In a chilling way, rust had struck this French 125 cc engine and it would have meant the end of the once beautiful two-wheeler. Was escape possible? Yes, if you look at the pictures now, you will have the answer right away. All credit for the current state goes to Wim. M. Daalhuizen, a perfectionist who succeeded in the rescue operation of a Motobécane Z54C.
By: Dirk de Jong
Wim Daalhuizen bought the motorcycle in early 2004 from a motorcycle shop in Zwartsluis. The rust had struck like an assassin, and there was not a single color on the Frenchman. The Motobécane Z54C was a challenge for Wim. In practice it all turned out to be difficult with a lot of penetrating oil and even more patience was started.
Search for parts in France
The search for parts for the Motobécane Z54C resulted in a 'by-catch'. After all those phone calls he spoke a reasonable word of French. The search for parts and addresses took months and it gave a good feeling when something was found again, such as the special rear light.
Be creative to solve problems, such as when the wheels are spoked. Especially making the carburettor complete was quite a challenge. Because parts were also scarce here. An image of the laborious work can be found in a folder in which everything was fully documented over a period of 3 years.
Such as the work on the beautiful tank of the Motobécane Z54C that he had glass beaded and powder coated by a renowned company. And do not forget the saddler, who restored the saddle pad back to its original state. All information was additionally recorded on a CD rom with many pictures of the parts. Besides the revision of the engine, Wim Daalhuizen had great difficulty in finding the original color, because absolutely everything was affected by rust. Yet the color was found in a hidden place in the frame. It is no wonder that it eventually became the most beautifully restored Motobécane outside of France, the photos are proof.
A folder full of technical data, all notes of the repairs that were outsourced, the quality of the correct color scheme and professionally painted with the correct color numbers make this bike a special asset. This museum-worthy Motobécane Z54C has now found a place with Jan-Gerrit Sprietsma, who, after Wim Daalhuizen, now has the good feeling of being a classic and valuable motorcycle owner.
One day after publishing this post, we received from Gerrit Fruchnicht of the company Drenthe engine overhaul. They still have an original Motobécane on the case. Also a 125 cc version, but a different engine.