Paul Zell's Custom Vincent Special

Classic British motorcycle aficionado puts pieces together to form a one-of-a-kind custom Vincent motorcycle

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  • Paul Zell's custom Vincent Special
    Paul Zell's custom Vincent Special.
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • Gorgeous Borrani wheels and Grimeca drum brakes are perfect compliment to Zell's special, which also features Ohlins reservoir shocks
    Gorgeous Borrani wheels and Grimeca drum brakes are perfect compliment to Zell's special, which also features Ohlins reservoir shocks.
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • Paul Zell's custom Vincent Special
    Paul Zell's custom Vincent Special
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • Custom fabrication allowed Zell to adapt belt-drive technology to the Vincent engine
    Custom fabrication allowed Zell to adapt belt-drive technology to the Vincent engine.
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • Paul Zell's custom Vincent Special
    Paul Zell's custom Vincent Special
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • The beautiful Egli-style frame carries the Vincent engine as a stressed member, as did the original Vincent frame
    The beautiful Egli-style frame carries the Vincent engine as a stressed member, as did the original Vincent frame.
    Photo by Nick Cedar
  • The engine in Zell's Vincent Special may date back 50 years, but with close to 70hp on tap and only 380 pounds to haul around, its performance is anything but dated
    The engine in Zell's Vincent Special may date back 50 years, but with close to 70hp on tap and only 380 pounds to haul around, its performance is anything but dated.
    Photo by Nick Cedar

  • Paul Zell's custom Vincent Special
  • Gorgeous Borrani wheels and Grimeca drum brakes are perfect compliment to Zell's special, which also features Ohlins reservoir shocks
  • Paul Zell's custom Vincent Special
  • Custom fabrication allowed Zell to adapt belt-drive technology to the Vincent engine
  • Paul Zell's custom Vincent Special
  • The beautiful Egli-style frame carries the Vincent engine as a stressed member, as did the original Vincent frame
  • The engine in Zell's Vincent Special may date back 50 years, but with close to 70hp on tap and only 380 pounds to haul around, its performance is anything but dated

2005 Custom Vincent Special

Year produced: 2005
Claimed power: 70bhp @ 6,000rpm
Top speed: 125mph
Engine type: 998cc, two-valve, 50-degree V-twin
Weight: 171kg (380lb) dry
Price: Custom, not for sale

Paul Zell likes classic British motorcycles. And like many aficionados of old British bikes, he believes they can sometimes stand a little improvement. Case in point: his 2005 custom Vincent Special.

Classic Vincent motorcycles are unquestionably among the most charismatic of motorcycles. One of the few road-going British motorcycles that change hands at five-figure prices, they are also one of the few motorcycles from the Forties and Fifties that are comfortable at freeway speeds.

Since the Fifties, Vincents have been a magnet for "specials" builders who craft custom motorcycles with the aim of improving performance and handling. Typically, the specials builder shoehorns a hot engine into a light, good-handling chassis, and upgrades the suspension and brakes.

Paul Zell built his custom Vincent motorcycle in this tradition. With a unique combination of imagination, ingenuity and mechanical smarts, Zell builds custom motorcycles that draw small crowds — previous projects have included a streamlined sidecar with clamps for a folding wheelchair and a Velocette with an electric starter. He has just finished this custom Vincent special.



"The standard Vincent is nice for a touring machine," Zell explains. "The brakes and suspension could be improved for sport riding. I wanted a more aggressive chassis."

Ironically, the Vincent-HRD Co., Ltd., manufacturer of the Vincent, was started because Philip Vincent was disappointed in the suspension and brakes of the available two-wheelers, and wanted something better.

Russell_2
5/6/2010 7:46:19 PM

This definitely is a work of art in my eyes - one of the nicest looking and beat thought-out examples of the art I have ever seen.







November December Vintage Motorcycle Events

Blue Moon Cycle Euro Bike Swap Meet and Vintage Ride


Make plans for the 28th Annual Blue Moon Cycle Euro Bike Swap Meet on Saturday, Oct. 27, followed by the Blue Moon Cycle Vintage Ride on Sunday, Oct. 28!

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