With courtesy of author Denny Delzer, I reblog here the paper that he wrote a few years back when he was building his TPV-Vincent (Terry Prince frame). This story reinforces the fact that some Vincent specials have had several lives since they left the factory in stock condition. In this case it first became a NorVin, then was back into a Vincent frame as Dick Busby’s racer, to finally end up as a TPV-Vincent.

This article is dedicated to my great friend Dick Busby

TPV as Terry Prince Vincent
Egli-Vincent design but the frame is a TPV – as Terry Prince Vincent.

Dick has been a heavyweight in the Vincent arena for many a decade. He has befriended anyone who has had the pleasure of asking for advice. They don’t come any finer! Thanks, on behalf of the countless Vincenteers you have touched! Dick Busby snagged the 1000cc Rapide engine from Mike Parti. The engine at one time had been in a NorVin (Vinny engine in a Norton featherbed frame). It was built strong with 10:5/1’s, lightened valve train, two front series D flowed dual plugged heads, nasty cams, Amal Mk 2 carbs, Lucas-Rita electronic ignition. 

Before becoming a TPV, the engine was fitted in Dick Busby's special which kind of inspired Richard Thompson to write his song 'Black Lightning 1952' as it was featured in the centerfold of Thompson's album Rumor and Sigh
Before becoming a TPV, this Vincent engine was fitted in Dick Busby’s special which kind of inspired Richard Thompson to write his song Black Lightning 1952 as this bike was featured in the centerfold of his album Rumor and Sigh.

Dick proceeded to create his famous Vincent hot rod special, featured in Zachary Miller’s Illustrated Vincent Motorcycle Buyers Guide. Many a L.A. population are now deaf from Dick “getting it on” when he passed! Enter a lead for a Egli frame! Dick snagged another great find. A Fritz Egli (Switzerland) designed frame built by one of Fritz’s former employees, Terry Prince of Australia. She was an updated “Monoshock” (Spax 12 way adjustable) version mfg. around 1980. Super light (28#), nickel -plated then glass beaded. He dropped the compression to 8:0/1’s to tame her a touch for “Gore” gas we now have to live with. Changed to 34mm Mikuni flat slides. Laced up a pair of Sun rimless alloys so he could push her from one corner of the shop to the other for the next 4 years. 

Not the characteristic cantilever swing arm which is unique in the Egli-like design for the Vincent powerplant.
Note the characteristic and unique cantilever swing arm which was only offered by Terry Prince among all the Egli-like frames designed for the Vincent powerplant. Indeed Fritz Egli himself would use this solution only for his latest production with other engine brands.

I worked on him for a year before he got tired of me bugging him and finally, a new owner to finish her out. Much was done, much had to be done. Machined a rear axle for the Ducati cush rear hub, spaced the custom rear sprocket, modified a sporty chain guard, chopped a Triumph front fender for the rear fender, stashed all electronics, coils, regulator in the hump of the Bates seat, engineered the backset controls, came up with a sidestand mount (used Triumph stand), used two Honda K-1 kickstart levers with one weld (thanks Dick for the worlds only Vincent broach for the spline), she already had a new Ducati clutch installed, came up with a fuel tank mount, had a Vincent Black lightning Tach and Speedo made up from KTT Australia, Stainless Steel mount, modified a Harley front speedo drive, Brembo Clip ons, Yamaha 1100 5/8″ master cyl., and those wonderful bottom “Egli Racing” forks & yoke , truly a work of art, 50% magnesium, glass beaded and sealed with clear. The 38mm Cerriani front forks with spring so stout Jesse Ventura couldn’t compress them sized and replaced with progressive springs, made mounts for the dual GriMeCa calipers, ran stainless lines, SHE STOPS! The front fender is carbon fiber.

A specially fabricated stainless box for a small sealed battery & oil puke box are located under the battery tray. Battery charging current is supplied by a Jim McDougal “McDougalater” alternator, adapted from a Kubota Tractor. The headlamp is NOS Norton. The ignition was changed to a Boyer-Brandson unit. I could not get the Mikuni’s dialed in and went back to Amal Mk2’s. had air cone roll out custom short megaphones, THIS IS THE LOUDEST MEANEST SOUNDING BIKE ON THE PLANET! 

So, what’s it like to wrap you legs around a light,(370#), loud, fast, Vincent Egli thoroughbred? As close to Heaven as one can get!

Denny Delzer © 2000 (text and photos)

Naked frame - same short tail than the elli but different swing arm pivot (V shape) and the lack of the 2 oil see-through characteristic to Egli.
Naked frame – same short tail than the Egli frame but different swing arm pivots (V shape) and also a lack of the 2 oil see-through that characterize Egli frames.
Chest engine side
The engine on the chest side with details of the mono-shock.
Primary transmission side
Primary transmission side
Dashboard with ‘0’ miles for this 4th new life!
Vincent are extremely slim....
Vincent are extremely slim machines….
Cantilever and rear hub
Cantilever and rear hub
McDougalater alternator
McDougalater alternator – the Alton alternator was yet to be the standard for modern lighting on Vincents!




4 thoughts

  1. Very nice Vincent. I enjoy seeing “specials” here. Like many others, this one is full of creative solutions and good engineering.
    “Gore gas”, huh? Had no idea that he was in the fuel business. Or that the topic belonged in a Vincent story.

  2. I love what this bike became … but like Big Sid’s ‘ Rattler ‘ . which was later restored back to stock I seriously miss what they were even more . So much lost . Never to be repeated

  3. There isn’t a time that I don’t see an old bike that goes by that I don’t think about my good friend Dick Busby. I first met him at some tennis courts near where he lived. We played tennis for a little while before we found out we has motorcycles in common. We continued to play tennis all the way up until the time cancer took one of his eyes. But up until that time we would hang out at his house where he worked on his passion of Vincent motorcycles. If you have never had a true good friend, then Dick would be the perfect example to look for. When Dick returned to his passion after his eye loss, you would never know it had happened. We didn’t play tennis any more, but he still restored Vincent’s, worked on some on my bikes and continued to ride motorcycles together. You would never know he was missing an eye and he never made it known, only in jest if he brought it up. That’s all I can say now as there are many more memories of our friendship to talk about. Hey Dick, I hope to see you again some day. Keep my ride ready for me. Love Ya.

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