Amelie – 40V Motobecane moped

Posted by jerry on August 6th, 2005 — Posted in Journal, Motorcycling

This afternoon I managed to get my historic Motobecane moped running again after a hiatus of some months. The 1970 40V moped is the same make as that used in the movie Amelie – so I have christened my moped Amelie 🙂

Motobecane 40V 1970 model

The two challenges that remain to make the bike roadworthy again are to install some kind of flasher unit – the indicators work, but don’t flash and finding six volt flasher units is not easy these days; and I need to get a low power horn as the original item – which never gave more than a half-hearted ‘quack’ anyhow – has long since ceased to function. Nonetheless it felt good to hear it running again after I cleaned the points and greased the variator. And once it was warmed up, I found the bike started easily – so that’s a good sign. On the bitumen I was able to wind it up to about 45 kph, so the running gear still seems sound.

I’m told that if I join a vintage motorcycle club I can get historic vehicle registration and ride it twice a month 50kms each – and it would only need to meet 1970 registration standards.

In response to Nigel’s comment – front and rear tyres are 2″ x 17″. I am told it is possible to get two and a quarter inch by 17 inch tyres here in Australia, and it is very likely these would fit.

For anyone looking for manuals, I found Motobecane moped manuals on the Moped Riders Association site at:



Comment by Nigel coombe

Hi Jerry i am living in london at the moment and a friend in australia has asked me to get some new tyres for his Motobecane whcih is a 1976 but looks identical to yours what I need to do is to find out the tyre size .could you email me the size .I feel I must help asi drove the moped to my university for a year .i also had trouble with the indicators tried flasher unit but still didnt make themflash and my horn squawked aswell the main problem I had was a sticky carby float so i cleaned up the needle with fine emery paper and it was fine Regards nigel coombe

Posted on October 1, 2005 at 6:57 am

Comment by Irwyn Mondschein

Need manuel on 50 V Mobylette 1979, any suggestions.



Posted on October 6, 2005 at 12:48 am

Comment by The Aesthetic Elevator

My dad bought one almost just like this at an auction recently. I’ll probably end up with it sometime this year. It ran when they parked it, but my dad can’t get a spark out of it right now.

It’s in pretty decent shape, although covered with overspray, and needs a taillight.

Posted on August 17, 2006 at 7:40 am

Comment by Andrew

hey your info on motobecane is great, y have a motobecane that is made in 1977 and y have some problems with it,the light`s don`t work and it makes a lot of smoke.

Posted on February 26, 2007 at 10:04 am

Comment by jerry

The lights could be just corrosion on the bulb contacts. As for the smoke – it depends on the colour – it could be too much oil in the mixture, or it may be more serious like worn piston rings. I’d try a little less oil in the mix – it should be about 25 parts petrol (gasolene) to one part two-stroke oil.


Posted on February 26, 2007 at 8:29 pm

Comment by Mike

Nice blog. I just got a 71 v40 and have a ton of work to do. I was wondering if the signal lights were stock on you Moped? I need to get some or rig some up some how? My guess is the whole bike is 6 volt right? Thanks for the manual suggesting. I downloaded it and started reading.

Posted on June 4, 2008 at 10:50 am

Comment by jerry

Thanks Mike
Yes the indicators are original, and yes they are 6 volt along with the rest of the bike.
Good luck with yours 🙂

Posted on June 4, 2008 at 7:38 pm

Comment by Hanan

Dear Jerry,

I hope that everything fine there.

I also have a V40 of my Childhood and wish to keep it running. Unfortunatelly i found the Clutch is not working properly also i cant find this part anywhere and wish to repair itself so if you can give some instruction which helpful to me i really appreciate it.



Posted on August 6, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Comment by jerry

Hi Hanan – Strictly speaking the V40 doesn’t have a clutch – it has an infinitely variable belt drive, which uses weights to expand the pulleys for the drive belt. Your best bet if you are having problems with it is to apply a good chain grease to the pulley mechanism – be careful not to get any on the belt or on the part of the pulley where the belt runs. A good dose of WD40 or equivalent should do it. Remove the belt first. You could clean it first with kerosene but then apply the grease.

Posted on September 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Comment by Keith Platt

Great to come across your website. Having just acquired 40V I find there are few bits missing (although it does run. Are you aware of anyone in Australia that can assist with spare parts and or helping troubleshoot problems?


Posted on September 22, 2010 at 10:04 am

Comment by jerry

Hi Keith
Not sure there are too many in Australia for parts, but I just go on ebay – there are many moby parts there that will help you out. I managed to get a new rack and seat that way 🙂

Somewhere around I have a link to an online motobecane workshop manual – I can dig that out if you like


Posted on September 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Comment by michael

So I got a 1970 motobecane and when I drive it around sometimes the wheel will sez up and now when I start it up and take off it will go for a min then click over like it was in neutral i dk what to do plzzz help

Posted on February 24, 2015 at 11:41 am

Comment by jerry

Hi Michael
I have never had that problem, nor heard of others having it. I’m wondering if the issue is with the switch on the pedal pulley – the one used to switch from pedal only mode to pedal + motor. You may have had a piston seize – possibly by not having enough oil in the mix – and that may have broken something with the abrupt engine stop. Sorry I can’t be more specific as you would need to trace all of the logical connections between what you have observed

Cheers – Jerry

Posted on February 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm

Comment by motobecane

Thanks designed for sharing such a pleasant thinking, piece of writing is
pleasant, thats why i have read it entirely

Posted on June 26, 2019 at 8:28 am

Comment by jerry

Thanks Deanna
I have approved your comment as it may help with others looking for parts for the motobecane moped.

Posted on June 26, 2019 at 1:57 pm

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