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FB registered Experimental Bikes??

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FB registered Experimental Bikes??

Post  fulmar88 on Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:17 pm

I've spent many hours in the Coventry Records office over the last year or so looking (without much expectation) to find a record of my 1936 Cruiser F45 (I do not have the original reg, only the frame number).

Whilst there I have found eleven bikes that were first registered to Francis & Barnett Ltd. Two of these had a frame number prefix containing an X. The first doesn't appear too unusual except for the XG where you would expect to see GC.

Reg-BKV 894, Frame No. XG33391, Eng No. GY6011, 148cc, Reg date 05/12/1936

The second bike though is a bit more interesting:

Reg-BRW 263, Frame No. GX32155, Eng No. 36/4 3170, 498cc, Reg Date 25/03/1936

Does anyone recognise this engine number style to a particular type of 500cc engine?

Steve.
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"X" frame numbers

Post  piston 197 on Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:52 pm

Steve ,all 3 of my works Barnett comp bikes have an "X" in the frame number and all three were originally registered to Fancis and Barnett Ltd
There were several bikes made in the 30's with a view to obtaining military orders, the second of these may have been one , the engine No is interesting 36 is obviously the year 4 the type and the remaining Nos the engine No , but what the engine was is a mystery ,AJS and Matchless both used pre-fix for the year, but would not have been followed by a 4 ??
JH
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Engine Type

Post  MoscowFlyer on Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:06 pm

Hi Steve, very interesting. Can I put forward an engine type. Francis Barnett had had a long association with the engine maker J.A.P, a lot of there early bikes had been fitted with their engines, the last being the models 6 & 7 in 1926 ( see pic of model 6 below). In 1936 J.A.P had a 500cc engine on the market, see below one fitted to an OK Supreme. It was at this time Francis Barnett were producing the Stag, fitted with a 248cc Blackburne engine, I can't find any evidence to show they had a 500cc engine in that year. I don't think Villiers ever made a 500cc engine. Mike

http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C362656

http://www.stilltimecollection.co.uk/detail/1115-starbike-tpt-transport-bike-francis-barnett.html
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Jap engine

Post  piston 197 on Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:38 am

Mike ,
interesting theory, but not a JAP engine No, they had a series of letters and numbers to denote year, type and spec, if you google JAP engine Numbers you will see.
JH
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Re: FB registered Experimental Bikes??

Post  fulmar88 on Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:55 am

Another fact that emerged during my search that was interesting (to me at least) was the production volumes at that time. I checked thousands of records and between Jan 1936 and Jan 37 FB appear to have manufactured 1799 bikes. This is roughly 150 per month, 35 per week. All frame numbers I noted were in the same series, ie two letters, 5 numbers, and assumed to be sequentially manufactured (more or less). When plotted production volume appears to be static following a pretty straight line. FBs accounted for only 15-20 bikes per 1000 registrations (all vehicles). The dominant bikes in my search with many many times the number were Triumph, BSA and Norton. It showed that FB were really quite a small company especially when you consider that FB Coventry sales may have been above the national average being a local company. I didnít find my bike but from the data I can be certain that it was made in April 1936 which will help narrow down the search in other record offices.

Steve.
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Re: FB registered Experimental Bikes??

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