Buying a Vincent

storm42

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I am looking at downsizing the quantity of bikes I have, and putting the money into a single appreciating riding asset. Talking to the wife the other day, it became obvious we both have always liked Vincents.

The benefits of doing this would include, not having to move 4 bikes to get at my Commando, (which won't be going) being able to walk all the way round the Vincent because there will be room (for now) and I guess there would be more chance of the Vincent appreciating more that all the others put together, not that that is the most important reason.

Anyway, my question, which model would best suit me. I do ride all my bikes and a Vincent would get used so I am not after a trailer queen but something I wouldn't be afraid to run to the continent on etc. Rapides seem to be the most common for sale here and I have found one within 6 miles of me, but there is a more expensive one that has what looks to be some sensible mods, electric foot, Shadow brakes front and rear, recon mag 12 volt electrics etc. 36K though.

It has a good view though. :)

motorbike77935.jpg
 

Fast Eddie

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Vincent’s are great, but they are old and they tended to be ridden long and hard. So they did get f*cking worn out !

They‘re also quite unique and complicated, they are NOT just another Brit twin. Restoring one properly is very expensive.

Add all this up and it means many have been bodged up, or restored to be shiny on the outside whilst clapped out on the inside. So you really have to look carefully Ralph, ask around, try and find a known good un for sale, even if it costs more.

70 years on there’s not much difference between a Shadow and a Rapide. The only difference was slightly bigger carbs, slightly higher CR and being blue printed (allegedly). 70 years on many shadows have been de tuned and many Raps have been tuned up!

But from an investment perspective a Shadow probably trumps a Rap.

What about an Egli or Norvil?
 
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I am looking at downsizing the quantity of bikes I have, and putting the money into a single appreciating riding asset. Talking to the wife the other day, it became obvious we both have always liked Vincents.

The benefits of doing this would include, not having to move 4 bikes to get at my Commando, (which won't be going) being able to walk all the way round the Vincent because there will be room (for now) and I guess there would be more chance of the Vincent appreciating more that all the others put together, not that that is the most important reason.

Anyway, my question, which model would best suit me. I do ride all my bikes and a Vincent would get used so I am not after a trailer queen but something I wouldn't be afraid to run to the continent on etc. Rapides seem to be the most common for sale here and I have found one within 6 miles of me, but there is a more expensive one that has what looks to be some sensible mods, electric foot, Shadow brakes front and rear, recon mag 12 volt electrics etc. 36K though.

It has a good view though. :)

View attachment 79255
I would suggest riding one soon, as some people are unimpressed, and you need to know which group you are in!
 

storm42

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Vincent’s are great, but they are old and the tended to be ridden long and hard. So they did get f*cking worn out !

They‘re also quite unique and complicated, they are NOT just another Brit twin. Restoring one properly is very expensive.

Add all this up and it means many have been bodged up, or restored to be shiny on the outside whilst clapped out on the inside. So you really have to look carefully Ralph, ask around, try and find a known good un for sale, even if it costs more.

70 years on there’s not much difference between a Shadow and a Rapide. The only difference was slightly bigger carbs, slightly higher CR and being blue printed (allegedly). 70 years on many shadows have been de tuned and many Raps have been tuned up!

But from an investment perspective a Shadow probably trumps a Rap.

What about an Egli or Norvil?
I am looking at every thing I can find, a Norvin would satisfy the Ogri in me.
 

storm42

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I would suggest riding one soon, as some people are unimpressed, and you need to know which group you are in!
I would like to ride one but that can be difficult to arrange. Due to the design age of these things, I am not expecting too much from the bike but I would like to ba able to use it.

I went out on the T150 yesterday and when I got back I just thought, it's not a Norton, it doesn't really do anything for me, I am not after massive power (I have modern stuff for that) although torque is always appreciated and when I am on the older stuff I tend to find a country lane and potter.
 

Fast Eddie

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Regarding ‘some people are unimpressed’ it’s worth remembering they are all at least 70 years old, the design was laid out during WW2. So, even before we get into the conversation about them being worn out, it’s the DESIGN that’s old.

They‘re known as ’the snarling beast’ and were ‘too fast to ascertain the true top speed’ and all that bollox! If you ride one expecting a ‘snarling beast‘ and you've just got off of a Panigale you’re gonna have your bubble well and truly burst!

Just remember it was designed in the 1940s. Yes it was ahead of its time THEN... but nothing designed in the 1940s would stand up to its modern day counterpart. Spitfire vs F35 anyone...?
 

storm42

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I don't think I an expecting a snarling beast and I have the FTR for that, I do enjoy riding my 1954 Velo 350 MAC and I guess a torquey version of that would be nice
 
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Thing about a vinnie is it only has to be.... perhaps start, run, go down the road being big +'s.
 
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As for spares, a Vincent has better parts supply than almost everything else. And not bad pricing. Especially compared to my Norton Manx.
On riding them. They are a great touring bikes. Very comfortable for effortless long distances. Being the lucky owner of a series C Comet I think that the only better touring bike existing is a Rap or Shadow. I've never tried to push it hard on twisty roads so I can't say anything about that. Once was offered a test ride on a twin. The only difference was throttle response, otherwise identical. If you intend to have a pillion passenger or a lot of luggage a twin is probably better. Though I met with an Irish couple on a Comet on a rally in Sweden.
Also worth mentioning is the huge amount of literature to help you keeping your Vincent running. Plus all the helpful people with incredible knowledge.
 

storm42

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Hmm, That one I have been looking at is on a site that just archives the advert when they sell, I think they are quite old adverts, bugger.
Mike, I would love a Manx too, but I would race that, so for me it would have to be a modern recreation.
 
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Fast Eddie

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Selling four bikes to buy one much more expensive bike is a good idea.

Of course, the danger is that within a period of time you’ll just have four much more expensive bikes instead !!
 
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The Vincent twins are a fabulous old bike for touring, no question. We've done about 60,000 miles of 2 up touring on the Rapide I bought in Australia in 2004. We plan to do some long trips on it again this year. It's been completely reliable mechanically in all that time /distance. John McDougall, the Vincent guru, gave the engine a good going over when I bought the bike.
He determined that the bottom end was almost new but the timing chest needed major work and the top end got a full renew.
The twins have tons of torque, an engine that lopes along but will shove the fully laden 2 up bike from 60 mph to 90 mph when needed for passing.
I had a very good one for sale, essentially a new Rapide internally and externally, re-built axle to axle by John McDougall, the best Vincent man there is/was but it just sold.
The fellow who purchased it is a long time BMW and Norton Commando rider/ collector.
He bought his first Vincent twin a couple of years ago.
He sold 2 or 3 nice Commandos and a BMW to buy my Vincent. And he is a rider more than collector.

Glen
 
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And Commando owners seem to more unimpressed than others.
As a '68 Commando and T150V Triton owner I can say that none of them can compare to my Rapide engined Norvin.
The engine is mildly tuned with MK2 cams, 9:1's and 32mm concentrics to be honest.
The Commando and Trident are comparable in performance even though its delivered in a very different manner but the Norvin is definitely in another league. Standard Vincent cycle parts wouldn't impress a Norton owner though.
My experience.
 

storm42

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Selling four bikes to buy one much more expensive bike is a good idea.

Of course, the danger is that within a period of time you’ll just have four much more expensive bikes instead !!
We have had that conversation and came to the conclusion that, the cost of expensive bikes would be an effective governor.
 
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As a '68 Commando and T150V Triton owner I can say that none of them can compare to my Rapide engined Norvin.
The engine is mildly tuned with MK2 cams, 9:1's and 32mm concentrics to be honest.
The Commando and Trident are comparable in performance even though its delivered in a very different manner but the Norvin is definitely in another league. Standard Vincent cycle parts wouldn't impress a Norton owner though.
My experience.
I'm a Norton owner and I find the Vincent cycle parts quite impressive, so much so that it's the go to bike for all of our 2 up riding.
I like the built in adjustablity of foot peg and gear lever positions, the comfort of the shaped dual seat and the wheels that come off without a wrench. I also like the folding footpegs and the powerful brakes. I had to add an aftermarket disc to the Commando to get braking like the Vincent has with stock brakes.
These are stock features on the 1947 Vincent, all missing from the 1975 Commando. It came new with a brick shaped seat, one position non folding footpegs and near useless front brake.
Most of all it's the quality of the components on the Vincent. Have a look at the sliding underseat tapered metal tool tray on a Vincent and then the throw away horrid plastic thing on the Commando. That sort of detail is found throughout.

Every piece is thought out, not just a stuck on piece of low quality .

Glen
 

gortnipper

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Anyway, my question, which model would best suit me.

It seems like the consensus is, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

I was this close to pulling the trigger on a new Godet-Egli about 5-6 years ago. Bought a new (demo) Merc instead. Mistake.

Just find one, any reasonably good one - you wont loose money and you can always do some work and flog it off again if it doesn't suit.
 
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I'm a Norton owner and I find the Vincent cycle parts quite impressive, so much so that it's the go to bike for all of our 2 up riding.
I like the built in adjustablity of foot peg and gear lever positions, the comfort of the shaped dual seat and the wheels that come off without a wrench. I also like the folding footpegs and the powerful brakes. I had to add an aftermarket disc to the Commando to get braking like the Vincent has with stock brakes.
These are stock features on the 1947 Vincent, all missing from the 1975 Commando. It came new with a brick shaped seat, one position non folding footpegs and near useless front brake.
Most of all it's the quality of the components on the Vincent. Have a look at the sliding underseat tapered metal tool tray on a Vincent and then the throw away horrid plastic thing on the Commando. That sort of detail is found throughout.

Every piece is thought out, not just a stuck on piece of low quality .

Glen
I agree with this Glen, the Vincent is full of clever idea, everything is adjustable and well made with top quality metals.
I was meaning "handling", I'm sure you'll agree that a Vincent doesn't handle as well as a period Featherbed Norton.
Even though I know a good one can be quite acceptable .
 
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