British manufacturer Vincent Motorcycles, a firm which, in a long production run of 27 years from 1928 until 1955, produced some of the world’s fastest and most elegant production motorcycles, had the formula for fast and stylish. This 1952 Vincent Black Lightning was built by Jeff Decker and his uncle.
While it may well be one of the most desirable collector motorcycles in existence, it also generated some controversy. Based on a HVG (Harris Vincent Gallery) Chassis and driven by a 998 cc air cooled twin cylinder pushrod engine, this machine is capable of reaching a top speed of 150 mph (240 km/h).
Bikes such as this can bring well in excess of $150,000 on the auction block, but this one, customized to reflect Decker’s tastes, generated serious blowback from purists who say bikes like this should be restored to concours condition and not tampered with in terms of originality.
I, for one, do not agree. Motorcycles were made to ride, not serve as museum pieces, and this one looks imminently ride-able.