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First Ride - for 30 years!!


Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
It was with some trepidation that, the Rapide having arrived from Australia, I got ready to set off for the MOT today (the long way round).

Since the 1970's I've grown up a bit and now regularly ride a Ducati 851, Honda CBR1000 and Harley Softail.

How would a 50+ year old machine fair against benchmarks like that.

Well - I'm amazed. Whilst the engine is freshly rebuilt and so running in for the next number of miles, and the bike is newly rebuilt and so, on the way to its first MOT, on an unfamiliar bike I was always going to be taking it easy - but it was simply wonderful.

The engine is superb, torque just endless and the chassis soaked up the A and B roads I used from Gerrards Cross to Henley, then onto Reading, through to Oxford and back through Henley again - it ran superbly, handled in a confidence inspiring way and was just a joy to be trundling along at 50/60 MPH on such a lovely sunny day.

So, it over delivered my expectation, I loved every minute of the first 90 mile ride (long way for an MOT!) and it passed too!!

I'm looking forward to the summer hugely. Roll on run-in being completed.


Graham Smith

VOC Hon. Editor
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
VOC Forum Moderator
Congratulations. I'm sure I'll feel the same when my Shadow's rebuild is completed, because I've never actually ridden it. It was a non-runner when I found it, and we went straight into a re-build.

It's currently in thousands of bits, but I'm hoping to have it back on the road next summer (although I'm not holding my breath).

Watch this space!


Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
And now I'll try to use the technical advice section.....

Good luck on the Shadow - must be an very rewarding feeling when you ride the bike you built, I cheated a little in that Brian Shaw (Owner in Australia) and Terry Prince (did the engine) did all the hard work, I just got to enjoy the end result through Brian's ill fortune (bad hip replacement) and his great spirit in allowing me to buy back the bike my father and I had had in the 1970's.

And now I'm going to try the technical advice section for some help, there are one or two very small issues I want to try and get resolved, so I'll post some threads here and see if members can advise.



Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Meeting expectations

My Shadow hadn't been run for over 30 years, and i hadn't ridden a Vincent since 1978. The good news was that when the bike spoke again in 2004 (on D-Day...) it was almost exactly as i remembered, which was a huge relief. I'm no less prone to rose-tinted glasses than anyone else (never rained in summer when I was a kid.....) but it was worth it. It really is a great bike, not great "in its context", or "for its time" but "great".

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