The Original Superbike – 1950 Vincent Black Shadow

In England, Sport by AbhiLeave a Comment

Post-Sale Update: After 30 bids, this Vincent Black Shadow sold on eBay for an incredible $87,674!

The Vincent Black Shadow needs no introduction for motorcycle fans. For many, the essence of this bike is tied to a single photograph – Rollie Free breaking the American motorcycle land speed record in 1948 on the Bonneville Salt Flats:

Vincent Black Shadow - Rollie Free Record Run

The fastest motorcycle of the day, it was considered to be the world’s first superbike. To oversimplify, a Black Shadow is a blueprinted version of the original Vincent Rapide. You got bigger carbs, a higher compression ratio, hotter camshafts, and a lower first gear to help acceleration off the line. The “Black” aspect of the name comes from the paint job. In an era when highly polished chrome was the default, the enamel black was menacing and distinctive. Less than 1,700 Black Shadows were ever produced – even rarer were the White Shadows, which were the same bikes but with an aluminum finish. Less than 20 White Shadows were ever made.

Vincent Black Shadow - Left Side

Despite the fact that the Vincent Black Shadow was full of technological innovations, it was quite easier to maintain than its contemporaries. We try to keep prices reasonable on Bike-urious, but bikes like this will always deserve the exception. Want to learn more? Jay Leno wrote up a lovely feature on his personal Black Shadow here on Popular Mechanics.

“If you rode the Black Shadow at top speed for any length of time, you would almost certainly die.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Vincent Black Shadow - Gauges

This specific Vincent Black Shadow has been owned by the current seller for about 11 years, who has covered over 3,000 miles and has done a great job trying to keep it cosmetically original. Plenty of work has been done over the years, though it’d be best to go straight to the listing for details. A well restored Shadow sold at auction for $77,900 4 years ago, so we’ll be very curious to see how this auction ends up.

Vincent Black Shadow - Engine

Find this Vincent Black Shadow here on eBay with bidding at $70,800 (and the reserve not yet met!) in Phoenix, Arizona.

Vincent Black Shadow - Gauges2