Tagged: v twin

Affordable Bevel: 1978 Ducati 900GTS for Sale

1978 Ducati 900 GTS R Front

After the unpopular, Giugiaro-designed 860GT, Ducati’s more practical sibling to the Super Sport got a makeover into the more conservative 900GTS. The engine was largely the same, but looks were changed from the radical, forward-thinking lines to something less threatening to hidebound Ducati enthusiasts. It was still considered a bit of a let-down in terms of looks but, like all Ducatis of the era, prices are steadily rising. It’s a shame the striking 860 never caught on, but the 900 is still a very classic, handsome motorcycle, and the beating heart of the bike is still Ducati’s classic, bevel-drive L-twin.

1978 Ducati 900 GTS L Side

Although Ducati’s entire range of modern motorcycles feature their signature “desmodromic” actuation system that uses cams to both open and close the valves, only top-of-the-line Super Sport models used it prior to the Pantah engine. So although the GTS does have a set of tower-shafts and bevel-gears to drive the overhead cams, it makes do with a set of ordinary valve springs to close the valves. Impact on performance is negligible and the bike still put out 65hp and plenty of midrange torque.

1978 Ducati 900 GTS Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Ducati 900GTS for Sale

Today we are proud to offer this beautiful vehicle for your consideration. This is a terrific addition to any enthusiast’s collection. This Ducati is completely original and has been locally owned for the past 38 years in heated garages. Every electrical component such as headlights brake light, Turn signals and horn perform.  New tires along with new rims and wire wheels. Fenders and tank are original and without any dents. Electric start is immediate. This bike with the Conti exhausts sounds identical to the SS. It has amazing torque. Included are the following 2 bar end mirrors (new), 2 new chrome valve guides (current ones on bike are rusty), manual, tool kit with under seat compartment. A few service records are included. This vehicle is running properly. It performs wonderfully, whether you’re in-town or on the open highway, and exhibits excellent road manners at all speeds. This is a great previously owned vehicle. Overall the vehicle is very straight. The condition of the paint and body, is in overall good shape, see photos. This is a rare opportunity to own a legendary 900cc Ducati!

1978 Ducati 900 GTS Engine

Originality is very important to many collectors. As they say, “It’s only new once!” And although this Ducati is a little rough around the edges, it has tons of character and appears to have been well-maintained, even though the cosmetic aspects have suffered a bit from the ravages of time. The missing side-panels might be difficult to replace, although pattern parts should be available if you spend some time browsing the interwebs. The fact that all the basics work is key, considering that bidding is only up to $8,350.00 with the reserve met. Bidding is active, but if the price stays reasonable, this could prove to be an excellent candidate for a “rolling restoration,” a bike that you can either ride as-is or work on a bit at a time to make it look brand new.

-tad

1978 Ducati 900 GTS R Side

Mark One: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans L Side

Moto Guzzi’s follow up to their successful V7 Sport was this, the 850 Le Mans, often known these days as the “Mark I Le Mans.” It used a hot-rod version of their earlier longitudinally-mounted v-twin engine, with bigger, high-compression pistons, bigger valves, high performance carburetors, cast-aluminum wheels, and a more modern, very chunky look that would set the tone for Guzzis through the 1980s. The style is really hard to pin down to a particular era, with the jutting cylinders and minimal style looking like something very 60s or 70s while the angular bodywork has more of a 1980s style.

1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans L Side Front

The hot-rod engine put out 71hp at the rear wheel and made for a genuine 130mph, which wasn’t top-of-the-class but very competitive during the period. But unlike the equally fast but fiddly-to-maintain Ducati 900SS or the wobbly-handling and under-braked Kawasaki Z900, the Le Mans offered up Guzzi’s classic recipe of durable shaft-drive, stable handling, and midrange grunt. And Guzzi was forward-thinking in terms of safety as well: the Le Mans featured their simple but effective linked braking system that was used up until the 1990s. The front brake lever operated one front caliper, while the foot pedal used a proportioning valve to distribute power between the second front and the rear caliper. The Le Mans is definitely an acquired taste, with the noticeable shaft-drive effect, but is a very rewarding bike to own.

1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

I have had the pleasure of owning this bike for the past 15 years.
Upgrades:
  • Lafranconi competizione mufflers
  • Koni rear shocks
  • Progressive front springs
  • Gaman seat
  • Torozzi rear sets
  • Harpers outsider kit with deep sump
  • Braided brake lines
  • gaskets, bushings and rubber
  • K&N filters
  • Frame up paint in 2003 – held up well
  • documentation of work done
This bike runs and looks great! It handles likes it on rails, brakes with the best of them and has tremendous acceleration and power. Time for someone new to enjoy this fine machine.

1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans L Side Engine

Bidding is up to $10,000 which, frankly, seems to be on the low side for these. I can remember when, just a few years ago, they were selling for about half that… Happily, the bike even features the European-style bikini fairing with the flush-mount headlamp. American units had an ugly, jutting unit that projected out beyond the curve of the fairing, looking more like a train headlight than something that belongs on a sleek sportbike. If you’ve never noticed how ugly the American version is, I apologize in advance: its’ one of things that, once seen, can never be unseen… This may not be the original part, however, since most I’ve seen feature a bright orange vertical “safety stripe” for improved visibility. Not sure how effective it is, but it does look cool. The stepped seat is also a non-standard item, which is no surprise since the closed-cell foam originals rarely survive.

-tad

1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans R Side

 

Black Gold: 1978 Ducati 900SS for Sale

1978 Ducati 900SS R Side Front

While I appreciate modern design and efficiency, there’s something so timeless about Ducati’s 900 SuperSport, especially in black with gold pinstripes as seen here. Sure, the silver and blue might more strongly evoke Ducati’s improbable Imola victory, but the black bikes just look so elegant and sinister…

1978 Ducati 900SS R Side Engine

Although far more common than the original, 750cc SuperSport that was intended to commemorate Ducati’s 1972 Imola win, the updated 900SS featured improved performance and general refinements intended to appeal to a broader market. The shifter was revised to more easily allow the bike to use a left-side gearchange, something that was important for customers in the USA. Cast-aluminum wheels replaced the earlier spoked items and the bike also used the updated “square-case” engine that was bumped to 864cc and designed to match the angular, Giugiaro-styled 860GT.

1978 Ducati 900SS Cockpit

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Ducati 900SS for Sale

For Sale is this Beautiful very rare Black/Gold 1978 Ducati 900SS. This bike runs fantastic, engine’s strong and sounds fantastic. The transmission shifts smooth in all gears, there is no issues. Can not confirm speedometer mileage. Fairing and side covers are aftermarket, the Gustafsson windscreen NOS without cracks or scratches. 

Small paint chip on rear fender and there’s a small hairline crack on fairing near mount screw (see photos). Cowl compartment and seat zipper is in excellent working condition. Campagnolo 5 spoke wheels are Gorgeous. New Dellorto’s PHM 40’s, Tommaselli throttle and adjustable clip-ons, Aprilia headlight bezel with Jute light. Brake systems operate great.

Overall this bike is gorgeous.

The Kentucky title’s clear, in hand and in my name.

Frame number 87593

Engine number 87853

 Included with bike is a new wiring harness purchased from Bevelheaven supplied by oldracingspareparts in Italy. Original wiring harness is rough but the headlight, running light and switches operate, both brake light switches work.

This bike is being SOLD-AS-IS, there is NO WARRANTY. Buyer is responsible for all shipping costs and arrangements. Bike is located in Louisville Ky 40219 when checking shipping costs. The bike is being advertised for sale locally, I reserve the right to end this auction at any time.

1978 Ducati 900SS L Detail

The seller also includes a video that can be found here. From the description, it sounds like this is a very clean, very solid-running motorcycle that’s just a few very minor cosmetic blemishes away from being a “10” although that new wiring harness might be worth installing, just for peace of mind…

The Buy It Now price is set at $35,400 which seems pretty high for a 900SS. And with very little interest in the listing so far, other than looky-loos, it appears that I’m not the only one who thinks the price is a bit unrealistic…

-tad

1978 Ducati 900SS R Side

Barely Legal Moto-Porn: 1972 Harley Davidson XR750 for Sale

1972 Harley Davidson XR750 R Side Front

We don’t normally get to feature Harley Davidsons on this site because The Motor Company really didn’t make many bikes you would normally categorize as “sport bikes,” and the ones they did build are extremely rare. Although the Harley Davidson XR750 was originally intended as a flat-track racer, today’s example has been reborn with roadgoing equipment and I’ve decided it qualifies, since it’s supposedly powered by an ex-racing engine and I bet it could would eat most of its roadgoing rivals from Triumph or Norton for lunch.

1972 Harley Davidson XR750 L Side Rear

The race-ready XR750 is considered one of the most successful racing motorcycles ever, winning 29 of 37 AMA Grand National Titles between 1972 and 2008. Yeah, you read that correctly: the XR750 was competitive in flat-track racing for over 30 years. It was powered by a 748cc pushrod v-twin with aluminum heads from 1972 on that improved cooling, compared to the earlier iron heads. Certainly that engine featured primitive architecture, and yeah, it was only competitive considering the specific ruleset that governs flat-track racing. But let’s be real here: all racing is governed by rules that artificially limit development to help keep performance of competing machines somewhat comparable, so that in no way diminishes that impressive record of wins.

1972 Harley Davidson XR750 L Side Engine

Today’s machine is claimed to have a genuine racing engine with some very impressive history slotted into the frame. Although it was originally a race-only machine, this XR750 has been fitted with lights and a license plate, meaning it might just be road-legal where you live…

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Harley Davidson XR750 for Sale

Surprisingly well preserved Harley XR750 flat track bike with 1972 engine.

Street legal in most states, and WITH TITLE! MATCHING NUMBERS on both engine and frame!

This particular bike’s engine is reported to have been ridden in 1972-73 by Cal Rayborn, Mert Lawwill and Scott Brelsford. Harley racing royalty then and now. Of all years of HARLEY XR750, 1972 is probably the hardest to find, since they were very popular, in short supply, and were either used up or supplanted by later year engines with more power.

This bike does not have an odometer or a speedometer, so I have no ideas how many miles it has run.

1972 Harley Davidson XR750 Rear Suspension

What kind of flat tracker has dual front brakes? Or any front brakes, for that matter?! Well whatever the engine and frame’s original provenance, they’re part of a bike with roadgoing intent now, and the stopping power afforded by those dual calipers will be much appreciated, considering the potential speed on tap.

The Buy It Now price is listed as $29,495.00 with very little time left on the auction. That’s a great deal of money for a motorcycle, but considering that XR750’s don’t usually offer you the opportunity to terrorize your neighborhood, it’s really like you’re getting two bikes in one!

-tad

1972 Harley Davidson XR750 R Side

Improving Upon Perfection: 1967 Vincent Egli Vincent 1000 for Sale

1967 Egli Vincent R Front

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.

1967 Egli Vincent L Rear

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.

1967 Egli Vincent R Engine

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.

1967 Egli Vincent Dash

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.

1967 Egli Vincent L Engine

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.

-tad

1967 Egli Vincent L Side

Brains Versus Brawn: 1977 Moto Morini 3½ for Sale

1977 Moto Morini 350 L Side

Today’s Moto Morini 3½ offers up classic Italian style from a forgotten brand. Or they would be forgotten, if it’s possible to forget something you never knew in the first place, and I’d expect that very few Americans have any idea the brand ever existed. A relaunch was tried a few years back, with the usual range of sporty nakeds and adventure-touring bikes. But they were never available in the US and while those bikes were throbbing and dangerous, they didn’t offer up anything new to buyers, except a nameplate with dubious cachet. Those bikes also seemed to lack the traditional Morini virtues as well, as the brand typically stressed handling over brute power.

1977 Moto Morini 350 R Side Detail

Motorcycling history is filled with bikes specifically built for the American market. They were often powered by newer, larger versions of existing engines and these updated powerplants were apparently intended to help us conquer the wide-open spaces of the West. There’s a reason Harley has the big bike market cornered here, and it stems from the kind of riding we do and the kind of roads we have, since many people have to drive quite a ways to find a twisty section of asphalt to enjoy. But either through hubris or simple economic necessity, Moto Morini never developed a bike bigger than the 500cc version of their 72º v-twin: the oddly-named “3½” was basically a 350 and would have been classed as a “middleweight” at the time.

1977 Moto Morini 350 Dash

Instead, they focused on handling, and Moto Morini twins are famously enjoyable to hustle through the canyons, with a surprisingly sophisticated rubber belt-driven camshaft, Heron-heads, and a six-speed transmission. In 1977, many bikes made do with just four gears, and that six-speed would have been a very exotic selling point.

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Moto Morini 3½ for Sale

For sale is a red and black 1977 Moto Morini 3 1/2 has 8,499 miles that has been well-maintained. This Italian sports bike in a great original bike in good condition with matching numbers. This bike is all factory stock down to the twin factory pipes, paint and all of the informational stickers applied by Moto Morini. This bike has a V-Twin engine, 344cc motor and a 6 speed transmission. Carburetors were recently rebuilt.  It is a low maintenance bike.

The exterior is red and black paint with hand pin striping.  The paint is in excellent condition with just one minor ding in the right hand side of the gas tank by the seat.  The black leather seat is comfortable and in excellent condition with no rips or tears.

This is a great bike to commute on, or blast around on a curvy road, or as a sport tourer. It is a great original bike in good shape.

1977 Moto Morini 350 R Side Engine

With less than 10,000 miles on the odometer, this is a pretty clean little motorcycle. Bidding is up to $3,750.00 and is very active, with the reserve met. Values on Morinis have seen a rise in the past year or two, but they’re still incredible bargains, compared to basically any Ducati and most Guzzis. This 3½ is stylish, sophisticated, easy to maintain, and a great choice if you’re looking to buy a classic Italian motorcycle and want something just a little bit different.

-tad

1977 Moto Morini 350 R Side

Round-Case Roadster: 1974 Ducati GT750 for Sale

1974 Ducati GT750 L Front

The round-case Ducati 750 Sport and Super Sport get most of the attention, with their sexy looks and uncompromising riding positions. But the GT750 was actually the first roadgoing Ducati to use their famous L-twin engine and is a far more practical package, for riders that plan to spend more time riding than admiring their motorcycles.

1974 Ducati GT750 R Side

Introduced in 1971, the 748cc 90° twin is the beautiful, beating heart of the bike. Tower shafts and bevel-drive housings on the head suggest Ducati’s desmodromics, but unlike modern Ducatis, only the top-of-the-line Super Sports got the Desmo system, and the GT made do with simple valve springs.

I understand that modern performance and reliability come with the need for radiators, wires, and little black plastic boxes, but there’s something very appealing about the finned aluminum center of this beast. Visually, it dominates the bike in the best sense, and drips with a combination of engineering and craftsmanship. And with 60 claimed horsepower and lots of torque, it offers up plenty of real-world performance, even today.

1974 Ducati GT750 Tank Engine

This 1974 example would have been one of the very last bikes built before the switch to the less elegant square-case engines. There’s little performance difference, but purists prefer the more elegant round-case bikes, and it’s easy to see why.

1974 Ducati GT750 Throttle

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Ducati GT750 for Sale

For sale a 1974 Ducati GT750, this bike is a very clean rider in good condition with many rare hard to find items, I’ve owned this iconic Ducati for the past 7 years. The Kentucky title clean/clear in my name and in hand.

Motor was completely rebuilt by Saarland Ducati (Bevel specialist in Germany) in 2012 it has approximately 800 miles on the rebuild, during those 800 miles the bevels/shims clearances was checked for tolerance around 400-500 miles with no issues. 

Installed Dyna electronic ignition making this Beautiful bike more user rider friendly, the PHF 30’s cleaned last September 2015, new battery installed Dec 2015. Bike starts with a couple of kicks, idles and runs nicely and sounds great through the original Conti’s.

The hard to find parts:

  • Borrani’s rims 18″/19″ with new Metzler Lasertec tires (zero miles)
  • Aprilia dash, horn/hi-beam switch, headlight and fuse box, 
  • Original seat pan with a very nice reproduction seat cover
  • Tommaselli handbar and throttle assembly 
  • Marzocchi shocks
  • Ceriani forks
  • Original Conti exhaust system 
  • Dellorto PHF 30A carburetors 
  • Dyna electronic ignition 
  • Clean rust free tank, original steel side covers, the Burnt Orange paint’s in very nice condition and was done in 2008 
  • New battery
  • Rare side stand and center stand

Runs good with no issues

I’ve enjoyed this beautiful motorcycle for several years but, now its time to shift my collection and let someone else enjoy this fantastic bike.

1974 Ducati GT750 R Front

Bidding is up over $15,000 with very little time left on the auction, with a Buy It Now price of just under $20,000. Obviously, this bike’s days as “the affordable Bevel” are long past, but this particular example looks to have been well cared for by a enthusiast owner, and the GT750 offers up plenty of style, performance, and a dash of practicality.

-tad

1974 Ducati GT750 L Side

Burgundy Beauty: 1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport R Side Front

The original Moto Guzzi V7 Sport is one of our favorites, and it’s pretty easy to see why: while the modern café-racer and brat-style builders need to chop the living hell out of suspensions to get their creations to sit low, the V7 Sport had that look from the factory, and was one of the best-handling bikes of the era.

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Tank

In fact the bike’s frame was redesigned from the V700’s “loop-frame” to lower the bike’s CoG: the new design switched from a generator to a compact new alternator and relocated it from the top to the front of the engine to clear up space for the frame’s top rails. And the new frame fit so closely around the engine that detachable lower rails were included to facilitate servicing.

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side Rear

The engine was more evolutionary and less revolutionary: a punched-out version of the V700’s longitudinally-mounted, shaft drive twin, it featured a five-speed gearbox and the usual carburetor updates, along with highly-adjustable swan-neck clip-ons for a custom fit.

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Rear Suspension

As the seller indicates, the bike displaces more than the original 748cc’s. It’s pretty common to drop in larger pistons and different cranks from later versions of the bike, since it basically amounts to a factory big-bore kit. Cycle Garden is a SoCal-based Guzzi specialist and supplier of OEM and aftermarket parts, so it’s also reassuring to know that they’ve been involved: I’ve met a few Guzzi guys who speak highly of them.

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side Front

From the original eBay listing: Numbers-Matching Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

Restored numbers matching 1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport – Burgundy & Grey Foam.

Purchased from Moe at Newport CA Cycle Garden.

This is a 1998 restoration with 2002 miles on the odometer.  I have put less than 200 miles on the bike since I purchased it from Moe, and am selling it because I do not have enough time to ride.

Recently won “Best of Show” at the Go AZ Motorcycles antique bike show.  Trophy is included with the bike.

The bike is stunning as you will see from the pictures.  It runs perfectly, and has never given me a moment of trouble.  Starts immediately when engaged, and is very fast.

The bike has a European shift pattern (right shift, left brake), which makes it a little different from most newer Sports.

Moe added their 955 CC Big Bore Kit (T-3 Crank Shaft, 88 mm Pistons), new paint at the time of restoration, full wire harness, fuse panel, restored the dash, and added reproduction Silentium mufflers.

I have removed the bar mirror, but will include it with the sale.

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Cockpit

Helpfully included are a pair of videos that can be found here and here.

There are no takers yet at the $18,000 starting bid, with just a couple days left on the auction. I’m a bit surprised because, although that’s not cheap, it seems to be relatively in line with V7 Sport prices of late. Maybe the non-original internals are putting off prospective buyers? Probably, if I were restoring a V7, I’d stick with the original displacement, but many LeMans are running bigger engines and that doesn’t seem to affect their prices negatively. Is it the color that’s deterring bidders? It’s certainly a very flattering color for the bike, although maybe collectors are holding out for a green or black one…

-tad

1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport R Side

Bevel-Drive with an NCR-Prepped Engine: 1978 Ducati 900SS for Sale

1978 Ducati 900SS R Front

Looking like it’s sitting in God’s living room, this very nice bevel-drive Ducati 900SS apparently has an NCR-prepped engine, although the seller doesn’t detail exactly what that entails. Which would help, as that could mean just about anything, from a simple rebuild or blueprint, up to and including a barely-streetable race engine.

1978 Ducati 900SS R Engine

Introduced in 1975 and powered by an 864cc version of Ducati’s iconic bevel-drive engine, the bike was really their first attempt at a global-market bike: along with a quieter set of stock mufflers, the shift mechanism was significantly redesigned to make relocation to the left side of the bike less of a cobbled-together affair and improve the action for riders in the US market. By now, many 900SS bikes have had the stock pipes swapped out for a set of appropriately-loud Contis, as seen here.

1978 Ducati 900SS R Rear

Obviously a bit less desirable than the original “round-case” bevels that were introduced in 1974, the “square case” 900SS shared much of its DNA with the far more practical Darmah. But the sex appeal of that half-fairing and clip-on bars, along with the undeniable links to racing mean that these will always be the most desirable Ducatis of the period, barring actual race bikes.

1978 Ducati 900SS L Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Ducati 900SS for Sale

Original Ducati 900SS engine prepared by NCR with NCR specification, two owners up to now, all history known. Excellent condition, runs perfectly.
NOS Tank

  • Original Veglia Borletti racing rev counter
  • 40mm Dell’Orto carbs
  • Original Conti exhaust (not rechromed)
  • Marzocchi shock absorbers
  • CEV 177 headlight
  • Greek documentSeller great Ducati collector

1978 Ducati 900SS Tach

They say that “presentation is everything.” And it never ceases to amaze me to see auctions for high-end motorcycles where the seller hasn’t even bothered to haul their $30,000 motorcycles out of the back of the shed into the light to take a few quality pictures. So it’s always nice when someone makes the effort to really show off their pride and joy, especially when it’s a beautiful, black-and-gold Ducati 900SS. This one obviously needs a quick trip down a windy back road to clean off those rusty brake discs, and it’s not in perfect cosmetic condition, with some minor surface corrosion and pitting and general wear. But it looks well cared-for and the listing suggests that it’s ready to run, a very important consideration when you look at what a mechanical restoration would cost for a bike that’s been sitting.

Also: genuine Veglia white-faced racing tachometer!

-tad

1978 Ducati 900SS L Front

Ahead of Its Time: 1952 Vincent Black Shadow Series C for Sale

1952 Vincent Black Shadow R Side

One of the most iconic sportbikes of all time, the Vincent Black Shadow is blessed with a name that evokes powerful imagery, even if you’ve never actually seen one. I just sounds sinister, dangerous, and exotic and in the flesh, the bike is every bit what you’d expect. It’s hard to understand just how exotic and sophisticated Vincent motorcycles were at the time. The only bike in recent memory to combine so many advanced features into a single machine was probably John Britten’s V1000.

1952 Vincent Black Shadow Dash

The Black Shadow was basically frameless, with the steering head bolted directly to the front cylinder and the rear suspension working off the four-speed gearbox, which was operated by an adjustable foot-pedal in an era when tank-shifters were still the norm. Just the fact that it had a rear suspension was pretty unusual when the Series C Black Shadow was introduced in 1949…

At the front, the bike used a girder fork, as Phil Vincent disliked the flexible front forks available at the time. His “Girdraulic” [didn’t the Brits love their portmanteaus] should have worked fine in theory, but limited dampers of the time led to stories of dangerous handling that only fueled the legend.

1952 Vincent Black Shadow R Engine

The original 47.5° v-twin was a “plumber’s nightmare” of external oil lines, but the later 50° engine is one of the most beautiful motorcycle motivators of all time: the black-enameled engine cases that gave the Black Shadow its name are set off by contrasting bare-metal pushrod tubes. It’s compact and powerful, with 55hp and stump-pulling torque and unit construction that was yet another relatively exotic feature for the time.

1952 Vincent Black Shadow R Side Front

From the original eBay listing: 1952 Vincent Black Shadow Series C for Sale

This is a stunning machine that is currently registered and ridden.  We have been contracted by the owner to sell this bike from his private collection, and I have personally ridden this motorcycle and can vouch for it being a well maintained and spirited runner.  This bike has a clear Wyoming title and is being sold through our shop and we are a licensed and bonded Wyoming state motor vehicle dealer established in 1996.  This beauty comes with the original V.O.C. dating certificate and Vincent HRD works order form, engine check sheet, cycle check sheet, road test report, dispatch check sheet and completion note stating it was sold to the Indian Sales Corporation (Vincent’s licensed USA distributor) in June, 1952.  This has the original Smith’s MPH speedometer with 3,204 miles indicated.  The neck numbers and right/left case numbers are matched (exactly 1900 places off).  We have not been able to find the rear frame number stamp, and there is a small postage stamp sized area that we have removed the paint from on the lower left axle stay forging.

1952 Vincent Black Shadow L Engine

Considering the bike weighs in at 458lbs, it’s almost like we’re looking at the spec sheet for a modern motorcycle: the construction and performance are basically identical to almost any bike from the late sixties or early seventies, so you’re looking at a machine that was at least twenty years ahead of its time… This example is apparently well-used, a big bonus since barn-finds will require big money and a full-restoration to put right. Aside from the primitive brakes, these are bikes that can comfortably keep up with modern traffic, an impressive feat for a bike with roots in the 1930s.

-tad

1952 Vincent Black Shadow L Side