Home WORLD Vincent HRD Rapide B 1948 998cc 2 Cylinder Starting Up

Vincent HRD Rapide B 1948 998cc 2 Cylinder Starting Up


When Vincent resumed production at the war’s end it was with the all-new Series B. Its rear suspension aside, the pre-war Series A Vincent-HRD had been conventional enough: tubular steel frame, girder forks, separate gearbox, etc but with the Series B Messrs Vincent and Irving effectively established the marque’s reputation for the defiance of convention in the pursuit of engineering excellence.

source/image(PrtSc): classic-motorcycle.com

For a start there was no ‘frame’ as such, merely a fabricated box attached to the cylinder heads, that served as the oil tank and incorporated the headstock and the attachment point for the rear springs. The gearbox was integral with the engine, and the swinging arm pivoted directly in the engine/gearbox casings, features commonplace today but unusual 60 years ago.

Only in his retention of the pre-war Brampton girder fork did Phillip Vincent appear to be lagging behind other manufacturers, almost all of which had switched to telescopics, but this apparent shortcoming would soon be addressed by the introduction of the famous ‘Girdraulic’ fork. Introduced in 1946, the Vincent-HRD Rapide Series B was immediately the fastest production motorcycle on sale anywhere, with a top speed of 177kmh.


The basic design clearly had even greater potential though, which would be realised later in the form of the Black Shadow and Black Lightning models.It has been despatched to Atlantic Motorcycles in the USA on 19th May 1948. This power bike from the 1940s runs fine and is in well maintained condition./classic-motorcycle.com

  • Manufacturer: HRD
  • Model: Rapide B
  • Year: 1948
  • Displacement: 998 cc
  • Cylinder: 2 / V-twin
  • Engine type: 4-stroke / ohv
  • Bore / Stroke: 84 x 90 mm
  • Power: 45hp @ 5.500 rpm
  • Weight: 206 kg
  • Top Speed: 177 km/h
  • Production years: 1946 – 1950
  • Units: 1.847
  • Frame number: R2628
  • Engine number: F10AB/1/920
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