Archive for ‘Vincent’

June 3, 2017

Brother in Arms

Sultan of Swing – Dire Straits lead man and impresario guitarist Mark Knopfler knows how to bang out a catchy tune or two. But another aspect to his musician life is collecting classic motorcycles; here proudly leaning on a legendary HRD Vincent. That would be a perfect ride to take along the seafront between Cullercoats and Whitley Bay.

April 21, 2017

Vincent Black Lightning 1952

Said Red Molly to James that’s a fine motorbike

A girl could feel special on any such like

Said James to Red Molly, my hat’s off to you

It’s a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952

And I’ve seen you at the corners and cafes it seems

Red hair and black leather, my favourite colour scheme

And he pulled her on behind

And down to Boxhill they did ride
Said James to Red Molly, here’s a ring for your right hand

But I’ll tell you in earnest I’m a dangerous man

I’ve fought with the law since I was seventeen

I robbed many a man to get my Vincent machine

Now I’m 21 years, I might make 22

And I don’t mind dying, but for the love of you

And if fate should break my stride

Then I’ll give you my Vincent to ride
Come down, come down, Red Molly, called Sergeant McRae

For they’ve taken young James Adie for armed robbery

Shotgun blast hit his chest, left nothing inside

Oh, come down, Red Molly to his dying bedside

When she came to the hospital, there wasn’t much left

He was running out of road, he was running out of breath

But he smiled to see her cry

And said I’ll give you my Vincent to ride
Says James, in my opinion, there’s nothing in this world

Beats a 52 Vincent and a red headed girl

Now Nortons and Indians and Greeveses won’t do

They don’t have a soul like a Vincent 52

He reached for her hand and he slipped her the keys

He said I’ve got no further use for these

I see angels on Ariels in leather and chrome

Swooping down from heaven to carry me home

And he gave her one last kiss and died

And he gave her his Vincent to ride

February 14, 2017

❤️

L❤️VE IS – gazing adoringly at the sublime lines of classic British motorcycle engines. They are the pulsing heart of these machines; the very cardiac cycle of an industries history. These examples were beautiful examples of their marque on display at the motorcycle show.

December 18, 2016

Big Brother

Thought Police – a 1956 film adaptation of George Orwells dystopian novel published just eight years prior had the ThinkPol riding the then futuristic looking Vincent Black Knight. 

October 10, 2016

Stamp

Philatelist – beautiful classic British bikes adorn these stamps used to mail letters, postcards, and parcels across the country & world. Issued on July 19, 2005. QE2 looks one way while the motos head the other.

May 12, 2016

My Rushmore


If you had to pick four motorcycles to be carved in Dakota granite like Gutzon Borglums  mighty heads of US history what would they be? Here are mine: Washington is a Vincent Black Shadow; Jefferson is a Kawasaki Z1; Roosevelt a Ducati 916; and Lincoln a Bonneville, new 2016 or old 1968 model.

December 23, 2015

Nine of the Best?

  
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

Nine Rockets rockin’ 

Eight Dommies roarin’ 

Seven Comets thumpin’ 

Six Lightings flashin’ 

Five Golden Stars!

Four AJ’s harin’ 

Three Cafe’s brewin’ 

Two Bonnie’s beltin’ 

And a Vincent doin’ the ton along the A3!

December 21, 2015

Dark Night of Winter Solstice

What better way to celebrate the shortest day with a Shadow? Black Shadow that is…

   
This week has seen an unprecedented three Vincent’s for sale on EBay. Lots of money being thrown about too. One currently at $100k, another close to that; both runners and looking good.

 
There is also a barn find project that hasn’t run for forty odd years. Reserve not met at $38k… You’d be dropping another ten grand on it as well to get ‘er up and running.

 
I’d better stick to Triumphs….  This X75 in the UK… Now for £25k… Bargain!

  
 

November 12, 2015

Sunless Speed

  
Let’s head into the weekend at a hundred miles per hour – average! This is the beefy Black Shadow which, in 1952, set a six hour endurance record on the racetrack at Montlhery. This very machine was sold at auction a couple of years ago for $200,000. That’s four hundred bucks a mile.

October 4, 2015

Rolling Free

  
A madcap recreation of the renowned speed run record carried out by Rollie Free in 1948 aboard what has become known as ‘The bathing suit bike’. A Vincent Black Lightning was used then but this dedicated speed freak is on an early 70’s Triumph Bonneville to capture glory. It won’t reach the 150mph Vincent record but it shown nerve and pluck.

July 11, 2015

Number One

   
When Willie G Davidson came to work as head designer in the early seventies he went about rebranding an already three quarters of a century old  company to make it #1. The U.S. Tank badge is iconic.


The other vee twin motorcycle that truly was number one is of course Vincent. Their gold Mercury heralding the wheels of speed. 

 

May 8, 2015

Starry Starry Night

  

Just listed….. Gonna sell my kidney….. Or my soul…. 


“Offered for auction is a restoration project from HARRIS VINCENT GALLERY, in Austin, Tx.  This motorcycle is a completely non-matching bike!  The purpose of it being rebuilt is to move outside the traditional lines of VINCENT sales and offer a just-restored bike to riders who want to have the “Vincent Experience” and not but put into poverty!  The engine cases are not sanded or polished, but exactly as made a half-century ago.  The outer cases are the original polish and we haven’t redone them so they’re like it was when sold (plus 60 years of patina!)

The engine unit is a 1949 VINCENT H.R.D. engine, completely restored by us.  The transmission has new internal components.  New pistons, bearings, valves all combine to produce a solid and fresh VINCENT for the successful bidder.

Maybe you never had a VINCENT and want to try one.  This will be the bike for you and if they’re not for you, so what!  You aren’t locked into a big auction house to sell it.  It’s a rider’s bike.  New tires, new bearings, fresh seat, rewly overhauled, genuine SMITHS Rapide correct speedometer, new grips, built to ride.  Sure, we do show – winning restorations and our bikes win the big shows.  But, we like to see guys enjoy our bikes and on this one, we know you will.  

Engine number is: F10AB/1/1432. upper frame number is R3495 and there is no number on the rear from number because we had to replace the lugs.

The Rapide does not come with a title but it does come with a bill of sale.  This is motorcycle is a really nice rider and a great motorcycle to enjoy.”

 

  

 

April 21, 2015

Top Speed

image

The progression of fast. This chart represents the fastest production motorcycles over the last century. The decades long plateau reflects a half century reign of two British Greats: Brought Superior SS100 (TE Lawrence’s ride of choice)  and the veritable Vincent Black Shadow. The steeper section have the early racing developments and the latter competitive superbike wars. My 1985 Ninja 900 takes up a few years in the late eighties.

image

April 11, 2015

Lion of God

image

Blue-Sky beauty: I spied a glorious Ariel motorcycle whilst passing through Evanston earlier today. The glossy light blue color-scheme glinted in the corner of my vision.

image

It is of course the Square Four, a double parallel twin designed by Ed Turner in the 20’s. An unusual arrangement which made sense for compactness, however cooling the rear pair is a necessity. Which this owner has undertaken with a small oil cooler just behind the down tubes.

image

image

A real head-turner that cried out to be photographed..

Ariel

BY SYLVIA PLATH

Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue   
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,   
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees!—The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to   
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Nigger-eye   
Berries cast dark   
Hooks—

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,   
Shadows.
Something else

Hauls me through air—
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

White
Godiva, I unpeel—
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.   
The child’s cry

Melts in the wall.   
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive   
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.

March 21, 2015

A Dash of Salt

One of the most famous motorcycling photos was taken in 1948 of a speedo suited Rollie Free lay prone along the backbone of a Vincent Black Lightning and tore along the Bonneville Salt Flats at 150.313 mph.

image

The image goes down in history giving Vincent the title of fastest production motorcycle in the world. The “bathing suit bike” came into the possession of Herb Harris the Austin TX collector (whose ‘shop I visited yesterday) before being sold recently for $1.1 million. His trailer is still adorned with the iconic outline.

image

Now that is history.