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Author Topic: HRD Vincents  (Read 371 times)


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HRD Vincents
« on: April 07, 2014, 05:16:11 AM »
As I pulled in to park at the weekly hot rod/car/motorcycle show I was amazed!

Sitting there was not one, but two HRD Vincents parked side by side!

Two older gentlemen had trucked them down to Mesa, Arizona to get away from the winter blasts in Minnesota and do a bit of riding.

The Vincents were the 1000cc V-Twin, Series B Rapide and in excellent condition.  Between the two of them I'd guess there was over $100,000 worth of motorcycles sitting there next to my Royal Enfield G5 Deluxe.

My RE, G5 looked right at home though, with its black and chrome and gold pen striping glistening in the sunlight.  ;D

Both of these Vincents had the reversible rear wheel with dual sprockets.  By flipping the rear wheel 180 degrees and mounting a different chain they would go from "on the road" gearing to "off road".  Pretty neat idea.

The large 150 mph speedometer mounted on each of them was also impressive.  Large enough to be equal to a flyscreen.   ;D

When it came time for them to leave there was the expected fiddling with both carbs, the decompression lever and a good stout kick.
No "started on the first kick" here.  It took over 7 good kicks to bring one to life and it tried several times to throw the rider up in the air.  Obviously he knew what to expect and he let his foot slip off of the kick starter without breaking his leg.
The other one didn't kick back but it also took several strong kicks to get its attention.  I was about to offer a push for him when it finally fired.

Eventually, both of them started and they sounded very healthy indeed.  I was also pleased to see that neither one of them put out the clouds of smoke I've seen in several British videos of some of their restored Vincents.

They slowly rode off in stately fashion past the Harleys with many of the Harley riders not even knowing they were seeing some truly historic machines.

Unfortunately, I had decided to wear my light weight armor instead of my black leather motorcycle jacket.
Had I worn the jacket, I would have had a small camera in its pocket.  Without it, I didn't have a camera to take pictures.  :(
Not one photo of something I'll never see again. :( :(

Anyway, if any of you up in Minnesota ever see a pair of black and chrome HRD Vincents being ridden by two elderly gentlemen, say hi for me.  Also ask them if they found Bob's Cycle Parts.
They both wanted to know if I knew of any Vincents in Phoenix so I told them to try Bob's.  A couple of years ago Bob's had an old Rapide sitting among the tons of old Harley parts his place sells.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 05:19:10 AM by Arizoni »
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Re: HRD Vincents
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 05:48:12 AM »
Cool story!
Don't see many of those things around anymore.
Mostly museum pieces.
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Re: HRD Vincents
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 11:24:35 AM »
WOW! Two Vincents together.
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Re: HRD Vincents
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2014, 12:02:37 PM »
Cool story indeed!  But Jim.......  Why are you going to car/bike shows without a camera?  ???  ;)
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Re: HRD Vincents
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 02:31:37 PM »
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Re: HRD Vincents
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 02:36:21 PM »
Like Vincents?  Visit the Barber event sometime...

These photos do no justice, but I was trying to capture the sheer number of them, somewhat widely dispersed, with a cell phone camera.

These weren't the only Vincents visiting the event, and there are a couple of them in the museum there, too, if I recall.


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Re: HRD Vincents
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 05:07:56 PM »

Sitting there was not one, but two HRD Vincents parked side by side!

They slowly rode off in stately fashion past the Harleys with many of the Harley riders not even knowing they were seeing some truly historic machines.

             Many of the new harley riders might not have known, but *I* would have known   :)

             Incredible, gorgeous, horny machines they are. I was ordering brochures for these bikes (& all the rest) out of Pop Mech back in 1949 when I was 11.
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Re: HRD Vincents
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2014, 08:56:17 PM »
Nice stuff, I see one in my neck of the woods a few times a season. Totally unrestored and beautiful.
Here is some specs from the Owners club website. What i found interesting is the oil usage for the 500cc single cyl Comet. It may explain what some of us see as high oil consumption, in Imperial gallons!
    Black Lightning   Black Shadow   Standard Rapide   Comet   Unit of Measurement
Power to weight   480   280   222   150   BHP per Ton
Dry weight   380/172   458/207   455/206   390/176   Lbs/Kg
Petrol consumption   -   55/65   55/65   75/80   Miles to Imp Gallon
Oil consumption   -   1500   1500   2000   Miles per Imp Gallon
Cruising Speed   -   100   85   65   M.P.H
gear ratios   1:1.19:1.61:2.07   1:1.19:1.61:2.07   1:1.19:1.61:2.60   1:1.26:1.69:2.67   -


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Re: HRD Vincents
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2014, 09:12:33 PM »
Around SoCal, I see Vincents to often that I don't even notice any more. I quit taking pictures of them years ago. I saw a couple the other day, don't recall where it was. It's such a motorcycle haven here, you see stuff the most of the world doesn't even know still exists. I've seen a couple of Panthers at recent rides. Those, I still take pictures of! Not to berate the rest of the world as it were, it just seems odd somehow.
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Re: HRD Vincents
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2014, 08:11:53 PM »
Take a gander at these.