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Rollie Free Vincent Now at the National Motorcycle Museum

Rollie Free in his bathing suit

Photo from the Herb Harris Collection.

The prototype Vincent Black Lightning ridden by Rollie Free in 1948 across the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah, is now on display at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa.

The famous "bathing suit bike" will be on loan only until summer 2018.

Vincent Black Lightning ridden by Rollie Free

Many consider the image of Rollie Free in his bathing suit riding John Edgar's HRD Vincent one of the most famous motorcycle photographs ever. The story of Rollie tearing off his leathers and deciding to improve his personal streamlining with a bathing suit, bathing cap and tennis shoes is stuff that not even Hollywood can dream up! Vincent enthusiasts will recognize that this is the bike that gave rise to the slogan "The World's Fastest Standard Motorcycle" when it set a land speed record of 150.313 miles per hour.

The machine does not get shown often, mostly at west coast concours. The owner has graciously agreed to loan it out for a display at the National Motorcycle Museum as part of the Museum's current Streamliners exhibition.

Vincent Black Lightning

Vincent Black Lightning


Inside of the National Motorcycle Museum

The National Motorcycle Museum is located in Anamosa, near Cedar Rapids, Iowa. On display are over 480 motorcycles from all parts of the world, board track racers from the golden era of American board track racing and a 1920s service station plus bicycles, pedal cars and thousands of pieces of memorabilia.

Plan your visit to see the John Edgar Vincent at the Museum here.

Outside of the National Motorcycle Museum


2 NEW EXHIBITS OPENED SUMMER 2017

Dirt Riding USA display

Dirt Riding USA, presented by J&P Cycles. Fifty great trials, enduro and motocross bikes help trace the 1970s and '80s, glory days of dirt racing and off-road motorcycle design on display for a limited time.

Display of a barn find bike

Rusty, dusty and crusty motorcycles and parts, what might live in a barn near you. Come see what we have found and displayed.

Tommaselli Clip-On Handlebars

 

Better bars

In addition to a comprehensive stock of parts for Italian motorcycles including Ducati and Moto Guzzi, Stein-Dinse also keeps a huge selection of Italian-made accessories on hand like these adjustable Tommaselli clip-on handlebars. Available in a wide range of sizes to fit different fork tube diameters, and different styles including double- and triple-jointed clip-ons, Tommaselli bars are widely regarded as among the best in the business. Stein-Dinse also stocks Tommaselli grips, levers, switches and more. Price varies ($146.36 as shown). MC

Honda CB750 Reproduction Starter Clutches by Motorcycle Yamiya

Reproduction Honda starter clutch

Honda CB750 parts specialists Motorcycle Yamiya in Japan have announced the availability of their own reproduction one-way starter clutch for K series Honda CB750s. Factory replacements haven’t been available for some time, leaving owners to either rebuild their starter clutch or buy used. The all-new Yamiya unit is priced similar to the original Honda part when it was still available. Shipped without clutch rollers, caps and springs, which are still readily available. $133.51 (at time of publication; shipping approximately $22). MC

Carbmate Carburetor Synchronizer by MG Cycle

 

A better carb synchronizer

Moto Guzzi specialists MG Cycle have the latest version of the Carbmate electronic carburetor and throttle body synchronizer for synchronizing 2-cylinder engines. Extremely simple to use, the Carbmate features an easy-to-read “east-west” nine LED bar graph display showing relative intake vacuum on each cylinder, displaying the information as a single value for easier visual identification. A “zero” adjustment knob gives quick pre-calibration and calibration resolution is adjustable for finer tuning. Solid state construction, mercury free and liquid free. $115.92. MC

NUVIZ Head-Up Helmet Display

 

Head-up helmet display

If you’re looking to stay connected riding without having to take your eyes of the road check out the NUVIZ Head-Up Display. Designed specifically for motorcycle riders, the NUVIZ displays customizable information in the rider’s line of sight. Featuring an intuitive, eyes-on-the-road handlebar controller and built-in HD camera for both stills and video, the NUVIZ brings together the important functions of the rider’s navigation, communication and media devices, allowing the rider to stay connected, but not distracted. $699. MC

Moto Guzzi Alternator Conversion Kit by Scrambler Cycle

 

Moto Guzzi charging upgrade

Owners of Moto Guzzi V700, Ambassador, Eldorado and 850GTs looking for better electrical output and reliability have a new option thanks to Scrambler Cycle’s new generator to alternator conversion kit. The kit, which requires no engine modifications of any type, includes a 45 amp internally regulated alternator, a new belt and all necessary hardware. With NOS generators hard to find and rebuilt units often running up to $400, this is a cost-effective improvement for your old loop frame Guzzi. $260. MC

Big-Bore Yamaha XS650 Cylinder and Piston Kit by Mikes XS

 

Big-bore Yamaha XS650

Yamaha XS650 fans looking for more grunt out of their old twin should check out the big-bore cylinder and piston kit from Mikes XS. The cylinder casting features substantially larger cooling fins that extend out as far as the cylinder head fins for enhanced cooling, while the forged pistons feature MoS2-treated skirts, an oil channel for enhanced piston pin cooling and valve pockets for large valves. The lightweight 9:1 pistons weigh approximately 455 grams, or around 1 pound each. Fits 1974-1984 XS650 engines. $719.92. MC