When FN presented the M 13 range at the Paris Motorcycle Show at the end of 1946, it received a lot of attention. Firstly, because the quality of the FN product was once again convincing, and secondly because of the appearance of the front suspension. It was a unique cantilever structure with a pulled front wheel. Initially, the frame was shaped like a parallelogram, with steel springs on the sides. In a later version, the fork tubes followed the curve of the mudguard, with elastic bands to control suspension movement. The theory behind this design is that a wheel can be more easily pulled than pushed over an obstacle. Much attention has also been paid to the rear wheel suspension. It works with a system of elastic bands.
The engines were designed as unitary constructions, and all models in the 250, 350 and 450 cm3 classes basically had the same engine block, with identical crankshaft, connecting rod, clutch, gearbox, etc. All versions had the same 80 mm stroke, and only the bores differed from one model to another.
The M13 was popular as a military machine. In 1950 and 1951, 1,470 444 cm3 models were delivered to the Belgian army. The M 13 received excellent publicity in early 1951 on the occasion of the “Raid Belgique-Congo”, which began in Brussels on December 9, 1950. Seven officers from the 1er régiment de parachutistes set off in their M13 for an extraordinary journey in the middle of the African continent. After overcoming many difficulties, all seven arrived on February 15 at their destination, the town of Kamina, in what was then the Belgian Congo. They covered 13,000 kilometers and their machines performed perfectly, proving the reliability of the M13. From 1951, M13 models were also available with telescopic front forks.
This example is a 1951 350cc side-valve, unrestored, in original color.