I really like motorbike journeys. My associates and I all lead busy lives, so when somebody suggests a weekend getaway and the celebs align, all of us bounce on the likelihood. The vacation spot for this escape was Jurien Bay, a small fishing city 220km north of Perth.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t the seashores or the marine life that attracted us to Jurien Bay. It was a motorbike assortment. Extra precisely, it was a group of among the rarest and most sought-after machines on the earth. We had been going to Jurien Bay to see Vincent bikes.
In 1928, Phil Vincent took the ashes of what was HRD Bikes (HRD had been the initials of the enterprise proprietor, Howard Raymond Davies) and began Vincent HRD. Constructing on the engineering successes of HRD (not the monetary ones) Vincent continued in HRD’s stead, constructing the whole lot themselves besides the engine.
That modified in 1934 with the event of the Vincent HRD 500cc single-cylinder, their first foray into the darkish arts of engine manufacturing. These singles are simply recognised by their distinctive form and the now-iconic Vincent engine castings. Consider them as half a Vincent V-Twin, which is kind of actually what they’re.
In the future in 1936, Vincent engineer Phil Irving observed two Vincent 500cc engine drawings laid out on high of one another in a V-formation. Irving, a fellow Australian, is similar bloke who propelled Jack Brabham’s RB620 Components One automotive to victory within the 1966 Drivers and Constructors Championship.
Suffice to say, even earlier than Components One success, Irving knew a factor or two about engines. He was impressed and drew up the brand new design inside an elongated Vincent body. Phil Vincent was so impressed that just a few weeks later, the very first Vincent V-Twin was delivered to life. As of late it takes a motorbike firm not weeks or months, however years, to design a brand new engine.
The creation of this new engine format would change the corporate perpetually. That first V-twin discovered within the Collection-A Rapide could be improved through the years—essentially the most notable change (in my primary opinion) could be the unit building and inner oil traces discovered from Collection B onwards. That is the engine form most individuals affiliate with the legendary model.
Hitting the Street
Packing for an in a single day resort keep is simple—all I wanted was a change of garments, toiletries and digicam gear. With the bag on the bike, I cinched down the final strap, clicked my SW-Motech tank bag into place, and opened the storage door. Exterior was a fantastically sunny Autumn day. The journey was off to an excellent begin.
I hit the street on my Moto Guzzi V85TT with a full tank and no one to attend for. I travelled away from Perth, heading north on Tonkin Freeway earlier than heading east at Bullsbrook. When planning the route in Rever the evening earlier than, I observed that including a scenic detour via the Chittering Valley would solely set me again 20 minutes. Chittering Valley Street is certainly one of my favourites, so the small funding in time paid dividends.
Massive sections of the street had been badly deteriorated, and had I been on my classically-styled Moto Guzzi V7, I might have ended up like a James Bond martini—shaken, not stirred. Fortunately, I used to be driving my new V85TT (which is by no means a restaurant racer), and the suspension on the large Guzzi soaked up the pockmarked floor effortlessly.
Even higher was the dearth of site visitors. I used to be alone within the valley for nearly an hour with not a single automotive in entrance or behind me.
The solar was shining and the surroundings was bliss, but when I used to be to make it to Jurien in time, I needed to get on with it. After a quick brunch cease at Bindoon Bakehouse, I continued in direction of the coast earlier than making my approach north. All in all, it was a reasonably uneventful journey up the coast, and I made good time attending to Jurien. The gas vary on the V85TT is kind of astounding—with a 23L gas tank, I often hit 500km between bowsers.
Rolling into city, the Rever app directing me in direction of the Jurien Bay Resort, I pulled up, checked in, and dropped my bag in my room. A couple of minutes later, I used to be parked on the driveway of an unassuming home that was not dissimilar to these round it. Nevertheless, to these within the know, I used to be on the place that Ian Boyd calls dwelling.
The Ian Boyd Assortment
Ian is a retired crayfisherman turned collector and purveyor of all issues Vincent. A collector in each sense of the phrase, his assortment is huge however targeted. Making your approach via the storage (and depositing a donation within the field on the wall), you’re greeted by a sight that makes all however the hardiest of classic motorbike followers weak on the knees. That is the most important private assortment of Vincent Bikes on the earth. There are over 40 Vincents jam-packed right into a purpose-built showroom built-in into Ian’s three-bedroom dwelling.
Ian has the whole lot Vincent—early 500cc Meteors and Comets, early HRD Vincents full with JAP engines, Collection-A via D Rapides, Black Shadows, Black Lightnings, a fully-faired Black Prince and Black Knight, and the listing goes on.
It doesn’t cease at bikes, both. Ian’s assortment is so inclusive that he has some bizarre and wacky experimental gadgets that Vincent produced earlier than shutting its doorways in December 1955. There’s a light-weight Vincent Picador plane engine, numerous small engines that had been designed to be fitted to bicycles, and even a two-stroke marine engine. It’s this sort of factor that actually makes Ian’s assortment an genuine Vincent expertise.
Throughout our time within the showroom, I requested Ian why he selected Vincent. Merely put, he was in search of one thing he might do in his retirement and received into the marque by shopping for an outdated Vincent speedway bike from Tom McQuade. Ian restored the McQuade bike and nonetheless has it to at the present time.
Throughout this restoration venture, he met a Vincent knowledgeable by the title of David Bowen, who was dwelling in South Australia till he handed away in 2021. Bowen began as an apprentice on the Vincent manufacturing unit in 1949—alongside John Surtees, no much less. Ian described how a lot David helped him via the restoration course of and the way issues snowballed. Over time, Ian would purchase and restore (with Bowen’s assist) numerous Vincents and add them to the gathering.
My favorite? That is very troublesome. A high contender is Ian’s Black Lightning, which is mainly a stripped-down, light-weight Black Shadow. The Black Lightning additionally held the title of the world’s quickest motorbike for 35 years. The 240km/h report set in 1949 by a Vincent—a British, hand-made V-twin motorbike constructed by women and men in a shed—was solely overwhelmed by 3km/h in 1984 by the 4-cylinder Kawasaki GPZ900R Ninja. It’s a incontrovertible fact that’s virtually unbelievable.
The earlier report was held for 22 years by the Brough Superior SS100 Pendine at 180km/h. No different motorbike in historical past has held this report for longer than Vincent, and it’s doubtless that no motorbike ever will.
With the solar getting low within the sky and one other group of individuals arriving, we mentioned our goodbyes and thanked Ian for internet hosting us. Exiting via the storage, passing an Egli-Vincent Comet on the workbench, I mirrored on how Ian has devoted many years of his life to motorcycling. The quantity of pleasure his passion brings folks is awe-inspiring.
Though I’ve solely touched on the Vincents, there’s something for everybody in Ian’s assortment—from an E-Sort Jaguar and Cooper race automotive to a slew of different classic and basic bikes.
Most machines come and go all through our lives, however there are others which have simple presence and a endurance. They develop into household heirlooms, handed down via generations. Folks grasp on to them, restore them, preserve them going, and genuinely love them. Arguably, even in comparison with Brough Superior, there isn’t any different motorbike marque in historical past extra alluring than Vincent. It’s because of folks like Ian Boyd that we nonetheless get to expertise the legend that’s the Vincent Motorbike.