2020 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction

c1910 F.N. Four Cylinder Solo Motorcycle (Project)





Engine 498cc four-cylinder
Gearbox Two-speed manual
Colour Black
Trim Brown
Wheels Wire spoke
Brakes Rear pedal brake


This lot is no longer available

FN (Fabrique Nationale de Herstal) was a Liege (Belgium) company established in 1889 to make arms and ammunition, and also made shaft- and chain-driven bicycles, and in 1900 experimented with a clip-on engine for such. From that it moved, in 1901, into the production of motorcycles, based of course on its bicycle designs. FN manufactured the world's first in-line four-cylinder motorcycle and was notable in period for its use of shaft drive in all models from 1903 to 1923, at a time when rivals still used belts and chains. In 1905 the first 362cc shaft-drive in-line FN inlet-over-exhaust four-cylinder motorcycle appeared, designed by Paul Kelecom. By 1907 the FN Four engine had grown to 412 cc in size and then in 1908, FN made an Export model for the American market. This FN Four had a 493cc engine, and in 1910 that became 498cc. It weighed 75 kg dry, and could do over 60 km/h, making it the world's fastest production motorcycle in 1911 and 1912. Indeed, such was its success that this derivative of the FN Four stayed in production for 20 years. Many years later, FN became renown for its mopeds, which it ultimately concentrated on, until production ceased in 1967 when the last FN left the Liege factory.