Home / Uncategorized / vintage(ish) bike of the day: 1951 vincent black shadow chopper

vintage(ish) bike of the day: 1951 vincent black shadow chopper

this might not be news to you, but i’ve had these images for over four years and i dig this bike because it’s a vincent black shadow, so here it is:

it was built by redneck engineering (with a redneck website from probably 1995). photos by michael lichter.

build specs:
name: 1951 vincent black shadow, “curves”
frame specs: mono-shock curved backbone using engine as stressed member
rake: 50 degrees
gas tank: handmade custom by redneck
rear fender: handmade custom by redneck
front end: tubular springer custom built to yeild 4″ of trail
engine: 1951 vincent black shadow 1000cc dual carburetor v-twin
transmission and primary: vincent
exhaust: handmade custom by redneck
wheels and tires: two 3.5″ x 18″ wheels by weld forged wire, 150/70-18 tires by avon

she’s also for sale. “80 grand or best offer.” i know that’s a lot and maybe if you had 70k laying around she could be yours. i figured it would be over 100k. it’s a vincent black shadow chopper with a monoshock suspension and four inches of trail. with that tight trail and suspension, she’s a rider!

i’d paint the wheels black and give her perimeter brake rotors. yeah…

After Miami the calendar shows a bit of rest on the political front – but not for me: I have to come back out to California and ride that ******* fiendish Vincent Black Shadow again, for the road tests. The original plan was to deal with the beast in my off-hours during the California primary coverage, but serious problems developed.

Ten days before the election – with McGovern apparently so far ahead that most of the press people were looking for ways to avoid covering the final week – I drove out to Ventura, a satellite town just north of L.A. in the San Fernando Valley, to pick up the ****** and use it to cover the rest of the primary. Greg Jackson, an ABC correspondent who used to race motorcycles, went along with me. We were both curious about this machine. Chris Bunche, editor of Choppers magazine, said it was so fast and terrible that it made the extremely fast Honda 750 seem like a harmless toy.

This proved to be absolutely true. I rode a factory-demo Honda for a while, just to get the feel of being back on a serious road-runner again… and it seemed just fine: very quick, very powerful, very easy in the hands, one-touch electric starter. A very civilized machine, in all, and I might even be tempted to buy one if I didn’t have the same gut distaste for Hondas that the American Honda management has for Rolling Stone. They don’t like the image. “You meet the nicest people on a Honda,” they say – but according to a letter from American Honda to the Rolling Stone ad manager, none of these nicest people have much stomach for a magazine like the Stone.

Which is probably just as well; because if you’re a safe, happy, nice, young Republican you probably don’t want to read about things like dope, rock music and politics anyway. You want to stick with Time, and for weekend recreation do a bit of the laid-back street-cruising on your big fast Honda 750. . . maybe burn a Sportster or a Triumph here or there, just for the fun of it: But nothing serious, because when you start that kind of thing you don’t meet many nice people.

Jesus! Another tangent, and right up front, this time – the whole lead, in fact, completely f***ed.

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  1. 80K for a bike…guess they are not seeing Big Dog and OCC fail… the 80K choppers are not a hot market item any more.

  2. except this is not an “american v-twin” that the guys you mention “made.”

    when was the last time you priced a vincent of any sort? they START at 50k. a working vincent black shadow engine in half-assed condition alone, without a bike, is 10k at least. to find the guys that work on them and make them run? they cost hundreds of dollars an hour.

    shops like chabott and falcon still make 80k+ bikes and make a living just fine. the difference is their bikes are not manufactured, they’re crafted one by one, and they’re different, not copies of the same ****** design over and over with gobs of gaudy chrome, or in occ’s case, corporate sponsored cake decorations.

    matt hotch built a black shadow chop a few years ago. same price. a radical chopper such as this for 80k (or best offer), once you know the worth of a black shadow, is not too much to ask.

    as much as this site is dedicated to the affordable metric bob, chop and cafe, it does not exclude the occasional dream bike or builder. there are still rich people, and one of them will buy that bike one day.

    finally, comparing a vincent to anything from big dog or occ is like comparing dom pérignon to asti spumante.

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