FN Four motorcycle

INTRODUCED IN 1904, the FN was the first successful four-cylinder motorcycle. Designed by Paul Kelecom, the original design had shaft drive, magneto ignition, splash lubrication, and the benefits of the vibration-free, four-cylinder engine. It was one of the first serious attempts at an integrated design for a motorcycle rather than…

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FB Mondial motorcycle

FRATELLI BOSELLI MONDIAL CHOSE to advertise its products through racing and won the 125cc World Championship in 1949, 1950, 1951, and 1957. While the racing machines were exotic o.h.c. and d.o.h.c. devices, most production models were orthodox o.h.v. and two-stroke lightweights. Like other Italian manufacturers, FB Mondial equipped its sports…

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FANTIC Chopper motorcycle

ONE OF THE WACKIEST BIKES built in the 1970s, the Fantic Chopper was anideal mount for those aspiring to the wild world of the movie Easy Rider. But where the actors enjoyed the effortless throb of a large-capacity Harley-Davidson V-twin, Fantic riders had to endure the manic wail of a…

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APRILIA RSV Mille R motorcycle

STANDARD MILLE WAS THE FIRST large capacity superbike from the upstart Italian company Aprilia when it was introduced in mid-1998. The more expensive R version, equipped with better quality suspension, appeared alongside the basic model in 2000, and both were given a substantial makeover the following year. This is a…

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APRILIA Pegaso 650 motorcycle

CLOSE COOPERATION between Aprilia and Austrian enginemakers Rotax resulted, in 1993, in this high-tech trail bike. The engine has a five-valve cylinder head, with the valves arranged radially around a central spark plug. The valves are controlled by twin, chain-driven, overhead camshafts. The combination of technology, looks, price, and performance…

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APRILIA RSV250 motorcycle

THE YOUNG APRILIA COMPANY recognized competition success as an important way to enhance its image. Originally the firm produced motocross machines, but in the mid-1980s it began a campaign for Grand Prix success in the 250 and, later, 125 classes. The early racers used a Rotax tandem, twin-cylinder, disc-valve, two-stroke…

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AJS 7R/3A motorcycle

FOR THE 1954 JUNIOR TT, race development chief Ike Hatch developed a threevalve version of the 348 cc 7R. As well as changes to the cylinder head and cam box, the bore and stroke dimensions were revised to a near-square 75.5 x 78 mm. The 7R/3A, or “Triple Knocker,” so…

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AJS Porcupine motorcycle

THE D.O.H.C., PARALLEL-TWIN Porcupine first appeared in 1947. The nickname derived from the quill-like cylinder head finning between the twin cam boxes, although this feature had been deleted by 1954. Initial plans to cast the cylinder heads in silver for good thermal conductivity were abandoned due to cost. It should…

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AJS Supercharged V4 motorcycle

DEVELOPED BY THE AMC race shop for the 1939 Senior TT, the formidable Supercharged V4 was built to respond to the supercharged Italian and German factory racers dominating the TT and Grand Prix circuits at the time. It was the first machine to lap a Grand Prix course at over…

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AJS 350 G6 motorcycle

IN THE EARLY 1920S, AJS achieved legendary sports success with its o.h.v. 350s, winning the Junior TT for four straight years from 1920. It also won the Senior in 1921, despite the 150 cc capacity advantage of the opposition. The factory racing machines of 1922 were nicknamed “big ports” because…

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