Buying a Vincent

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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.
Wish I could find one in my price bracket, as it is, they are well out of my league . . . . . :-(
 

Onder

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Remember too where you ride. If it is Big Sky country then you can make use of the big engine. If you live in a country of lanes where you are forced to ride relatively slowly then maybe the Vincent is less than the best choice.
I just put on 75 miles in maybe 3 hours. Two cylinder parallel twin is a joy at 45 mph.
...sour grapes? Yes. :)
 

Fast Eddie

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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 .

I sold my Vincent a few years ago. I bought it as partially complete basket case so wasn’t limited by originality concerns.

I had it set up with 19” front / 18” rear with Roadriders, as well as uprated springs and dampers front and rear. I also had a lot of work done by Patrick Godet as the front and was seriously worn out. The end result was handling that I’m certain is better than 90% of Brit bikes on the road.

I believe the reputation for less than ideal handling comes from the fact that so many Vincent’s have done so many miles in seriously worn out condition !
 
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Right Eric, I was thinking Commando vs Vincent not FB vs Vincent.
There's nothing I've found yet in other vintage bikes that are on par with a Featherbed.
As far as taking the Vincent down a twisty road at speed vs the Commando- about the same for me.

Glen
 
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It's a bit unfair to compare the Vincent handling to the Featherbed. Which gave an antiquated engine a prolonged life in racing. Compared to most other marques in the late forties and early fifties, the Vincents was quite good.
 
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It's a bit unfair to compare the Vincent handling to the Featherbed. Which gave an antiquated engine a prolonged life in racing. Compared to most other marques in the late forties and early fifties, the Vincents was quite good.
Ever ridden one with their Girdraulic forks?
You will hate them.
 
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Ever ridden one with their Girdraulic forks?
You will hate them.
Maybe I'm not good at evaluate suspensions. I think my Giradraulics works quite well. Worst one I have is a Norton 16H. Even worse than the Harley DL I rode for two years before riding a 99 Dominator. The featherbed managed to keep me alive when my Triumph friends did not.
 

Fast Eddie

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Ever ridden one with their Girdraulic forks?
You will hate them.
I have.
I don’t.

I refer to my earlier point though, ride one with a worn out front end and you might.

Mine seemed fine to me...

CFFEF36D-9B6D-4FCE-84D9-A1AA9BD5156E.jpeg
 
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Clearly seen here on a billard smooth (????!!!!)
race track. Yes, I know, some are very bumpy! I've been on them, fell off and crashed on them and got a free ride in the blood wagon.. . . .
 
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Maybe I'm not good at evaluate suspensions. I think my Giradraulics works quite well. Worst one I have is a Norton 16H. Even worse than the Harley DL I rode for two years before riding a 99 Dominator. The featherbed managed to keep me alive when my Triumph friends did not.
Yes if you stay within their limitations, it amuses me that Phil Vincent designed a monoshock rear (abit with two rear shockers at the time) but in his infinite wisdom rejected telescopic forks. There have been many Vincent riders who have found themselves riding with confidence cause of the rear suspension, but sliding down the road because of the limited fork action - the two didn't really complement one another. . . . .
 

Fast Eddie

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Clearly seen here on a billard smooth (????!!!!)
race track. Yes, I know, some are very bumpy! I've been on them, fell off and crashed on them and got a free ride in the blood wagon.. . . .
Yeah, sorry about that, I didn‘t take my photographer everywhere with me :rolleyes:
 
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Fast Eddie

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Yes if you stay within their limitations, it amuses me that Phil Vincent designed a monoshock rear (abit with two rear shockers at the time) but in his infinite wisdom rejected telescopic forks. There have been many Vincent riders who have found themselves riding with confidence cause of the rear suspension, but sliding down the road because of the limited fork action - the two didn't really complement one another. . . . .

Bernhard, telescopic forks were shit when Vincent designed the girdraulics, it’s as simple as that. As were the VAST majority of rear ends too come to that.

The Vincent was designed in the 1940s FFS :rolleyes:

If you want to keep comparing them to later bikes or factory GP bikes then knock yourself out. But it’s just pointless.

Show us another bike from the 40s that can be used on today’s roads as well as a Vincent can...
 

storm42

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Thanks for all the insight. Glen, the torque is what I like from an engine, I prefer my T150 to the T160 I had, and I prefer my 920 commando to the T150. I think your touring mileage is good and puts my mind at rest with regards to some of the bad things I have read about them, I do realise the initial build quality is important though.

I realise a bike designed in the 40s won't ride like a modern bike, but I seem to have developed an ability to enjoy my 54 350 Velo as much as my 1200 turbo Kwak, different bikes but both have there place and I believe I will enjoy a Vincent as well, Onder, when the Vincent was designed we only had lanes in this country so I am guessing they would work quite well in that environment, luckily I live in Derbyshire and we have plenty of decent bike roads.

I have found one that has been sorted for touring, It has Craven luggage, Mkll concentric carbs, a screen, twin discs, Avo dampers, Alton alternator, heated grips electric start and a sprung seat, i am not sure the discs are a good idea though, especially as Glen mentioned good brakes as a standard quality, but I think the rest of it has potential. I wonder If I could find a standard front brake setup.

Any advice on this, I would be asking questions about how It has been maintained because this may be one of the clapped out high milage jobs Nigel has warned about.

front-picture-1.png
 
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Looks like the owner wasn't afraid to ride it, clean enough..... Drip pan is clean.... Excuse me for thinking with my fingers, but it does look very nice. You're right about the disc looking out of place, but one could always hunt for an original.
Whatever the miles logged I'll bet they were done with consideration and good maintenance judging from the appearance.
 
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Had the same itch a few years back with a couple of '70s Commandos and a 961 Sport already in the garage but just enough room to get a coveted Vincent in with space to squeeze round all of them. With genuine original good condition Vins at eyewatering prices , not to mention doubts on reliability of ancient mechanical bits , went for a new build Egli Vincent 1200 cc with modern magneto , Delorto carbs , five speed Quaife cluster and electric start. Turned out a great decision and despite sporty ride position is really comfortable on motorway work with an effortless 2,900 rpm at 70 mph and impressive performance above that if you're so inclined.
 

Fast Eddie

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Ralph, that bike could go either way... well fettled riders bike or clapped out high miler, you’ll have to investigate.

It really does sound to me like you have the right riding and expectations in mind Ralph a d, as you say, I think Derbyshire is the perfect playground for one!

Ref the front brakes, you really need to join the VOC and check out their spares scheme, they built a brand new Shadow a few years ago as a stunt, to prove they can. So you should be able to all you need brand new. The spares company also sell bikes from time to time too.
 

Fast Eddie

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Had the same itch a few years back with a couple of '70s Commandos and a 961 Sport already in the garage but just enough room to get a coveted Vincent in with space to squeeze round all of them. With genuine original good condition Vins at eyewatering prices , not to mention doubts on reliability of ancient mechanical bits , went for a new build Egli Vincent 1200 cc with modern magneto , Delorto carbs , five speed Quaife cluster and electric start. Turned out a great decision and despite sporty ride position is really comfortable on motorway work with an effortless 2,900 rpm at 70 mph and impressive performance above that if you're so inclined.

James... errr... PICTURES ...
 

storm42

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Looks like the owner wasn't afraid to ride it, clean enough..... Drip pan is clean.... Excuse me for thinking with my fingers, but it does look very nice. You're right about the disc looking out of place, but one could always hunt for an original.
Whatever the miles logged I'll bet they were done with consideration and good maintenance judging from the appearance.
The advert does say that it has been extensively rebuilt??? with lots of paperwork and receipts. I need to go and look at it and ask questions. As you can see, I am not after a trailer queen, I want something to ride and as I head towards old age, (64) and despite buying a new Indian FTR last year, my interest in new bikes is waining but my interest in riding isn't.
 

storm42

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Had the same itch a few years back with a couple of '70s Commandos and a 961 Sport already in the garage but just enough room to get a coveted Vincent in with space to squeeze round all of them. With genuine original good condition Vins at eyewatering prices , not to mention doubts on reliability of ancient mechanical bits , went for a new build Egli Vincent 1200 cc with modern magneto , Delorto carbs , five speed Quaife cluster and electric start. Turned out a great decision and despite sporty ride position is really comfortable on motorway work with an effortless 2,900 rpm at 70 mph and impressive performance above that if you're so inclined.
Like Nigel says, any pictures?
 

storm42

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Ralph, that bike could go either way... well fettled riders bike or clapped out high miler, you’ll have to investigate.

It really does sound to me like you have the right riding and expectations in mind Ralph a d, as you say, I think Derbyshire is the perfect playground for one!

Ref the front brakes, you really need to join the VOC and check out their spares scheme, they built a brand new Shadow a few years ago as a stunt, to prove they can. So you should be able to all you need brand new. The spares company also sell bikes from time to time too.
I was chatting to an old chap outside the Stafford show some years ago and he was still frequently touring the continent on his,
I have a feeling this is his bike, so yes it will be high milage with all the possible associated problems.

It isn't a cheep bike at 38 but it is for sale with the spares company, I need to go and see it and ask the questions.
 
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