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Machine 1950 Vincent 998cc Rapide Trials Motorcycle Combination

Graham Smith

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
Auction House
The Autumn Stafford Sale, Stafford, Staffordshire County Showground
Date of Auction
20 October 2019
Lot Number
Sold for £ 27,600 inc. premium
Auction Link
Registration no. RPU 449
Frame no. RC/1/6668 Rear frame no. RC9639/C
Engine no. F10AB/1/5610
• Built by the vendor for MCC trials
• Comet main frame
• Extensively modified and upgraded
• Canterbury trials sidecar

After spectating at MCC Trials, the vendor decided to have a go himself and built this Vincent outfit. It was to be used for the main MCC trials such as the Edinburgh and smaller events such as the VMCC run or even green lane riding, having a passenger to share the fun! Sadly, the vendor's circumstances changed and the machine has hardly been used since it was built.

Being a Vincent enthusiast he had enough parts to build the bike using a non-matching pair of crankcases and the Canterbury trials sidecar body, taken from Ron Vane's old road racing outfit. None of the major components match, the upper frame being that of a Comet.

The crankcases were machined and re-matched by Maughan's; the crankshaft reconditioned by them; and new spindles, main bearings, and oil pump fitted. New cylinder barrels with 7: 1 pistons were fitted, and the cylinder heads rebuilt with new valves, guides, rocker bearings, etc. All parts of the timing chest are new including the gears and Gary Robinson Stellited MkI cams. The clutch is a new Holder multi-plate, while the engine sprocket was specially made with four teeth fewer than standard in order to lower the ratio for trials.

The carburettors are Amal Type 276 as originally fitted and have gauze air filters attached. Ignition is by Scintilla magneto, with manual advance and retard. The dynamo, rebuilt by Paul Dunn, has a V-Tec regulator and a negative earth, which copes easily with the LED lamps. The headlamp used is a Velocette-type Miller that has the style of the original but will accept the more modem light unit.

The forks are fitted with a short top link and have all new spindles and new line-reamed bushes and eccentrics - all done at Maughan's. The rear damper is a Koni, the front a rebuilt Maughan's Vincent. Rear springs are the Pettiford long heavy variety, while the seat frame takes a standard dualseat with all the necessary handholds.

The fuel tank is new, made in India. Wheel rims are new: WM2/21" front, WM3/18" rear, and all the brake drums are Black Shadow. All wheel bearings are new and the hub bolts stainless. The alloy brake plates are new and of the rear Lightning pattern, the fronts being modified to fit the forks with the speedometer drive gearbox on the left side.

The trials sidecar body is a Canterbury; re-skinned and reupholstered, it retains its original beading, foot-grip strips, and handhold bar, while the chassis is a Canterbury, fitted with a new Hagon suspension unit and wheel rim. Registered as a Comet, the machine is offered with an old-style logbook and a V5C document.

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