Charles Benoît (left photo) partnered with Abel Bardin (right photo) in 1922 and designed their first motorcycle in 1923, a 175 cc (10.7 cu in) single-cylinder two-stroke motored bike using outsourced engines.
They were joined in a new partnership in December 1924 by Mr Jules Benezech, who brought the patents and the name Motobécane. The 3 partners formed a new company called” Ateliers de la Motobécane.” Additionally, apart from motorcycles under the patents and rights they could produce/construct moteurs/engines, power units, motor pumps and related machines.
On 31 January 1925, they patented the name Motoconfort to be used for motocyclettes (small moto cycles). In the same year, motobécane produced a 308cm3 2 stroke motor. Mr Pierre Doranjou was given a share for his help in the formation of the new company. In fact, in December 1925, Messrs. Bardin, Benoît, Terouache and Benezech joined forces to create a public limited liability company by an action known as the Société des Ateliers La Motoconfort (SICAM) with a capital of 800 000 F. Residing at the address; 3 rue Hoche in Pantin.
During 1927 they produced 350cc Type G, G2, G3 & Type H 500cc using lateral Blackburn engines. 1928 the model line up consisted of Type G, G2 & G3, and in 1929 – 350cc Type K, K2, K3 & 500cc Type H & H2 and also probably the 1929 Type L competition machine.
Charles Benoît continued to outsource moteur’s from Blackburn & Jap (with gearbox’s from Gras & Maignan, Staub, Picard, Albion, MC & Burman) till 1930 when they designed their first in house moteur. During the 1930s, they manufactured a longitudinal shaft-drive inline-four moteur motorcycle in 500 and 750 cc (31 and 46 cu in). During this period, the firm entered road racing competitions and won the Bol d’Or endurance race.
“Moto” is a slang word for motorcycle; “bécane” is slang for “bike.”
In 1981, Motobécane filed for bankruptcy and was subsequently purchased by Yamaha and reformed in1984 as MBK.
Early 1930 – 1939/44.
The first moteur used in the Energic motoculteur range was the 2 stroke E type 250cc (247cc) moteur in early 1930 in the B1 model. Later that year the B bloc lateral engines were used in a new model the Energic motoculteur C7; starting with the B4L 350cc and latterly in 1931 in the Energic motoculteur D9 B5L 500cc. The B4L engine is rare but the B5L is as rare as “hen’s teeth!“.The B5L engines were only used for a very short period of time in the Energic range (6 months) due to supply and limited production for just 1 year – until the introduction of the S Bloc range.
In late 1933/early 1934 the new R/S bloc lateral 250cc, 350cc and 500cc became available from motobécane. The 350cc and 500cc engines were fitted in the Energic motoculteurs C7 & D9 models respectively. (The B series motobécane engines motoculteur was discontinued in favor of the S bloc – sometimes the motoculteurs plaques showed D9 M9 but had S9 motors in this transition period). Motobécane continues to manufacture the S bloc engine and use it in its motorcycles till after the war approx., 1947. (The bloc R being the Routier version, of the later Bloc S – in motorcycle trim). Energic motoculteurs use the R bloc but all are referred to as an S bloc in motobécane moteur terms, from its introduction, as this is the most common engine variant.
The new S bloc, with its increased oil/cooling and lubrication efficiency – through the use of a separate oil reservoir (tank) situated next to the fuel tank operating a float valve regulation, was a big step forward in the motorization of the Energic motoculteur. The new engines probably came on stream with Energic models from early 1934, after spare and stock of the B4L moteurs were used up.
The C7/D9 motobécane S bloc Energic motoculteurs were still available up to late 1945 (using up the old stock inventory – I know of 2 machines that were bought after the war as old stock). Their availability overlapped with the introduction of the totally new in house produced Energic motoculteur 409 3v (engines totally Energic – not outsourced). I have a machine that was bought new, one owner, in late 1944 an Energic motoculteur D9 (S bloc spec.). And I have seen an order dating from June 1942 for the New Energic motoculteur 409 awaiting homologué, with information showing authorizations relating the New Energic motoculteur 409 as early as 20 May 1941.
See motobécane moteurs/engines in Energic motoculteur B1 here.
See motobécane moteurs/engines in Energic motoculteur C7 4BL here.
See motobécane moteurs/engines in Energic motoculteur C7 S bloc here.
See motobécane moteurs/engines in Energic motoculteur D9 S bloc here.
See motobécane moteurs/engines in Energic motoculteur D9 5BL here.
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