"The Vincent Black Shadow is famous for a lot of reasons. Released in the late-40s, into an era of post-war austerity, it was groundbreaking, intimidating and fast enough to turn a pilot’s eyelids inside out. It made such "
Vincent, Hunter and Ruby
We all know that full face helmets are useful in a number of ways. Not only can they expose ones sculptural features to full view of the peeps on the side of the road as your growl past them, V-Twin burbling in a macho manner – but they can give a sense of rebellious derring-do.
Stylistic statements aside, we’re wondering whether the urge to look sexy is worth risking a full-on facial injury for. We know how the folk at Ruby feel.
Coming straight out of the 16th arrondissement rather than the badlands of New Mexico, Les Ateliers Ruby are purveyors of supremely refined bespoke helmets, scarves and other paraphernalia that tap into a strange European ‘cooling’ of things essentially American and greaser. The website is worthing checking out, just for the soundtrack.
Somewhere in the fashion world a residual ache for the inherent cool of motorcycles glows. Ruby offer a complete personalisation service. You can order your very own design rendered in beautiful carbon fibre, leather lined magnificence. You just need the Vincent. Problem is, to quote Hunter S Thompson the late, great godfather of Gonzo, if you met the nicest people on a Honda, on Vincent Black Shadows you met nutters.
“That is the attitude of the New Age superbike freak, and I am one of them. On some days they are about the most fun you can have with your clothes on. The Vincent just killed you a lot faster than a superbike will. A fool couldn’t ride the Vincent Black Shadow more than once, but a fool can ride a Ducati 900 many times, and it will always be bloodcurdling kind of fun. That is the Curse of Speed which has plagued me all my life. I am a slave to it. On my tombstone they will carve, “IT NEVER GOT FAST ENOUGH FOR ME.”
And therein lies the rub. The worlds of fashion and trend are far removed from the thigh burning, greasy reality of owning a classically brutal bike. That’s why, we suppose, hi tech superbikes make perfect sense. But gimme a 1952 Vincent any day.
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