'Fear and Loathing' with a Stainless Steel shadow

'Fear and Loathing' with a Stainless Steel shadow

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Journalist Hunter S. Thompson once wrote "If you rode the Black Shadow at top speed for any length of time, you would almost certainly die. That is why there are not many life members of the Vincent Black Shadow Society." 

He also wrote, in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1970), that the Vincent Black Shadow could "outrun an F-86 jet fighter on the takeoff runway, but at the end, the F-86 would go airborne and the Vincent would not".

The Vincent Black Shadow was first introduced in February 1948, by Vincent H·R·D at their factory in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. The new model was an announced as having the impressive top speed of 125 mph, fasted than they Rapide already in production at 110mph. The Rapids had previously been advertised as "The world's fastest production motorcycle”. The Black Shadow used an air-cooled four-stroke 50° V-twin engine. At the time steel was in short supply and so with aluminium and stainless steel easier to come by, it was decided to use these where possible on the new Vincent.

Aluminium was used in places like mudguards and engine plates, whilst stainless steel was used for brake rods, banjo bolts, tommy-bar axles and in many other places.

When the Vincent was first exhibited at the 1948 Motorcycle Show at Earls Court, London, a journalist there reported that the Vincent Black Shadow was “a connoisseur’s machine: one with speed and acceleration far greater than any other standard motor cycle; and with unique and ingenious features which make it one of the outstanding designs of all time. So far as the standards of engine performance, handling and braking are concerned – the chief features which can make or mar an otherwise excellent mount – the mighty Black Shadow must be awarded 99 out of 100 marks: 99 because nothing, it is said, is perfect.”


The stainless steel on the Vincent Black Shadow still polishes up well to this day, which is incredible seeing as they were first produced in 1948. It just proves the longevity of the product and why it is perfect for many applications like our stainless steel worktops or stainless steel tables.

We had a dog once that would chase people on motorcycles. In the end we had to take the keys off him.