Today’s 1967 Egli Vincent is a very rare machine, with just 200 ever built. In the 1960s, motorcycle frame design was still something of a black art, and a whole cottage industry sprung up to support the folks looking to make their motorcycles handle better. Companies like Rickman, Spondon, and Dunstall set up shop, sometimes literally in a shed in the backyard, to construct stiffer, lighter frames than the factories seemed able to produce.
Fritz Egli, a former motorcycle racer started out by creating his first re-framed Vincent from his very own racebike. That bike was designed to compete in hillclimbs and was used to win the Swiss Open Class Championship in 1968. Adding a frame to the Vincent Black Shadow might seem like a retrograde step, considering the “C” models were basically frameless. But Egli’s design added stiffness and kept weight down, while allowing the use of a more conventional telescopic front fork.
Girder front forks are theoretically an improvement over a telescopic design, but the original Vincent parts have a reputation for instability, likely because period dampers hadn’t yet reached the required level of sophistication. Certainly, a conventional telescopic unit would allow the bike to be more easily set up for racing and the fitment of more modern brakes, both of which would be priorities for a racing machine like the original Egli Vincent.
More than 3,000 Egli-framed bikes were produced in total, but very few feature Vincent’s iconic and very beautiful 50° v-twin. Some of his most stunning creations were based around Laverda and Ducati powerplants but those bikes generally handled pretty well straight from the factory. Like other frame builders, Egli found the most financial success building new frames for the affordable and powerful Japanese fours, although he also built frames for the six-cylinder CBX and even the wild-and-wooly Kawasaki two-stroke triples.
From the original eBay listing: 1967 Egli Vincent 1000 for Sale
A fantastic opportunity to buy an ICON. Fitted with desiderable HRD serie B engine, Black Shadow speedo, touring set up, centre stand for easy starting, this is the perfect bike for the rider. It is just serviced and UK registered as 1967 Egli Vincent.
Ride, parade and collect! Bulletproof investment.
Interestingly, Egli is still in business today, and apparently can still be convinced to knock up a new frame from time to time if you ask nicely and bring a suitcase full of crisp Euros…
There are a couple days left on the auction, with bidding north of $20,000 and the reserve not yet met. This is far less than you’d likely spend on an original Vincent and it possesses all that bike’s character and charm in what is likely a far more usable package, with additional rarity thrown in as a bonus.