Separation anxiety

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Was starting to get to me while this thing was all in pieces for the last year and a half. It lent it's motor to the project bike, which is now finished, well tested and waiting for me to assemble a big bore engine.
We tend to put lots of miles on this bike, it is like wearing a pair of comfortable old shoes. Gonna spruce it up a bit, that was last done about 150,000 miles and 33 years ago on a different continent.

The bike was shipped new in 1947 to the Isle of Malta and was involved in a high speed crash there in 1951. It was shipped to it's second owner in Scotland in 1952 where it received the "new style" series C frame parts and Girdraulic front, all the same stuff it has now. It was used extensively by the Scottish owner who often shipped it to Europe for summer touring. In 1963 it was sold to a new owner in the South of England. He made several improvements including upgrading to 12 Volt electrics and adding the finned alloy front brake setup, very effective.

In 1973 the bike was sold to its fourth owner, a Gentleman from Australia. He piled on a great many more miles. In 1985 it went to it's fifth owner, also an Australian. At this point the engine and trans were rebuilt by Terry Prince, although I doubt this was the first rebuild. I am the sixth owner. I purchased the bike in 2004 and had it shipped to Canada. My wife and I have toured a lot on it, 35,000 miles to date including much of Canada, twice to Southern California and a trip to the IOM in 2007 with 2500 miles of touring Scotlan and England afterward.
Last year the engine did 5,000 miles in the Egli project bike.
This thing is much better travelled than I am, and more reliable too! :D

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As impressive as the bike unquestionably is, I am more impressed by the workshop :D puts my feeble garage into shame :(

CB
 
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+2 :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Maybe if I win the lottery.
Interesting history on the bike. She sure has been around.
 
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Dave, if I get down to Portland this summer you can take this one for a spin.

A little progress, getting close. The powdercoaters lost my chainguard and then questioned whether I had left them a chainguard? Before taking the stuff to them, I made a listing of the 28 pieces to be dropped off, but they lost the list. Fortunately I kept a copy, so I knew I had given the guard to them.
When I picked up the 27 parts they did have, some of those were missing also, but I found them nearby mixed in with somebody else's order.
I phoned each day for several days, but wasn't getting anywhere with my complaint on the missing chain guard. Finally I took a photo of one on another bike and made up a poster about like you would for a missing kitty.
I gave them several copies so that they would all be watching for it. The place is a zoo.

Once they realized I wasn't giving up, they made a serious effort and found the chainguard at the bottom of their dip tank! Why it was in the dip tank, I don't know since all the stuff was sandblasted to bare metal. Perhaps they had some runs in the paint and decided to strip it off.
Anyway, after all of that the quality of the powdercoating is the best I've seen, no orange peel very smooth, just like a high quality automotive finish, only much tougher.

Glen

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I'm glad to see someone actually USING a Vincent to travel on. Phil was a clever engineer, but he had some odd ideas. The frame and suspension on his big bike were the best, but the engine and transmission were 1920's technology at best. Almost all the Vincent owners I knew back in early 1960's UK loved the performance and handling, but hated the oil leaks they could never cure and also strongly disliked the cork pads in the wet clutch.

While I was at N-V, Peter Inchley dropped a "Motorcycle" magazine on my desk and said "I think Phil's full of crap. Draft a reply to his article". The piece in question was an attempt by Mr. Vincent to justify his triangulated swing arm and horizontal dampers, in order to prove that the conventional swing arms were inadequate. He'd calculated that the force on the swing arm in the case of encountering a bump, was the equivalent of hanging a double-decker bus full of passengers off the swing arm pivot.

I figured out that he'd assumed infinite stiffness in the tire and the spoked wheels and an infinite mass of the bike. I took the opposite view, with great flexibility in the tires and wheels and a limited mass in the bike itself. My numbers came out about 1/100th of Vincent's.

I started a project to try and better define the dynamics involved. Remember, this was long before digital computers and complex dynamic simulations. I went to the UK Road Research Laboratory, who had a section of road with a glass surface and high-speed movie cameras looking up and across at the vehicle. The glass section also had force sensors. My plan was to ride a bike at speed over a 2" curb mounted on the transparent road and measure the dynamic response of both the front and rear suspensions and the forces between tire and curb, as well as the pitching of the bike as it went over the curb.

Unfortunately, N-V's financial problems sent this and all other R&D ideas into the trash can and sent me to work for Boeing. Shame, really, the folks at RRL were quite keen to do motorcycle research, as they hadn't had much opportunity. All I got out of the trip was a very uncomfortable ride home to Wolverhampton on my works "hack" 650SS, from Hampshire on a very cold February evening!
 
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I'm not sure who you are relying on for information. The Vincent has neither cork pads nor a wet clutch. Irving and Vincent designed their own clutch which is completely unique. The more force put to the clutch, the stronger the engagement via centrifugal force on two large expanding brake shoe type clutch lining assemblies. It is light as a feather but will transmit over 100 hp, and often has on various Vincent racers. There was nothing like it at that time. Most of the other Brit bikes of the day did have cork inserts and they were hopeless. Both my Matchless G80 and 1956 Norton ES2 had cork inserts. These clutches could barely contend with the low power of a 500 single, let alone a 1000 cc Vincent. That is why Vincent had to design their own clutch, there was no proprietary clutch on the market that was up to the task. Same with the transmission and most other things on the bike.

As far as your comment that the engine and transmission were 1920s design at best, what other 1920s production motorcycle did 186 mph (Burns and Wright, Tram Road, 1955)
Fifteen years after the last Vincent was built, there was still no equal for performance. A stock Black Shadow as tested in 1949 was found
to have a top speed of 128 mph. It wasn't until Kawasaki built the 750 triple in 1973 that this feat was equalled, and only very recently did production motorcycles reach the speed of the Lightnings.
So your statement is quite incorrect, just the opposite is true,in design the Vincent was light years ahead of it's contemporaries.
And of those bikes that decades later in the mid to late seventies finally approached the performance levels of the touring type Vincent, is there one of them that could be used the way we use our Vincents? Can you imagine loading an h2 kawi with heavy luggage and two riders then setting off on a 25,000 mile trip from Vancouver Canada to Tierra Del Feugo and back? Not likely!
How about Stuart Jenkins Vinny longlegs purchased new in 1955 by Stuart and now having surpassed 750,000 miles? Does that sound like standard 1920s technology?
Almost all of the Vincents in our local club do big mileages every year, and for those that don't, it is down to the age/infirmities of the owners.

As far as oil leaks, they were a problem on most brit bikes of the day, but there is no reason to have the problem today. On a trip to California in 2011, the bike in the photo used a total of 8 oz oil.

Glen
 

ashman

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Hi Glen

If you ever get the chance to bring it to Australia, we have a big open country and plenty to see, I know for one thing I would ride with you, I had the chance in 1985 to buy a Vincent, I could have swapped my near new 82 Triumph Thunderbird for it and a little bit of cash, but I did like my Thunderbird at the time, I still look back at that today and wondered if I should have, but I did a lot of miles on the Thunderbird.

Ashley
 
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Thanks Ashley, I do hope to get the old thing back down there again. It will be the second time for the bike, first for me.
Finished puttihg it back together this am and roadtested it this afternoon. It's all ready for some big trips now.
Glen

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ashman

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She is looking good, I just brought a new Thruxton that I plan on doing a lot of traveling, hoping to retire early next years while I am still youngesh.

Ashley
 
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Very nice Glen. Sadly this is the closest I'll ever get to my own Vincent...
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Cool find though.
 
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They are absurdly priced now. I wouldn't buy one at today's prices, it makes no sense. Went out on the Commando yesterday for an evening ride, I enjoy riding it as much as the Vincent.

Glen
 
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Cheshire bloke said:
As impressive as the bike unquestionably is, I am more impressed by the workshop :D puts my feeble garage into shame :(

CB
Sorry Cheshire Bloke, I missed your kind comment.
The shop is primarily a woodworking shop although I have designated an area for metal working only. The part shown in the photo started life sometime in the 1960s as a 24 x 48 open sided implement shed with a dirt floor. Shortly after buying the farm here in 1982, my brother and I converted it to a walled in, insulated shop with a concrete floor , workbenches, good lighting, three phase wiring etc.

We did this on a very tight budget as I recall. We hand mixed the concrete for the floor. We could only manage to hand mix and place half the 1200 square foot slab in one very long day, so there is a little line right down the centre of the building where the two slabs join.
Later, when funds were more plentiful we made a large addition to the 1200 ft original building, The addition is 66'x 68' or about 4400 square feet, so we now have around 5600 square feet of space in total. The new part houses our larger stationary equipment, and the motorcycles.
If I ever have the whole thing tidied at once, I'll post some pics.
On edit: A thread on workshops entitled " lets meet in the Garage" was already started in the Commando section, so I tidied things a bit and posted photos there.



Glen
 
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