first part of the F.N. Motorcycle History 1902-24.
FN starts to build chain-driven bicycles and also the
famous "Chainless bicycle" called "Acatene" in French.
Still a bicycle but with an added "Clip-on"
engine of 133 cc
The FN engines grow from 133 cc to 188 cc but are still
belt driven. An option is the added magneto, otherwise the
ignition occurs from limited battery power.
The first FN "Four" cylinder is born with a
362 cc engine delivering 3 HP. It was shaft driven but had no
Bigger engine from 412 cc; with clutch and no gears and like
always shaft driven the way FN counters pulley slip in rainy
Single cylinder 224cc and endless transmission
FN Single-cylinder with clutch and 2-speed gearbox with
shaft-drive like all models.
FN Four engines grow to 498 cc, delivering
5HP. Still no gearbox is issued with the Fours
A small 2-speed gearbox is added at the rear of the shaft
drive not behind the engine as in conventional ways.
The single cylinder is enlarged to 285 cc and
is now called the Model 285. It is still shaft driven with a
The Model 700 is introduced and features a 748 cc engine
delivering 7 HP. It is the first Four with a 3-speed gearbox
behind the engine. Note on the photographs that the engine is
bigger and heavier then the earlier 1905 lightweight models.
The engine of the model 700 is enlarged to
748 cc and becomes the model 750T with a 3-speed gearbox. It is
powerful enough for sidecar use.
The single cylinder bikes are updated and become the
Model 285T and 285TT. The T model has the carburetor on the side
of the cylinder and the TT in the back like on modern bikes
The shaft drive of the Fours is replaced by
the more economical chain drive. These have brakes on the rims.
We now enter the period of the "M" models like the M50, a 750 cc