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 FN - Grand Prix motocross
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FN D2-492-10-01
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : Grand Prix motocross
Production : 1958 -
Category : (Off-Road) MX


500 Grand Prix I Motocross - 1958

World champion

FN won a remarkable 395 victories in its motocross career. For a long time this sport, which dramatically grew in popularity in the postwar years, was dominated by Belgian bikes and riders. The most successful of the Belgian motorcycles was the FN 500 Grand Prix motocross which appeared at the end of 1947 and was still winning events in 1958. That year the Herstal factory, in financial difficulty, announced its retirement from competition to concentrate on lightweight machines.

Ten Years at the Top

Few machines won as many honors, as did the FN 500 during its long career which, on the international front alone, took the Championship of Europe three rimes – in 1952 with Victor Leloup, then in 1953 and 1954 with Auguste Minguels – a World Championship in 1958, ridden by Rene Baeten, and the French Championship in 1951, 1952, and 1953.

All Aluminum and Magnesium

Though it looked particularly massive, the engine of the FN was nevertheless extremely light thanks to extensive use of magnesium and aluminum; the bike weighed just under 300 lb. In its final version the FN500 was not only powerful – it developed 40hp @ 5000 rpm – but flexible, too, producing 20 hp at a mere 2000 rpm. Over the years the engine scarcely changed, though in 1948 the frame acquired trailing link front suspension.


Engine: air-cooled 500cc (80x99mm) single-cylinder four-stroke; wet-sump lubrication with external cooling rank

Power Rating: 40hp @ 5000rpm

Valves: Single overhead camshaft driven by chain; 2 valves with hairpin springs

Fuel System: carburetor

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swinging fork (rear)

Brakes: chrome-steel hub brakes

Wheels: (front) 21in, (rear) 18in

Weight: 297 lb

The frames of the FN 500 motocross bikes were made to measure for each rider, so that the machine ridden by the loftily-built Minguels was noticeably higher than the rest.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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