Author Topic: F-B 250 cruiser 80  (Read 880 times)

Offline Oggers

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F-B 250 cruiser 80
« on: February 10, 2022, 10:21:04 AM »
Gents

Opinion welcome please

Francis Barnett 250 crusier 80 ( I think)  for sale and I am tempted. Looks like late 50s/early60s - date not specified, and looks like a single from the pics.

Anyone any idea what these things are like?

I believe they are two-strokes, and never having had a two-stroke before I have no real idea on the engine oil requirements - except the pre-mix in the tank like my chainsaw! Is that it or am I missing something please?

Thanks as always

Offline iansoady

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Re: F-B 250 cruiser 80
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2022, 12:02:45 PM »
If it's a 250 2 stroke then it probably has the AMC engine which wasn't very highly rated. The earlier cruiser 75 with the Villiers 1H engine would be a better bet. Yes premix at around 30:1 with modern 2 stroke oil.
Ian
1952 Norton ES2

Offline Oggers

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Re: F-B 250 cruiser 80
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2022, 12:28:29 PM »
Thanks Ian - appreciate that. I am looking around for a Brit single in reasonable order for around a grand - and not a Bantam! Not too concerned if it runs or not as I can fix most, but not a rust bucket. Proving difficult to find!   

Offline 33d6

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Re: F-B 250 cruiser 80
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2022, 11:52:22 PM »
There are a few traps to be aware of in your quest Oggers.
Beware of bikes with a "Made under Villiers licence." label. These are NOT Villiers factory engines but made elsewhere using Villiers ideas and methods. Spares are near impossible.

Beware of AMC two-strokes. Sellers will assure you they were made by Villiers but they weren't. AMC found they couldn't make their own engines so went to Villiers cap in hand to got them to put them together properly for them. No Villiers content at all except for the skill needed for proper assemby. The 250 in particular has to be just so to work well but the smaller 150 has a much better reputations Spares are difficult for both.

Spares for any two-stroke with it's own make engine, Royal Enfield and Excelsior for example are difficult. Luckily Excelsior always ran a Villiers powered range along side their own stuff.

Aside from the Bantam you don't want the postwar Villiers engine is the only practical alternative for a Brit two-stroke. Bits are more or less available off the shelf. No real trouble. Finding cycle parts and tinware for for whatever bike you buy is a different story. Thats the real pain.  For the sort of money you want to spend anything powered by any of the 197cc "E"series engines will suit. Still a workhorse but good enough for regular road use. Anything smaller is more or less a fun bike and pretty limited.

Best of luck. Come back and tell us more.
Cheers,





Offline iansoady

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Re: F-B 250 cruiser 80
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2022, 12:16:34 PM »
I rebuilt a Cruiser 75 last year (225 1H engine) and never rode it due to problems with my hip. I part exchanged it with a local bike shop and they have it up for sale for 1600.  https://ardenmotorcycles.co.uk/news/. It's been there for about 9 months. Runs well, lots of work done but I was slightly unhappy about the spokes (I've rebuilt several wheels in my time but feel that these spokes were a bit undersized).

http://www.iansoady.org.uk/FB/specification.html
Ian
1952 Norton ES2

Offline R

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Re: F-B 250 cruiser 80
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2022, 08:46:09 PM »
A Fannybee Cruiser 75 mit 225cc 1H engine was my introduction to working motorcycles.
(As compared to a Bantam that didn't really work - it ate piston rings.)

We bashed that poor FB around a farm, and it had had several similar previous owners that did likewise.
I'm pleased to report it had no spoke or wheel problems, and it wasn't for want of trying.
Tough little bike in fact. Although when the mud got deep enough, it was a bit of a lump.
Not that it was intended for that sort of thing ...

So thats what it looked like in its prime !
I seem to recall a pale green seat ?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2022, 08:48:23 PM by R »

Offline iansoady

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Re: F-B 250 cruiser 80
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2022, 10:32:43 AM »
Yes, should have been green but I had the vinyl already and was working to a budget....

I can't say it was entirely original as I made a prop stand and also an improved rear brake lever stop apart from lots of detail stuff. Brush painted with Paragon enamel.

This was it as bought for around the OP's budget:

« Last Edit: February 12, 2022, 10:37:12 AM by iansoady »
Ian
1952 Norton ES2

Offline Oggers

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Re: F-B 250 cruiser 80
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2022, 08:03:27 AM »
Chaps

Many thanks for all the useful advice. It is always much appreciated. To doubtless make you all recoil in horror, I plumped for a 1980 Honda CB250RS instead! I wanted something relatively cheap and simple to mess about with for the moment and this thing was too good to miss. Heaps of spares and in very good condition. I'll strip it down just for the hell of it and re-assemble with all consumables replaced and everything cleaned up. Didn't have much luck on the British front. A Bantam seemed to be the only thing on offer in the price range (@ 1000-1200) and plenty of moped type things, but nothing else took my fancy. The vast majority of it was also over-priced and some of it was simply scrap. Besides which, my Venom needs finishing off so that will sate my national pride for a while yet.
 

Offline iansoady

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Re: F-B 250 cruiser 80
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2022, 10:28:17 AM »
Funny you should say that, I'm considering a 250RSA as a runabout to share garage space with the ES2 for later in the year. If you lose interest let me know....

In other news I've decided the Yamaha Xmax 250 which I bought in a fit of panic last summer due to hip problems (now fixed with a pattern replacement) is not really for meas I can't really get on with the left hand rear brake and auto transmission. Anybody know someone looking for one?
Ian
1952 Norton ES2

Offline Rex

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Re: F-B 250 cruiser 80
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2022, 01:20:34 PM »
Good little commuters, although if you have spoke size issues on other bikes this probably isn't one for you as the spokes are quick-rust (meaning seized nipples) and undersized, and the alloy rims split where the nipple holes are. Not good.
Don't buy one with a leak behind the final drive either, as it means an engine strip. As the Americans like to say, DAMHIKT.