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Dented UFM, to be kept or to be returned?


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Dear All,
i bought this UFM on evil bay (yes i know, but no comments please!;-)

As you can see it has a slight protruding dent where the welding for the rear engine lug is.
I would like to know if you have already seen that, if it can be normal deformation due to the welding/construction or if it has ben caused by misuse (ie, rear engine bolt too tight, expanding of the engine cused that, etc. etc) or if it could have been caused by a road accident.
head stock is fine.
Do you think it could be still used with no major issue?
otherwise the seller is willing to take it back,

Brian Thompson

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member

I have a similar UFM which has a crease/bump outwards like the one you have at the front of it. It was on a C series that had a head on with a car in 1961.
I could send you a photo if you like. But that's not going to help you decide if your going to repair that one.
Last edited:

chankly bore

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Only one way to check it. Make up a mandrel running through the steering head of a bare straight U.F.M. and mount it on your motor with a pointer reaching a nice level floor. Then, without moving anything else, dismount that U.F.M. and mount the bent one with the mandrel in the same place. See where the pointer on the floor is. You could use a mandrill for this task, but they tend to be a bit noisy and excitable. It would be interesting to know the results. Cheers, F5AB/2A/7945 since 1970


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I've seen several UFMs similar to this over the years - all on well-known in-use Vincents that were extensively used in the days when we used to do very high mileages all around Europe with the odd prang, year after year for decades, and not get anal about bumps & scratches. None ever gave problems of which I am aware.

Indeed, one of my bikes is similarly afflicted, though not so severe. I consider it an "Acceptable Deferred Defect" to use Royal Air Force terminology; meaning - "we'll keep an eye on it for signs of worsening and maybe/maybe-not do something about it, in the future, on an opportunity basis…..".

If your's is to be a rider's bike, I would use it.
If your's is to be a museum bike, ride it!

Peter B
Bristol, UK.

Peter Holmes

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
To create that level of distortion to the UFM I would imagine that it would wreck the bearing housings in the headstock, it certainly did when I had a 40mph - 0mph abrupt halt in about a foot, so I would be surprised if the headstock is the original one, I would also imagine that it has tightened up the steering angle a little making the steering a bit quicker, not necessarily desirable, also will the front mudguard stay now be perilously close to or even touching the magcowl.


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Dear All,
thanks for your tips..
and for the suggestion on how to check it, unfortunately i'm away from home and could do that only in a few months.. in the meantime, i know myself, i'll be thinking too much about it and ruin these days that i'm far from my workshop!
all you said is plausible even that the headstock has been changed, it has remaining of the orignal transfer but the numbers have been defintely put on that thing not by the Vincent works. Caracters are too small and not in the right position, they are to far on the left of the bike and not perfectly vertical as per normal use, (Yes, i've informed straight away the machine register about those odd numbers after having received the UFM).
another lesson from e-bay.... if somebody is interest in knowing the seller, you can write me, is not however one of the usual suspect mentioned often here, and as said, he has ben correct and he is willing to take it back eventually.
anyhow i'm not building a show or a museum bike, but a bike to be ridden hard! so i guess in the end i'm going to use it! it could be also seen as an advantage, i'll not be afraid now of denting the UFM of my Vincent!
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