Vincent Black Shadow — The First Superbike, and Maybe the Best…

8 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Vincent Black Shadow — The First Superbike, and Maybe the Best… отключены
Vincent Black Shadow

Vincent Black Shadow: The Superbike, and Maybe the Best

Jay Leno’s favorite motorcycle: the English superbike known as the Black Shadow. More 50 years after the last one off the line, the Black Shadow is an incredible piece of mechanics and

August 10, 2011 6:30 AM Size: A. A. A

More than a after the last bike the factory in Stevenage, England, still praise the Vincent Shadow. It was the fastest motorcycle of its widely considered the world’s superbike, and it still holds its own on the You’ve probably seen famous 1948 photo of motorcyclist Rollie Free just a bathing suit, a cap and sneakers while setting a record on a modified Shadow at the Salt Flats.

The image was around the world.

Where I up, in a small New England town, the was a motorcycle you only ever about. But the legend surrounding the was so strong. There was a guy who lived a of towns over who had a Vincent had allegedly run in the renowned Isle of Man Trophy race off the coast of the Every now and then, somebody at would say, I heard it go by the night.

All the kids would stop to to his story. What did it look What did it sound like? We all to know.

I only saw that once, when I was in high Thirty years later, I about a Vincent for sale in Mass. I tracked it down and it was the same one.

Now it’s in my garage. Turns out, it was a C Black Shadow, and Big Sid Biberman, a Vincent mechanic, had rebuilt the It had a custom frame similar to a Featherbed.

The Series C Black Shadow­ is the sought-after Vincent. Its 998-cc puts out 55 hp; the Black Lightning version is good for 70 hp. That may not like much, but a Vincent weighs just 458 pounds, as much as a ­500-cc single.

A Shadow could hit 125 mph in an era when an honest 100 mph-or the ton, as the say-was impossible for many

People forget that in the fastest­ series production in the world came from The fastest saloon car was the Bentley the fastest sports car was the ­Jaguar and the fastest motorcycle was the Vincent Shadow. Vincent ads read: The Fastest ­Standard Motorcycle.

is a Fact Not a Slogan.

Shadows are blue­printed Vincent Rapides, hotter cams, bigger a higher compression ratio and a first gear for better Their engines are stove-enamel

All Shadows have a prominent chronometric speedometer that you can a mile away. The needle fly around; it advances-ink, ink, steady increments. Once I was riding one of my Shadows, a cop pulled me

Y’know how fast you were he asked.

No, sir, I replied. no idea.

You were doin’ 93 an hour, he said. I clocked you off your speedometer!

Aside being fast, Vincents are interesting. Their narrow-angle have aluminum pistons, connecting rods, a unique arm design, twin Amal and a dry sump oiling system. is no front downtube; the engine is a stressed member.

Changing requires only simple or tommy bars, as the British them. The rigid ­Girdraulic forks are easily adapted for work by flipping a cam over to the setting, and there are two rear quickly reversible, so you can run a sidecar a lower gear ratio.

At a when no other motorcycle gave a hoot about bikes had just one rear for years-Vincents had four brake one on each side of the hub, with a balance bar; had finned drums. Vincents boasted four speeds a ­Harley-Davidson had only three.

Vincent Black Shadow

The rarest of my 10 Vincents is a prewar A. They called it the plumber’s because it has so many external oil In the owner’s manual, it actually After every 1000 disassemble the engine and check Reassemble.

The Brits insist there’s nothing more than spending a Saturday decoking the head on a motorcycle. Not People like to ride bikes.

Motorcycles don’t a gait anymore, but riding a is a little like riding a horse. The engine fires once every lamppost. a measurable heartbeat-like quality to the of the V-twin that doesn’t with a four-cylinder or a high-revving twin.

You accelerate and the engine DibdibdibdibDIBDIBDIBDIIIIIIIIIIIB.

The riding position is the British sit up and beg stance. It’s and everything is adjustable. If you have big you can extend the shift lever so toe catches the end of it. There’s also a shifter, so veterans who couldn’t use their legs could down and shift.

Even the Feridax Dualseat, a on a motorcycle, was adjustable. You could brake tension with fingertips. It was a true enthusiast’s

Sadly, that level of helps explain why the company motorcycle production in 1955. is a lot of time-consuming handwork involved in a They say the best ones made before 1951, in later bikes, the dies to wear out in the stamping presses and the weren’t as good.

They also expensive bikes, about $1200 when a twin was roughly $600.

At the Vincent was trying to sell faired Black Knights and Princes. They had taken the beautiful engine in motorcycling and it up so the bike looked like a big Although fully faired caught on years later, the were so far ahead of their that the 1956 film of George Orwell’s novel had the police ­riding them.

You can tell that Vincents are my motorcycles. There’s a wonderful to them; they are such machines. When you check the oil in a primary case, there’s a aluminum knurled knob on the

It’s overdesigned, way better it needs to be. The general public this kind of detailing they could buy something But today, the Vincent is considered a of art to be revered.

The First Superbike

Vincent Black Shadow
Vincent Black Shadow

Interesting articles

Other articles of the category "interesting":

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

Born in the USSR


About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.

Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about Motorcycles.