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Vincent Motorcycles

If Rolls Royce had made motorcycles this is how they would have looked.

When Phillip Vincent purchased HRD from Earnest Humphries in 1928 for 450 pounds it is unlikely he could have imagined the reverence in which his machines would be held ninety years later.

The Vincent was ahead of its time in design with twin shock cantilever suspension and the engine forming an integral part of the frame. The Vincent is celebrated in song by Richard Thompson and immortalized in photography with Rollie Free’s 1948 near naked land speed record attempt being one of the most recognized motorcycle photos of the 20th century.

Return of the Cafe Racers - 21st Century Vincent Black Shadow

21st Century Vincent Black Shadow

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. The most beautiful engines ever made were the v-twins manufactured by Vincent Motorcycles. Drop-dead good looks aside Vincents were also groundbreaking performers. Take for example the 1948 Vincent Black Shadow. It held the title of world’s fastest production motorcycle after Roland ‘Rollie’…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Motorclassica 2012 motorcycle highlights

Motorclassica 2012 motorcycle highlights

What a weekend! First up was the 2012 Motorclassica at the Royal Exhibition Center in Melbourne with Luke from Fuel Magazine, then it was off to the Camperdown Cruise for a day filled with Hot Rods, Rockabillys and Rock n Roll with Jimmy from Oil Stained Brain. While the Camperdown Cruise is…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Bonneville Speed Week 2012 photos

Bonneville Speed Week 2012 photos

The 2012 Bonneville Speed Week is wrapping up for another year. Thankfully it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more coverage from the event this time round with the folks from Low Brow Customs, MegaDeluxe,  El Soltario MC and some Jalopy Journal members all in attendance. While we eagerly wait for…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Friday motorcycle movies

Friday motorcycle movies

I love Fridays. As beer o’clock draws closer (4pm) my concentration disintegrates and I begin my weekly ritual of trawling the web for custom motorcycle fodder to pass the remainder of my working week. For those of you who are suffering an office bound Friday afternoon like me, here’s some awesome motorcycle…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - JMC Norvin Cafe Racer

JMC Norvin Cafe Racer

Peas and gravy, spaghetti and meatballs, Sonny and Cher. It seems some things are just made to go together. Take the Norton featherbed frame for instance, arguably Norton’s greatest achievement, it was the frame that every Cafe Racer rider wanted in the fifties and is still highly regarded today; add to that one…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Motorcycle engine envy

Motorcycle engine envy

Since we’re already on the subject of beautiful things today, I thought I would share a few shots I have collected of some of the motorcycling worlds most beautifully engineered engines. These shots from workshops, garages and studios around the globe capture the personality within the formed alloy and hardened steel in the same way a…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - The Black Falcon by Falcon Motorcycles

The Black Falcon by Falcon Motorcycles

Falcon motorcycles latest custom motorcycle the Black Falcon has been revealed in a four-minute video by LA Times (see below). Once again Falcon has created a stunning custom motorcycle all built around one of the best looking (and performing) engines to ever be made, a 1952 Vincent Black Shadow. Their approach was…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Mods vs Rockers 2010

Mods vs Rockers 2010

Sunday the 7th of November was the date for this years Mods vs Rockers ride in Melbourne. It was my first time attending the event after moving to Melbourne from Perth and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I arrived at the South Brighton Baths expecting a group of 50 or so…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Classic Motorcycle engines

Classic Motorcycle engines

Here’s a few great videos from Youtube of a couple of truly classic engines firing up. The first is of course a Vincent motor that’s been rebuilt and is out of the frame. This engine will soon be transplanted in to a custom bike being built by the guys at Machine Shed.…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - The most beautiful engine of all – Vincent motorcycles

The most beautiful engine of all – Vincent motorcycles

Vincent motorcycles closed the doors of their factory in 1955 after only 27 years of production. It was a devastating end to the manufacturer that in 1948 had laid claim to producing the world’s fastest production bike, the Vincent Black Shadow.   Vincent motorcycles began using their own engines in 1936 after…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Norvin Cafe Racer

Norvin Cafe Racer

This would have to be my all time ultimate Cafe Racer. The combination of a Norton featherbed frame and a Vincent donk not only would be a hoot to ride but looks outstanding. You can see this Cafe Racer at the Barber vintage motorsports museum in Birmingham, Alabama. They have over 1200…

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