1949 HRD Series C Comet

A Vincent by any other name, this HRD Series C Comet features a few upgrades to make it a more usable bike.


| May/June 2014


1949 HRD Series C Comet
Top Speed: 90 mph (claimed)
Engine: 499cc air-cooled OHV single, 84mm x 90mm bore and stroke, 7.3:1 compression ratio, 28hp @5,800 rpm
Weight (dry): 390lb (177kg)
Fuel Capacity/MPG: 4gal U.S./ 80mpg (est.)
Price then/now: £273 (approx. $1,007)/$20,000-$30,000

If it looks like a Vincent and sounds like a Vincent, it’s probably a Vincent, right?

Maybe yes, maybe no. Sometimes it’s an HRD. Most enthusiasts are familiar with the iconic V-twin Rapides, Black Shadows and Black Lightnings made by Vincent. Their recent meteoric rise in value has only added to their legendary status. The single-cylinder machines are less well-known, especially those sold under the HRD name.

HRD, Vincent and singles

Philip Conrad Vincent developed an interest in motorcycles at an early age. As a teenager, he designed and later patented a novel cantilevered rear suspension system. He built his first “Vincent Special” motorcycle in 1927 while studying engineering at the University of Cambridge in England and later convinced his father to help him establish his own motorcycle company. Philip’s father felt his son would be more successful bringing a machine to market with a recognized brand name rather than launching a new machine under his own name, which brings us to HRD.

Howard R. Davies founded HRD in 1924. Riding a machine of his own design, he went on to win the 1925 Isle of Man Senior TT. His company produced motorcycles for a few years, encountered financial problems and was liquidated in 1928. Later that year, Philip’s father purchased the rights from OK-Supreme to the defunct HRD name, tooling and patterns. Vincent-HRD was thus established with “HRD” displayed prominently on the new company’s products.

In 1931 Phil Vincent hired the brilliant Australian engineer Phil Irving as chief designer. Both Phils shared a profound passion for motorcycles and they worked together toward the common goal of producing high-performance motorcycles, built to a standard of uncompromising excellence, regardless of cost.

TimKern
5/22/2014 9:09:27 PM

28 horses, 400 pounds, 90mph? Hmmm. Still, the thing is gorgeous.






Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em Getaway

Classic Motorcycle Touring and Events.


The latest classic motorcycle events and tours.

LEARN MORE



The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle 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!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265