FN 1928 M70 Sahara 348cc 1 cyl sv 3201

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FN 1928 M 70 “ Sahara” 348cc side valve frame # 36518 engine # 23449

At the end of 1923 FN marketed a 350cc single cylinder ohv with unit construction engine.
This model, the M60, was the start of a successful new line of models in a period in which the heavy and expensive four cylinder was quickly loosing ground.
Two years later a bigger 500cc brother was brought out, the M 67.
Shortly after that four cylinder production was stopped altogether with FN.
The ohv singles were very successful, but the factory realised they were mainly appealing to the sporty type of rider so it was decided to produce a side valve unit construction model as a utilitarian type of machine.
In December 1926 the new model was presented as type M 70. It had bore/stroke dimensions of 74×80.5mm, unit construction engine and 3-speed gearbox.
The external flywheel of the early models was coloured red, hence the model’s nickname of “ Moulin Rouge”.
To prove the model’s reliability two Frenchmen and a Belgian factory mechanic crossed the Sahara desert with M 70s in April, May and June 1927.
They covered about 8000 km, of which 6300 km through desert land without the machines failing them.
A heroic performance that brought much publicity to the factory and coined the name “ Sahara” for the brave little machine.
The 1927 model was fitted with dummy rim brakes front and rear; from 1928 two sturdy internal expanding brakes were provided.
The Sahara was a very successful machine: it was an easy starter, its reliability was high, it required little maintenance and it had a remarkable top speed of more than 90 km/ hour.
Petrol consumption as claimed by the factory was one litre per forty kilometres.
This nicely restored vintage touring machine comes with battery-powered electric lighting system, tyre pump and leather tool bags.