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Motobecane Moped Racer – Craig Dueck

Posted on September 4, 2014 by Andrew in Moped, Racer. 40 comments

It’s no secret we love mopeds. But having said that, it’s been a long time between drinks for us, ‘ped-wise. Nine months, to be precise. Are we embarrassed that we haven’t done more to support our be-pedalled brethren? A little, but where here tonight to set things right. And how. Here’s one of the best-looking mopeds we’ve seen since the Janus Paragon. Meet “Moby 5” and her proud maker, Craig Dueck.


“Hello! My name is Craig Dueck. I am from Winnipeg, Canada. I have been building and riding mopeds for the past 10 years. This is my first scratch build. I call it ‘moby 5’. The original concept was to be a typical moped build, until an ultra-rare Motobecane D75 5-speed gearbox was found. I paired the transmission with a Motobecane 50cc AV10 engine I originally had in mind, keeping the classic ‘belted primary’ look of a Mobylette moped.”


“I started things off by building the cradle frame to house the gearbox and engine. Using a slightly modified pipe bender and 20 feet of wasted tube, I finally got the bends I wanted. A simple image that had been drawn in Photoshop was blown up to life-size as a template, but many alterations were made and in the end I just kind of went with it. I got lucky when I mocked up the motor, transmission, and rear wheel; I ended up having just enough room for the exhaust header to sneak through the narrow down tubes.”


“The Puch Monza rear sprocket was flipped and bolted to a 60’s Sparta hub for a tighter chain clearance to the front sprocket. Having been my first scratch-build bike, I was more than happy with the geometry and function of all the components working together.”


“The bike’s style is definitely an ode to classic 50cc racing, in which Motobecane never actually had a 50cc GP racer. I wanted it to look like a factory racer that had been inspired by a D55, but with aesthetics of a moped. I tried using as many Motobecane moped parts as I could, starting with the swingarm. I needed a system to tension the belt and found a single engine torsion spring from a Moby that was perfect with a little tweaking. The primary pulley is off a 60’s Mobylette AV3 which was tapered and cut to size.


“Many prototyped parts were replaced as the right replacement was found. A set of NOS Tommaselli levers for a set of Indigan clip on bars. Some 18″ Zundapp aluminum rims to replace the 19″ set I originally had on. The slim Heidenau tires were sourced from Belgium, 18 x 2 up front and 2.25 in the rear. Some Loaded Gun Custom rear sets. And a pair of Tomos EBR forged aluminum spring forks to keep it nice and light up front.”



“I can’t thank the Briton Bees enough for supplying the D75 transmission. A single, crucial part goes a long way for a good start to a build. Cheers!”



  • Interesting to note that all the shots were taken on film, too. Nice to see some good ol’ dust and scratches for a change.

    • Andy Henry

      Or run through VSCO or Analog Efex.

      • arnold

        We used to mess up the celluloid on AFGA s and Houstons.

      • ajsdfhsjklafll

        The builder popped in here and said he does film photography as a hobby as well, so it is actual film. Kinda rare, and unique, like the bike.

  • Junior Burrell

    Thats pretty damn cool!!!

  • John in Pollock


  • TJ Martin

    I don’t know what it is … but I love these Moped Marauder style customs . From the boy racer look … right on down to the micro choppers , cafe style etc . They are simply way too cool to ignore . Not to mention being the perfect entry for up and coming custom bike builders small of budget but with an abundance of talent .

    This one ? Right up there with some of the best I’ve seen . As to the photos being on good ole film as Andrew has stated I say ….

    Digital sucks … and a huge two thumbs up to this photographer for recognizing that fact [ I’s a Leica M6 w/B&W kind of (older) guy myself ]

  • revdub

    Great to see another moped show up. It was worth the 9 month wait. What a beautiful bike! The frame looks amazing and the proportions are spot on. Congrats on a very well done build, Craig.

  • Nicely done. Looks well thought out as if somebody would actually ride it. A very SMALL somebody!

  • Andy Simpson

    damn, I bet getting all the gear ratios for the pulley and the final drive right was a bitch having nothing to go on.

    • craig dueck

      i had specs to work with from the original bike the box was off of. original primary pulley is slightly larger than what i chose and my rear sprocket is 5 teeth smaller. it balanced well in the end. most stock gear boxes never have the close ratios you want for a 2 stroke anyway, but i have a pretty good sweet spot from 2-4 when i slip the clutch just right when starting… the box is clearly the oldest part of the bike when riding it :p

  • Bultaco Metralla

    I was based in Paris during the years 74/75 and living on the Avenue du President Wilson. It was near the Trocadero and a short walk to the Champs Elysees. I would walk up to the bakery first thing in the morning for fresh bread and would pass clusters of mopeds parked wherever they could. I was fascinated by the Grand Prix racing style Malaguti and Derbi mopeds complete with pedals. I was far too big at 188cm and 98Kg to ride one but they fascinated me. This is a great homage to those bikes and their fearless riders who stormed through Paris traffic on the cobblestones in the rain. Keep up the good work, Craig. May many more inspirational parts find their way to you.

    • oldman

      cool story bro

    • battler britton

      Yes,it was cool…. so many trip on that kind of bike… only 40 years ago!
      ours were less glamour than this magnifique one,but they teach us what to do and how to do with building bikes… Motobécane, Peugeot, Gitan testi,Malaguti
      Kreidler and zundap, they all lead us to what we do now: built and ride somthing pure, I mean two weels a good engine,larges brakes ( we did’nt have at that era, nor the good engine!!) and keeping it simple, ligth small …..and ride it every time you can..

      • battler britton

        Oh yes, i’m french….

        • Bultaco Metralla

          Exactment mon ami! That is why I write using the Metralla avatar. Two wheels, a good engine, a solid chassis and great brakes. Nothing that is not needed. I have ridden far and wide since those days in Paris but they have formed the bedrock for much of my life. What about those insane races in the old markets at night? And the lunatics on the Peripherique after midnight? Merci un million.

          • battler britton

            no more races, nor king of the peripherique…Life is a lot different in France, I mean that is true for the rest of the world..
            More comfort, more stress,less fun . No money, no glory !
            that is why going on building (instead of just buying..) and riding true machines,whatever the size, brand or color is so important. less is more! I said machines and not bike, because I also design,built and fly airplanes ,normaly I can’t buy!that is one of the reason I can’t built more than a bike every two years
            or so!
            nice to read you, where are you now ?

          • Bultaco Metralla

            I live in Wollongong, NSW, Australia. 80 kms south of Sydney with a National park between us and a wealth of roads to ride. I have an old R100/7 that I will rebuild when I retire in a couple of years.

  • Tanshanomi

    Bravo! Nicely done. The manual 5-speed really separates this from the moped category. It’s very fitting tribute to the old racing 50s.

  • craig dueck

    thanks everyone for the kind words! im glad everyone sees it for what it is, and the word cafe wasnt used to describe it. most of the inspiration was gathered from ( there were lots of standards most of these little bikes went by, and they are even referred to as simply starting out as a moped. short from having a 10+ spd gearbox and a fairing i was pretty happy with the result, and im glad everyone else loves it as much as i do! thank you. it means alot to see it up on pipeburn and wouldnt want it published anywhere else.

    im not much for keeping a bike clean and as my only runner right now, its getting its fair share of pavement and dirt 😉

    • TJ Martin

      Its even better now that you’ve said you ride it regularly !!!!

      And errr … keep on using film … its the only way to fly in my never hardly ever humble opinion

      • craig dueck

        film photography is just another hobby of mine 😉 someones gotta keep it alive!

        • TJ Martin

          Amen to that brother ! I’m right there with you .. M6 in hand .. Ilford B&W inside and ready to go ; Toss in Vinyl … analogue recording and acoustic instruments along with it and you’ve pretty much summed up my obsessions beyond the obvious GearHead inclinations 😉

  • R_Melaun

    Beautiful build but doesn’t the “ped” in moped stand for pedals? Isn’t this a noped?

    • Ryan

      That engine comes straight from the ‘high-end’ Motobecane/MBK mopeds (equipped with pedal shafts through the frame/pulley). A well built AV10 50cc engine is fully capable of spinning 12.5-14k rpms as a single variated setup when tuned and geared properly with speeds that would surprise most. I can only imagine how fun gears would make this bike. The trans/pedal delete takes a bit of the ‘moped’ out of it sure, but it is a stunning retro style race build!

  • I’m a big moped fan and this build really blows me away. Props for building your own frame and adding the 5 speed box. Everything is neat and tidy. Yep, it sure reminds me of the 50cc GP bikes of the 50’s and 60’s.

  • Jeffrey Wallis Bell-Zekas

    okay, this is just WAY awesome… reminds me of the 50cc Ital Jet cafe race that my brother owned, back in the day… color perfect… just a really nice little bike…

  • oldman


  • Fisch

    Is that tank from a Suzuki t125 stinger? The stinger had two tank styles ant that looks a lot like the 2nd version (which was also from the Suzuki t90 wolf.) Cool tank!

    • craig dueck

      you got it! good eye! its hard to know exactly which year suzuki had this style on that bike… but from patching to paint, the tank gave me the most grief. i ended up just giving it to a ‘pro’ to have painted, but he ended up spraying 5+ coats of eurocoat over the decals without removing the backing. what a ding dong! just one more things i ended up learning and doing myself in the end. live and learn.

      • fisch

        So great. in have a t125 I am working on and I am cutting a duplicate rotted tank for the seat hump, so I know the contours well. Rare tank as in the US they were only here in late 70 and 71 I think. And we never got the t90 wolf. This bike is inspirational btw. Really nice job.

  • Tony Pereira

    This thing is damn cool. Nice work. I don’t know jack about mopeds other than that they usually have pedals. How do you start this bike? Bump?

    • craig dueck

      2nd gear bump start! didnt have kickstart components for the box, but the bike is light enough to make for an easy start.

  • John

    Holy crap! This thing is awesome. As a fellow Winnipegger, I’m hoping to see this out on the road!

    • Andrey Nicolov

      You have nice ‘balls vent’ opening in the tank rear. Cool build!

  • duh

    If I were a 13 year old this would be so bitchin!…but I’m not…so its just a moped with no pedals. nIce craftsmanship…use it on a real motorcycle

  • killerinc

    Beautiful!!! Awesome work!

  • #11 franch moped race

    Hello! great job!! Is there a wayto see it running or racing? A video somewhere?Once again, it is a fantastic job!

    • #11 French moped racer

      french not franch… sorry 😀

  • Eric

    What is that transmission off from? I love the lines of this build.