Ladies Motobecane 1924

rebuilding

Although the frame clearly shows that there is space for a gearbox, the Motobecane is reassembled as a MB1. To make it a MB2 model there are some changes required:

The flywheel of the MB1 isn’t fit for the MB2; the gear wheel is on the wrong side of the flywheel and the flywheel of the MB1 is bigger than the one of the MB2;

The protective cap of the MB1 for the magneto gear wheel is smaller than the one for the MB2;

The magneto of the MB1 sits lower on the engine housing and is smaller in size than the one of the MB2;

The brackets of the protective cap of the drive pulley lack on the MB1;

The MB1 has only half the protective cap relative to the MB2;

Motobécane used more than one kind of handlebars; a more bend one was manually made which allows you to sit up straight;

The drive pulley is replaced by a type used by the MB2.

My first test ride:

A moody two stroke

I am the proud owner of a ladies model Motobecane MB1 which my father and I restored together and transferred from a MB1 to a MB2. A MB1 as no gears and/or clutch and due to family circumstances, this isn’t practical for us. A gearbox is a must!
After the restoration the inspection and test drives went without trouble. The first ride and the following rides during the next 2 years, also went without considerable problems. But afterwards…

The problems started during the ride in Hengelo 2009. The clutch slipped and it made the necessary noise.
In itself not so bad , just replacing the small corks. To do so the necessary wine flowed plentifully.
Those new corks seemed to do the trick not entirely; Tensing the belt did the trick. So we thought that the problems were over. And we decided to make another ride in October. The weather was good and the temperature acceptable. Just quickly filling up the tank and than go for the ride. Kick starting was no problem, until I wanted to speed up to ride away. “You do it”, was the answer of my little motorbike. Such things happen so just kick starting again. Starting no problem, but riding away, ooh no! After half an hour we decided to draw out the 1950 DKW IFA and to go for our ride.

The next weekend we analyzed the problem with the ladies Motobecane and we had come to the conclusion that there wasn’t enough compression. First we checked all the usual causes, but in the end we concluded a faulty piston.
There wasn’t a new piston for the taking, so we had to see which entrepreneurs could cast us one. We found one in Wieringerwerf. After contacting the company and sending the old piston, the long wait came.

Ibbenbüren came in sight and I became nervous. All the more because my men’s model Motobecane MB2 also stood still for two years because of magnet problems. Some parts for certain magneto’s are difficult to obtain and that was also here the case. My father had been looking through his old parts to see if anything would fit on the magneto of the men’s model Motobecane MB2. He succeeded, so that I was able to participate in the event of Ibbenüren.

This was, eventually, the only event in 2010 that I concluded without using the assistance of the “bezemwagen”( a tow truck). 3x A flat tyre and magneto problems had made sure that I often saw the interior of the “bezemwagen”. Thank God for the “bezemwagen” during these events!

Because we wanted to replace the piston in the spring, we made a tour around the IJsselmeer. We had our first stop in Friesland, Joure, and after that we went to Wieringerwerf to collect the new piston. From Wieringerwerf we went to Anna Paulowna to meet Jan Petter and to bring him his repaired magneto’s. From Jan’s we went to Hoorn and, finally we went for a peek to Piet Oud in Hem

Coming home we were very curious if the piston would meet our expectations. Reassembling the engine and kicking, kicking, kicking…. No puf, huf or any other sound, just my panting.
Nothing, nada, no sign of life. Using the electric drill . Still Nothing, so taking apart the engine and taking out the piston. After a few test we discovered that the piston leaked. All casting errors. So what to do next?

Jan Petter had shown us what he does and can do during our visit, so I asked advise from him. He milled a new piston, so there was hope again. We built that milled piston in the engine, but it didn’t do the trick either. De engine wanted to go while kicking the starter, but it didn’t make any rpm while throttling the gas. Still magneto problems? To be sure we mounted an other magneto, but this didn’t help. We were sceptical already, because the original magneto sparked very well.

My father sees a lot of volks, because of his wrapping coils activities. In this way he met a person who didn’t live that far from us and even owned a complete Motobecane engine. My father drove straight with him to his house to pick up the engine. It was, indeed, an engine that would fit into the frame of the ladies Motobecane. The ladies Motobecane has a pocket cylinder with a horizontal spark plug en horizontal decompresseur. This is due to the construction of the frame. The little engine which my father bought wasn’t one with a pocket cylinder but it had a horizontal spark plug opening. It fitted perfectly into the frame. It was a revised little engine, so we could exchange it completely.
But who thinks that our problem was solved finally, should think twice. Even this little engine didn’t want to run. But we had options now. Swapping cylinders, fitting pistons, fitting new and used piston rings, etc. We tried a lot of combinations, but nothing worked. The Motobecane did not run!

We were working on our final option, because the seperate cylinder cap of the second engine created new possibilities. I had, namely, a complete set cylinder and a custom made piston on the shelf for the men’s Motobecane. The men’s Motobecane has a seperate cylinder capwith a vertical spark plug. Now, the second engine for the ladies Motobecane also uses a seperate cylinder cap. That why we were busy to fit the complete set meant for the men’s Motobecane on the ladies MB with exchange of the seperate caps. Would this finally solve our problem? And would I finally be able to ride my ladie MB the next motorcycle season?
So you can see that a simple two stroke motorbike can create big problems!

A moody two stroke (part 2)

Om de laatste vraag als eerste te beantwoorden; ja, ik heb dit seizoen al twee ritten helemaal uitgereden. Maar alvorens daarover te vertellen zal ik eerst even laten weten hoe de reparatie van de dames MB verder is verlopen.
De omruil van petten was geen succes. Ondanks de complete set cilinder en op maat gemaakte zuiger voor de heren Motobecane, wilde de dames MB er niet oplopen. Wij waren er klaar mee. Nu maar eens kijken of iemand anders het probleem kon oplossen.
Via e-mail en telefonisch contact met Jan Petter, was er besloten dat ik het gehele motorblokje, inclusief vliegwiel, naar hem zou opsturen. Zo gezegd, zo gedaan. Na enkele weken kreeg ik een pakket terug. Nu gauw inbouwen en kijken of de dames MB eindelijk wil lopen. De allereerste start kostte enige moeite, maar waarempel, ze liep! Dit duurde echter maar een paar minuten. De motor liep vast. Na telefonisch contact met Jan Petter heeft hij ons een vernuftig stangetje met klemmetjes opgestuurd, zodat we de zuiger enigszins konden afdraaien inde draaibank. Na deze arbeid liep de motor perfect. Eén trap en de motor sloeg aan. De eerste testrit heb ik in de regen om het platsoen gemaakt, want wachten op mooi weer duurde te lang. Ibbenbüren naderde…

Om de dames MB verder te testen, zijn we op een mooie zondagmiddag naar Bourtange gereden. De heenweg was geen probleem. Het motortje zoemde als een naaimachine. Maar na de pauze wilde ze wel starten, maar niet doorlopen. De motor sloeg gelijk weer af! Mijn vader is toen naar huis gereden op zijn Automoto en heeft de dames MB opgehaald met zijn bus. Wat een tegenslag! Gelukkig was dit keer de magneet de schuldige. De contactpunten moesten worden bijgesteld en dit is een moeilijk karweitje bij deze Novi-magneten. Maar daarvoor was ik bij het goede adres!

Vervolgens hebben we een aantal motoren gepoetst en naar Zuidlaren gebracht. Daar kreeg de dames MB de tweede prijs zoals we allemaal al eerder hebben kunnen lezen in ons VMC-blad.
Ibbenbüren kwam al gauw na Zuidlaren. De dames MB heeft beide dagen zonder moeite gelopen. Het starten gaat veel gemakkelijker als voorheen en het motortje heeft niet éénmaal tegengesputterd.
Mijn vader had twee motoren bij zich; de Automoto en zijn nieuwe aanwinst, de Monet Goyon, Automouche, type GZA van 1930. Maar dit is een verhaal op zich. De tweede rit hebben we in Zörbig gereden. Daar werd de curbici veterano georganiseerd. Ook deze rit is een verhaal op zich.
Mijn dames Motobecane loopt weer na anderhalf jaar te hebben geploeterd. Achteraf was de oplossing niet zo moeilijk. Het probleem was duidelijk, maar hoe kom je aan een nieuwe kamzuiger? Die liggen niet op de plank. Jan Petter heeft er één voor mij gedraaid. Het is mooi dat iemand dat wil en kan doen, want naast de mogelijkheden moet je natuurlijk ook de kennis hebben om zoiets tot stand te brengen.
Jan, nogmaals hartelijk dank! Zonder jou stond de dames MB er nog steeds treurig bij.