Vincent Black Prince Boundary 500

18 Апр 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Vincent Black Prince Boundary 500 отключены
Vincent Black Prince

Vincent Black Prince

Black Prince rode at the of a brave campaign. It was a visionary offering rider protection and lines in 1954, but the motorcycle public, traditionally a reserved didn’t take to it. Mike tells the story…

Effective and high speed rarely in nature, save in those where man has defied evolution. combinations are usually memorable, as Edward of Woodstock carried a of protection into battle on his charger during the 14th or when British Railways class 9F locomotive 92203 heavy freight at up to 80mph the middle of the last century.

bestowed the epithet of ‘The Prince’ in both of these and the title seems to suit the shrouded flagship model of the series of V-twin motorcycle Engineers (Stevenage) Ltd. made its public debut at the Earls Court Motorcycle

Philip Vincent had begun with glass fibre after WWII, eventually a water-scooter called the Amanda was a forerunner of today’s jet-skis. the so-called Series D touring (including a stillborn single-cylinder prototype) marked a departure the minimalist Vincent-HRD design (the famous initials dropped from 1950).

glass fibre bodywork was the distinctive feature of the new range, its reflecting typical Vincent innovation. The Black Prince from engine components to Black Shadow specifications, with tighter engineering than the Rapide-based Black

Weather protection and streamlined became new selling points as the Hertfordshire-based firm felt confident in the quality and appeal of its to abandon its established image of a high performer. Such a speaks volumes about the nature of its proprietor, Philip Engineering graduate Vincent had been afraid to lead the though he must have aware that full had simply not created a satisfying since the quirky Ner-a-Car  of 1921.

Retired BT engineer John now 71, remembers this bold well. A lifelong Vincent his admiration for the new models in 1955 his funds, which nevertheless ran to the of a year-old Comet for £120 his local bike shop, of Birmingham. “I never thought of it as a Vincent’, since it performed so at everything,” he says. “I sold it for when my first daughter but bought it back again the new purchaser kept falling off it. I have it, as a basket case, restoration in my workshop.”

However, the of a full V-twin remained and John was particularly delighted to get his on a Black Prince exactly 40 later for a low five-figure sum. “It was the V-twin as far as I was concerned,” he recalls. last of the Vincent line, all that accumulated status.”

The Prince had been standing since the 1970s and needed cosmetic refurbishment. John, who is a executive committee member of the Owners’ Club, kept to specification wherever practicable. He the VOC Spares Company (01925 which is allied to the owners’ although it operates independently, premises in Cheshire. “I can get just any part I want delivered to me the day,” he enthuses.

Black Shadow A previous has substituted a five-inch diameter speedometer from a Black and John will eventually this with the standard item. His electrical engineering dictated that a solid-state regulator should replace the original, located behind the although he resisted the temptation to to 12v. NGK spark plugs and caps have long ago the KLG originals.

After sending the fibre off for a professional respray, applied new gold leaf to the front mudguard, continuing the below the fuel tank to the cowling and down beneath the He tells me that the black windscreen could be specified as an from the Stevenage works, its curvature allegedly resulting heating against an oil drum

At first glance, the Black looks as fiddly to work on as any fully faired sports yet access is surprisingly simple. a nut on each end of the swinging arm spindle and the rear cowling pivots on a behind the petrol tank, to rest almost vertically. in the upright position comes a folding prop stand engages with a lug in the swinging arm on the making rear wheel and removal straightforward.

The swinging arm a shaped metal splashguard, the cowling acting in place of a mudguard. A single Armstrong unit bolts to the rear of a tubular spine of 1 1/8in which bolts to the headstock. A Armstrong unit forward of the controls the vertical movement of the forks.

There’s one half-width rear brake, mounted on the drive without tommy-bars, and both are of smaller diameter than on the Cs.

Although the swinging arm retains its stand lugs, the Series D feature the most over-engineered ever to support a motorcycle. Its hand-lever requires little to support the machine (and little to dislodge it by accident), neatly over the vented cover when not in use.

The seat hinges forward and normally lock down by of a catch, operated through its padding. However, these were flimsy and tended to There is space for a toolkit to the oil filler cap beneath the seat.

The oil bolts to the offside rear subframe tube and so pivots with the rear cowling. Its neck contains a bleed for the rear chain oiler and many owners, John has a small magnet from it to stray particles of swarf. pillion footrests bolt to the rear sub-frame tubes.

knurled alloy knobs each of the engine cowlings. crashbars are integral to the design, side-wing extensions that are to direct cooling air behind the blade of the front mudguard and the engine. The motor itself is only upon its exposed and primary cases, having crankcases and plain alloy

Timing chest The black tank is unadorned, the maker’s being cast into the chest and primary case plug, and proclaimed upon on the front mudguard and rear

John frequently undertakes tours to Wales from his in the Royal Forest of Dean, but is of the need for security when his valuable machine unattended. He has his Black Prince as far afield as the VOC Canadian Rally, when the mishap occurred during transport. “Someone’s footrest through the fairing,” he recalls,

Vincent Black Prince

Fortunately, glass fibre is to repair and the Vincent displays no of damage as I inspect it prior to a The bike carries the usual of road use and John happily “I’m not a concours man, but of an oily rag man since I prefer bikes to polishing them. I enjoy the fact that the Prince’s bodywork is easy to

The adoption of coil ignition on D models introduced an ignition which is obscured from the view by the oversized speedometer fitted. I apply the twin levers located on the right and the decompressor lever on the nearside. The of kick-starting these V-twins on following through with force the pedal swing top … centre of the rear

First gear, engaged a lift of my right boot, is tall and I’m grateful for a grab-free from the semi-servo clutch. The oscillate as I pull away, my knees, positioned halfway the fuel tank as I peer the black screen, to grip tightly. As I accelerate briskly the gears, I’m aware of reflected clatter from the engine, the cowlings’ rubber-mounted attachment seem to inhibit resonance

The motor’s formidable torque me to brace against the narrow, low in this upright stance.

in corners on the lanes around Castle is surefooted, although the brakes remain a curse of high-performance models, even the supportive metal plate to the front linkage on Series Ds. on minor roads in particular, the spacing between gears that I tend to hold on to the gears to induce the assistance of braking.

A blast down the A40 towards Monmouth brings the on-cam, but prompts a persistent above 75mph, just as the is getting into its lengthy I suspect the combination of an Avon SM tyre and a well-worn TT100 but must also question the susceptibility to gusting side blowing from the nearside quarter.

Denied the opportunity to the upper reaches of the Black performance with total I muse on the reaction of loyal customers, not to mention the wider public, to full enclosure. without the benefits of a wind the new form was a brave attempt by to push motorcycling to a new level. The Cycle duly reported handling, noise levels and consumption compared to a Series C

But the real point was, who on would want to cover it all up?

knows that not everyone both style and substance in his shrouded machine. “Unlike Vincent purists, I actually it,” he says. “I find it at sustaining relatively high while the extra sub-frame of the later models, with improved seating comfort, a real gentleman’s tourer. got wet enough racing sailing during the last 35 years to appreciate that fairing!”

That proprietor Philip anticipated developments in weather image, styling and suspension by a quarter century is remarkable, but his on low-volume exclusivity ultimately in terms of high cost and popular appeal, just at a when his company’s sales in the UK and needed revival. Vincent to recapture lost ground by ‘…’ bikes when issues interrupted the supply of fibre, but it was too late. Barely than 200 fully enclosed had been built by the time motorcycle manufacture ceased on 16 December 1955.

A fully Black Prince was the final to be assembled and was labelled as such by staff, although a small were subsequently built up spares. Still extant, Last’ machine made at the HH auction in Cheltenham early year (2007). Although to a low-key and premature end to its campaign, the Prince’s distinctive armour the power to evoke former

Vincent Black Prince
Vincent Black Prince
Vincent Black Prince
Vincent Black Prince
Vincent Black Prince

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