Vincent Motorcycles

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Heritage

Vincent Motorcycles, “the makers of the world’s fastest bikes”, started with the purchase of HRD Motorcycles, less the factory premises, by Phil Vincent in 1928.

HRD was founded 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 even though a prisoner of war that he conceived the notion of constructing his individual motorbike, and contemplated how he might realize that. It was not until 1924 that Davies entered into partnership with E J Massey, trading as HRD Motors. Different models have been generated, normally driven by JAP (JA Prestwich Industries) engines.

However, nevertheless HRD bikes received races, the firm ran at a reduction, and in January 1928 it went into voluntary liquidation. The firm was at first purchased by Ernest Humphries of Alright-Supreme Motors for the factory house, and the HRD identify, jigs, applications, styles, and remaining parts have been subsequently presented for sale once again.

Phil Vincent

Most important posting: Phil Vincent

Philip Vincent was recommended to start creation less than an founded identify. He had constructed a motorbike of his individual in 1924, and in 1928 had registered a patent for a cantilever rear suspension of his individual style and design. In 1928 Philip Vincent still left Cambridge University with an engineering diploma and, with the backing of his family wealth from cattle ranching in Argentina, obtained the trademark, goodwill and remaining parts of HRD from Humphries for 450.

The firm was promptly renamed Vincent HRD Co., Ltd and creation moved to Stevenage. The new trademark had “Vincent” in incredibly little letters over “HRD” penned huge. Following Planet War two Britain had an export drive to repay its war debts, and the United states was the major sector for bikes, so in 1949 the HRD was dropped from the identify to avoid any confusion with the “Hd” of Harley Davidson, and the motorbike turned The Vincent.

In 1929 the to start with Vincent-HRD motorbike applied a JAP solitary-cylinder motor in a Vincent-created cantilever frame. The earliest known instance extant exists in Canberra, Australia. Some early bikes applied Rudge-Python engines. But just after a disastrous 1934 Isle of Man TT, with motor challenges and all a few entries failing to end, Phil Vincent (with Phil Irving) made the decision to build their individual engines.

Phil Vincent also experimented with a few wheeled cars, amphibious cars, and automobiles. In 1932 the to start with 3-wheeler, “The Vincent Bantam” appeared, driven by a 293 cc SV JAP or 250 cc Villiers motor. It was a two.5 cwt shipping van with a automobile seat and a steering wheel. The Bantam expense fifty seven-10- and the windscreen and hood option expense 5-10-. Manufacturing ceased in 1936.

Phil Irving

Most important posting: Phil Irving

In 1931 Phil Irving joined Vincent as chief engineer. His to start with motor style and design was an OHV 500 cc solitary-cylinder motor in 1934. The typical motor was known as the Meteor and the sports activities motor was the Vincent Comet it was distinguished from earlier Vincent models of that identify by the eries-A prefix. There was a TT duplicate & the Comet Unique (generally a TTR with lights, horn etc), which applied a bronze head. The Meteor motor generated 26 bhp (19 kW) @ 5300 rpm,

An abnormal attribute 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 amongst the guides, to reduce side forces on the valve stem and assure maximum valve life less than racing situations.

The Collection-A Comet could do 90 mph (140 km/h), but Phil Vincent and his racing customers needed more.

1936 Collection A Rapide

Most important posting: Vincent Rapide

Legend has it that Irving unintentionally place a side-watch tracing of the Vincent five hundred motor improper way up on top of an similarly sized drawing of the same watch of the same motor, and noticed, moving the tracing so the crankshafts and loafer gears coincided, that the consequence looked like a doable style and design for a V-twin. This resulted in the forty seven.5 V twin which appeared in 1936. (The solitary leaned ahead 23.seventy five.)

With six.eight:1 compression, it generated 45 bhp (34 kW).

The Vincent V-twin motorbike incorporated a amount of new and modern thoughts, some of which have been more successful than other individuals.

The Vincent HRD Collection A Rapide was released in October 1936. Its frame was of brazed lug development, primarily based on the Comet style and design but prolonged to accommodate the for a longer period V twin motor. It ongoing the use of “cantilever” rear suspension, which was applied on all Vincents generated from 1928 by 1955. Other improvements bundled a side stand.

Pneumatic forks have been not to be a Vincent innovation, with the two Phils believing girder forks have been outstanding at the time. The Collection-A had external oil traces and a different gearbox.

The 998 cc Collection A Rapide Vincent expense $600, generated 45 hp (34 kW), and was able of 110 miles for each hour (180 km/h).

The substantial electric power intended that the gearbox and clutch did not cope properly.

Motor – 998 cc, forty seven.5 diploma v-twin ohv 4-stroke

Bore and Stroke – 84 x 90 mm

Compression Ratio – six.eight:1

Power – 45 bhp (34 kW) @ 5500 rpm

Generated – 1936-1939

Wheelbase – fifty eight.5inch

Dry Pounds – 430 lb (200 kg)

Carburettor – 1.0625inch Amal

Gearbox – Burman four speed, triplex chain main, damp multiplate clutch

Body – Brazed lug duplex tubular cradle. Cantilever rear springing

Entrance forks – Brampton girder forks

Prime Velocity – 110 mph (180 km/h)

Planet War II

In 1937 Phil Irving went to get the job done for Velocette but returned to Vincent Motorcycles in 1943. Vincent primarily designed munitions, but Vincent engines have been trialled in boats and moveable pumps through the war, and the stop of hostilities noticed Vincent completely ready to return to motorbike creation.

Vincent already looked to The usa for profits, and in 1944 Eugene Aucott opened the to start with United states dealership in the town of Philadelphia. Others followed.

1946 Collection B Rapide

The Collection B Rapide created through the war and introduced to the push before stop of hostilities looked radically distinctive from the A: now the oil pipes have been interior, and the gearbox was aspect of the motor casting (Device Development). The angle amongst the cylinders was now fifty instead of the forty seven.5 of the Collection A motor. This authorized the use of the motor as a stressed member of the frame, which consisted of an oil-tank backbone with the motor hanging underneath, and the entrance and rear suspension hooked up at the ends. This was considered sensational at the time, and the arrangement was not seen once again till the late seventies. The cantilever rear turned the most widely applied kind of rear suspension for bikes just after 1980, and the use of the motor-gearbox device as a stressed member turned more regular. Brakes have been twin solitary-major shoe (SLS), entrance and rear. The 55.5-inch (1,410 mm) wheelbase was a few inches (76 mm) shorter than the Collection A, and its proportions have been more like a five hundred cc bicycle of the time.

A more fashionable hydraulic shock absorber and spring assembly afterwards replaced the aged twin springs and friction damper. The rear seat was supported by a sub-frame down to the rear frame pivot position, giving a semi-sprung seat with 6 inches (150 mm) of suspension. (Yamaha would rediscover this suspension method nearly forty many years afterwards.)

The Collection B had a Feridax Dunlopillo Dualseat, and a instrument tray less than the entrance.

The Collection “B” incorporated an inline felt oil filter instead of the steel gauze of the Collection “A”.

Vincent applied quickly removable wheels, generating wheel and tyre improvements a lot easier. The rear wheel was reversible, and distinctive measurement rear sprockets could be fitted for rapid final-drive ratio improvements. The brake & equipment change have been adjustable for attain to fit particular person feet. The rear mud guard was hinged to facilitate the elimination of the rear wheel. These are issues taken for granted on fashionable bikes whereas Vincent was a pioneer in their use.

From modern standpoint, it seems incongruous that Vincent could see the have to have for, and style and design, a cantilever rear suspension, as properly as integrate so many other new thoughts, however use Brampton girder forks with friction dampers up entrance. The two Phils felt that the telescopic forks of the time have been inclined to lateral flex, so they persisted with girder forks, and did use hydraulic damping in the Collection C “Girdraulic” forks. Think about now the use of identical forks on the renowned Britten (from New Zealand), the present-day BMW K1200 Collection & the Honda Rune.

Vincent had bought bikes by Indian Motorcycles sellers in the US and in 1948 an Indian Main was despatched to Stevenage to be fitted with a Vincent Rapide motor. The ensuing hybrid Vindian did not go into creation.

1948 Collection C Vincents, “Black Shadow” and “Black Lightning”

Vincent Comet from 1950 at the Zweirad-Museum Neckarsulm

The 1948 Collection C Rapide differed from the Collection B in obtaining “Girdraulic” entrance forks which have been girder forks with hydraulic damping.

The lack Shadow, able of 125 mph (201 km/h), and simply recognised by its black motor and gearbox device, and huge 150 mph (240 km/h) speedometer, was released. The motor generated 54 bhp (40 kW) @ 5700 rpm in Black Shadow trim.

The Vincent Black Lightning was a racing model of the Black Shadow, with just about every required metal aspect on it that could be, remade in aluminium, and anything at all not vital eliminated altogether, lowering the weight from 458 lb (208 kg) to 380 lb (170 kg). Every little bit the racer, it had a solitary racing seat and rear-established footrests.

The 500 cc Meteor and Comet singles have been released, alongside with a 500 cc racer, the Vincent Gray Flash. The Gray Flash racer applied Albion gears, for the increased preference of ratios accessible. The 500 cc bikes applied a damp multiplate clutch, even though the 998 cc V-twins applied a dry, drum-style servo clutch.

Most Vincents have been painted black. In 1949 a White Shadow (a device to Black Shadow mechanical specification, with the Rapide colour scheme) was accessible, but only 15 have been bought, and the option was dropped in 1952. In 1950 16 Red Comets have been transported to the United States. There have been also 31 of the 1948 Gray Flash constructed.

In 1949 HRD was dropped from the identify, and the brand now only said “Vincent”.

Technical specs

Make: Vincent HRD

Product: 1948 Collection C Black Shadow

Motor: 998 cc (84 x 90 mm bore and stroke) fifty OHV V Twin, seven.3:1 CR, polished conrods

Carburetor: two x 1.125-inch (28.6 mm) style 29 Amals

Ignition: Lucas Magneto (1955 models: Kettering ignition)

Electrics: 6v 45w dynamo

Lubrication: Dry sump, 3 US quarts

Gearbox: Integral Vincent 4 speed, triplex chain main, dry servo – drum clutch

Final Generate: 530 chain, 46/21 sprockets

Tyres: 3 x twenty in entrance, 3.fifty x 19 in rear

Wheels: Entrance: 1.sixty five x twenty in.metal rim Rear: 1.sixty five x 19 in.metal rim.

Body: “Diamond Body”.(Backbone frame with motor as stressed member)

Rear Suspension: Cantilever rear springing

Entrance forks: Vincent Girdraulic forks, 3″ travel

Brakes: Twin drums, seven in diameter in entrance and rear, solitary major shoe seven/eight” broad.

Pounds: 455 lb (206 kg) – 206 kg Damp – 500 lb (227 kg)

Wheelbase: 55.5 in. (1415 mm)

Seat height: 32.5 in. (826 mm)

Overall performance: 125 mph / 201 km/h – 55 bhp (41 kW) at 5500 rpm

Gasoline Potential 3.5 gallons / 16 litres

Producer: The Vincent-HRD Co. Ltd., Good North Road, Stevenage, Herts

1954 “Collection D” Vincents

The time period “Collection D” was not applied by the factory, but was taken as a organic development by the motorcycling entire world. With profits slipping, Vincent tried using constructing two new substantial-speed touring models the completely enclosed Vincent Victor (an upgraded Comet), the Black Knight (an upgraded Rapide) and the Vincent Black Prince (an upgraded Shadow). They have been badly obtained by the general public. A limited-lived unfaired model of the Black Prince was then generated. There was however a Collection D Comet. BTW. Russell Wright acquired the Planet Land Velocity Document at Swannanoa with a Vincent HRD motorbike in 1955 at 184.83 m.p.h.

Product sales declined even more just after the post war motorcycling boom owing to the availability of much less expensive motor autos, so not many “Collection D” models have been designed.

Fireflies, 3 Wheelers, and NSU

The Firefly was a 45 cc “clip on” engined bicycle constructed from 1953 to 1955 less than licence from Miller, who have been suppliers of electrical parts to Vincent. It was also known as the Vincent Power Cycle. The Vincent House owners Club was predictably surprised by this new, low-priced, entry-stage Vincent.

By 1954, Vincent Motorcycles was in an increasingly complicated scenario. In the quest for solvency, Vincent looked for ways to increase their placement. The trike notion was revived. In 1932 the to start with 3-wheeler, “The Vincent Bantam” was to start with released. Powered by a 293 cc SV JAP or 250 cc Villiers motor, it was a two.5 cwt shipping van which applied a automobile seat and steering wheel fairly than the typical motorbike saddle and handlebars. The Bantam was priced at fifty seven-10- with a windscreen and hood accessible for an added 5-10-. It ceased creation in 1936 the to start with year of the Collection A motorbike.

In 1954/1955, owing to slipping profits of bikes, a one-off prototype 3-wheeler driven by a Vincent Rapide 998 cc motor was unofficially named “Polyphemus”. To keep development and creation fees very low, it applied a pieces bin-technique, such as pieces from Vincent bikes, as properly as wheels which came from a Morris Minor and a human body primarily based on the materials applied in the Black Knight/Prince. With the typical Rapide motor the “Polyphemus” could attain 90 mph (140 km/h), and one achieved 117 mph (188 km/h) with a Black Lightning motor in 1955.

Following many more prototypes the then-named incent 3-wheeler was presented to the general public in 1955 at five hundred a substantial price tag for any vehicle at the time (the BMC Mini released 4 many years afterwards for 497), particularly for a vehicle with no reverse equipment, self starter or hood. Vincent bought none.

NSU-Vincent Fox

However Vincent bikes have been hand-constructed and costly – only a complete of 11,000 machines have been bought post-Planet War Two. A profits slump in 1954 pressured the firm to manufacture NSU mopeds. Only forty of the two stroke 1955 NSU-Vincent Fox 123 cc have been constructed. There was also an OHV 4-stroke NSU-Vincent 98 cc, and Vincent also bought the “NSU Immediately” moped much too properly it seems (providing about twenty,000 in one year a foot notice to how the sector had altered once again), as NSU took management of its individual profits just after a year.

The Past Vincent Motorcycle

At a Vincent Owners’ Club meal in the summertime of 1955, Phil Vincent announced that the firm could no for a longer period continue in the experience of hefty losses and that creation of bikes would cease pretty much straight away.

In 1955, one week before Christmas, the final Vincent came off the creation line and was promptly labeled “The Past.”

The factory then turned to basic engineering, the manufacture of industrial engines, and there was the Amanda drinking water scooter, perhaps the to start with personal watercraft. A Vincent engineer dropped his life tests it, drowning at sea.

Vincent tried using for a government contract supplying motors for the ML Aviation U120D concentrate on aircraft. The motor had to be able of passing extended entire electric power operation assessments. This was called the Picador project. The Vincent motor was upgraded with a greater crankshaft, Scintilla magneto, double speed oil pump and gasoline injection. They did not get a contract. (Russel Wright’s file breaking bicycle was fitted with a Picador crank and oil pump, by Vincent, even though in England for Earls Court, soon just after the 1955 file attempt.)

The firm went into receivership in 1959. It has considering the fact that been purchased and bought by other engineering corporations. In 1955 Phil Vincent declared that Vincent pieces would often be accessible and without a doubt they are however accessible, by the The Vincent H.R.D. House owners Club, The VOC Spares Company Minimal, Vin Sections Worldwide and other resources.

Subsequent Developments

Egli Vincent

The Vincent House owners Club is the major solitary-manufacturer motorbike club in the entire world. Vincents are among the the most attractive of motorcycling classics. A Black Lightning, in immaculate condition, can deliver $125,000.

Vincent engines have been fitted to other frames. The most apparent is the Norvin, working with a Norton Featherbed frame, with or without the need of the decreased frame tubes. The Norvin is designed in the British isles by Hailwood Motorcycle Restorations Specialist frame makers also designed frames for the Vincent motor.

Fritz Egli, a expert frame maker primarily based in Switzerland, generated an Egli-Vincent, and all around 100 have been generated amongst 1967 and 1972. Egli-Vincents are now currently being constructed less than licence in France by Patrick Godet. Non licensed copies (by Fritz Egli) are also proposed in the British isles by Hailwood Motorcycle Restorations (HMR)and JMR.

In 1996, a partnership was formed to launch the Australian RTV motorbike. It applied a slightly modernised copy Vincent motor in an Egli-fashion frame in capacities of 1000 cc and 1200 cc. They had electric start. Following 4 bikes have been constructed, the firm went into voluntary liquidation to the stop of 1998.

Vincent Motors United states founder and president, Bernard Li, obtained the Vincent emblems in 1994, and formally released Vincent Motors United states in 1998, shelling out about $two million constructing prototypes that resemble the primary Vincent, but utilising fashionable parts, like the Honda RC51 V-twin motor. Vincent Motors is primarily based in San Diego. A resurrection of the Vincent identify now seems not likely as the Honda motor now out of creation, and Li was killed in a motorbike incident.

See also

Record of Vincent bikes

HRD Motorcycles

Vincent Black Shadow

References

H.R.D. Motor Cycles. Generated by a Rider Auth: Geoff Preece Publisher: J. Bickerstaff

Vincent Motorcycles: The Comprehensive Tale, David Wright Pub: Crowood Motoclassics, ISBN 1-86126-516-six

Vincent and HRD Motorcycles – How They Were being Promoted and Sold’, David Wright, Minimal version of 998 copies

^ Ward, Ian (in English). Good British Bikes. Macdonald & Co. ISBN -7481-0020-two. 

^ a b 3Wheelers Vincent 3 Wheelers (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ VincentMotors Heritage (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ NTNOA Histories (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ Dropbears Histories (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ IanChadwick Vincent (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ TheVincent Designs and Fittings (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ Is-it-a-lemon Vincent review (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ The Vincent Gray Flash Facts (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ Vincent creation figures

^ Globalnet Vincent Firefly (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ The Heritage of Mini – MiniWorld

^ VincentMotors Heritage Page3. (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ IanChadwick Vincent (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ MindSpring 1953 Works Go to (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ The Vincent Picador Drone (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ Hailwood Motorcycle Restorations HMR Norvin (Retrieved 3 July 2007)

^ GodetMotorcycles Egli (Retrieved 22 October 2006)

^ Hailwood Motorcycle 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 11 November 2008)

External backlinks

Vincent Motors United states

Hunter S Thompson posting on the Vincent Black Shadow

Hear to Richard Thompson’s music Vincent Black Lightning 1952

Vincent Motors historical past, Motorcycledaily.com

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Classes: British brand names | Corporations founded in 1928 | Motorcycle makers of the United Kingdom | Defunct motor vehicle makers of the United Kingdom
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