• For any queries related to registration, engine numbers, frame numbers or buying a Vincent motorcycle, the only Club Officials who have access to all the Factory (Works) Records up to 1954 (including dispatch records) and worldwide ownership details gathered by the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club since 1948 are Simon Dinsdale (Machine Registrar) and Jonathan Lambley (Machine Researcher).

    Never rely on Certificates of Authenticity or Dating Certificates issued years ago, nor information provided by sellers. You should always satisfy yourself that you know what you're buying before you bid/buy. Always do your own due diligence.

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Help with any history of a Bitsa Rapide

Andy Android

New Website User
VOC Member
Hi All,
I've got a Vincent Rapide that I'm trying to find some bike history about and was hoping that someone out there on the Forum may have some knowledge.
Jon Lambley has kindly given me some original factory info but I'm looking for anything else known about the bike.
The UFM is RC4361 from a 1949 Series C Rapide, shipped to Australia, The RFM is RC7050 from a 1950 series C Rapide shipped to Australia.
The Engine number is Non Vincent and is V772483P. This Engine number is called a Victoria Police number which was commonly stamped on any vehicle engine presented for registration in Victoria, Australia which didn't have a engine number. The engine does have crankcase mating numbers which are K15V which I'm told is likely a series D engine. The bloke I bought it from had it on static display since 1978, He never even started it let alone rode it. He told me it came from Preston in Victoria before that. I'll be getting it back on the road soon.

Anyone out there got any clues ???

Cheers,

Andrew

Before Resto.jpg
 

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
The bike looks good, but take a peek in the timing chest and lube the end of the crank. Apologies if you are a long time owner and very familiar with these things.
 

Simon Dinsdale

VOC Machine Registrar
VOC Member
VOC Forum Website Moderator
Andy
K15V is from a series of mating numbers K??V right at the end of Vincent production and some of these series were left around in the factory as unfinished crankcases when bike production stopped hence no factory issued engine number. When Harpers who bought out the remains of Vincent HRD in 1959 they later on finished and sold on a lot of these parts and so I suspect that is where your un-numbered crankcases came from but have no positive proof as the VOC has no record of what Harpers sold as spares.

Simon Dinsdale
VOC Machine Registrar
 

Cyborg

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I have a K**V which is the later die cast which is good. More support around the shift plate spindle etc. They don’t have an engine number either.

Bill, your comment about checking levels reminds me of a conversation on another forum. The repair shop had taken in a customer’s Vincent twin that had gearbox problems. The customer had purchased the bike from someone who never rode it. Anyway… after numerous test rides listening to the strange clunking noise, they finally discovered there was no oil in the gearbox.
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Vincents are very tricky,
I wonder how many people have put gear oil in the gear change hole ?,
I remember a young lad , When I was working on cars,
He kept pouring engine oil in the top, But said he had put a lot in and couldn't see,
it yet looking in the filler hole !.
 

Andy Android

New Website User
VOC Member
Thanks for the info Simon and all, I thought the non Vincent engine number thing was a major red flag when I bought the machine but the likely explanation of it never being there makes a lot of sense. I'll be doing a lot of looking and reading before I start working on the Rapide, I've done a lot of restoration work before but on older less sophisticated bikes like Ariel 500's, The Rapide is a significantly more sophisticated.

Cheers,

Andrew
 

Gene Nehring

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
This bike is a late engine that came up for sale new in Melbourne and then was stolen and never found I believe. The books came to me a few years ago now. Some cool victoria based info also.
B7EFFB91-C2CE-4DF7-B7DC-F347BA0B903D.jpegAEB7787C-1FD0-424B-AFAF-9D09C3D9DB8B.jpeg
 
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