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 . The model M70 had bore/stroke dimensions of 74×80.5 mm , 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 French army officers and a Belgian mechanic crossed the Sahara desert with M 70s in April, May and June 1927.
They covered 6300 KM of desert 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 Sahara was a very successful machine: it was an easy starter, its reliability was high and it had a remarkable top speed of more than 90 km/ hour.
In the course of the 30’s the model designation was changed to “M 71” but the basic design was so good that no big changes were made in the course of the production run.
The M 71 was available in “Touring Standard” and “Touring Luxe”. The latter had chromium petrol tank and exhaust damper and was fitted with more substantial tyres. This good-looking “Touring Luxe” is a older restoration and is equipped with Bosch electrics.
Report by yesterdays.nl