EV’s April fool of 2014 (1) was what I thought ‘a quite daring hoax’ as it featured Royal Enfield acquiring The Vincent and the HRD brands. Well, it turned out not to be that foolish as in the mean time the owner of Royal Enfield – Eicher Motor Limited (EML) – was in facts in negotiation to buy out the US trademarks for The Vincent and related brands (2) from the Vincent Motors LLC, a US company initially set up by Bernard Li.

If you are not familiar with the whole story (3), Bernard Li indeed attempted to revive the Vincent legend in the early 2000s and even built five prototypes using one Vincent (RTV) then four Honda RC51 engines, but his venture ended with his untimely and tragic death on a bike-touring trip.

As the US trademarks were being renewed in 2012, the owner of those issued from the historic Vincent Company (Stevenage, UK) filed an opposition and the case went to the US patent court for settlement. But the most interesting was yet to come as on June 2, 2014, EML asked the US patent court “to be substituted for Vincent Motors LLC in the case”. In the clear, the US trademarks for the Vincent, and related brands, had been acquired by the same mark owner as Royal Enfield.

Eventually, after over three years of procedurals, the US patent court ruled in disfavor of EML, taking away its dream to apply the famous golden scroll on its (undisclosed) future v-twin. So ended the very last attempt to revive the Vincent legend (4). Now it will be interesting to analyze what brand strategy EML will be adopting.

Philippe Guyony © 2016


[1] https://egli-vincent.net/2014/04/01/the-mythic-vincent-hrd-brand-and-royal-enfield-unified-under-the-same-banner/

[2] Vincent, HRD, Black Shadow and Black Lightning.

[3] https://egli-vincent.net/2013/12/31/the-vincent-motors-co-was-it-the-missed-opportunity/

[4] For the complete story, refer to the book Vincent Motorcycles – The Untold Story since 1946


4 thoughts

  1. Philippe . Have you read this ?


    That can’t be right . Isn’t the Vincent brand firmly in the hands of Irving Vincent worldwide and the Li family here in the US ? And sorry .. but thats the last thing the world of Vincent needs is for Eric Buell [ a genius engineer but a pathetically inept businessman ] reviving the Vincent or the Black Lightning moniker . Eeesh !

  2. This is true and documented with evidence from US court of law. I can provided all necessary document to the above statements. The Vincent and Vincent-HRD brands belongs to David M. Holder who also own Velocette and a few other brands. Li had registered the Vincent brand (and other derivative) in the US at a time when Holder owned the rights only in the UK. Since Holder’s rights have been extended to Europe (and maybe other countries but I don’t know this part). You can also guess that Holder/Eicher relation might not be the best as Eicher succeeded to ‘subtilize’ lawfully the Royal Enfield brand from Holder in UK court of law because Holder was not able to prove that the Royal enfield brand was still active. This was in 2000. For Vincent, it turned out to be different.

    1. Philippe . Methinks thou may of misunderstood me . Its the RideApart article and their claims that Eric Buell has the rights to the Black Lightening name because no-one else owns it or the Vincent moniker that I am questioning .. not your article good sir . I mean seriously .. would I be shelling out some $180 for your book this January if I had any doubts about your knowledge of Vincent and its history ? Suffice it to say .. I will .. [ be buying the book ] … and I don’t [ have any doubts about your historical knowledge and veracity when it comes to all things Vincent what so ever ]

      Rock On – Ride On – Remain Calm [ despite it all ] and by all means – Carry On

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s