WORDS: Alan Cathcart
PHOTO: Stephen Piper
It was 1955 when the last Vincent motorcycle rolled off the historic Stevenage, England, production line, but a variation of the firm’s iconic air-cooled, pushrod-driven, 50-degree V-twin is still being manufactured in Melbourne, Australia—and still winning races against modern Ducati and other V-twin superbikes.
Hardcore American roadrace fans will be familiar with Ken and Barry Horner’s “Irving Vincent” reproductions—named in tribute to Vincent HRD chief engineer Phil Irving. A four-valve, 1300cc Irving Vincent won the 2008 AHRMA Battle of the Twins event at Daytona, beating Doug Polen’s Ducati superbike in the process. The Horner brothers are preparing to return to Daytona in 2013, and have constructed this higher-revving, eight-valve, 1600cc version of the repop engine they have been building since 1999 to get the job done.
Producing 186 horsepower and a remarkable 142 lb.-ft. torque, the monster motor is mounted in an updated, stiffer version of the classic Vincent “frameless” chassis, with 3 liters of oil carried in a backbone above the cylinder heads. Riding on Ohlins suspension and PVM cast-magnesium wheels and fit with radially mounted AP brakes, the Irving Vincent has already been proven in Australian “post-classics” racing, where it is a serial winner. Next stop, Daytona, where the team hopes to repeat its previous success.