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 FN - M 13
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FN D2-492-38-03
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 450
Model : M 13
Production : 1947 - 1951
Category : (R) Street Bike


425 Type XIII - 1951

The best of the postwar FNs

In 1948, FN abandoned its trailing-link front suspension with spring dampers in favor of a new design of fork, still trailing-link but now with "Neiman" annular rubber springing. The design, which looked superficially like conventional telescopic forks, appeared less unconventional than before. The use of annular rubber springs was nothing new, for they had been used since 1935 by makers like Gillet-Herstal, Excelsior and DKW, but it was the first time they had been used in a trailing-link setup.

A New Sporty Model

Back in 1947, FN had added a new 500 motocross mount to its range of overhead-valve 250s and 350s and side-valve 350 and 450 machines. The new ohc 500 took the Belgian Championship ridden by Victor Leloup. In 1950, FN launched a sports model, the 425. It inherited the generously finned "big head" designed for the motocross model (though the overhead-cam valve gear was replaced by pushrods and rockers).

Redesigned for Export

Not everybody liked the new design of "elastic" fork, and to render the model salable in conservative markets like France, FN's Paris branch factory at Neuilly adapted their production for the French market to take conventional telescopic forks. This version was also offered in other export markets. Nevertheless, the rubber-sprung version that had been regarded with some suspicion when it was introduced is nowadays highly sought after by collectors. You can't please all of the people all of the time.


Engine: 425cc (82x80mm) air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 17 hp @ 4850 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: 1 inch Amal carburetor

Transmission: 4-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: Neiman annular rubber-intension units; trailing-link (front); cantilever (rear)

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 3.25x19 inch wire (front & rear)

Weight: 309 lb

Maximum Speed: 78 mph

"Big head" 1951 version of the FN Type XIII

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.

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François-Marie Dumas

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