View Full Version : 85k for a motorcycle?

11-10-08, 12:50 AM
Say what you want about Harley’s holding their value, but some of those British bikes bring in some serious coin.

1952 Vincent Black Shadow (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Vincent-Black-Shadow_W0QQitemZ230305932983QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item230305932983&_trksid=p4506.c0.m245&_trkparms=65%3A3%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1308) You may have to log in since bidding has ended.

In his essay taken from Cycleworld Magazine called “Song of the Sausage Creature” Hunter S. Thompson does speak with some affection for the motorbike whilst comparing it to the Ducati 900, describing a bike that was definitely not for the faint hearted or shallow poseur:
“The Ducati 900 is so finely engineered and balanced and torqued that you can do 90 mph in fifth through a 35-mph zone and get away with it. The bike is not just fast -- it is extremely quick and responsive, and it will do amazing things.... It is a little like riding the original Vincent Black Shadow, which would outrun an F-86 jet fighter on the takeoff runway, but at the end, the F-86 would go airborne and the Vincent would not, and there was no point in trying to turn it. WHAMO! The Sausage Creature strikes again.
There is a fundamental difference, however, between the old Vincents and the new breed of superbikes. If you rode the Black Shadow at top speed for any length of time, you would almost certainly die. That is why there are not many life members of the Vincent Black Shadow Society. The Vincent was like a bullet that went straight; the Ducati is like the magic bullet that went sideways and hit JFK and the Governor of Texas at the same time”.

That being said, it takes some big balls to pull this off.

The famous picture of Rollie Free stretched out in only a bathing suit on a Vincent is not in fact a Black Shadow but a Black Lightning. The Black Lightning was a custom order from the factory and was some 100 pounds lighter and 25 hp more powerful than the stock Black Shadow. In one of his books, Phil Irving (the designer) said that there were only about 16 of the model produced. The Black Lightning is the fastest Vincent ever produced.
As for the famous "bathing suit bike" picture, it is of Rollie Free, an American, riding on the Bonneville Salt Flats on 13 September 1948. Free was determined to break the land speed record in the "Flying Mile." His first pass hit 148 mph (238 km/h), which broke the record, but Free was determined to break 150. Noticing that his riding leathers had started to come apart at the seams from the force of the wind, Free borrowed a bathing suit, cap, and a pair of tennis shoes and laid down on the bike. With the decreased drag, Free broke 150 mph, topping out at 150.313 mph (241.905 km/h), breaking his record of only a few moments before. That bike, also known as the "John Edgar Lightning" after its sponsor, is currently in the private collection of Herb Harris of Austin, Texas.


11-10-08, 02:53 PM
What is there like only a few left?

For 85k you could get a nice custom bike.

11-10-08, 06:25 PM
I have no clue why so few are left. Probably because the company closed down and time and age have gotten to the bikes.

85K would buy you a nice bike. I had no clue the British bikes were commanding so much money.

11-16-08, 10:39 AM
2 miles!

Quite the interesting engine to look at...including the pipes.

11-18-08, 06:19 PM
for that much money i would buy a ducati desmosedici rr, which is basically a 200 hp street legal moto gp bike.

12-18-08, 03:53 AM
what the hell is that guy doing on that bike?