Vincent Bikes, “the makers of the world’s fastest bikes”, started with the order of HRD Bikes, a lot less the manufacturing facility premises, by Phil Vincent in 1928.
HRD was launched by the British Royal Flying Corps (RFC) pilot, Howard Raymond Davies, who was shot down and captured by the Germans in 1917. Legend has it that it was while a prisoner of war that he conceived the idea of constructing his own bike, and contemplated how he might obtain that. It was not till 1924 that Davies entered into partnership with E J Massey, investing as HRD Motors. Several types were being manufactured, normally run by JAP (JA Prestwich Industries) engines.
Unfortunately, though HRD bikes gained races, the firm ran at a loss, and in January 1928 it went into voluntary liquidation. The firm was to begin with acquired by Ernest Humphries of Ok-Supreme Motors for the manufacturing facility space, and the HRD title, jigs, tools, patterns, and remaining parts were being subsequently provided for sale again.
Major report: Phil Vincent
Philip Vincent was suggested to begin creation beneath an founded title. He experienced designed a bike of his own in 1924, and in 1928 experienced registered a patent for a cantilever rear suspension of his own style and design. In 1928 Philip Vincent remaining Cambridge University with an engineering diploma and, with the backing of his household prosperity from cattle ranching in Argentina, acquired the trademark, goodwill and remaining parts of HRD from Humphries for 450.
The firm was instantly renamed Vincent HRD Co., Ltd and creation moved to Stevenage. The new trademark experienced “Vincent” in incredibly tiny letters higher than “HRD” written big. Just after Entire world War 2 Britain experienced an export generate to repay its war money owed, and the United states was the most significant industry for bikes, so in 1949 the HRD was dropped from the title to prevent any confusion with the “High definition” of Harley Davidson, and the bike became The Vincent.
In 1929 the 1st Vincent-HRD bike employed a JAP one-cylinder engine in a Vincent-designed cantilever body. The earliest regarded example extant exists in Canberra, Australia. Some early bikes employed Rudge-Python engines. But soon after a disastrous 1934 Isle of Gentleman TT, with engine difficulties and all a few entries failing to complete, Phil Vincent (with Phil Irving) made the decision to build their own engines.
Phil Vincent also experimented with a few wheeled motor vehicles, amphibious motor vehicles, and automobiles. In 1932 the 1st 3-wheeler, “The Vincent Bantam” appeared, run by a 293 cc SV JAP or 250 cc Villiers engine. It was a 2.5 cwt shipping van with a car seat and a steering wheel. The Bantam value fifty seven-10- and the windscreen and hood selection value 5-10-. Production ceased in 1936.
Major report: Phil Irving
In 1931 Phil Irving joined Vincent as chief engineer. His 1st engine style and design was an OHV 500 cc one-cylinder engine in 1934. The typical motor was regarded as the Meteor and the athletics motor was the Vincent Comet it was distinguished from earlier Vincent types of that title by the eries-A prefix. There was a TT reproduction & the Comet Special (in essence a TTR with lights, horn etcetera), which employed a bronze head. The Meteor motor manufactured 26 bhp (19 kW) @ 5300 rpm,
An unconventional feature of the valve style and design for these motors was the double valve guides, and the attachment of the forked rocker arm to a shoulder between the guides, to reduce side forces on the valve stem and assure highest valve everyday living beneath racing conditions.
The Series-A Comet could do 90 mph (140 km/h), but Phil Vincent and his racing customers wished far more.
1936 Series A Rapide
Major report: Vincent Rapide
Legend has it that Irving unintentionally put a side-check out tracing of the Vincent five hundred motor completely wrong way up on best of an similarly sized drawing of the identical check out of the identical motor, and observed, relocating the tracing so the crankshafts and loafer gears coincided, that the final result appeared like a attainable style and design for a V-twin. This resulted in the 47.5 V twin which appeared in 1936. (The one leaned ahead 23.seventy five.)
With 6.8:one compression, it manufactured 45 bhp (34 kW).
The Vincent V-twin bike incorporated a variety of new and impressive suggestions, some of which were being far more effective than other individuals.
The Vincent HRD Series A Rapide was launched in October 1936. Its body was of brazed lug construction, primarily based on the Comet style and design but extended to accommodate the longer V twin engine. It continued the use of “cantilever” rear suspension, which was employed on all Vincents manufactured from 1928 through 1955. Other improvements integrated a side stand.
Pneumatic forks were being not to be a Vincent innovation, with equally Phils believing girder forks were being remarkable at the time. The Series-A experienced exterior oil strains and a different gearbox.
The 998 cc Series A Rapide Vincent value $600, manufactured 45 hp (34 kW), and was capable of 110 miles for every hour (180 km/h).
The significant electrical power meant that the gearbox and clutch did not cope nicely.
Motor – 998 cc, 47.5 diploma v-twin ohv four-stroke
Bore and Stroke – 84 x 90 mm
Compression Ratio – 6.8:one
Energy – 45 bhp (34 kW) @ 5500 rpm
Created – 1936-1939
Wheelbase – fifty eight.5inch
Dry Body weight – 430 lb (200 kg)
Carburettor – one.0625inch Amal
Gearbox – Burman four velocity, triplex chain primary, wet multiplate clutch
Frame – Brazed lug duplex tubular cradle. Cantilever rear springing
Entrance forks – Brampton girder forks
Best Velocity – 110 mph (180 km/h)
Entire world War II
In 1937 Phil Irving went to do the job for Velocette but returned to Vincent Bikes in 1943. Vincent principally created munitions, but Vincent engines were being trialled in boats and moveable pumps for the duration of the war, and the conclusion of hostilities observed Vincent prepared to return to bike creation.
Vincent now appeared to The united states for product sales, and in 1944 Eugene Aucott opened the 1st United states dealership in the metropolis of Philadelphia. Some others followed.
1946 Series B Rapide
The Series B Rapide designed for the duration of the war and introduced to the press prior to conclusion of hostilities appeared radically unique from the A: now the oil pipes were being inner, and the gearbox was section of the engine casting (Device Building). The angle between the cylinders was now fifty instead of the 47.5 of the Series A engine. This allowed the use of the engine as a stressed member of the body, which consisted of an oil-tank spine with the engine hanging down below, and the front and rear suspension hooked up at the ends. This was regarded as sensational at the time, and the arrangement was not viewed again until the late seventies. The cantilever rear became the most greatly employed type of rear suspension for bikes soon after 1980, and the use of the engine-gearbox device as a stressed member became far more common. Brakes were being twin one-foremost shoe (SLS), front and rear. The 55.5-inch (one,410 mm) wheelbase was a few inches (76 mm) shorter than the Series A, and its proportions were being far more like a five hundred cc bike of the time.
A far more present day hydraulic shock absorber and spring assembly afterwards changed the aged twin springs and friction damper. The rear seat was supported by a sub-body down to the rear body pivot level, providing a semi-sprung seat with 6 inches (150 mm) of suspension. (Yamaha would rediscover this suspension technique practically forty years afterwards.)
The Series B experienced a Feridax Dunlopillo Dualseat, and a device tray beneath the front.
The Series “B” incorporated an inline felt oil filter instead of the metallic gauze of the Series “A”.
Vincent employed immediately detachable wheels, producing wheel and tyre modifications much easier. The rear wheel was reversible, and unique dimension rear sprockets could be fitted for rapid last-generate ratio modifications. The brake & equipment change were being adjustable for achieve to match personal ft. The rear mud guard was hinged to facilitate the removing of the rear wheel. These are things taken for granted on present day bikes whilst Vincent was a pioneer in their use.
From present-day perspective, it appears to be incongruous that Vincent could see the need for, and style and design, a cantilever rear suspension, as nicely as incorporate so a lot of other new suggestions, nevertheless use Brampton girder forks with friction dampers up front. The two Phils felt that the telescopic forks of the time were being inclined to lateral flex, so they persisted with girder forks, and did use hydraulic damping in the Series C “Girdraulic” forks. Take into account now the use of related forks on the renowned Britten (from New Zealand), the latest BMW K1200 Series & the Honda Rune.
Vincent experienced offered bikes through Indian Bikes dealers in the US and in 1948 an Indian Chief was despatched to Stevenage to be fitted with a Vincent Rapide engine. The resulting hybrid Vindian did not go into creation.
1948 Series C Vincents, “Black Shadow” and “Black Lightning”
Vincent Comet from 1950 at the Zweirad-Museum Neckarsulm
The 1948 Series C Rapide differed from the Series B in obtaining “Girdraulic” front forks which were being girder forks with hydraulic damping.
The absence Shadow, capable of 125 mph (201 km/h), and conveniently recognised by its black engine and gearbox device, and big 150 mph (240 km/h) speedometer, was launched. The engine manufactured 54 bhp (40 kW) @ 5700 rpm in Black Shadow trim.
The Vincent Black Lightning was a racing variation of the Black Shadow, with each and every necessary metal section on it that could be, remade in aluminium, and something not necessary eradicated entirely, minimizing the body weight from 458 lb (208 kg) to 380 lb (170 kg). Each and every bit the racer, it experienced a one racing seat and rear-established footrests.
The 500 cc Meteor and Comet singles were being launched, alongside with a 500 cc racer, the Vincent Grey Flash. The Grey Flash racer employed Albion gears, for the bigger preference of ratios obtainable. The 500 cc bikes employed a wet multiplate clutch, while the 998 cc V-twins employed a dry, drum-sort servo clutch.
Most Vincents were being painted black. In 1949 a White Shadow (a equipment to Black Shadow mechanical specification, with the Rapide colour scheme) was obtainable, but only 15 were being offered, and the selection was dropped in 1952. In 1950 16 Purple Comets were being shipped to the United States. There were being also 31 of the 1948 Grey Flash designed.
In 1949 HRD was dropped from the title, and the symbol now simply claimed “Vincent”.
Make: Vincent HRD
Design: 1948 Series C Black Shadow
Motor: 998 cc (84 x 90 mm bore and stroke) fifty OHV V Twin, 7.3:one CR, polished conrods
Carburetor: 2 x one.one hundred twenty five-inch (28.6 mm) sort 29 Amals
Ignition: Lucas Magneto (1955 types: Kettering ignition)
Electrics: 6v 45w dynamo
Lubrication: Dry sump, 3 US quarts
Gearbox: Integral Vincent four velocity, triplex chain primary, dry servo – drum clutch
Last Drive: 530 chain, forty six/21 sprockets
Tyres: 3 x 20 in front, 3.fifty x 19 in rear
Wheels: Entrance: one.sixty five x 20 in.metal rim Rear: one.sixty five x 19 in.metal rim.
Frame: “Diamond Frame”.(Spine body with engine as stressed member)
Rear Suspension: Cantilever rear springing
Entrance forks: Vincent Girdraulic forks, 3″ travel
Brakes: Twin drums, 7 in diameter in front and rear, one foremost shoe 7/8″ broad.
Body weight: 455 lb (206 kg) – 206 kg Moist – 500 lb (227 kg)
Wheelbase: 55.5 in. (1415 mm)
Seat peak: 32.5 in. (826 mm)
Overall performance: 125 mph / 201 km/h – 55 bhp (41 kW) at 5500 rpm
Fuel Ability 3.5 gallons / 16 litres
Company: The Vincent-HRD Co. Ltd., Wonderful North Highway, Stevenage, Herts
1954 “Series D” Vincents
The phrase “Series D” was not employed by the manufacturing facility, but was taken as a normal progression by the motorcycling planet. With product sales falling, Vincent experimented with constructing two new significant-velocity touring types the totally enclosed Vincent Victor (an upgraded Comet), the Black Knight (an upgraded Rapide) and the Vincent Black Prince (an upgraded Shadow). They were being poorly gained by the public. A brief-lived unfaired variation of the Black Prince was then manufactured. There was still a Series D Comet. BTW. Russell Wright bought the Entire world Land Velocity File at Swannanoa with a Vincent HRD bike in 1955 at 184.83 m.p.h.
Income declined additional soon after the article war motorcycling increase owing to the availability of much less expensive motor cars, so not a lot of “Series D” types were being created.
Fireflies, Three Wheelers, and NSU
The Firefly was a 45 cc “clip on” engined bicycle designed from 1953 to 1955 beneath licence from Miller, who were being suppliers of electrical parts to Vincent. It was also regarded as the Vincent Energy Cycle. The Vincent Entrepreneurs Club was predictably surprised by this new, inexpensive, entry-degree Vincent.
By 1954, Vincent Bikes was in an more and more hard circumstance. In the quest for solvency, Vincent appeared for means to enhance their position. The trike idea was revived. In 1932 the 1st 3-wheeler, “The Vincent Bantam” was 1st launched. Driven by a 293 cc SV JAP or 250 cc Villiers engine, it was a 2.5 cwt shipping van which employed a car seat and steering wheel somewhat than the typical bike saddle and handlebars. The Bantam was priced at fifty seven-10- with a windscreen and hood obtainable for an additional 5-10-. It ceased creation in 1936 the 1st year of the Series A bike.
In 1954/1955, thanks to falling product sales of bikes, a one particular-off prototype 3-wheeler run by a Vincent Rapide 998 cc engine was unofficially named “Polyphemus”. To hold improvement and creation prices low, it employed a areas bin-tactic, which includes parts from Vincent bikes, as nicely as wheels which came from a Morris Small and a body primarily based on the resources employed in the Black Knight/Prince. With the typical Rapide engine the “Polyphemus” could achieve 90 mph (140 km/h), and one particular attained 117 mph (188 km/h) with a Black Lightning engine in 1955.
Just after various far more prototypes the then-named incent 3-wheeler was provided to the public in 1955 at five hundred a significant price for any motor vehicle at the time (the BMC Mini released four years afterwards for 497), in particular for a motor vehicle with no reverse equipment, self starter or hood. Vincent offered none.
Unfortunately Vincent bikes were being hand-designed and expensive – only a total of eleven,000 devices were being offered article-Entire world War Two. A product sales slump in 1954 compelled the firm to manufacture NSU mopeds. Only forty of the two stroke 1955 NSU-Vincent Fox 123 cc were being designed. There was also an OHV four-stroke NSU-Vincent 98 cc, and Vincent also offered the “NSU Swiftly” moped way too nicely it appears (selling about 20,000 in one particular year a foot be aware to how the industry experienced altered again), as NSU took handle of its own product sales soon after a year.
The Final Vincent Bike
At a Vincent Owners’ Club meal in the summer months of 1955, Phil Vincent announced that the firm could no longer keep on in the face of large losses and that creation of bikes would stop virtually straight away.
In 1955, one particular 7 days prior to Xmas, the previous Vincent came off the creation line and was instantly labeled “The Final.”
The manufacturing facility then turned to typical engineering, the manufacture of industrial engines, and there was the Amanda water scooter, maybe the 1st particular watercraft. A Vincent engineer missing his everyday living testing it, drowning at sea.
Vincent experimented with for a authorities agreement providing motors for the ML Aviation U120D target plane. The motor experienced to be capable of passing prolonged whole electrical power operation checks. This was termed the Picador challenge. The Vincent motor was upgraded with a greater crankshaft, Scintilla magneto, double velocity oil pump and fuel injection. They did not get a agreement. (Russel Wright’s report breaking bike was fitted with a Picador crank and oil pump, by Vincent, while in England for Earls Court docket, shortly soon after the 1955 report attempt.)
The firm went into receivership in 1959. It has since been acquired and offered by other engineering companies. In 1955 Phil Vincent declared that Vincent areas would often be obtainable and certainly they are still obtainable, through the The Vincent H.R.D. Entrepreneurs Club, The VOC Spares Firm Constrained, Vin Areas Worldwide and other resources.
The Vincent Entrepreneurs Club is the most significant one-model bike club in the planet. Vincents are amongst the most fascinating of motorcycling classics. A Black Lightning, in immaculate problem, can carry $one hundred twenty five,000.
Vincent engines have been fitted to other frames. The most noticeable is the Norvin, utilizing a Norton Featherbed body, with or with no the decreased body tubes. The Norvin is created in the British isles by Hailwood Bike Restorations Expert body makers also created frames for the Vincent engine.
Fritz Egli, a specialist body producer primarily based in Switzerland, manufactured an Egli-Vincent, and all around one hundred were being manufactured between 1967 and 1972. Egli-Vincents are now staying designed beneath licence in France by Patrick Godet. Non approved copies (by Fritz Egli) are also proposed in the British isles by Hailwood Bike Restorations (HMR)and JMR.
In 1996, a partnership was fashioned to start the Australian RTV bike. It employed a slightly modernised reproduction Vincent engine in an Egli-model body in capacities of 1000 cc and 1200 cc. They experienced electrical begin. Just after four bikes were being designed, the firm went into voluntary liquidation in the direction of the conclusion of 1998.
Vincent Motors United states founder and president, Bernard Li, acquired the Vincent trademarks in 1994, and formally released Vincent Motors United states in 1998, spending about $2 million constructing prototypes that resemble the original Vincent, but utilising present day parts, like the Honda RC51 V-twin engine. Vincent Motors is primarily based in San Diego. A resurrection of the Vincent title now appears to be unlikely as the Honda engine now out of creation, and Li was killed in a bike accident.
Listing of Vincent bikes
Vincent Black Shadow
H.R.D. Motor Cycles. Created by a Rider Auth: Geoff Preece Publisher: J. Bickerstaff
Vincent Bikes: The Complete Tale, David Wright Pub: Crowood Motoclassics, ISBN one-86126-516-6
Vincent and HRD Bikes – How They Ended up Promoted and Sold’, David Wright, Constrained version of 998 copies
^ Ward, Ian (in English). Wonderful British Bikes. Macdonald & Co. ISBN -7481-0020-2.
^ a b 3Wheelers Vincent Three Wheelers (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ VincentMotors Record (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ NTNOA Histories (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ Dropbears Histories (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ IanChadwick Vincent (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ TheVincent Models and Fittings (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ Is-it-a-lemon Vincent evaluate (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ The Vincent Grey Flash Data (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ Vincent creation figures
^ Globalnet Vincent Firefly (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ The Record of Mini – MiniWorld
^ VincentMotors Record Page3. (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ IanChadwick Vincent (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ MindSpring 1953 Is effective Pay a visit to (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ The Vincent Picador Drone (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ Hailwood Bike Restorations HMR Norvin (Retrieved 3 July 2007)
^ GodetMotorcycles Egli (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ Hailwood Bike Restorations HMR Egli-Vincent (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ UnionJack RTV Vincent (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ Vincent Motors San Diego (Retrieved 22 October 2006)
^ Bernard Li, 1946-2008 (Retrieved eleven November 2008)
Vincent Motors United states
Hunter S Thompson report on the Vincent Black Shadow
Pay attention to Richard Thompson’s song Vincent Black Lightning 1952
Vincent Motors history, Motorcycledaily.com
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