Vincent HRD Black Lightning
The conventional excuse for fobbing off the Vincent connoisseur on your gift list—”The last real Vincent was built in 1955”—are obviated by the Harris Vincent Gallery. Company principal Herb Harris offers what he calls pur sang Vincents. Each bike that leaves the Gallery’s premises has been returned to showroom condition using either original, reconditioned original or carefully replicated components.
Experts in America and Europe collaborate to ensure that the finished product looks, sounds and rides exactly like what it is a historically correct Vincent.
Rollie Free on a Vincent HRD Black Lightning at the Bonneville Salt Flats. (Click image to enlarge)
The Gallery offers personalized service of an unusual kind. Not only is each Vincent supplied with a full tool kit and rider’s manual, but Harris takes pains to educate the new owner in proper operation and care of his machine. If the purchaser wishes to personally collect the bike from Harris, controls, pegs and the like will be adjusted for a custom fit.
Clearly, the amount of effort put into perfecting each Vincent is not inexpensive. For example, a Black Shadow currently nearing completion will be priced at $90,000. Considering the skill of the artisans involved, the cost of parts—authentic carburetors for a Black Shadow command $2,500 or more apiece, when found—and the sheer number of hours spent bringing each detail up to standards set by Harris, who is himself a noted collector of Vincents, such a sum proves itself reasonable.
Photographs by Basem Wasef. (Click left image to enlarge)
Certainly, the joy of riding a classic Vincent Black Shadow, Rapide or Black Lightning is as priceless as it is timeless. When combined with the comfort of knowing that an almost fanatical attention to detail has made such a machine reliable, and that if parts or service are required the Gallery is ready and more than capable of meeting the need, the experience is almost magical.