Click to enlarge  


Country of Manufacture: England
Year: 1949/50
Vin #: Frame #: R3537, Engine #: F10AB/1/3212
Frame: Steel tubes with suspended engine,  This unique Vincent arrangement required that the front cylinder head be attached to the steering head casting which was connected to a long rectangular steel oil tank (running under the full length of the gas tank) which at the rear provided a pick-up point for the shock absorbers and also an attachment for the rear cylinder head.
   Front: Vincent Girdraulic forks with Armstrong dampers
   Rear:  Vincent triangulated fork with twin shock
          absorbers attached to the top of the rear sub frame           and located under the seat.
Wheels:  Alloy rims with spokes
    Front : 7” Twin ribbed drums with lightweight cast
          Elektron brake plates with air scoops
    Rear: 7” Twin ribbed  drums
Weight (dry): 380 lb (172kg)
Tank Capacity: 3 3/8 gal (UK) 15.25 Litres
Horsepower: HP 70 @ 5600 rpm
Gearbox:  AMC (Norton)  4speed (upgrade over original
    Vincent unit)
    Type: 4 stroke
    Cylinders: 2
    Displacement : 998 cc
    Compression Ratio: 9:1
    Ignition: Lucas Racing Magneto
    Clutch: AMC Multi plate
    Primary/Secondary Drive: Single row chain with
          Comet Sprocket
    Carburetors: Amal GP 32mm TT
    Exhaust System: 2 Straight cut exhaust pipes,
          no mufflers.
Top Speed: 150 mph

Production/History: Only 31 Black Lightning’s were factory built 1948-1955. Each was unique with custom variations.   With one possible exception, all were Series C  models. A few replicas have been built as it was still possible to obtain (at great expense) and modify the same original Rapide and Shadow parts that were used on the factory Lightning’s. This Lightning replica is a well known example and featured on page 166 of David Wright’s book “Vincents HRDs and the Isle of Man”. The most famous Black Lightning  is that of Rollie Free who set a 150 mph mile speed record in 1948 lying prone on his Lightning and wearing nothing but swim shorts, a bath cap and tennis shoes! Vincent bikes were the most expensive and prestigious motorcycles of the post war period.  However, like the luxurious Brough Superior of   pre war years before them, lack of capital and antiquated production facilities and their extraordinarily high prices during difficult post war years, led to their demise in 1955.  Over the life of the company (1928-1955), only 6645 twins and 4057 singles were built.   

Return to Top

Click to enlarge
Home     |     Car Gallery     |     Motorcycle Gallery     |     Cars for Sale     |    Parts for Sale    |     Contact
Click to enlarge