Francis-Barnett Fulmar 88 145cc 1962 


The Francis-Barnett Fulmar 88 is a notable motorcycle from the early 1960s. Here’s an in-depth look at its specifications, manufacturer design, legacy, and some interesting facts, focusing on the 1962 model:


  • Engine: 147cc, two-stroke, single-cylinder
  • Bore and Stroke: 56mm x 58mm
  • Compression Ratio: 7.5:1
  • Power Output: Approximately 8.5 horsepower
  • Transmission: Four-speed gearbox with chain final drive
  • Top Speed: Approximately 55-60 mph (88-96 km/h)
  • Frame: Pressed steel frame
  • Suspension:
    • Front: Telescopic forks
    • Rear: Swingarm with dual shock absorbers
  • Brakes:
    • Front: Drum brake
    • Rear: Drum brake
  • Fuel Capacity: 2.25 gallons (10.2 liters)
  • Weight: Around 220 pounds (100 kg)

Manufacturer Design:

  • Designer: Francis-Barnett, a British motorcycle manufacturer, designed the Fulmar 88 with a focus on creating a lightweight, economical, and reliable machine for daily commuting and light touring.
  • Aesthetic: The Fulmar 88 features a streamlined and practical design, with a focus on ease of maintenance and rider comfort. The pressed steel frame and integrated fuel tank contribute to its distinctive appearance.
  • Purpose: The Fulmar 88 was designed to be an affordable and efficient commuter bike, suitable for a wide range of riders, from beginners to experienced motorcyclists.
  • Build Quality: Known for its durability and simple engineering, the Fulmar 88 was built to be reliable and easy to maintain, using a robust two-stroke engine and a solid frame construction.


  • Market Position: The Fulmar 88 helped solidify Francis-Barnett’s reputation for producing reliable and economical motorcycles during a period when the market was becoming increasingly competitive.
  • Economic Impact: During the early 1960s, affordable and reliable motorcycles like the Fulmar 88 played a crucial role in providing personal transportation to a broader segment of the population, particularly in the UK.
  • Collectibility: Today, the Fulmar 88 is appreciated by vintage motorcycle enthusiasts and collectors for its historical significance and classic design.

Interesting and Important Facts:

  • Villiers Engine: The Fulmar 88 was powered by a Villiers 147cc engine, which was a popular choice for many small to mid-sized British motorcycles of the time due to its reliability and ease of maintenance.
  • Pressed Steel Frame: The use of a pressed steel frame was a significant design choice, providing strength and rigidity while keeping the weight down. This was a departure from the traditional tubular steel frames used in many motorcycles.
  • Practical Features: The Fulmar 88 included practical features such as a comfortable seat, leg shields, and enclosed chain guards, making it a practical choice for everyday use.
  • Brand Transition: Francis-Barnett was part of the Associated Motor Cycles (AMC) group, and during the 1960s, the brand experienced several changes in ownership and production locations, affecting the overall production and design continuity.
  • Affordable Mobility: The Fulmar 88 was marketed as an affordable solution for personal mobility, reflecting the post-war era’s need for economical transportation options.


The Francis-Barnett Fulmar 88 – 147cc – 1962 is a classic example of British motorcycle engineering from the early 1960s. It reflects the era’s focus on affordability, reliability, and practical design. With its robust Villiers engine, innovative pressed steel frame, and practical features, the Fulmar 88 remains a significant model in the history of Francis-Barnett and the broader landscape of British motorcycling. Its legacy continues to be celebrated by vintage motorcycle enthusiasts and collectors who appreciate its historical importance and timeless design.


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