Motobécane was established in 1923. "Motobécane" is a compound of "moto", slang for motorcycle; "bécane" is slang for "bike." Motobecane was France's largest manufacturer of motorcycles. In 1923, a 175 cc single cylinder two-stroke-engined bike was produced. During the 1930s, they manufactured a longitudinal shaft-drive inline-four engine in 500 and 750cc. Also during this period, they won the Bol d'or endurance race. After WW2, they produced a single-cylinder D45 bike that filled a need for cheap transportation. The successor was the Z46, equipped with modern suspension. They continued to produce two-cylinder 125cc motorcycles thru the 1970s. For a time in the late 1970s and 80s, the company competed in Grand Prix racing, claiming several victories in the 125cc class and finishing second in the 1980 125cc road racing world championship.