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Welcome to new forum website member, Kid Eager

Kid Eager

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thanks for the helpful information. We fired up the old girl, but shut her off as I wanted to control a fuel dribble from carby. After that my knee was injured when an overweight gentleman fell backwards on me in a market. I need further recovery to be able to kick her over again. Meanwhile I have acquired copies of the relevant manuals to guide the recommissioning. Close examination of the Speedo shows 420 miles, a doubtful figure except the tyres, brake shoes and drums show almost no wear and other mechanical parts also appear pristine. Possibly it really is a very low mileage machine. There’s not much to “fix” and I’m wondering if the bike isn’t run in yet!
The manuals say that the tachometer is usually only found on machines with manual advance, but this bike has speedo, tachometer and auto advance.
The story seems to be that David Bowen worked on this, his own bike, in the Vincent factory before bringing it toAustralia and selling to the current owner -pictured above in deep communion with another Vincent owner.
Are there many Black Shadows with two gauges as pictured?

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Well Done Kid,
A lot of us start our Twins, By lifting the valve lifter, Kicking the starter, And as it gets 3/4 down , Let go of the valve lifter, Anywhere, Without finding a place on the engine,
It takes the strain off the kickstart and your leg , I think ?.
Good Luck, Bill.


Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
The two gauges are not standard but lots of us did that years ago. The chromed handlebars are not standard; they would have been painted black originally. The valve lifter lever is not standard but looks to be a brake or clutch lever being used for the same job. Regarding the rev counter and manual magnetos; the reason for this is that the drive for the rev counter is difficult, but not impossible to organise when the standard ATD (automatic timing device) is in place. None of this matters. If the bike runs well and is safe to use then you should get a lot of pleasure out of it. David Bowen was a long standing Vincent man with a remarkable memory. He could tell us details of who was doing what in the Vincent world seventy years ago. He also had lots of contacts in the world of Vincents so he would easily have been able to source some of the bits on that bike. If you can find a few local Vincent owners to have a look at the bike they will give you a lot of information quickly and there are some very knowledgeable Vincent people in Australia.

Simon Dinsdale

VOC Machine Registrar
VOC Member
VOC Forum Website Moderator
As far as I know Vincent never used a 5" tachometer. It was a company in London called Auto Tempo Instruments Ltd who aquired a lot of the Smiths stock in the 1970's who then modified some 5" speedometers to tachometers. They also built brand new 5" Shadow speedometers as well.

Whenever the Vincent factory fitted tachometers to a bike, say a grey Flash or Lightning, they were always the smaller 3" unit.