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Left foot gear change - for the distant future?

Diogenes

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
I wonder if in future new potential owners of Vincents could be put off owning and riding a Vincent because they have never ridden a bike with the 'wrong' foot pedal controls?
Or they may not want to take the risk of making a wrong move when chopping and changing from one sort of bike to another, assuming they own and ride several bikes.

There does seem to be a reasonably simple way of converting a Vincent Twin to modern foot pedal controls.

See Maurice Brierley's sprint bike Methamon in 'Motor Cycling' 17 Sep 1959.
The photos there show a left side gear change pedal, connected via the tunnel normally used for a left side kickstart pedal.
A right side rear brake foot pedal should be simple enough, mounted from the lower end of the footrest hanger.

Now I have written this, I expect that it has already been done by plenty of people, who enjoy jumping from their Ducatis onto their Vincents and back again.
 

Albervin

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
The exercise has been described by the builders of the Vindian and Indian Vincent as "Not completely straight forward".
 

ClassicBiker

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I wonder if in future new potential owners of Vincents could be put off owning and riding a Vincent because they have never ridden a bike with the 'wrong' foot pedal controls?
Or they may not want to take the risk of making a wrong move when chopping and changing from one sort of bike to another, assuming they own and ride several bikes.

There does seem to be a reasonably simple way of converting a Vincent Twin to modern foot pedal controls.

See Maurice Brierley's sprint bike Methamon in 'Motor Cycling' 17 Sep 1959.
The photos there show a left side gear change pedal, connected via the tunnel normally used for a left side kickstart pedal.
A right side rear brake foot pedal should be simple enough, mounted from the lower end of the footrest hanger.

Now I have written this, I expect that it has already been done by plenty of people, who enjoy jumping from their Ducatis onto their Vincents and back again.

I think that you might have a valid point there. It's the initial encounter or desire to ride that will make or break them. My first bikes were Japanese and Spanish in origin and both had left foot gear change. While my first Triumph, a 1972 Daytona 500, had a right foot gear change. I wasn't the the least bit phased by the change, because I wanted to ride that bike. Right now my Shadow, Comet, Moto Guzzi, and classic Triumphs all have their gear shifts on the right, with the Triumphs being reverse pattern compared to the others. My modernish Triumph, a 1995 Sprint has a left gear change. Moving from one to the other just takes practice and desire. That's not to say I haven't or still don't occasionnally downshift when I mean to tap the brake.
As a tangent to your thread; What I found annoying/dangerous was the different switch gear gear and some having direction indicators and others not. So I went on a personal campaign in the garage and made that uniform across the board. All have turn signals with the switch gear on the left incorporating dip and horn button. So using them is second nature and doesn't require any thought.
 

clevtrev

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I wonder if in future new potential owners of Vincents could be put off owning and riding a Vincent because they have never ridden a bike with the 'wrong' foot pedal controls?
Or they may not want to take the risk of making a wrong move when chopping and changing from one sort of bike to another, assuming they own and ride several bikes.

There does seem to be a reasonably simple way of converting a Vincent Twin to modern foot pedal controls.

See Maurice Brierley's sprint bike Methamon in 'Motor Cycling' 17 Sep 1959.
The photos there show a left side gear change pedal, connected via the tunnel normally used for a left side kickstart pedal.
A right side rear brake foot pedal should be simple enough, mounted from the lower end of the footrest hanger.

Now I have written this, I expect that it has already been done by plenty of people, who enjoy jumping from their Ducatis onto their Vincents and back again.
To cope with it easily, my pal converted his Ducati to RH gear change. Mind you, he`s 87 so he needs some help.
 

Paul Ennis

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I converted my first BMW, an 80/7, to the proper RH gear change and used a Vincent gear lever. So it was really a Vincent with a few BMW parts.:rolleyes:
I've still got all the bits in the shed.
Paul.
 

Diogenes

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
"The exercise has been described by the builders of the Vindian and Indian Vincent as "Not completely straight forward"."

Well, up to a point. Any significant mod requires a certain level of skill and ingenuity.
Take a look at PEI's Autobiography for Indian-Vincent & Vindian, pp 387, 389-392, 396.
Maybe he did not emphasize the difficulties, being a "can-do" sort of bloke.

I suspect that future generations of Vincent riders will not be expecting to use kickstarts, and by then the electric starters & batteries on Vincents may well be good enough to allow removal of the original K/S bits, which may simplify the move to Left side gear change somewhat.

Time will tell.
 
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Albervin

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Those involved with the current Indian Vincent and Vindian were lucky enough to have known PEI personally. The engine in the Australian Indian Vincent was (and I am willing to be corrected on this) part of PEI's one time project. For various reasons, Phil played down the cost and complexity of modifications involved. Yes I have read the autobiography, but I also corresponded and spoke to Phil Irving and gleaned some interesting info. As far as your crystal ball gazing goes, time will indeed tell. I have seen a few veteran bikes fitted with new fangled clutches, some even have front wheel brakes added for safety.
 

Albervin

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I just received this from an article about re-building the Indian Vincent:
"The bike never had a formal road test like the Vindian because it did not change gears very well as the factory engineered it, the trouble to make it a R/hand rear brake to suit Indian Owners was not worth all the effort. The gearchange lever had about 5″ of lever movement throughout it’s arc, now I have halved this with rose joints instead of clevi’s that Vincent originally used."
The article also confirmed the engine in the reconstructed Indian Vincent was fitted to PEI 's own personal Rapide/sidecar. Thanks to Chris Horner for the information.
 
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