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c.1910 FN 250cc 2¼ hp 2-Speed Shaft Drive Lightweight Registration no. not registered Frame no. 26367

Sold for £9,200 inc. premiumLot to be sold without reserve
Lot 224
c.1910 FN 250cc 2¼ hp 2-Speed Shaft Drive Lightweight
Registration no. not registered Frame no. 26367

c.1910 FN 250cc 2¼ hp 2-Speed Shaft Drive Lightweight
Registration no. not registered
Frame no. 26367

• Extremely advanced lightweight Veteran
• Restored by the vendor's father over 50 years ago
• Dry stored since restoration

Fabrique Nationale, or "FN" as the motorcycles were branded, was in many ways the Belgian equivalent of BSA, being an armaments manufacturer which diversified first into bicycle production, and then, in 1901, into motorcycle manufacturing which continued until 1967. FN is perhaps best known for its Veteran machines, their in-line straight four being the first commercially successful motorcycle with that engine configuration.

In 1909 the company introduced their new "2-speed shaft drive lightweight". It was very advanced for the time and way ahead of contemporary offerings. Features included shaft drive by bevel gears, mechanically operated valves, a two speed gearbox, and a clutch. It weighed only 60 kgs. The single cylinder engine was transversely mounted between a pair of frame tubes. The valves were mounted in front of the cylinder, whilst the orientation of the engine meant that the exposed flywheel sat at the back. It also meant that the crankshaft was in line with the shaft drive with the gearbox and clutch situated in between, and enabled the magneto to be mounted on the front of the crankcase.

At this time FN (England) Ltd were based in Great Portland Street, with a repair facility in Highbury. In 1910 this model retailed at £40 and the very comprehensive FN catalogue stated: ".......since this particular machine is already years ahead of anything else of the same class on the market.. is safe to assume that a good price will always be obtained for a second-hand 2¼ hp. F.N."

This particular FN was restored by the vendor's father over 50 years ago and it is thought that it may not have been started since the rebuild. It has been dry stored ever since, and has stood as a very decorative ornament in the vendor's study for many years. The quoted frame no. 26367 was found clearly stamped below the saddle. However contemporary FN literature indicates that the frame number is to be found on the headstock, and since 26367 doesn't seem to quite fit into the FN numbering sequence for 1909-1910, there is some doubt as to the exact year of manufacture. Nonetheless it is thought to be 1909 or 1910 although prospective bidders should satisfy themselves as to the date of manufacture prior to bidding. At the very least the FN will require & re-commissioning. It is sold as seen and without documents. Close inspection is recommended.

It is offered with various spares including a gearbox, two shafts, three genuine FN spanners, as well as a ring binder containing copies of various period FN literature, photos of other FNs, an original 1913 FN 2 1/2hp catalogue, and an August 1914 "Hints and Tips" booklet relating to the 7 hp four cylinder model.

Saleroom notices

The engine is stamped 25 to the left lower crankcase.

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  • 6 December 2016, 16:00 - 19:30 GMT

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