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'black shadow' engine specs

aaronabutt

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Hello to all

I have just bought a black knight that now looks like a black shadow.
It is 1955 and now displays all the parts of a 55 shadow as far as my limited nowledge can tell.

in any case, I want to find the easiest way of telling if the engine has been modified to shadow specs, which correct me if im wrong, is balanced crank, ported and polished heads and different carbs (jetting?)

It has a big speedo though and I wonder if that's stock or if the speedo in the headlight was the stock part for that year?

Aaron, new member
 

Len Matthews

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hello to all

I have just bought a black knight that now looks like a black shadow.
It is 1955 and now displays all the parts of a 55 shadow as far as my limited nowledge can tell.

in any case, I want to find the easiest way of telling if the engine has been modified to shadow specs, which correct me if im wrong, is balanced crank, ported and polished heads and different carbs (jetting?)

It has a big speedo though and I wonder if that's stock or if the speedo in the headlight was the stock part for that year?

Aaron, new member

Aaron, welcome to the Vincent world. One way of telling whether your bike has been brought up to Black Shadow spec is to look at the carbs, assuming it's equiped with Monoblocs. Rapide carbs would be stamped 376 whereas Shadow ones would be stamped 389. You are right about the speedo. Open D's had a 3" speedo in the headlamp but the Rapide one was calibrated to 120 mph, the Shadow one to 150mph
 

aaronabutt

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thank you very much

Thank you Len, for your warm welcome and prompt reply.
The world of vincents has only recently become a reality from a distant dream! It is rather daunting to become involved in such a specialised world. I have experience with triumphs and am pretty good at fixing bikes except for tuning carbs and timing. I just bought these bikes and there seems to be a lot to learn before you even get them going! They have so much compression and Im out of shape from using my fat boys electric start I want to know exactly how to get them started with the least amount of kicking!

I have been thinking that the carbs would tell me the story, but I am not near the bikes and I coudn't find those numbers you mentioned, that I had seen on 'the vincent' page denoting proper shadow carbs. The only numbers I have gotten from the carbs are stamped on the manifold and says (front one 2t32-(16 or 10) L
rear says 5421(o or 6)

cant seem to read find out what that means. any guess? The carbs have no air filters either, is that ok? Can spares be bought and do I need the proper carb numbers to buy the right air cleaners?

I take it the look of the carbs cant tell me anything? I have a rapide that has been modified to black lightning specs as well and the carbs look original. Did they have to be modified for the lightning spec'd engine to run well? I figured once you did that modification you would have to put shadow carbs on that one as well, or rejet at least?

thanks again
 

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BigEd

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Website Moderator
To start with the least amount of exertion pull in the valve lifter, swing down on the kick start and release the valve lifter as the kick start nears the bottom of the stroke. The weight of the spinning flywheels bumps the engine over compression. Practice a little to get the sequence co-ordinated.
Using this method removes the strain on you and your legs as you are not subjected to the shock of pushing through the compression stroke. Assuming that you have the engine in reasonable condition with suitable timing and carburettor settings starting should not be onerous.
Pain in my right knee was becoming a problem. It has stopped hurting since I started using this method.

Regards,
Eddy


I just bought these bikes and there seems to be a lot to learn before you even get them going! They have so much compression and Im out of shape from using my fat boys electric start I want to know exactly how to get them started with the least amount of kicking!
 

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Can spares be bought and do I need the proper carb numbers to buy the right air cleaners?

For spares, try the Forum advertisers and Burlen Fuel .

Bob Collings of Winnipeg can suggest Canadian suppliers, I'm sure. VOC members in Newfoundland appear to be thin on the ground, but the Internet brings you closer to assistance.
 
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aaronabutt

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thanks to all!
Will definitely try the open valve kick start.

British cycle supply has a place in nova scotia that carries some vincent materials and parts. I'll try them. neither of my bikes came with air filters or rear view mirrors. I find it strange.

Is a 'shadow' engine harder to kick than a rapide, and thus, a lightning the worst? (all other things being equal)
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
and thus, a lightning the worst?
You'll have trouble kickstarting one of these:eek: no kickstart lever:D John
 

aaronabutt

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Mea Culpa!:D


I have read the Lightning had no kicker. But you see my 'lightning' spec'd rapide does.

Owning a Vincent is like being put on a sharp learning curve and I am bound to ask a lot of silly questions till I get up to speed.

Aaron
 
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