Girdraulics: are they safe?


Graham Smith

If you have a Vincent fitted with Girdraulic forks have they ever caused a problem during road use that has either caused an accident or almost caused one?

If so, did you ever discover what caused the problem ?


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I have had bikes with all the above on over the past 30 yrs - 6 bikes on the road now and only one with "normal" forks and that is bmw tele-lever - and in my humble opinion they are far superior to telescopic forks in all respects inc. Handling, setting up, maintenance and they look brilliant
cant imagine life without them



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I've done a few miles with Girdraulics and the only time I ever had any problem was on a Comet I bought in the mid Seventies.. they were simply worn out. Easy to rebuild, I never had another problem. I'll never forget riding the Open D down a particular road at about 70mph, the bike just feeling unstressed and relaxed. The next day on my BMW R100CS, did the same road at the same speed and leaned over in a tight curve, the damn thing started shaking it's head so bad my thumbs got turned blue against the tank!
Cheers, John

Bill Thomas

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Sorry Graham,
My finger was quicker than my eye,
I pressed the wrong button,
The only time I got hurt was on the track,
I have had many on the road, Once I had 6 in 200 mls !
I must say I sometimes ride with a bit of passion.
I have read bits on this and there are certain speeds that this tends to happen so if you hit a bump at say 45mph or 70mph you are more likely
to have a problem, Not just Vins but anything as well as cars.
I think the most important mod is a Hydraulic steering damper,
There are lots seen now at the meetings,
cheers Bill.

Prosper Keating

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Heavy at low speeds, like BMW Earles-type forks, but never had a problem with handling, although I got pretty shaken up on a fast London to Brecon ride because I had nipped up the spindle nuts a little too much. If you maintain them, they don't give trouble.


roy the mechanic

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I was under the impression that this was the owners club site, not the knockers site! I am quite convinced that there is no inherent fault with any part of Mr Vincents fine suspension systems. I regularly ride mine over 100 m p h (like every journey), have suffered no ill effects whatever. If you ride a 60 year old machine you need to be on top of the maintenence, or pay a proffesional to do so! Uneducated d i y is the cause of most of the "failings" of these fine machines! As someone famous said "the majority of faults are caused by unedjucated improvements" If you don't mess with it-it won't mess with you.


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Been riding with girdraulics since 1973, 1 tank slapper due to a badly fitted Avon GP tyre (I fitted it!) The bike always seems to try and shake its head if I pass over a local level crossing at 70+ but push on the bars and you are o.k. (My V8 Scimitar used to get very untidy at the same crossing!)


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The answer to the topic’s opening question must be YES or all of us who have tried to ride standardish bikes would have wrecked them by now.

I was always led to believe that the Girdraulic’s fearsome reputation stemmed from that period when bikes were cheap and fell into the hands of hooligans (or motorcyclists as we call them now). Spares and expertise were not readily available and forks ranged from floppy to seized. Neglect or poor maintenance coupled with lack of replacement bushes, probably on bikes with knackered dampers, tyres, loose head and wheel bearings, led to an undeserved reputation, which should have been laid to rest thirty years ago.
The riders in the club would have come up with suitable alternative replacements if it were necessary, just as most have junked the Miller charging set up to replace with something a little better.