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 FN - légère, 2 HP 1/4
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FN D2-492-39-02
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 250
Model : légère, 2 HP 1/4
Production : 1909 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


250cc 21/4 HP - 1909

Ahead of its time

At the beginning of the century, when the demand for motorized transport exploded, the Belgian FN armament group built both automobiles and motorcycles. While FN established its international reputation in the two-wheeler field with its four-cylinder model launched in 1904, it had made its debut with a 133cc single introduced in 1901.

Improving the Image

In 1903, the flat leather drive belt of the original model was replaced by a rubber V-belt, and FN introduced its distinctive frame in which the cylinder passed between the twin bottom tubes of the cradle. Production of the FN single had reached 6000 when in 1907 a new 224cc model – still with belt drive – appeared. But in 1904, FN had astounded the world with its shaft-driven four, and it was decided in 1909 to use shaft drive on the single to enhance the image of the marque.

Advanced Lightweight

The designers of the day attempted to give the little single the same appeal as its big sister by giving it the same general lines. A rare touch for the period – particularly on a small machine – was the use of a two-speed transmission, operated by a locking lever and a multi-disc clutch. In contrast, it wasn't until 1912 that the four was fitted with a similar mechanism. This little bike, very advanced for its day, was replaced in 1912 by a 285cc machine of similar design (but longer and lower) that set several world speed records, including six hours covered at an average of nearly 45 mph.


Engine: 249cc (65x75mm) air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 2.25 hp

Valves: side

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 2-speed; multi-disc clutch; shaft final drive

Suspension: leading-link with double telescopic springs (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: drum (rear)

Wheels: wire cl incher (front & rear)

Weight: 143 lb

The remarkable 1909 FN lightweight had shaftand- bevel gearing.


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 info@moto-collection.org for conditions and copyright.

© Tous droits réservés
François-Marie Dumas

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