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ID this Vincent and rider? #664229
08/17/16 9:50 am
08/17/16 9:50 am
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
kurt fischer Offline OP

#irideslow
kurt fischer  Offline OP

#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
Out of curiosity, can anyone identify this Vincent and rider? This picture was posted recently to the FB page "Remembering Mosport" with the following description (by the poster, not me):

"Took this May 9, 1970. Mallory Cup Race, unlimited class. Have no idea who the chap is, but its a modified Vincent with a modern (for then) Honda 4 beside him and a Norton Manx behind."


Last edited by kurt fischer; 08/17/16 11:38 am.

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
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Re: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: kurt fischer] #664230
08/17/16 9:56 am
08/17/16 9:56 am
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
kurt fischer Offline OP

#irideslow
kurt fischer  Offline OP

#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
Now that I think about it, the rider looks to be John Clark, as in these photos (taken in front of Merrimack Motorcycle Sales, 125 River Street, Haverhill MA):





... and the bike would be the special built by the late Ron Burns, looking at the front end and brakes.

Last edited by kurt fischer; 08/17/16 4:37 pm.

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: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: kurt fischer] #664237
08/17/16 10:48 am
08/17/16 10:48 am
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,221
Boston, Massachusetts
J
John Healy Offline

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John Healy  Offline

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J

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,221
Boston, Massachusetts
I agree, it does look a lot like him. That grey and black jacket looks a lot like the one offered in the US by ADI in New Jersey. Great picture of Coburn. A man who was vintage long before any one of us was aware of such a thing.


Re: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: John Healy] #664240
08/17/16 11:23 am
08/17/16 11:23 am
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 323
New Hampshire, USA
David Dunfey Offline
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David Dunfey  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 323
New Hampshire, USA
John did race in England. His wife was from England and his brother in law was a motorcycle racer. Based on his riding with Benson they both built hot Comets and raced.

Coburn said that he felt he had to buy the Ron Burns racer because it went so well he needed to own it to find out why it went so well. I recognized the front disc also. Not only was Coburn using a disc brake, it was an aluminum disc which Coburn said worked quite well.

Here is a shot of John's bike that he built with his brother in law. It is now owned by Ianucci:



David

Re: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: John Healy] #664243
08/17/16 11:47 am
08/17/16 11:47 am
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
kurt fischer Offline OP

#irideslow
kurt fischer  Offline OP

#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
John, that's a great description of Coburn, vintage from the start!

David, would Coburn have owned the Vincent special at the time of that race, May 1970?

Mosport was my all-time favorite track. That's where we raced the Grey Flash a few times, including the FIM GP of Canada in September 1967. Making Expert in CMA helped me make Amateur in the AMA, and we ran the Flash at Daytona 1968. After that, John Clark rode the Flash, much faster than I ever did.

Last edited by kurt fischer; 08/17/16 11:51 am.

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: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: kurt fischer] #664258
08/17/16 2:57 pm
08/17/16 2:57 pm
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 323
New Hampshire, USA
David Dunfey Offline
BritBike Forum member
David Dunfey  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 323
New Hampshire, USA
Kurt,

He probably did. 1970 was when I first met Coburn. I am not sure when I first went down in the basement, but the twin was down there. It might well have been 1971 because the bike was apart awaiting repair.

Your riding is a great part of the Gery Flash history. Few machines that old race a 100 miler at Daytona.

John runs a machine shop on the Hudson in NY. Here is another shot of him at Loudon taken by Henry the machinist:



David

Re: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: kurt fischer] #664268
08/17/16 4:05 pm
08/17/16 4:05 pm
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,221
Boston, Massachusetts
J
John Healy Offline

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John Healy  Offline

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J

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,221
Boston, Massachusetts
Coburn used to come by Andrews (Motorcycle Shop in Boston) and have lunch with us down at the small Greek restaurant on the corner. Between servings of American Chop Suey, black coffee and chocalate cream pie he would hold court. He mostly talked about red badged Rolls Royce's (he had a few) and recent trips to Long Island to lubricate a speedometer cable on one. For our UK readers he would remind you a lot of Auto Cycle Engineering's Chris Williams. Eccentric in the nicest way although in later years he left compressing hydro carbons for the thrill of steam (Chris has carried on adding more and more cylinders to satisfy his quest - what ever that is).

Coburn had a hankering for Pete Andrew's JAP Speedway bike. It also resided in the cellar. What is it about these old bikes and cellars? After several years of awkward dancing between the two he eventually ended up with it though it just might have been after Pete passed.


Re: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: David Dunfey] #664274
08/17/16 4:13 pm
08/17/16 4:13 pm
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
kurt fischer Offline OP

#irideslow
kurt fischer  Offline OP

#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
Thanks, David. The Flash raced and finished the 100 miler! smile

The basement of the Haverhill shop at one point held 10 Series A Comets in parts, packed in excelsior in banana crates. Wonder what became of them?

I will make an effort to look up John Clark when I get to NYS, thanks.

John, I recall that Coburn had a Crocker speedway machine in the kitchen of his River Street, Haverhill apartment -- same bike?



Last edited by kurt fischer; 08/17/16 4:38 pm.

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: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: kurt fischer] #664373
08/18/16 11:50 am
08/18/16 11:50 am
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 791
Overland Missouri
O
old mule Offline
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old mule  Offline
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O

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 791
Overland Missouri
Huge rear sprocket on the Vincent, how long is the Mosport track?

Re: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: old mule] #664378
08/18/16 12:19 pm
08/18/16 12:19 pm
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
kurt fischer Offline OP

#irideslow
kurt fischer  Offline OP

#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
Originally Posted By old mule
Huge rear sprocket on the Vincent, how long is the Mosport track?


old mule, the track formerly know as Mosport I'd guess was 2 miles or so, but without what you'd call a big straight, there was one upgrade section we'd call the straight.

Check out this video, starting at 1:43 ... leads you to Bruce McClaren explaining the track:
https://youtu.be/j4x29XpIg0E?t=1m43s

Here's an interesting video, when the track was under construction in 1960.
https://youtu.be/O-EkXEzcwwY

And this in 1967, about the time I raced there
https://youtu.be/u9fngNwbUIo

I found this note by Coburn on racing the Grey Flash at Mosport:
"John Clarke raced the flash to a second jr and 3rd overall at the 100 miler at Mosport, the fall event, AND was recognized as a SENIOR, when they awarded him the trophy. Just think, a first year rider being awarded senior riding a 20 year old machine. Bear in mind this was a tuned 1950 machine competing against new iron, so I may claim to have sponsored a vintage class before it existed. The 100 miler was a highly contested event. We ran to 7300 rpm and had a 2,3/32" intake valve and a 1,1/2 AMAL GP w/ about 12" from valve seat to end of bell ... ."

So far I haven't found any motorcycle race videos at Mosport.





Last edited by kurt fischer; 08/18/16 1:14 pm.

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: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: kurt fischer] #664435
08/18/16 9:59 pm
08/18/16 9:59 pm
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 323
New Hampshire, USA
David Dunfey Offline
BritBike Forum member
David Dunfey  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 323
New Hampshire, USA
Kurt,

I thought I had posted this photo of you racing at Mosport on the Flash, but I could not find it, so here it is:



I still have the fairing, the big port head with the big valve and the GP and manifold.

David

Last edited by David Dunfey; 08/18/16 10:01 pm.
Re: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: David Dunfey] #664466
08/19/16 6:29 am
08/19/16 6:29 am
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
kurt fischer Offline OP

#irideslow
kurt fischer  Offline OP

#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
Thanks, David, yes, that's one of the photos taken by my late friend David Hancock, June 1968 at Mosport.

The Flickr album:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjy4Xwbi

I'm thinking of posting up on the FB pages "Remembering Mosport" and "Remembering Harewood" looking for pictures of the Flash and the Ron Burns special. I recall that Ron ran the special at St. Jovite (north of Montreal), the first time I believe at a road course, he had previously done some tuning at Connecticut Dragway, as I recall.

Mosport was (is?) near Peterborough, Ontario; Harewood Acres was in Jarvis, Ontario, the former RCAF airfield track with cornfields. We'd be practicing and Mr. Hare sometimes was on the infield cultivating the rows with his tractor.

http://rcafjarvis.blogspot.com/

"Jarvis" is featured in the 1942 Cagney film "Captains of the Clouds."
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034578/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1


PS --

To add some details (trivia) about the Grey Flash, I don't know where Coburn got the Peel fairing. I painted it yellow for a couple of reasons, that was the implement color specified by AMA for Amateur number plates so I decided to go with it for the whole bike. It was available only in enamel, which I found pretty darned challenging to spray. My Craftsman spray gun worked pretty well, and I'd used it a lot with lacquer, but my compressor at the time was a small diaphragm compressor that might deliver 25psi at best. I thought, if I have to set up to paint the number plates, I'll just keep spraying. Also, in previous years at Daytona I noticed that dark-colored bikes disappeared at a distance. Coburn said he didn't need to see the bike, he could hear the Flash all around the tri-oval, it delivered a distinctive bark with that single-taper megaphone. (At shorter tracks, we went with the straight pipe, and went faster.)

The bike had a Yamaha TD1 seat on it, since I was used to that on my 250 production racer, steel pan with an aluminum cowl. Kept you on the bike, too

Last edited by kurt fischer; 08/19/16 12:28 pm.

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: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: kurt fischer] #664594
08/20/16 5:23 am
08/20/16 5:23 am
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,738
OZ
Triless Online content
BritBike Forum member
Triless  Online Content
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,738
OZ
Kurt, this is great stuff. Hopefully, more from you and David.
I think it was 1970 (or maybe 1971) ,I remember reading a Vincent feature article in Cycle World magazine. In this, there was a sub article on Coburn and his Merrimack shop.
Incredible now to realise that you, David and JH were all involved in that.

Re: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: Triless] #664626
08/20/16 1:51 pm
08/20/16 1:51 pm
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
kurt fischer Offline OP

#irideslow
kurt fischer  Offline OP

#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
Originally Posted By Triless
Kurt, this is great stuff. Hopefully, more from you and David.
I think it was 1970 (or maybe 1971) ,I remember reading a Vincent feature article in Cycle World magazine. In this, there was a sub article on Coburn and his Merrimack shop.
Incredible now to realise that you, David and JH were all involved in that.


Thanks smile

Just stories of the way it was, and maybe some actual information in there for Vincent owners.

So far I've narrowed the Cycle World article on Coburn and his shop to the April 1971 issue. Does anyone have a library of back issues, or a subscription to the archive?
http://covertocover.cycleworld.com/covertocover/



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: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: kurt fischer] #664662
08/20/16 9:36 pm
08/20/16 9:36 pm
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 323
New Hampshire, USA
David Dunfey Offline
BritBike Forum member
David Dunfey  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 323
New Hampshire, USA
Kurt,

I sent you a copy.

David

Re: ID this Vincent and rider? [Re: David Dunfey] #664695
08/21/16 7:59 am
08/21/16 7:59 am
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
kurt fischer Offline OP

#irideslow
kurt fischer  Offline OP

#irideslow

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,118
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA
Originally Posted By David Dunfey
Kurt,

I sent you a copy.

David


Many thanks, David, fills in many blanks for me.


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

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