BMW Motorrad Spezial

Vincent Super Nero

Vincent motorcycle: George Brown's Super Nero
There’s an allure around the Vincent brand that few other marques can match. It’s a potent mix of history, effortless style and brutal power that many have tried to recapture, but failed. Most of the landmarks in Vincent history are well documented, but this muscular sprint bike was a new one to me. ‘Super Nero’ was built in the 1960s by a factory employee called George Brown, who’d already made a name for himself with his original Nero motorcycle—which broke the world standing-start kilometre record by clocking 108.735mph (175kph). To go one better, Brown installed a huge supercharger behind the engine of his next bike, and called it Super Nero. According to a magazine article reprinted on the MyVincent website, “A 2-inch SU carburettor feeds Super Nero’s supercharger, which was run at clutch speed to give a theoretical boost of 12.75 lbs [0.88 bar]. The 1500cc engine used standard Rapide touring cams, high lift rockers and a compression ratio of 8:1 compared to Nero’s 13:1.” I can just imagine the sound and fury. The output of Super Nero was reportedly 125 bhp, and in 1967 Brown piloted the bike you see in these pictures to a world standing-start mile record of 128.665mph (207kph). Best of all, the bikes survive: you can see both Nero and Super Nero in the National Motorcycle Museum in the UK.

Photo credits: cutaway image (above) via Le Container. George Brown launching Super Nero (below) from MyVincent. Next two images via Pete Crane. Final color shot from Paul Norman’s Racing Vincent. All sites worth visiting.

Vincent motorcycle: George Brown's Super NeroVincent motorcycle: George Brown's Super Nero
Vincent motorcycle: George Brown's Super Nero
Vincent motorcycle: George Brown's Super Nero

  • Matt

    Dear god. That is the most stunning bike ive ever seen. Even though its raw and purposeful, its beautiful. The massive rear wheel and supercharger, gap between seat and tank, carbie hanging off the side of the tank, and low and fat cowling. That is pure and unadulterated sex. Even the cutaway is so gorgeous I want to hang it on my wall…

  • Woody

    I like how the rear brake is just attached right to the drum.

  • Poor Young John

    I remember how the SU carb needed bigger jets than those available at the time. George’s solution? A quarter inch drill down the jet tube! He always said that Super Nero was the last bike to be on top which looked like a motorcycle.
    Alf Hagon would probably disagree. I believe that it drank a mix of methanol and nitro-methane at around about ¼mpg. Not a good carbon footprint!!!!

  • Pamberjack


  • WRXr

    Not the most beautiful machine out there, but a nice example of a period drag racer. Like the “cheesework”.

  • Koen

    Here is the translation of the dutch text in the 1st picture:
    This beautiful drawing ( which has been kindfully borrowed from “Motor Cycle News”) of George Brown’s 1147 cc Vincent Super Nero, shows us interesting details, like the chaindrive of the compressor and the application of a huge “Gas Plant”

    sweet bike

    kind regards

  • man…

    your post is the answer to something i was thinking about last week!


  • Sprint Fairings in the UK can still supply replica Vincent Nero sprintbike dustbin fairings – theoretically street legal

  • Graham

    interesting commets,but the best thing about super nero was the awsome noise, you have probabley heard harley drag bikes but this was something else especialey when George loaded it up with was a wonder to see and hear,if any one out there has found any film footage on any websites please drop me an email.

  • Mito

    Vincents and Velo’s have got something few bikes have, mechanical cred.

    Big GP amals help too.