1913 FN Four cylinder,1913 FN 5hp Four Cylinder  Frame no. 50754 Engine no. 547

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 619
1913 FN Four cylinder,1913 FN 5hp Four Cylinder
Frame no. 50754 Engine no. 547

Sold for £ 19,550 (US$ 23,915) inc. premium
1913 FN Four cylinder
1913 FN 5hp Four Cylinder
Frame no. 50754
Engine no. 547
La Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre (FN for short) was originally established as a munitions manufacturer and turned to the production of the new-fangled motorcycle in 1900. 1904 was a landmark year for the Belgian company with the introduction of their highly innovative and sophisticated four-cylinder models. Designer Paul Kelecom had created his masterpiece, the world’s first practical and commercial four-cylinder motorcycle, its smooth, virtually vibrationless operation setting it in a class of its own. The air-cooled engine featured atmospheric inlet and mechanical exhaust valves, a robust five bearing crankshaft, with individual crankcase oil wells for the connecting rods to ensure adequate lubrication. As if this high technology was not enough, Kelecom provided shaft final drive, the drive shaft running inside the right-hand frame member, supported on ball bearings, to a bevel gear on the rear axle. For the 1906 season the engine size was increased to 410cc and from 1911 two-speed transmission was offered within the drive shaft housing.

This early two-speed model was chosen for exhibition in its homeland at the Motorcycle and Bicycle Museum, ‘la Petite Reine’, in Falmignoul and subsequently spent fifteen years in a major private collection before acquisition by the present owner in 2002. The integrity and originality of this machine are unquestioned and inspired the present owner, upon acquisition, to strip the bike to the last nut and bolt over a two year period and to overhaul every single component to the highest standards. All nickel parts were re-plated and the bike was repainted in its original FN pale green livery. The wheels were respoked and new tyres and tubes fitted and the acetylene lighting system fully overhauled, including the superb Frankonia headlamp. Delightful original features highlighted by the superb restoration include the FN patent carburettor, leather tool boxes, bulb horn, optional foot rests, the rarely-seen original pedal bracket, block chain and FN-stamped saddle. Although the engine has been started since rebuild and runs superbly smoothly, the vendor advises us that he has not actively ridden the machine owing to doctor’s orders which reluctantly bring this remarkable machine to the market. It is offered with a Pioneer Certificate with no recorded modifications and a substantially researched information file which has assisted in the restoration.

Machines of this originality, restored to such fastidious standards, rarely come to the open market. Although never registered in the UK the owner has on retention a highly appropriate FN registration number which he would offer by separate negotiation, along with a spare engine to the successful purchaser.

Saleroom notices

  • No SRN
1913 FN Four cylinder,1913 FN 5hp Four Cylinder  Frame no. 50754 Engine no. 547
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.