In 1948, Vincent launched a production version of its Black Lightning land speed record holder. It immediately claimed the title of “Fastest production motorcycle in the world”, but only 31 were built. They came with magnesium components to cut weight to 380 lb (170 kg) or so, plus race tires and rearsets. Vincent’s established 998 cc twin was beefed up with stronger connecting rods, larger inlet ports, race-spec carbs and a choice of compression ratios: you could choose between 6.8:1 and 12.5:1. Heady stuff, even today. Vincent Motors actually reappeared in 2002 with a reborn Black Shadow, powered by a Honda RC51 motor. But company founder Barney Li was killed in 2008: we may be waiting some time for the rightful return of Vincent.
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II | 1/160s | f/9.0 | ISO 100 | Focal length 120mm