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Comet Gray Flash Replica

Buzz Kanter

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
As I am trying to learn as much as I can about various Vincents before I buy one I'd like to hear about the Gray Flash and various replicas.

Are they practical for the street?

What should I look for and what should I avoid on them and why?
 

nobby

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
well, for starters, you could begin spelling it as a Grey Flash?
good luck with your search!
 

passenger0_0

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
That's helpful......
Regarding your question Buzz, owners can and do modify their bikes to make them from gentle giants to rip-snorting monsters and a variety of replicas as well so you've really asked a difficult question. You can ride a race spec Vincent on the street if you're prepared to, or enjoy, all the fuss and excitement. I would suggest that when you buy someones personal built 'replica' that unless you know the marque well you're going to have difficulty moving it on when it comes time to part. The nice thing about a standard spec bike is that it still can go well enough for most riders and is in high demand - why deviate from this successful recipe?
Good luck funding your machine - David
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hello Buzz, Even a full race Vincent, 998cc or 499cc is still soft enough for the road, I think the 499 needs a bit of go!! If you are a big lad. Some people are building 600cc for the same reason. Good luck Bill.
 

Buzz Kanter

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thanks for the info (other than the spelling lessons :-0 which do not add anything). I am still more interested in a twin than a single but am open to all possibilities at this time. Owning and riding machines as varied as a 1915 Harley twin, 1930 Indian Four, Ducati 250 cafe racer and 1955 Moto Guzzi Airone, I have a wide and eclectic taste in rides. But have never owned or even ridden a Vincent. And am hoping to fix that soon.
 

nobby

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I agree, the spelling 'lesson' was not very helpfull... sorry about that.
I have a Comet since 1993, never liked riding it on the road too much, because for me it is too slow, even when it was tuned for racing. Such a machine becomes very nervous and is not suitable for city traffic.
Now my Comet is a 600, and I love it! Performance is better then you could expect from a fifties single cylinder machine. Buying or building a twin is nowadays too much money (for me...). Instead I am building now a second Comet, but only the engine, the rest will be And Now for Something Completely Different !
Cheers,
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I have followed Nobby on his 600 Comet, up hill, on my Shadow, in Scotland. Even with a 7 foot Dutchman and his 6 foot (but slinky...) lady, Ate, on the back, it went astonishingly quickly. I was really very surprised, since a one-up twin ought to catch a two-up single in a flash. I could catch him, but it wasn't quite the push-over I'd expected. This seems to be a near universal opinion: Comets are nice but fairly dull, 600 or 650 Comets are just as nice, no less reliable, and far from dull. I imagine it would be the perfect vehicle to terrorise Manhattan as the noise reverberates down the canyons. Or avenues, as you call them.
The Grey Flash was a moderately tuned Comet, but they WERE reliable. Three entered in the TT, three finished. I saw one in IoM in 1967, which had never been raced. It was leaning against the wall of the Sulby Hotel. (This was before drunk-driving became seriously illegal: then it was just mildly disapproved of.) The owner, a Cornishman, had always used it as a road bike. It was quite lovely: I've often wondered who he was, and what became of it. Apart from having no lights, which he didn't care about, he said it was a perfectly practical road bike.
A friend has taken a different approach to improving his Comet's performance: he's fitting a twin motor, because it goes straight in.
Good luck.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ET43

Guest
That might have been the late John Taylor, Tom, a real gentleman if ever there was. Remind me to tell you a story sometime about his road going Lightning replica and it's factory fitted silencer. This machine was at the Motor 100 event that I organised, and where we won the best club entry, but good ol' MNC said it was won by the Brough club, *%"^$£+! ET43
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
That would fit: very nice man, tall (or at least taller than me!) and lean. Probably about 50 in 1967. Oddly it's his soft Cornish accent I remember, and I've always been able to pick it out ever since. I wonder now if he was any relation to Scotland's Comet owning Cornishman, Rod Taylor. Must ask him next time we meet.
 
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