Author Topic: 1950s Francis Barnett  (Read 846 times)

Offline Barryhill8

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1950s Francis Barnett
« on: January 31, 2024, 05:41:16 PM »
I need help to find the correct Francis Barnett model I bought last week. It has the Frame number YY-4667 and the Villiers motor No 20321.

The seller thought it was a 1955 model.

Offline R

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2024, 09:55:35 PM »
Hmmm ?
https://cybermotorcycle.com/marques/francis-barnett/francis-barnett-serial-numbers.htm

A 56 Plover 78
https://www.justbikes.com.au/motorcycles-for-sale/1956-francis-barnett-150cc-78-plover/JBM3265134#&gid=1&pid=1

A 55 Cruiser model with a 225cc engine ? - the latest and greatest in sleek design and power egg engine
https://www.eurooldtimers.com/data/galerie/photos/20978.jpg

Or a F55 alcon 74 with the well proven 197cc
https://images1.bonhams.com/image?src=Images/live/2009-03/19/7855261-3-1.JPG

etc

How does yours compare with these.
I'd have thought there would be some letters before the engine number ?
Any chance of a pic ?

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2024, 01:15:41 AM »
The first Y in the frame number shows it to be from 1957 but there is no YY. A single Y, yes plus YC, YM, YB plus YTM and YSM but no YY.
Your engine number is not quite right either.
If you give the bike a really good clean and look closely you should be able to pick the numbers out a little better. They can often be awkward to read.
Do not trust any paperwork numbers.
No trouble identifying it with the right numbers.

Offline Barryhill8

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2024, 07:32:56 PM »
The frame is YY-4667 as the photo. All I can see on the engine is the number 20321. I attach some photos. I do need to find an ignition switch, any ideas where?

Thank you very much for your help! The bike is in New Zealand.

Kind regards
Barry Hill

Offline R

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2024, 09:53:13 PM »
Nothing attached ?

Is there a photo of the whole bike available.
This is more reliable than chasing numbers ...
And would likely assist in what switch you may require.
Cheers.

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2024, 10:16:19 PM »
Photos donít really help. They are never as clear as looking with the No1 eyeball. Hence the suggestion to give the bike a really good clean and LOOK.
YY wouldnít surprise me. Iím in Oz and Iím fairly cynical about the Poms sending not quite right bikes overseas where complaining is useless. Someone doing a whoopsie and stamping the Y twice wouldnít surprise me.
Villiers used a three number followed by a letter identification prefix before the individual number for that engine, so you would see something like 123A 1234. In your case, if it is the original engine I would expect it to start 295B.
Eventually Villiers affixed an identity plate which says what type of engine is fitted which sorted out the whole issue anyway but with an old bike all sorts of things can happen over its lifetime so initially things can be a bit of a mystery.

Offline R

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2024, 10:36:03 PM »
Pic(s) of the whole bike definitely does help !

Or, bikes sent to NZ got a YY prefix.
And no one else knows about it .... ?

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2024, 06:29:33 AM »
Yes a full photo might help a bit but isnít definitive. If the owner wants to legally put the bike on the road the NZ authorities will want the numbers, not a photo. Those numbers are the bikes legal identity. They not only identify what it is, they identify the legal owner. Just because youíve bought a bike and have a receipt doesnít necessarily make you the legal owner.Was the seller legally entitled to sell it?
Many people donít take them seriously but getting them wrong can cause much frustration and a pain in the pocket.
Much more practical (and cheaper) to get them right first off.
Sorry to be boring about it but thatís how it is.

Offline cardan

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2024, 06:49:57 AM »
That's funny because once, c1982, I bought a Francis Barnett with altered numbers. When I noticed, I asked the guy I'd purchased it from for a refund, which he initially agreed to, but after "legal advice" refused. So I contacted the police. I had to take the bike to (wait for it) Russell Street Police Headquarters in Melbourne, to the inner courtyard via the entrance used by the cast of Homicide in their Studebaker police cars in the 1960s!!! Showing my age now. What a highlight! The bike was c1949, and the guy I bought it from said he rode it to uni in the 1960s, and it had been off the road since then. Other than that both numbers had been clumsily changed, the police could say no more, so it was off to have a new VP number stamped on it. My wife rode it for a couple of years in VMCC rallies...

Leon


Edit: Wow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homicide_(Australian_TV_series)

Double wow: https://www.imcdb.org/v971596.html
« Last Edit: February 02, 2024, 07:07:12 AM by cardan »

Offline Barryhill8

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2024, 07:59:33 AM »
Trying again, I am having trouble getting photos to go.

Offline Barryhill8

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2024, 08:14:00 AM »
Another photo

Offline R

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2024, 08:38:44 AM »
Is that number on a riveted on tag   ??

This comes up online as a 1957 Plover


Offline R

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2024, 08:52:40 AM »
Ditto, as a Plover 1957 150cc



Wheelbase looks longer than the micro car in the background !

Offline 33d6

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2024, 09:10:37 AM »
Ages ago I also bought a 250 BSA, but from a deceased estate clear out, a 1930 model. Much later I had a policeman turn up saying it was reported stolen back in the 1940ís! Eventually I was allowed to keep it because the police couldnít find any of the parties involved still alive. All they could find was evidence the deceased estate had taken it in as a trade in. All pre computer of course. Finally they said I could keep it but I was left hanging for a few months and couldnít do anything with it.
I got the message though that my ownership would always be a bit vague so not a happy camper.

Offline Rex

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Re: 1950s Francis Barnett
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2024, 09:51:41 AM »
There was a tidy restored BSA B40 on Ebay recently, and the price was quite low too. Turns out that at some time in the past some t*at had poorly restamped the frame and engine numbers and the BSAOC declined to issue a dating letter (quite rightly).
Engine numbers are no biggie, but it would need a reframe to get around the iffy frame numbers.