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Purity of design...

Discussion in 'Vincent' started by Fast Eddie, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. xbacksideslider

    xbacksideslider VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Going to how fast a Vincent can be - back in the 70's I had a friend, Greg Duvall, who bought/tuned a Norvin built by Dave Furst (First?) here in Los Angeles. Gorgeous bike, built to be fast - twin Lightning heads, Amal GPs with remote float with megaphones, IIRC. British racing green, Cerianis, and a Munch Mammoth 4 shoe brake.

    We had a standing Sunday morning race than ran up the hill in Griffith Park and Greg always out accelerated everything - Nortons, Tridents, 750 Hondas, 500 Kawis. Then one morning, this is first half of the '70's, a local two stroke tuner and Park rider, Gary Schumake, showed up on his new 750 Kawasaki with chambers he'd built for it. Ooooh, the race was on. To get a good view, I made sure that I got off in third place on my Commando. Coming out of those uphill corners, that Vincent just killed the Kawi, AND it's wide ratios and wide power band maintained the murder right through to the end of the straights. Only later that day, when our Sunday ride got out of the Park and onto the long straight line national forest roads at well over 100 would the Kawi's close ratio peakiness close on that Vincent, but by then we were all running out of ratio. Great sounds that day.

    Greg sold that Norvin to AMA superbike builder/master machinist Tom Farrell; Tom had plans for it but it sat in his shop for years; I lost touch and Tom and that bike disappeared. If I could get it today, I'd trade all my bikes and cars for it.
     
  2. ericg

    ericg

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Huh!? Did you ever see a Vincent twin in the flesh?
     
  3. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I think a good Manx would cream any Vincent on a reasonably tight circuit. I love Godet's bikes - if you wound one out on a big circuit, it would be really flying, but the weight of it might make it difficult to stop safely. Many years ago, I watched Tom Phillis beat Arthur Pimm at Phillip Island with a 500cc Manx, while Pimm's bike was a Norvin of 1000cc, and the combination of bike and rider was probably as good as Vincents ever get.
     
  4. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    I once rode a friend's 650 Triton at Calder Raceway and easily beat one of the faster guys who was riding an H2 Kawasaki which was the full bit. 750cc two-strokes tend to tie themselves up in knots. It is no good having tons of power, if you cannot get it onto the ground.
    When you ride any featherbed bike, it always feels very big - with a Vincent motor, it is probably too much. I think Godet's bikes are Eglis. I have ridden three bikes around Calder - my 500cc Triton, my friend's 650cc Triton and a genuine 500cc short stroke Manx - the Manx is the fastest, simply because it handles and gets the power down properly. In Australia, we have several guys racing Norvins - I have a bit of experience and a Norvin is not something I would want to race.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019 at 11:22 AM
  5. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    One thing you have mentioned was the wide ratio gearbox in a Vincent. Close ratios are always faster. The problem is that with a road bike, you don't usually ride them in the way that needs close ratio gearboxes.
     
  6. acotrel

    acotrel

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
  7. Triton Thrasher

    Triton Thrasher

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    The pre-War Series A Rapide and the 500 singles had a Burman gearbox which must have been pretty similar to contemporary Panther, Matchless, AJS, Ariel, God knows what else.
     
  8. worntorn

    worntorn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    According to Desmo, the fellow who has been busy telling us how awful Vincents are, it was the gearbox of the postwar Vincent he was referring to.
    There were about 11,000 post war bikes built and just about 70 prewar A Rapides.
    Those few prewar twins used Burman transmissions which weren't up to the power output of a litre V twin, so Irving designed his own very sturdy unit for the postwar twins. I think of those prewar A twins as a prototype for the Vincent twin. During WW2, Irving and Vincent redesigned the entire bike to improve reliability and durability.

    Glen
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019 at 11:04 PM
  9. ericg

    ericg

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Manxes are OHC machines specifically designed for racing! So no surprise that they are very good at that! Vincents are only road machines after all even though the Horner brothers built a Rapide with standard cycle parts and an engine tuned to about 95hp (with Monobloc carbs!) that demolished modern Manxes and G50's at Goodwood festival of speed two or three years ago.
    And here is a Norvin vs Triton video:
    watch
    Not very good quality but interesting.
     

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