Fanny-B for Sale

If you enjoy having odd little things throbbing between your legs, then this 1959 Francis Barnett may very well fit the bill. Francis Barnett was based in Coventry where they built a series of small-capacity motorcycles starting in 1919. While the company toyed with both JAP and Villiers motors,  it was the two-stroke Villiers that were eventually adopted as their standard fitment. The post-war era was tough on all of Britain’s industries, and motorcycle producers were hit hard as material and capital was tough to come by, and Fanny B’s small machines faced stiff competition from the imported Italian scooters. In 1947, the firm was taken over by Associated Motor Cycles who continued the FB name, building small scramblers and trials bikes until its eventual demise in the mid-sixties. This bike, in BRG, sports a traditionally British vertical single, and a full-fendered body. The bike looks like it’s either in remarkably good original condition, or has had a restoration a number of years ago. Either way, it’s rocking a nice patina and doesn’t look like something you’d have to hang a Look, But Don’t Touch sign on. The seller claims it to be a Flacon 80 with a 250-cc engine, however it looks more like a Cruiser 80, and that single looks a little small to be a 250. Giving it the once-over doesn’t reveal any model badging anywhere to back up that conjecture, however. Regardless, it’s a bike from another era, and while it would have been perfect for zipping down hedgerow-lined English lanes, or a quick trip to the pub, riding it in today’s industrial strength traffic would require extreme concentration and a good sized pair of huevos. Fortunately, there’s room for saddle bags. For $2,500 it’d still make a nice weekender, as long as you didn’t plan on excursions that involve said heavy traffic. Plus, how cool would it be to have a bike called a Fanny B?

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