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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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.

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.

Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em Getaway

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