FN – year 1904
Manufacturer: National War Weapons Factory SA, Liege-Herstal, Belgium
At the beginning of the 20th century, there were many reputable motorcycle companies. One of them was also the Belgian armaments plant FN, based in Herstal near Liege. For a year 1889 the factory produced cars, w 1903 year also motorcycles. A bicycle with a reinforced frame was used to build the first FN model, to which a single-cylinder four-stroke engine with a displacement is attached 250 cm3. This engine was powerful 1,5 kW(2 KM).
W 1904 of the year at the Paris Motor Show, the company FN presented a serial motorcycle, which due to the construction solutions that have not been used so far (four-cylinder in-line engine, shaft drive transmission with universal joints, etc.) became a sensation and soon gained many followers. The engine of this vehicle, of a capacity 363 cm3, was placed at the bottom of the tubular frame, which was bifurcated for this purpose. Sufficient engine flexibility, reaching power 2,2 kW (3 KM) at 1800 rpm, allowed designers to eliminate the gearbox. The engine capacity was soon increased to 500 cm3, thanks to which the power increased to 3,7 kW (5 KM). From 1907 year the company equipped the model 500 (for a special request) also with a two-speed gearbox, developed according to the English system. The design of the FN's four-cylinder engine was very modern. The source of power in the ignition system was a high-voltage Bosch magneto, fixed to the front of the engine block. The fuel-air mixture was produced in the spray carburetor, unlike commonly used surface carburettors and supplied to cylinders (equipped with automatic inlet and controlled exhaust valves) by means of a collector. On the left side of the crankcase there was a glass oil gauge for checking the oil level in the engine. The tubular bicycle-type frame had a sprung front fork. The motorcycle developed maximum speed 60 km/h.
Innovative solutions: inline four-cylinder engine and drivetrain (shaft with joints) they soon found supporters among many well-known motorcycle manufacturers.