While the UK Ton-up boys were modifying their British twins and single with pure performance in mind, on the other side of the Atlantic, bikers were having a different minimalistic approach to create bobbers: strip completely parts or accessories to lighten these heavy and slow big twins. This movement was subsequently followed by the choppers with their cut, stretched and recut frames and disproportionate long telescopic or spring forks. Everything seems to seclude these radically different UK ad US schools, except perhaps the Rock ’n Roll, at least in the 50-60s. If most of bobbers and choppers modifications were based on widely available Harley Davidson and Indian, numerous Vincent received the same treatment.

Unlike in the 50s to 70s, where the game was to identify a cheap donor bike and work it out, today the bike builders start from scratch with the willingness to make buzz for their parts business or workshop, like fashion designers would do. Because of its rarity and exclusiveness, the legendary Vincent came to mind for some of them to create the ultimate show bike; something really different than the popular Shovel, Panhead or later Harley mills. All have a different vision, miles away from the standard “little big twin” and the café racer we share the passion for. In this folder you will see bobbers, shoppers, Rat-bike, customs and pro-street, almost all the schools are represented here.

This “American corner” is also the opportunity to remind us THE missed opportunity for both Vincent and Indian: the Vindian and the Indian-Vincent, two prototypes which could have change the destiny of both brands. Unfortunately, Indian was already in deep financial trouble and never moved forward this project. We all now the story, Indian closed its doors in 1953 and Vincent in 1955.

Philippe Guyony © 2013

This is a probably the first chopper based on a Vincent Rapide engine; assembled in 1970 in the USA, pretty much at the same time that the Egli were assembled in Europe.
This is a probably the first chopper based on a Vincent Rapide engine; assembled in 1970 in the USA, pretty much at the same time that the Egli were assembled in Europe.
Various choppers straight from the 70s I bet that: - the top left corner is the first bike of this folder (green tank with Union Jack) and, - the bottom left is the second bike of this folder, although the front fork is different (previous slide). The bottom right is captioned "Dick Allen's Vincent chopper".
Various choppers straight from the 70s
I bet that:
– the top left corner is the first bike of this folder (green tank with Union Jack) and,
– the bottom left is the second bike of this folder, although the front fork is different (previous slide).
The bottom right is captioned “Dick Allen’s Vincent chopper”.
Another Chopper but this one look like a 1980 Japanese Custom "wannabe a Chopper", doesn't it?
Another Chopper but this one look like a 1980 Japanese Custom “wannabe a Chopper”, doesn’t it?
Interesting chopper, the picture is captioned “Norrtalje 1990”.
Interesting chopper, the picture is captioned “Norrtalje 1990”.
This bobber conversion is based on an Indian Frame and a Vincent engine, so technically this is a Vindian, however nothing to do with the original prototype assembled by the factory in 1948.
This bobber conversion is based on an Indian Frame and a Vincent engine, so technically this is a Vindian, however nothing to do with the original prototype assembled by the factory in 1948.
Bob Scharf and his 1954 customized Vincent Black Shadow during fall 1963. On this picture you can see the work done on the Girdraulic.
Bob Scharf and his 1954 customized Vincent Black Shadow during fall 1963. On this picture you can see the work done on the Girdraulic.
This 1949 Vincent Rapide was auctioned at Las Vegas in Jan 2013. At $66,000 it did not sell. The seller was asking for $80,000. The engine is stroked to 1200cc.  The catalogue mentions the following: “The Rapide has been a personal project for the seller for over 20 years and was recently completed in October 2013. The restoration was done with great attention to details and include parts from a rare Vincent Lightning and a Vincent Black Shadow. After restoration no fluids were added. No miles on the rebuilt engine. Overall the seller wanted to create the vision of the “Ultimate Café Racer”, this bike is the result! Sold with title guaranteed”
This 1949 Vincent Rapide was auctioned at Las Vegas in Jan 2013. At $66,000 it did not sell. The seller was asking for $80,000. The engine is stroked to 1200cc.
The catalogue mentions the following: “The Rapide has been a personal project for the seller for over 20 years and was recently completed in October 2013. The restoration was done with great attention to details and include parts from a rare Vincent Lightning and a Vincent Black Shadow. After restoration no fluids were added. No miles on the rebuilt engine. Overall the seller wanted to create the vision of the “Ultimate Café Racer”, this bike is the result! Sold with title guaranteed”
This 1952 Black Lightning belongs to Jeff Decker, this transformation is quite soft and did not altered the integrity of the bike especially the frame, so it can be reverted at any time to the stock condition.   This bike was sold $110,000 recently
This 1952 Black Lightning belongs to Jeff Decker, this transformation is quite soft and did not altered the integrity of the bike especially the frame, so it can be reverted at any time to the stock condition.
This bike was sold $110,000 recently
Vince “Nobody” Doll from Redneck Engineering built this bike in 2000 for Mike Marquart. Its nickname is "Curves" and it uses a 1951 Vincent Rapide engine that Steve Hamel workshop in Minneapolis contributed to restore.
Vince “Nobody” Doll from Redneck Engineering built this bike in 2000 for Mike Marquart. Its nickname is “Curves” and it uses a 1951 Vincent Rapide engine that Steve Hamel workshop in Minneapolis contributed to restore.
Later in 2007, Matt Hotch also tried the Vincent theme with this prostreet which went to Bonneville where this picture was taken.
Later in 2007, Matt Hotch also tried the Vincent theme with this prostreet which went to Bonneville where this picture was taken.
In 2012, the designer and fabricator Ian Barry presented this Black Falcon at Monterrey. You can refer to Mitch Talcove’s comment below. Mitch had the opportunity to visit Ian’s workshop and provide a few interesting details about the design of the bike.
In 2012, the designer and fabricator Ian Barry presented this Black Falcon at Monterrey. You can refer to Mitch Talcove’s comment below. Mitch had the opportunity to visit Ian’s workshop and provide a few interesting details about the design of the bike.
Another prostreet bike with stretched wheelbase.
Another prostreet bike with stretched wheelbase.
At the intersection of several schools, I would vote rather for the first one because the essential attributes of a RAT are in it:  1. "I don't give a sh-- to the aesthetic of my bike" 2. "I prefer to spend more time on the road than in my garage".  Anyway, this radical but reversible transformation triggers controversy but also respect for those who have a different opinion. This bike resides in Japan and is ridden daily by his owner John Krena.
At the intersection of several schools, I would vote rather for the first one because the essential attributes of a RAT are in it:
1. “I don’t give a sh– to the aesthetic of my bike”
2. “I prefer to spend more time on the road than in my garage”.
Anyway, this radical but reversible transformation triggers controversy but also respect for those who have a different opinion.
This bike resides in Japan and is ridden daily by his owner John Krena.
In the late 40s, Indian was struggling financially because of some severe errors of management. Having already started venture with Velocette and Royal Enfield, Indian management came with the idea to partner with Vincent and develop a more potent Chief capable to compete the new Harley Panhead. In 1948, Indian sent a rolling frame in England and Vincent installed a Rapide engine. Unfortunately Indian blew it and the project never went to production.
In the late 40s, Indian was struggling financially because of some severe errors of management. Having already started venture with Velocette and Royal Enfield, Indian management came with the idea to partner with Vincent and develop a more potent Chief capable to compete the new Harley Panhead. In 1948, Indian sent a rolling frame in England and Vincent installed a Rapide engine. Unfortunately Indian blew it and the project never went to production.
"No", this is not a “China Red” Rapide Touring, but the unique original prototype of the Indian-Vincent rebuilt and own by Phil Pilgrim. Indeed, Phil Vincent negotiated the distributorship agreement with Indian in 1947 and the factory was supposed to deliver 50 Vindian and 20 Indian-Vincent per week, however the order never came. This model is based on the touring version with crash bar, touring handlebar, right hand rear brake, left shift gear, Indian head on the fender and specific tail lamp.
“No”, this is not a “China Red” Rapide Touring, but the unique original prototype of the Indian-Vincent rebuilt and own by Phil Pilgrim. Indeed, Phil Vincent negotiated the distributorship agreement with Indian in 1947 and the factory was supposed to deliver 50 Vindian and 20 Indian-Vincent per week, however the order never came. This model is based on the touring version with crash bar, touring handlebar, right hand rear brake, left shift gear, Indian head on the fender and specific tail lamp.
As we have a good chunk of fans from Latin America, I provide the caption of this picture directly in Spanish: “Alberto “Chopper” Larroca, oriundo de Argentina, lleva construyendo choppers por todo el mundo desde los 17 años, BSA, Harley, HRD Vincent… son algunas de las bases que ha utilizado. Esta serie de fotos fue tomada por el “Chopper” durante la reunión que organiza la revista japonesa Vibes Magazine en Ishikawa.  El “Chopper” participo en la edición del 2007 en calidad de invitado por la revista.”
As we have a large group of fans from Latin America, I provide the caption of this picture directly in Spanish: “Alberto “Chopper” Larroca, oriundo de Argentina, lleva construyendo choppers por todo el mundo desde los 17 años, BSA, Harley, HRD Vincent… son algunas de las bases que ha utilizado. Esta serie de fotos fue tomada por el “Chopper” durante la reunión que organiza la revista japonesa Vibes Magazine en Ishikawa. El “Chopper” participo en la edición del 2007 en calidad de invitado por la revista.
Close to a Stock Vincent this frame has been definitely stretched a few inches (gap between the Girdraulic and the engine), so was the fuel tank.
Close to a Stock Vincent this frame has been definitely stretched a few inches (gap between the Girdraulic and the engine), so was the fuel tank.

Somebody helps, Star trek or Manga? I have no information concerning the origin of this bike.
Somebody helps, Star trek or Manga? I have no information concerning the origin of this bike.

More pictures on:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.532949270128590.1073741876.439034106186774&type=1&l=fa11abea15

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