortened fender, but I didn't want the bulk of the original rear to start with, so I mocked up the front fender in place, picked a spot to cut, bent and folded the edge, found a couple points to fasten to the tool box, and two more points on the frame. With the lower seating position it made sense to get the handlebars lower. I went with low-mid rise bars that I cut 2" off each side. After toying with the idea of flipping them to make them super low, I put them back upright. It's far more comfortable this way. Next on the list is CDI and replacing that stock taillight with a much smaller LED strip. I might consider removing the center stand and going with a simple side kick stand, but I feel like I'd miss that center stand when it's time to work on anything. Along the way, I added a voltage regulator and 15W LED headlamp. I also completely disassembled the brake light switches, cleaned and made them work again. I was a little concerned with cutting the frame and going so low, but it worked out better than I expected. It feels like a completely different bike now. It feels more stable being lower, and with the seat connected directly to the shocks (even though I think one is dead), the seat feels softer than before.


1979 Motobecane 50V




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