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Vincents - A New Interest For Me

syclone

New Website User
Non-VOC Member
Hello , My name is Jeff , I just returned from the Mid America Las Vegas Motorcycle auction where I got my first close look @ Vincent motorcycles and I must admit I was pretty much floored @ what I saw , the engineering , features and just overall appearance is pretty amazing for the time... I have always been a car guy and attend some of the collector auctions and shows in the US and consider myself pretty sharp on the cars but I have a lot to learn about the bikes.. So please bear with me if I ask what some would consider ignorant questions .. I would like to learn enough about these motorcycles so that someday I can possibly own a proper example and participate in some of the events and shows .. Thanks again for letting me join in and post on your forum ....
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
New guy....

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Setting aside (reluctantly...) the marvellous engineering that went into them, ride one. I rode one 33 years ago, and thought it was wonderful. So 30 years later i bought one of my own. To my huge relief, it was still wonderful.
 

Ken Tidswell

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
The Vincent experience

I was bitten in 1962 and have been infected ever since. I suggest you go and lie down in a darkened room with your favourite tipple and allow the urge to pass over. It will preserve you worldy goods and not destroy your social life.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Dear Mr Syclone

Pay no attention to Mr Boggler. Get to know some Vincent owners and go out on their bikes. Rmember that you will be on a 60 year old design and think about what a 60 year old car would be like with regards to comfort, brakes etc. If you still like the bikes after having ridden a few go ahead and get one. I got my first one about 51 years ago, about the same time as I started 'going out' with girls. I'm still riding both and they will both keep you young and fit.

Good luck :)
 

Len Matthews

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Ah yes, Norman but don't forget the Vincent motorcycle's design and performance were streets ahead of it's contemporaries sixty years ago. It's doubtful whether many cars of that era were so advanced. The uniqueness of the beast explains why the demand for them continues unabated and is reflected in the present day prices.
 

timetraveller

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
You are correct Len, that is why I still ride one and see no need for a modern bike although I do have indicators and an alternator fitted. However, even the two Phils could not work 60 years ahead and if Siril the Syclone is used to modern bikes he will have to decide whether the Vincent's idiosyncracies are for him. As far as I am concerned given a fully sprung rear end, modern electrics and a bit more movement on the front end then I could want for nothing more but I guess that riders in their twenties, used to 150+ BHP and disc brakes would not be so enamoured.

Best wishes :)
 

Comet

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
As a rider in my thirties that has ridden 140+ bhp bikes I love my Vin, the idiosyncracies add too the enjoyment. I have to say also that I get more attention from Joe public both young and old when riding the Comet than I ever have on a Jappy. The phils knew what they were doing didn't they!
 

syclone

New Website User
Non-VOC Member
You Guys Are Great !!

Thanks for all the input , I am convinced I need to ride one of these motorcycles , I have modern bikes but I feel an attachment to older bikes such as the Vincent that seem to have been very much ahead of their time. I don't care about high HP or being exceptionally fast .. I also enjoy visiting with the older folks that grew up with these machines .. Thanks all for being so helpful .. Hopefully someday I'll find a bike that fits me and that I can afford ..

Jeff
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Then and now

I first rode a twin in 1975. A friend lent it to me for six months. It had a certain aura about it (it was still the world's fastest production motorcycle in 1975), but in 1975, it was just "a bike". I rode it the 250 miles to the Isle of Man and back, and used it there as "mechanic's transport". A Rapide was worth about £200 then, a Commando under £600.
What impressed me most was the way it went up hills as though they weren't there, and on stopping, settled down to a regular tick-over.
Fast forward 27 years, and i bought a Shadow from the same guy. It was a good deal, but still a lot of money. It took about two relaxed years to get it roadworthy (it needed lights and so on). It started for the first time since 1969, on D-Day 2004.
The best bit of the whole experience was that it was exactly as I remembered: I hadn't been looking back through rose-tinted glasses. This was a huge relief. There were problems: lights and brakes that were acceptable in 1975 weren't appropriate for 2004, but in every other respect, it was a great motorcycle. Modern electrics fixed one problem, aftermarket 2ls brakes the other. Handling? OK for what it was designed for, and what I use it for, which is touring. I don't "scratch" on the roads any more. It does go over the ton, but is at its best between 30 and 90, in top gear. It is a very relaxed motorcycle. I use it for touring, riding, and commuting, alternating with a 900 Monster, and while the Monster is faster, and handles and stops much better, my journey times, and the grin on my face, are the same.
 

deejay499

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Cyclone and the VOC

Hi Cyclone. I guess that you are in the VOC. Both North and South California have a keen bunch riding their bikes all over the place. It might be worth contacting the organisers and going along to one of their meets, you never know, you may even get a ride. I learnt on a Rapide and Steib in 1962 and thought it would do me for a few years, and have had one ever since. Son-in-law Comet loves his as he said. Deejay 499
 

syclone

New Website User
Non-VOC Member
Odd Man Out on a Harley

Hmm . It appears I would be the odd man out if I appeared @ a VOC function on my HD , kind of a strange turn of events , usually you are the outcast if you ride a JAP bike and show up where the HD boys hang out .. But I'll bet anyone on a Vintage bike such as a Comet or a Rapide would be pretty popular @ any event .. I'll have to do some homework , the only guy I know that has a Vincent locally is Jay Leno , but I am sure there are others , but I have never seen one on the road ...

Jeff
 

Comet

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
the important thing is to show up whether you're riding a hog, a dog or a cub (c90) go along and enjoy. You never know where it may lead!
 

roy the mechanic

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
odd man out

I bought my first h-d in 1965 for £7-10shillings.a 1942wlc.Since have bougt/traded at least 14 many+various. The vin, bought 2years ago beats the S--t out of milwaukees finest. Also the social scene with vin is not to be beaten. Trust me, you'll love it! Roy.
 

manxnortonman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Jeff,
I would liken the experience of riding a Vincent for the first time to that of driving my XK150 for the first time. The performance was revolutionary compared to the performance of the other vehicles/motorcycles around at the time. I know I smile every time I ride my machines and the interest from the public is great. I work with many people who ride modern superbikes and they are amazed when you point out that the design features on their machines are in fact the same concepts of a 49 Vincent. Jeff buy one and enjoy, you will not be disappointed. I had to waited 30 years until I could afford one and only wish I had had one in my twenties.

Regards Garry​
 

syclone

New Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thanks for the note Garry , I have been sidetracked with our wonderful economy this past year and not paid much attention to toys , however @ 58 years old I think it's time I get busy and find a Vincent . Right now is not a great time time financially but really is there ever a good time ?? , ha ha . Again , thanks for the Note

Jeff
 

deejay499

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi Syclone. If you want to contact the So Cal VOC section, Email Tom Gross on southerncalif499@voc.uk.com
You may be able to meet up with them sometime and I am sure they will be quite happy to see you on the Harley, and talk Vincents.:D They are a good bunch.
Cheers, deejay499
 
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Bracker1

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hmm, don't know many Vincent owners who'll let their Vincent out for a test ride. The best thing to do is just commit and buy one. Join the club, and if it breaks there is always someone who can lend knowledge and help. I know our section doesn't care if you ride a H-D, car or truck. If you have an interest in Vincents, join the SC section and enjoy yourself. The Vincent is an absolute joy to ride. I wouldn't spend much time in city traffic, it likes the back roads and highways. The only hardship is the 1 hour gas fillups answering questions from people admiring the bike. Finally, I would still rather push my Vincent than ride any other bike (which sometimes happens) Cheers from the North, Dan
 

peterg

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Howdy Jeff,

Couple of observations, as a fellow Yank, we tend to like our machines big and long legged. The only disappointment in the purchase of my first one 12 years ago - as a basket case - after years of yearning for one, was how diminutive it was once finished and sitting there upright for the first time on its short 58 inch wheelbase looking no more imposing that a 500 Triumph. But, that perception was soon completely dispeled with my first ride on it...or any Vincent, for that matter. It was (is) the best of both, only 460lbs but rode "big" - firm steering, a slow shifting trans conveying nearly unburstable gear mass within and overall performance which could only be described as effortless, the totally unfair advantage among its contemporaries. A relaxed 70mph lope amidst the strained clatter of similar vintage iron on AMCA Road Runs was almost comical. As a car guy, you'll know what I mean if you've ever owned and driven a 930 in track event DE's. There is absolutely nothing like a well fettled Vincent in old two wheeled iron.

But that's the catch here, if you're throwing a leg over one for the first time after coming off of modern machinery, the profoundness of this machine's uniqueness and superiority will likely not register in the appropriate order of magnitude than if you were coming of years of riding similar vintage iron (Indians, HD's, Ariel's, etc.). I say just get one, if sanely priced and in good condition. Even if the ride later doesn't measure up, dare I mention it in these hallowed halls here, you're not likely to grow tired of staring at it parked (preferably in a warm house) as a sublime example of two wheeled engineering art.
 

Alan J

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Speedo"s

Never trust a Smiths instrument!! all of them are 10 per cent fast!! but better than a"vaguely" Veglia!!
 

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