BMW Motorrad Spezial

The “new” Vincent Black Shadow

Vincent Black Shadow
In October 2002, a press release made motorcycle enthusiasts around the world sit up with a jolt. It announced the return of Vincent, one of the most iconic names in motorcycling. At a palatial house in San Diego, self-made millionaire and long-time Vincent aficionado Barney Li whipped the covers off five prototype motorcycles: a ‘Phase 1’ machine based on the Black Lightning, and four modern interpretations—including the Black Shadow pictured above. The modern bikes were built by Roush: they had that distinctive, low-slung Vincent look, and there were neat touches throughout, such as the large vintage-style headlight hiding several projector-style beams. The engine was Honda’s RC51 fuel-injected V-Twin, pumping out around 136 horsepower, and the lure of the Vincent name was so strong that Honda was prepared to sell its engines to an American maker. But American investors were uncomfortable with the idea of a Japanese motor in a resurrected Vincent. And the 19-liter fuel tank forced the wheelbase out to 62.5 inches—the same as a Harley Dyna Super Glide. So Li took a breather, and scouted around for alternatives. In the midst of this search, he went out for a ride on the morning of Saturday 3 May, 2008. Out of sight of his riding buddies, he crashed on Highway 260 in Eastern Arizona and died as a result of his injuries. That was the end of the latest Vincent dream, and although the Vincent Motors website is still online, it’s little more than a memorial to what could have been.

  • Congrats on the anniversary! This has the be the BEST blog I’ve ever stumbled on. I tell everybody I know about it. Here’s to many more years and many more motorcycles.

  • A local guy owns one of those beauty’s! He has it at the Battle of the Brits every year. Quite a stunning bike!

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Ceolwulf

    Congrats on a great first year, and that’s a fine bike for the occasion!

  • congrats on the one year!!! :D you’ve made something special for all of us to enjoy, it’s much appreciated.

    sadly the new vincent never hit my buttons like the classic, it definitely had fun specs though! ;)

  • So sad.

  • Tom Bloss

    I love the look of the bike, and the thought of owning a “gentleman’s express”, nice ergos, not too sporty. Oh well, back to finding an nice Hinckley Bonneville…

    P.S. I love this site! Happy Birthday! The only way to make it better would be to have 2 (or more) pics a day!! :0)

  • bleeps

    Such an odd combination with the congratulatory comments and the news of this article. Might have been better to make a separate post of the anniversary news. It’s worthy of it.

    It’s so sad about Li. Looks like he had the right idea and the passion to bring back Vincent.

  • YJH

    bikers do not die

  • Hiwatt Scott

    Congrats on the anniversary!

    Sorry to hear the story about Li, but I have to be honest: That’s one of the ugliest bikes I’ve seen in a while. The front fork/ wheel assembly and the exhaust looks like it was photoshopped off another bike…badly. And no one is ever gonna take a Vincent seriously with a HONDA engine. I can’t believe the new Norton got all that flak on this site, and you follow it up with this! Bleh!

  • Ken Newton

    Congrats on 1 year, keep it up! Also. such a very sad story. Makes me think of Indian Larry…Could you do a tribute to his creations?

  • Congrats on One Year!! Keep up the awesome work!

  • Happy Birthday Chris
    Hope we’ll have “the” good story to share one day…

  • too bad for all of us in the motorcycling world, looks like we lost a chance to have a real work of art in the new vincent, the touring model was to die for on my list of uber bikes!

  • JWMA

    This is a great website!

    That bike looks like it has to take a poop.

  • Andy

    Happy birthday guys, awesome site!!! However, I think this Vincent is absolutely butt-ugly. No sign of grace or proportion, The oversize engine looks like it’s trying to escape from that hapazard mess of a frame, but is being sat on by a swollen formless melon of a gas tank.

    I don’t understand current MC design. With motors being so much more powerful now, why is nobody exploring the potential of using SMALLER engines in bikes?

  • Jimmy SawFinger

    My heart just skipped a beat when i looked at the bikes on the Vincent Motors website. I now lust After the Sport and the Touring : /

  • trent reker

    man. thanks for bringing me down. but somebody had to die if vincent was going to be powered by a honda motor. seriously. didn’t edgar cayce predict this?

  • trent reker

    oh yeah. woo! sorry.

  • Stewart

    Congratulations on your first year, a site I visit every day!
    Sorry, but this ‘Vincent’ Is awful!

  • PB

    honour to Vincent and who devoted his passion to it,
    but this one looks awful indeed! all the basic rules of esthetics forgotten! hilarious!
    happy aniversary!

  • Felicitaciones por el mejor blog de motos que jamas visité, es mi inspiración diaria. Happy aniversary! and keep the good work!!!

  • The Sport Tourer version is very cool.

  • Martin

    That bike is all wrong. Even if it wasnt so jacked up at the back the emissions reg exhausts need binning and the whole engine frame area is not ‘clean’. Compare it to the norton in the previous article whic is very right.

    Only one year old! Feels like an old friend already :)))))

  • Castrol ‘R’

    Vincent? Sorry, no it’s not. The only thing in common between this and the real thing is the colour. I would love a ‘Vinny’ engine just sitting on a table in the middle of the room because the Vincent engine is the most aestetically pleasing motors ever built, a beatiful, balanced design. The Honda engine, no matter how efficient and functional would look better in the dark! (I do think Honda have built some nice looking mills) Even Triumph made a better fist of it with details like the ‘timing cover’ giving a nod towards its heritage.
    Norvin/Vinton, Egli, Courage, would all turn my head, this just turns my stomach.No more than an excersise in ‘badging up’ not a re-birth. Ford did it with Jaguar, the ‘S’ type, a Mondeo with a body kit!