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.