Godet’s Egli-Vincent Is an Incredible Improvement on a Legend

While the term ‘superbike’ has been applied to several motorcycles, the Vincent Black Shadow was one even before the word was invented. It set a world production-bike speed record in the 50s that took Kawasaki over 20 years to break. But while Vincent folded in 1955, the Black Shadow’s legend continued in the form of the Egli-Vincent. And there’s a special one currently up for sale on Bring a Trailer.

The Egli-Vincent is the Vincent Black Shadow reimagined

A black 1953 Vincent Black Shadow Series C
1953 Vincent Black Shadow Series C | Bring a Trailer

While the Vincent Black Shadow and its derivatives were undoubtedly fast, they weren’t without their flaws, Cycle World reports. Specifically, in regards to their handling. The motorcycles’ handling isn’t bad for the time, Cycle World reports. However, by the 1950s they were being out-paced by bikes from the likes of Norton, which had smaller engines but better chassis and suspension.

Enter Swiss engineer Fritz Egli, Hemmings explains. The Vincent Black Shadow’s original frame used boxed steel with all its components bolted on. Egli replaced that with a stiffer and stronger frame made of welded tubular steel. This frame could accommodate a wide variety of engines, Classic Avenue reports. And Egli designed a few frames around Japanese engines in the 70s, Silodrome reports. But the most well-known is the Egli-Vincent, with the Black Shadow’s 55-hp 998cc V-twin.

Although the Egli-Vincents used older engines, these bikes could and were genuinely competitive racers. Egli entered his bike in the 1968 Swiss Hill Climb Championship, and won every single race, Silodrome reports. With this victory came a flood of orders for similar Egli-Vincent models. So much so, that Egli himself couldn’t keep up.

Instead, he licensed the Egli-Vincent design to a number of other builders. One of those was Frenchman Patrick Godet. And one of his bikes is currently listed on Bring a Trailer.

What makes the Egli-Vincent by Godet listed on Bring a Trailer special?

A black-tanked 1968 Egli-Vincent by Godet
1968 Egli-Vincent by Godet | Bring a Trailer

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Patrick Godet got his first Vincent in 1974, and ever since then developed a reputation as a fan and restorer, Vintangent reports. And after he came into contact with an Egli-Vincent, he reached out to Egli for permission to reproduce the frame. Egli was so impressed by Godet’s work, he gave Godet license to reproduce the bikes on his own, Classic Avenue reports.

The 1968 Egli-Vincent by Godet's V-twin engine
1968 Egli-Vincent by Godet engine | Bring a Trailer

The seller of this 2009-built but 1968-registered Egli-Vincent by Godet equates the bike to one of Singer’s 911s, and the comparison isn’t far off. Unlike some other examples, this bike’s Vincent Black Shadow V-twin hasn’t been punched out to 1330cc, Silodrome reports. However, it does have upgraded carburetors and camshafts, as well as an electric starter and ignition.

The rear 3/4 view of a 1968 Egli-Vincent by Godet
1968 Egli-Vincent by Godet rear 3/4 | Bring a Trailer

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Godet made further touches to the Egli-Vincent besides the engine, though. The front drum brake is made of light-weight magnesium, Bonhams reports. The wheels are aluminum with stainless-steel spokes, and it has Ceriani GP-style front forks. With these tweaks, plus the TIG-welded steel frame, the bike is even lighter than the original. The Vincent Black Shadow weighed 425 pounds, Cycle World reports. An Egli-Vincent by Godet weighs 378 pounds, Bike Exif reports.

But if you want the Egli-Vincent by Godet listed on BaT, you’ll have to act fast. As of this writing, it’s listed at $66,666 with 3 days left in the auction.

Can you get one a different way?

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Sadly, Patrick Godet passed away in November 2018, Motorcycle Classics reports. But, while you can’t get an Egli-Vincent made by Godet himself anymore, his company, Godet Motorcycles, is still going strong. And you can get a bike just like the one listed on Bring a Trailer, only with a larger 100-hp 1330cc V-twin.

A black Godet Motorcycles Egli-Vincent Cafe Racer
Godet Motorcycles Egli-Vincent Cafe Racer | Godet Motorcycles

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However, given that the price is unlisted, it’ll likely cost more than $66,666. Though even at that price, the BaT bike is something of a bargain. In 2017 an Egli-Vincent by Godet sold for roughly $93,697 at an RM Sotheby’s auction. And in 2009, another sold at a Bonhams auction for $95,940. Interestingly, though, that’s actually less than the average price of an original Vincent Black Shadow on BaT.

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