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Buying at Auction

james mulheran

Forum Website User
VOC Member
Having previously owned a Comet, I'm now considering purchasing a twin - probably a Rapide. There are a few available currently (by auction). Bonhams and Cheffins are both listing Rapides in upcoming sales which appear to be matching numbers machines (Cheffins 27.04.13 lot no. 1261 and Bonhams 28.04.13 lot no. 293). As I'm no expert, any comments on originality or any other advice gratefully received.
 
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Prince Duster

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hi there – as no one else has replied, I’ll try and say something to help, though I’m no expert: but surely this is part of the point of this website. I should say I’m no great shakes as a mechanic either, but with help, I seem to be lucky to keep them going. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

I would suggest – as everyone else here does, righty – that you don’t rush into a purchase of a bike you don’t know, or a bike no one you know, knows (God, I never thought I’d be misquoting Don Rumsfeld).

Vincent twins can soak up a lot of cash to get right. And time, too, if they require work. Find one, if you can, that you’ve seen run – one that has been with one owner for a good few years, and has done some miles. The bikes are around. If they are in good fettle, each model is wonderful. I’ve been lucky to ride most models. If not, each one can be a pig – there’s a lot on a Vincent to get slightly wrong, spoiling the whole package.

Shiny paint, recently restored, a wad of bills showing what someone needs to make back on the bike – these are not, in my humble opinion, the beginning of a long lasting friendship with a wonderful motorcycle. If not the best ever.

Happy to try and help further if you PM me. I can’t find the Cheffins bike; the one at Bonhams looks OK, but the tank seems to sitting rather low. A good Rapide, however, is no way 15 – 20% less of a bike than a Shadow… who does 120mph on a Vincent today? Did they ever? Answers on a post card.
 

Prince Duster

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Not sure what other riders here think, but to me, the pipes on the Rap on Bonhams, look thought they've never really run. They're bolted on, but not slightly blued as they might if motored. Sure others can look at the bike more critically.
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
BritJim,

You might try adding a link. I read your post, but I did not have any luck finding the lots that you are referring to.

David
 

james mulheran

Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hi, many thanks for your reply which covers my main concerns. As you mention, the ideal situation for me is to buy a useable known bike with a sound history but it's not always easy to distinguish good 'honest' machines from those purporting to be the same. If you do find the Cheffins bike, I'd be interested in your opinion especially re. the replacement forks and rims which could indicate earlier front end damage or simply be period updates. That bike is in their vintage sale of 27.04.13.
Links for the Cheffins and Bonham bikes follow:
http://www.cheffins.co.uk/lot/-694251-vintage-0
http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/21135/lot/293
Thanks again for your help.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hello BritJim, there is nothing to worry about concerning the forks and wheel on the Cheffins bike. The rear wheel also has an alloy rim and there is a 'Dave Hills' centre stand fitted. Together with the s/s exhaust system these are all modification which many of us have made. They are all generally thought to improve the bike and apart from those who want their bikes to look exactly like they did when they left the factory do nothing to detract from the value of the bike. The Bonhams bike also had non original parts fitted but looks to be a genuine bike. Without actually seeing the bikes and hearing them run nothing certain can be said about either bike but from the specifications and photographs they look as though either should suit you.
I know nothing about Cheffins policy with regards to compensation if a sold bike is found to have a serious fault but I do know that Bonhams claim to offer compensation. However, a local friend bought a twin through Bonhams which turned out to have a scrap crankcase. They paid £1,000 compensation while the cost of a new crankcase is about £3,000 plus all the extra parts and labour. Be warned.
 

Albervin

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Another bike at the Bonhams auction is this one
http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/211...1_page_lots=2&r1=10&b1=list&m1=1&q1_1=vincent
A friend here in Australia is seriously thinking about bidding and buying it. If anyone has any knowledge of the machine or any comments then they will all be taken on board and considered. I have a few concerns: we all know of stories circulating about the builder but I want some real constructive (1st hand experiences) comments; to me it is wrong to remove the downtube of a featherbed frame as it is an integral part of the design, or am I talking out of my ..... hat? What crankcases would have been used? why has it only 20Km on the dial? what do YOU think it is worth? why has it got Black Shadow stampings on the engine? If you have a Norvin then please send me your thoughts; either on the forum or a PM. This is fairly urgent as my friend has to deal with customs and traffic licencing departments BEFORE he buys it.
This is what the club is all about, members assisting others so as to reduce heartache, tears and regret. Thank you.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I would be very wary of paying a high price for this bike. The large overhang between the engine and the steering head does not inspire confidence. I have seen a Mossy 'Egli' and there were some very nice touches about the design and assembly. But there were small details like the layout of various front brake components which did not look as though they would fuction correctly. The layout of the exhaust system on the 'Norvin' under consideration is also a nice touch. However, I have also seen some Mossey fabricated parts, front prop stands, which are total rubbish. My suggestion would be to regard the present bike as a donor for an Egli which would allow items like the engine/gearbox unit, forks, wheel etc etc to be used rather than wasted and to bid accordingly. I have no idea what the inside of a Mossey engine would be like so that also might need money spending on it.
 

Howard

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
TT, I think the "large overhang" is due to a strange camera lens - the bike looks bent with both wheels farther away than the engine. As an aside, have you still got a set of the new springs for a Comet? If so, can you PM me a price, thanks. H
 

Prince Duster

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
The odd-looking Norvin (way too odd for my liking) was offered at Bonhams' Paris sale in February, and didn't move an inch. DL
 
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