The best motorcykle ever

And a very

good year

A friend has stated that a genuine collector of cars should have a representative car of his own vintage!

A motorcycle the same vintage as myself would be a worthy final to a "collection".
A Harley or an Indian from 1947? - It was a long time gone since they ceased building great machines!

It would have to be a Vincent!
I read up on the subject and found that about 200 of the revered marque would have been produced in my year, and most of them were supposed to be exported to Argentine! I searched for one for three years before an ad came up from "Atlantic Motorcycle" on their usual last colour page of the British magazine "the Classic Motorcycle". A 1947 HRD Vincent, listed for 4500 UK pounds!

I rotated for an hour, and then phoned Atlantic.

" -What was wrong with the bike?"

"-      wrong wheel stripe colour, 6" headlamp, Lucas generator, two monoblocs,

-      a modern wet clutch modification some other newer parts, - but a strong runner and genuine number 17, documents of being registered at April the first in 1947!"

As close as one could possibly get!

A very good price, a fair and honest description, and then a long conversation with the gentle master of the house.It was a friday afternoon. A 1947 Vincent!

I then managed to get a bank loan, and an agreement on express payment to England during the weekend, outside of bank opening hours. Raised money, bought and paid the bike before I had the time to hesitate or rethink....

first year in Norway
Ten days thereafter I managed to get a ticket on a boat going from Oslo to Harwich and "Atlantic" kindly accepted to drive the bike there in a van..... I brought riding gear for me and my son and planned on a tour around Essex on the day we and the boat were staying in Harwich.
first year in NorwayAn october storm hit the boat, we were four hours delayed and Atlantic had to go back home. They left the bike with a forwarder for safe keeping, customs handling and the delivery. Going on export the motorcycle had to be kept in an enclosure and we were only allowed to look at it from a distance through a fence, riding gear in hand. I just about managed to track down the clerk who had "taken care of" the blue British (V-5) Swansea documents of the bike "for me". We had to walk in Harwich for four hours instead of riding. On board the boat again the sailors understood my agony and kindly let me sit beside the well tied down bike on the cargo deck for comfort as long as my ten year old junior accepted it.

The year after, 1987, saw the price explotion on Vincents and my wife got more mild when I spoke of it. I have managed to track down most missing or wrong parts. I ride it a lot, have even done so on gentle British country roads (although in Yorkshire ) . We have done a lot together already, old Blackie and I
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