Build a Vincent Rapide A Twin

Vancouver motorcycle enthusiast Dan Smith built his own Vincent Rapide A Twin using modern methods.
By Motorcycle Classics staff
September/October 2012

Dan Smith built this Vincent A twin after helping Robert with his own restoration.
Photo by Robert Smith


Content Tools

Related Content

Our next issue

Ahh. Time to relax, get a cup of coffee, and put my feet up.

Andover Norton Commando Replacement Gearboxes

New stuff for old bikes: Andover Norton Replacement Gearboxes

Dad’s Leftovers: Niels Svanholm’s 1938 Nimbus

I grew up with Nimbus motorcycles. My father had brought three of them over from Denmark before I wa...

1948 Triumph Speed Twin

A 1948 Triumph Speed Twin on display with other classic motorcycles at the Barber Vintage Motorsport...

Want a Vincent Rapide A twin? You could try building one ... That’s what Vancouver resident Dan Smith did — though he also revised some features to suit his own preference and to take advantage of modern methods and materials. Helping Watson with the restoration of his Rapide gave Smith first-hand access to the A twin’s internals. Smith designed his crankshaft with two throws (spaced at 47 degrees) instead of one, to mimic the even firing of a parallel twin, but also to take advantage of improved primary balance forces. Custom engine cases were cast locally after several trips to the foundry to optimize the patterns, and then machined in Smith’s own basement shop. Smith’s iron-lined alloy cylinders and light alloy cylinder heads use a “bathtub” combustion chamber instead of Vincent’s hemi. “It used my equipment to the maximum,” Smith says, “especially machining the cases.”

Camshafts are to “MkII” Lightning spec. Smith cast his own carburetor bodies, then used internals from Amal 289s. Drive to the Burman gearbox is via a Yamaha clutch. Smith made his own frame to Vincent pattern but with larger diameter tubing where appropriate. He also re-tubed a set of Brampton forks and made his own aluminum brake drums with shrunk-in iron liners. The gas tank is a modified post-WWII Vincent item, and oil resides in a side-mounted oil tank made to mimic the A Twin’s toolbox.

The result is a heady mix of modern technology, traditional styling and the kind of upgrades that Vincent might well have made. Much, much more than a slavish copy, Smith’s Vincent Rapide A twin is an inventive and respectful homage to the genius of Philip Irving.

Read more about Watson’s Vincent Rapide A twin in Better Than One: The Legendary Vincent Series A Rapide.








Post a comment below.

 

WILLIAM DEMARAY
9/20/2012 2:30:06 PM
Now that is really meeting the definition of "building a bike". Machining cases in his own shop that were custom cast for him at a foundry. WOW, truly amazing. I would love to see an in depth story and pictures of this, perhaps even a book.


MY COMMUNITY
no image
jhutbeer
4/14/2014 9:35:30 PM
no image
900cc
4/12/2014 1:45:10 PM
no image
KEITHF
4/11/2014 4:29:22 PM
no image
900cc
4/10/2014 10:08:16 PM
no image
GTRider9
4/10/2014 8:35:40 PM
no image
KEITHF
4/10/2014 12:35:33 PM
no image
900cc
4/9/2014 7:12:15 PM






The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
 

Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $4.95 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $29.95 for a one year subscription!