B 30 B
Having completed the ZZ bike and delivered it to its new owner from the Chicago area, we convinced ourselves that there is merit in the idea of doing three restorations, side-by-side. The choice of another ultimate remanufactured, electric start Black Shadow was a natural one. The "matching numbers" on this engine are "B 30 B". Frame numbers match the engine and each other. The first stop for this project was to send off the engine cases to our welder for a repair of a locating pin hole damaged somehow in the past. This has been done.
The UFM on this engine and the other two are going into the caustic tank to remove eons of engine dirt and sludge normally hiding in the very corners of these. To get this entirely out, we are using a handy new toy I got last year, the Baroscope. This is a flexible, camera-on-a-cable; fiber optics tool that lets us put the camera right down into the tank, around a bend where otherwise we just can't see. If we can't get out all of the "stuff" hiding there, we will cut a small window and directly take out the last sludge, if any exists. The window would be welded shut and it would go to the painter. This process will be done to all three projects to insure the ultimate in cleanliness which helps to determine engine life.
Plans are to build this strictly as per the catalogue and use components unavailable to lesser restorers, such as original, remade, Vincent hydraulic dampers, front and rear, original but remanufactured Vincent camshafts in the correct profile, Mk III, original and restored LUCAS KVF magnetos, Miller headlamp, Maestas saddle, electric start from M. Grosset in France with the proper original battery case filled with custom-made SPEED CELL Lithium Ion battery to spin the starter for much longer than before, assuring great electric starting. Components like wheel hubs, spoke flanges, suspension springs and much more have been straightened, welded, filed and more prior to having gone to our cadmium plater in Burbank or our chrome plater in the mid-west, our polisher here in Austin or one of our two painters. These items are done and back.
RED RAPIDE w/ BLACKNELL BULLET SIDECAR
Progress on the "outfit" is being made. The engine cases are back from the welder having had a screw hole crack repaired. The cases are heading for the polisher and should be spectacular when finished.
Touring items include the heavily valenced front and rear mudguard, the wider mudguard stays to fit over these, slightly smaller wheels for slightly fatter tires. Remember that originally, "touring" specs meant "export" or suitable for the colonies. That included the US. Indeed, the vast expanse of America and its roads meant that as opposed to Britain, which has comparatively small distances, the undertaking to create highways thousands of miles long meant stretching the budget. America simply had poorer roads for the most part than did England or most of Europe in the 1940's and 1950's. This is the reason that Harley Davidson and Indian motorcycles carried those huge fat tires and fenders-to provide protection to the rider including bumps, mud and sand. Today, these items provide us a good excuse to make a beautiful, red Vincent even redder.