• Welcome to the website of the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club.

    Should you have any questions relating to the Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club, or Vincent H.R.D. motorcycles in general, please contact Graham Smith, Hon. Editor and Webmaster by calling 07977 001 025 or please CLICK HERE.

    You are unrecognised, and therefore, only have VERY restricted access to the many features of this website.

    If you have previously registered to use this forum, you should log in now. CLICK HERE.

    If you have never registered to use this website before, please CLICK HERE.

The most original Lightning on the planet?


Cyborg

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
It wouldn't, It would have a number plate on it and be used.
Mine means more to me than that one, Mine was rebuilt from scrap from Africa, I thrashed the nuts off it, And now it's a road bike., Roll on the Spring, I am very wet and cold !.
For me money does not come into it, As I keep telling the Wife.
Good that you saved one Bill. I don't think I could bring myself to use a bike like Len's (other than a gentle lap or two), not that I'll ever have to worry about something that rare. It's actually a bit of a curse depending on your perspective. Obviously not in the same league, but I came across a 79 CBX that was still in the crate. Worth more when still in the crate, but what's the point of staring at a box. Eventually sold and it went back to Japan, so I didn't have to think about it anymore.

1954 Black Lightning front.jpg
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Mine was only a REPLICA, As T.T. said, I forgot to paint it Black !.
It was never as fast as my Road Special, But I was faster round the tracks because I rode more often and
got a bit braver, Till I fell off a few times !. Good Times, Can't believe it was so long ago.
 

Cyborg

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
A photo of a grubby photo from the 70’s. A Rapide come Lightning wannabe. The pipes were immediately swapped for standard ones by order of the local constabulary. Actually the chief sent a car out to see who the hoodlum was making all that racket.
4A2A2842-F315-493C-9383-EB3C574EC496.jpeg
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I couldn't use my 2" pipes after a few meetings, They touched down to easy, But I loved the sound.
If I get my 560 sorted, I will run it with a standard pipe and silencer.
But if it's a good en, I hope to find my front 2" pipe and get Armours to build me a a silencer to match.
I raced my Black Flash for a bit with the 2", Made it sound fast :) .
 

TouringComet

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
I don’t think I have seen that photo in post #121 before, of the Len Hardy bike leaning against the tree. The side view picture has made the rounds a number of times, but I don’t think this almost head on shot has been distributed as widely. Note the right angle drive on the 5” speedo, the larger style.
 

Cyborg

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I don’t think I have seen that photo in post #121 before, of the Len Hardy bike leaning against the tree. The side view picture has made the rounds a number of times, but I don’t think this almost head on shot has been distributed as widely. Note the right angle drive on the 5” speedo, the larger style.
Just for you....
The tach is a bit of a mystery as I thought it would have had a RC115 with yellow numbers. Actually a bit of a mystery with both gauges, but Len may be the only one with an answer.
1954 Black Lightning Top.jpg
 

TouringComet

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Administrator
Yes, that is something to ponder over. Another one - hard to tell for sure, but that looks like the "Vincent HRD Co Ltd" Mercury Crest. I would have expected that bike to have the "Vincent Engineers" type.

I wonder how many photos are in the whole set from that day. The bike was switched from one side against the tree to the other side. Is there a side on view that shows the exhaust pipe side?
 

Little Honda

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Years ago, friend George came on his Rapide to invite me for a trip into the Eifel mountains. I had just finished
my second Rapide. So we went, George in the lead, he knowing every tiny road with rare traffic. The way to
the Eifel mountains, however, led north-south on a fast country lane, known for frequent radar controls. But,
with both engines hot, we forgot about the risk and flew along at around 100mph, where there was a limitation
for 42mph. I was aware of risking to loosen my licence, when we were overtaken by a Suzuki at est. 150mph,
and, app. 100yds in front of us, he performed a full brake with his bike moving like a snake on his track and
performed an artistic 180 with his left foot on the tarmac and came back with lifted front wheel. Of course, we
had closed our twist grips during this spectacle, when George detected a police officer signing him to halt.
"Shit!" I thought, "now yr license is gone." When I stopped, too, I saw the second officer coming from behind
their hiding bush and admiring our bikes. I hesitatingly put her on her sidestand, seeing George talking to the other officer, who had the radar pistol in his hand.
The other officer smiled to me, saying: " Sorry, abt stopping you, we both know, that these old wonderful
machines are unable to do 110mph, which we measured from the bike which returned."
I smiled and thought " Heavens! Can´t b true." I also got an explanation of the new radar handheld device
and we dissapeared happily, leaving the officers , thundering off sychronously.
 

Cyborg

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Yes, that is something to ponder over. Another one - hard to tell for sure, but that looks like the "Vincent HRD Co Ltd" Mercury Crest. I would have expected that bike to have the "Vincent Engineers" type.

I wonder how many photos are in the whole set from that day. The bike was switched from one side against the tree to the other side. Is there a side on view that shows the exhaust pipe side?
I have a photo of the exhaust side, but was asked not to share it. I'll see if I can use photoshop to expunge the image in question and replace it with a tree branch or a big fig leaf.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I couldn't use my 2" pipes after a few meetings, They touched down to easy, But I loved the sound.
If I get my 560 sorted, I will run it with a standard pipe and silencer.
But if it's a good en, I hope to find my front 2" pipe and get Armours to build me a a silencer to match.
I raced my Black Flash for a bit with the 2", Made it sound fast :) .
Yes Bill I think 2" pipes are for looks only. Not only are they a tad too large for the power they are also no good at all with modern racing rubber, (My Flash has one but I am no longer a scratcher) For racing we find that however close you tuck them in they ground out under the timing cover fortunatly it seems that the ACU sump catch tank regulations say the tank must hold "the contents of the sump" which I guess (unlike the rice rockets nowadays) is only about half a cup of oil. so we are hoping to take the pipes down the centerline of the cases under the shallow tray .( Regulations say no high level pipes)
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I was never much of a scratcher, Can't stand Pain !, But when I made my 2" Pipes I thought there was no way they would touch down, I held the Bike over and there was plenty gap left,
But first race first corner, Donnington, Redgate corner, She touched.
But no problem with the Black Flash.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
With the twin the front is anoying but the clutch side can really cause a problem as it can lift the rear wheel
 

Top