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Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? #646720
04/01/16 11:44 am
04/01/16 11:44 am
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,939
Running from demons in WNY
Hillbilly bike Online content OP
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Running from demons in WNY
Kevin posted in "Hot links" an ad for a mildly modified Vincent V twin for sale....
have any of you ever ridden one? I'm interested in honest opinions ..I could ask in the Vincent forum but it would be like asking a Triumph guy what they think about Triumphs smile
A guy who rode a Vincent put it this way
Quote:
It was about the same as an old Iron Head Harley Sportster except the Vincent vibrated a bit less, was slightly slower in acceleration and handled worse...


I ride dinosaurs....
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Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646728
04/01/16 12:43 pm
04/01/16 12:43 pm
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,207
Boston, Massachusetts
J
John Healy Online content
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Posts: 10,207
Boston, Massachusetts
I kind of live in both the Triumph and Vincent World and have this perspective on this question. Others can bring their own experience. I have been offered the use of many Triumphs to ride over the past 50 years doing this requesting my opinion of the bike. A lot of these happened at vintage rallies.

Of all of them I only rode two that reminded me of the Triumphs I remembered. One, well actually two, were the late Dick Brown's matched high and low pipe 1965 TT's that were dead stock and the other a hybrid of Bill Getty, JRC Engineering, a 1970 T120 with an Aerco short rod 750 kit, a five speed and one of his Keihan carburetors. When you turned the throttle on the bike went and when you applied the brakes the bike stopped!!! Everything worked!

The suspension worked, they shifted, clutch working flawlessly. When you turned the throttle on they accelerated and when you turned it off the bike slowed down. I say that because a lot of the bikes I rode didn't accelerate that well when you turned the throttle and often accelerated when you turned it off. Often you had to fumble around for gear selection. The suspension was either "away on vacation" or just didn't work. The clutch lever pull was a better fit for use bulldozer or the clutch slipped so bad as to be useless. One would find the carburation was so poor as to be a joke. And almost to a bike no one got the brakes right.

My experiences with Vincent's are similar. Set-up properly, while not the bike you want to ride in city traffic, is a joy at current highway speeds. It happily lopes along at 80, and will do it longer than you are prepared to sit on the saddle. The problem with most is the Vincent requires a lot more fiddling to get things right, but when they are right they are not a bad ride.

PS: Now Dick was anxious for me to ride these TT's because the previous bikes were so badly prepared he asked me to ride they nearly killed me.


Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646730
04/01/16 1:23 pm
04/01/16 1:23 pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,331
Nanaimo, B.C. Canada
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Wilfred Offline
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Posts: 1,331
Nanaimo, B.C. Canada
Not a valid comparison but, at the age of 17 and after having ridden my Bantams, ES2 and my 37 Rudge Ulster, I was offered a ride on a Vincent. After stalling it I got up the street for a short ride and have never forgotten what I thought at the time was a huge fistful of brute power.......not a valid comparison but certainly a forever memory.

Cheers, Wilf


"It's about the ride..."
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646736
04/01/16 2:29 pm
04/01/16 2:29 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,996
Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Offline
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Maui Hawaii
I've only had the opportunity to ride a Vincent one time. However, it was a Norvin, so my impressions need to be seen in that perspective.

But, whatever the frame, it was the motor that made the biggest impression on me. I think the comparison to a Sportster is way off base. I had one of those and it was a crude agricultural lump of iron in comparison.

I rode it in an industrial area where I could get up to speed. As John has mentioned, it was the long legged feel of the motor that I was impressed with. It has the feel of running at high speeds forever without breaking a sweat.

As far as speed is concerned, it built it up deceptively, like it had a flat power curve. I've ridden a lot of bikes faster.....but faster isn't everything.

When I got back from my ride, it took a half hour before my heartrate came back to normal. It was that exhilarating.

It had the Norton frame, Suzuki forks and disc brakes so no info here regarding the chassis...sorry.

Cheers,

Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646738
04/01/16 2:37 pm
04/01/16 2:37 pm
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 470
barrie ontario canada
6
68 royalstar tony Offline
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6

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 470
barrie ontario canada
When I was a teen my boss has a Shadow and a Comet, he let me ride the Comet but not the Shadow. The Comet handled well but I thought slow compared to my Speed twin. Was on the back of the Shadow several times and mad did that thing go. After a natter in a pub in Birmingham a few years ago I was told of " a bike in a shed" next day off we went looking for it, this is what we found . It had been there 25 years, I tried to buy it but no luck later I was told the guy had died. Far as I know it's still there...Sniff

https://www.flickr.com/photos/65533893@N00/5169977832/in/dateposted-public/

Last edited by 68 royalstar tony; 04/01/16 2:39 pm.
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646754
04/01/16 4:38 pm
04/01/16 4:38 pm
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 323
New Hampshire, USA
David Dunfey Offline
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New Hampshire, USA
I think if you look at the base line performance of the Vincent, it was hard to beat for the time and still is impressive if not fun: 50 mph in first, 80 in second, 110 in third and 125-8 in top. This would be for a Black Shadow as 110 in top was around the limit for the Rapide. I don't think there are many stock Sportsters that would compare, even from later years. Although not impressive when compared to the performance of todays bikes, the Vincent would do this with 3000-6000 rpm power. I think that is what most riders really enjoy.



The above photo was taken by a friends wife who was on the back of a Black Prince, at speed, coming home from the Shadow Lake Rally, Ontario, Canada in 1977. I had purchased the bike around 1970 and I still have it.

Having started on a good handling Egli,I would later find out why folks complained about poor handling Vincents when I raced a 500. It was a great bike, but it put me on the ground once and I did not ride it again until I figured out what was wrong. Once I had corrected the fork geometry problem, the bike became a fantastic performer. I am not starry-eyed enough not to blame Vincent for the handling defect, but having cured it, it is difficult to find a better handling 1950's bike.



David

Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: David Dunfey] #646762
04/01/16 5:44 pm
04/01/16 5:44 pm
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,939
Running from demons in WNY
Hillbilly bike Online content OP
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Running from demons in WNY
So...I've had a few Ducati 750 bevel twins,a metallic feel and sound like an engine inside of an engine. . A Vincent would have a similar engine feel?


I ride dinosaurs....
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646776
04/01/16 7:59 pm
04/01/16 7:59 pm
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,429
NYC and York PA
wadeschields Offline

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NYC and York PA
I was just having this conversation over some beers at Hughs shop tonight.... He had a Vincent but was too excited about a Trackmaster that just came into the shop to interject on the Vincent opinion. But I sure would like to ride one so I could give MY opinion.... :chokechokecoughcough


http://wadeschields.tumblr.com/

Jack of all trades . Master of fun! wink

Beer is not the Answer.... Its the Question..... The answer is YES

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Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646786
04/01/16 9:39 pm
04/01/16 9:39 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,996
Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Offline
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Maui Hawaii
I have ridden both a Ducati Desmo 900 and a Vincent 1000 and have to say the motors feel similar, such as a BSA 650 feels as much like a Triumph 650.

Being an aficionado of British machinery, the nod goes to the Vincent but not by very much.

Cheers,

Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: HawaiianTiger] #646811
04/02/16 7:06 am
04/02/16 7:06 am
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,939
Running from demons in WNY
Hillbilly bike Online content OP
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Running from demons in WNY
Perhaps some day I will get to ride a Vincent and see for myself.
I've ridden some bikes and driven cars that just didn't live up to their reputation as being good or evil. The mind gets a set from all the stories that distort the reality of the thing.


I ride dinosaurs....
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646813
04/02/16 7:29 am
04/02/16 7:29 am
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,688
OZ
Triless Online content
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Triless  Online Content
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OZ
Yes, Vincents are legendary, and , in my opinion deservedly so.
But, one day, while out my Matchless Bigtwin, I caught up to a Vincent twin, and just powered past it, no worries..........except that the Vincent was only idling along the side of the road at about three miles an hour while the rider was waiting for his mates !
But then, at a rally , in 1984, Phil Irving himself did present me with a trophy for Best Matchless! Bloody amazing !

Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646833
04/02/16 11:37 am
04/02/16 11:37 am
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,073
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
kurt fischer Online content

#irideslow
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Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
I came close to riding a Vincent twin, 'twas nearly 50 years ago, the late Ron Burns had finished building his Series B Rapide special (David knows about it) and he was unsure about racing it himself. I got to sit on it anyway, and Ron did race it. When I opened the Tri-Kaw shop in 1969, Ron generously offered the bike as a window display, people talked about the Vincent in the window for years, it put Arlington Motor Sports on the map.

Racing Grey Flash #3407 (David knows about it) when Coburn Benson owned it, I had no complaints about the power and the handling, it was fun and thrilling. (Brakes were another matter.)





Kurt
1968-70-71 Triumph TR6R Bitsa - 1969 Triumph TR6R - 1971 BSA A65L - 1973 Triumph TR5T
2005 Ducati MTS 1000S DS - 2012 Ducati Hyper 796 - 2014 Kawasaki ZX1000
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646839
04/02/16 12:27 pm
04/02/16 12:27 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,550
scotland
triton thrasher Offline
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Posts: 7,550
scotland
A local guy offered me a go on his newly done-up Rapide.

I declined, because there was no road tax or insurance and I couldn't have been feeling lucky. So just sat on it, started it, stopped it again.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: triton thrasher] #646840
04/02/16 12:29 pm
04/02/16 12:29 pm
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,308
ohio, usa
kevin roberts Offline
fefsa
kevin roberts  Offline
fefsa

Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,308
ohio, usa
Originally Posted By triton thrasher
A local guy offered me a go on his newly done-up Rapide.

I declined, because there was no road tax or insurance and I couldn't have been feeling lucky. So just sat on it, started it, stopped it again.


now i know for sure you are insane.

go find him and tell him you changed your mind


"Are bikes so nice as all that?" asked the mole, shyly...

"Nice? They're the only thing," said the Water Rat Solemnly, as he leaned forward on the handlebars. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about with bikes."
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646844
04/02/16 12:37 pm
04/02/16 12:37 pm
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,963
NL
G
Ger B Offline
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Ger B  Offline
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G

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,963
NL
Quote:
I came close to riding a Vincent twin

So came I.
Shortly before I bought the BSA I own now, I was offered a ride on a Vincent Black Shadow by the classic motorcycle shop which had it on sale.
It was a perfect restoration and I could not afford the price (or should I say the value?)...
So I did not accept the ride and said no thanks.

I still do not know if I should regret that or not. confused


Ger B

Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: kevin roberts] #646846
04/02/16 12:39 pm
04/02/16 12:39 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,550
scotland
triton thrasher Offline
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triton thrasher  Offline
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scotland
Originally Posted By kevin
Originally Posted By triton thrasher
A local guy offered me a go on his newly done-up Rapide.

I declined, because there was no road tax or insurance and I couldn't have been feeling lucky. So just sat on it, started it, stopped it again.


now i know for sure you are insane.

go find him and tell him you changed your mind


It's only a motorbike.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: kevin roberts] #646847
04/02/16 12:39 pm
04/02/16 12:39 pm
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,939
Running from demons in WNY
Hillbilly bike Online content OP
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Running from demons in WNY
I believe about 10,000 were built ? Were they assembled with more care and precision than other British twins of the day?


I ride dinosaurs....
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646852
04/02/16 1:21 pm
04/02/16 1:21 pm
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,308
ohio, usa
kevin roberts Offline
fefsa
kevin roberts  Offline
fefsa

Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,308
ohio, usa
only a motorbike?

carmen cass, supermodel and president of the estonian national chess league, sends word that she wants to spend the evening with you . . .

you decline because you have insufficient insurance for the evening . . . and she is only a woman . . .

you are most definitely nuts.

or maybe I am?


"Are bikes so nice as all that?" asked the mole, shyly...

"Nice? They're the only thing," said the Water Rat Solemnly, as he leaned forward on the handlebars. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about with bikes."
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: kevin roberts] #646858
04/02/16 2:08 pm
04/02/16 2:08 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,550
scotland
triton thrasher Offline
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triton thrasher  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,550
scotland
Originally Posted By kevin


carmen cass, supermodel


Makes little difference in the dark.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646859
04/02/16 2:09 pm
04/02/16 2:09 pm
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 323
New Hampshire, USA
David Dunfey Offline
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David Dunfey  Offline
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Posts: 323
New Hampshire, USA
Originally Posted By Hillbilly bike
I believe about 10,000 were built ? Were they assembled with more care and precision than other British twins of the day?


A little over 11,000. I don't think they were assembled with more care, in general. The Black Shadow and higher models were said to have a selective fit, that is, the cams that timed out best, the parts that fit best.

Vincent never had any money and was always in receivership after the war. So, there was no serious development. The engine design was good. Indian had been in negotiations with Phil Vincent to provide them with an all alloy engine. It was easier for Indian to buy Vincent engines than to develop the technology quickly in house. The deal fell through when the Indian Board of Directors changed the President, with whom Vincent was negotiating.

Vincent engines have as many problems as other engines. They were pretty well designed and they used that design to get a leg up on the competition in performance, but they are as difficult as any bike to hot-rod.

The twins are a sweet, torquey, engine with low vibration. That's a nice ride.

David

Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646888
04/02/16 6:07 pm
04/02/16 6:07 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,996
Maui Hawaii
HawaiianTiger Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,996
Maui Hawaii
Someday someone will offer me a ride on a Brough. I'll be gone like a shot.

For that matter, there are loads of bikes I'd like to swing a leg over. Ariel Square four(I've already ridden one and would love to again.) Matchless Silver Arrow, Rocket Gold Star, Thruxton, GP, I could go on.

Worst let down was the Harley Knucklehead. I had fantasies of that bike since I was a kid. Pile of junk, actually, and fully restored to boot. Slow, heavy, no brakes worth mentioning, foot clutch(real pain in the ass) Jockey shift. Nuts.....one dream up in smoke.

But you're not likely to have that bubble burst with the Vincent.

Cheers,

Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Flying Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: David Dunfey] #646889
04/02/16 6:13 pm
04/02/16 6:13 pm
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,939
Running from demons in WNY
Hillbilly bike Online content OP
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Running from demons in WNY
Ok, I'll put a Vincent on the list with Brough Superior and Crocker.


I ride dinosaurs....
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: triton thrasher] #646892
04/02/16 6:47 pm
04/02/16 6:47 pm
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,308
ohio, usa
kevin roberts Offline
fefsa
kevin roberts  Offline
fefsa

Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,308
ohio, usa
Originally Posted By triton thrasher


Makes little difference in the dark.


clap

the fact that i can laugh at that says something about both you and i.

Originally Posted By Hillbilly bike
Ok, I'll put a Vincent on the list with Brough Superior and Crocker.


. . . and carmen cass:



"Are bikes so nice as all that?" asked the mole, shyly...

"Nice? They're the only thing," said the Water Rat Solemnly, as he leaned forward on the handlebars. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about with bikes."
Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646977
04/03/16 9:39 am
04/03/16 9:39 am
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 781
Overland Missouri
O
old mule Offline
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old mule  Offline
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O

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 781
Overland Missouri
One Christmas Eve decades ago, only a few inches of wet snow on the ground, heard my friend's Rapide outside my window. "Come on a take it for a ride!". So I did. Rattly old thing, purchased for $3000 in 1985. Bald SM on the back and cracked ribbed Avon on the front.
The bike was pretty loose feeling, not completely re-engineered like all running Vincents today.
It was exhilarating, cold, fun. I was surprised at how small it felt.
Later another friend went down to Texas and bought a completely dis-assembled Rapide for $10,000 "because it was the only Vincent he'd ever seen with no stripped threads in the crankcase". He paid a Vincent expert in Minneapolis $2000 to examine it before purchase and he ended up with a very nice motorbike.
They are perfectly good machines and I like looking at them.

Re: Who has ridden a Vincent V twin ? [Re: Hillbilly bike] #646978
04/03/16 9:41 am
04/03/16 9:41 am
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Posts: 781
Overland Missouri
O
old mule Offline
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O

Joined: May 2013
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Overland Missouri
I worked in the fashion industry for a while. Models are over-rated and over-worshipped. When you see a really beautiful woman on the runway, one thing you know for sure- someone hates her.

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