A special thank you to Katherine Boyle from Bonhams for this one.
“VINNYLONGLEGS” TO BE AUCTIONED AT BONHAMS
NORTHUMBRIAN ENTHUSIAST TO SELL WHAT IS PROBABLY THE HIGHEST MILEAGE VINCENT MOTORCYCLE IN THE WORLD
Bonhams are to sell a truly unique motorcycle which has spectacularly covered over 1million kilometres at the hands of one careful owner. It will be auctioned at the International Motorcycle Show in Staffordshire on April 24th 2011 and has attracted a pre-sale estimate of £35,000 – £40,000.
Fondly nicknamed Vinnylonglegs, this 1955 Vincent Black Prince is probably one of the most travelled motorcycles in existence, having regularly toured Europe to notch up its staggering 721,703 miles.
Stuart and Vinnylonglegs in 1955 and the pair together in 2010
Northumbrian born Vincent enthusiast Stuart Jenkinson bought his new 998cc Black Prince from St. Andrew’s Motors in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1955. Since then he is the only person who has ever ridden it – with the sole exception, presumably, of the original works tester. Of the three Vincents he has owned it is undoubtedly his favourite.
For 25 years Stuart used Vinnylonglegs for riding to work and long distance touring holidays. In 1980 it became the lead motorcycle in his new business running guided motorcycle tours in Europe. The machine has been rebuilt three times and progressively developed to cope with challenging European tours through countries including Germany, Belgium, Austria, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Czechoslovakia, Montenegro, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Hungary and Greece. There have been more than 40 Greece tours of over 3,000 miles each, since 1962. On continental roads the machine has the ability to cruise all day at 100mph with a top speed in excess of 120mph.
Stuart comments, “As any long term owner of a bike or car will understand, selling Vinnylonglegs after 56 years and almost three quarters of a million miles is going to be a serious wrench. I’ll just have to make do now with the memories of all our wonderful trips.”
Modifications have included a re-designed front fairing, incorporating twin headlamps, and replacing the original upper frame with a stiffer box section Series C frame, while a four gallon Series C fuel tank now caters for the longer distance tour. Electrical equipment has been modified to provide greater safety and reliability, while disc brakes and Koni dampers provide both safety and riding comfort. The pannier frames carry two five gallon boxes while the shelf above normally carries a large army kit bag with full camping gear.
Ben Walker, Head of Motorcycles at Bonhams, comments, “Bonhams has a reputation for selling Vincent motorcycles, but this really is a remarkable example. Possibly the most well travelled Vincent ever made, I hope the new owner takes it over the 750,000 mile mark.”