1910 FN 498cc Four-Cylinder
Lot 521
1910 FN 498cc Four-Cylinder
£17,000 - 20,000
US$ 26,000 - 31,000

Lot Details
1910 FN 498cc Four-Cylinder 1910 FN 498cc Four-Cylinder
1910 FN 498cc Four-Cylinder
Frame no. 35724
Like BSA, La Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre (‘FN’, for short) began as a munitions manufacturer, turning to the production of motorcycles in 1900. Today the Belgian company is best known for its sensational four-cylinder models, the first of which appeared in 1904 and was first exhibited publicly at the 1905 Paris Cycle Show. Designed by Paul Kelecom, the FN was the world’s first practical four-cylinder motorcycle, its smooth, almost-vibrationless operation setting it apart from rival singles and v-twins. Advanced for its day, the 362cc air-cooled four featured ‘atmospheric’ inlet and mechanical (side) exhaust valves, a robust five-bearing crankshaft, individual crankcase oil wells ensuring adequate lubrication for the connecting rods, and reliable Bosch magneto ignition. Shaft final drive was another innovation. Supported on ball bearings, the driveshaft ran inside the right-hand frame member to a bevel gear on the rear axle. At first there was no clutch, the direct-drive machine being started by pedalling away until the engine fired. Two brakes (drum and rim-type) both operated on the rear wheel. The engine was enlarged (to 410cc) in 1906 and again in 1910, on this occasion to 498cc, and in 1911 the factory introduced its own two-speed transmission, similar to that already offered by Horstmann in Britain, which was contained within the driveshaft housing.

An early, direct drive model, this Pioneer-eligible FN four has the 498cc, ‘side plug’ engine introduced for 1910. The motorcycle was discovered in Lenegouwen, Belgium, in good condition but in need of refurbishment, and subsequently underwent total restoration. Completed in 2000, the machine is presented in perfect condition in every respect. Offered without documentation.
Auction information

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