Dave Johnson's Francis-Barnett
By: Alan Turner
It was fully kitted up as he had ridden it from his Sussex coast home to the Festival of 1000 Bikes at Mallory Park, a (trouble free) round trip of 356 miles.
The white scarf (and red flashing light) warn those approaching from behind that this is not a particularly fast moving vehicle. A tent and chair across the handlebars, the rest of Dave's requirements are stowed across the pillion and beneath hangs the crucial kettle.
Dave paid £67-10s-0d (£67.50) for the bike in 1959, when he was an apprentice carpenter. The Falcon was fitted with a 197cc Villiers 6E engine and three speed 'box. Dave restored it some 20 years ago, blueprinting the engine and fitting a Savage ignition system. The electrics have been upgraded to 12-volt and indicators are an essential aid to survival in modern traffic. The transmission was uprated with a later four-speed gearbox. As a result, Dave reports the bike now “sails up hills.”
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