1905 FN Type A Motorcycle. 5 hp, 363 cc air-cooled inline four-cylinder engine, shaft drive, and rear drum brake. The FN Four, manufactured in Liége, Belgium by Fabrique Nationale from 1905 until 1923, was the world’s first production inline-4 motorcycle. It was also, at 40 miles per hour (64 km/h), the world’s fastest production motorcycle from 1911 until 1912.
The motorcycle was developed in 1904, tested late that year, and had its public debut at the 1905 Paris Motorcycle Show. It was a commercial success upon release, with production increasing over its twenty-year run.
– From the Estate of John M. O’Quinn
– Formerly part of the famed Otis Chandler Collection
– The very first four-cylinder motorcycle design
Famed Belgian arms maker Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre, or FN for short, embraced bicycle and motorcycle production during the early 20th Century. Beginning with a 133 cc single in 1902, rapid improvements culminated in the secret project of engineer Paul Kelecom to design a four-cylinder engine to eliminate the vibration inherent in larger singles. A successful long-distance test ride proved the concept, and when production commenced in 1905, the FN Type A was the world’s first four-cylinder motorcycle and included shaft drive, a rear drum brake and much more.
This example was purchased in 2000 from Belgium and continues to benefit from a painstaking restoration. It has been part of the O’Quinn Collection since 2006, benefiting from proper storage. Features include a self-contained acetylene headlight, a bulb horn, an embossed brass fuel tank and more. Formerly owned by the Otis Chandler Collection.