Vincent Black Flash: The dark brilliance of Fuller Moto
Bryan Fuller is one of those guys who can do magic on anything with wheels and tires. He’s a next-level builder who learned his skills with legends like the So-Cal Speed Shop and Chip Foose, and today he’s at the top of the custom tree in the United States.
Despite his regular work on television, he still uses the tools from his shop in Atlanta, Georgia, and he always aims higher. This amazing Vincent took three years to make, and it’s one of his most exciting builds to date.
“When I was first exposed to these original engines, I thought they were overrated,” Bryan tells us. “But after a few decades in the custom business, my view of Vincents has changed. These bikes are masterpieces that combine engineering, craftsmanship and speed, well ahead of their time.
The story of this build begins in 2019 when Fuller customer Shaun Lamb purchased a reproduction of the Vincent Series C 1000cc engine. He arranged for it to be shipped to the Fuller Moto shop.
Along with the engine, Bryan received “a nice stack of parts,” including a modern 12V charging system, electronic ignition, basic wiring and gauges, and electric start. “The parts list also included a reproduction of the Egli frame with the oil reservoir integrated into the top tube and a swingarm…with some mediocre shocks.”
“When the parts arrived, we took a full inventory and started the mock-up process,” says Bryan. “Shaun loved our ‘Misty Green’ Norton Commando from a few years ago, but the frame mockup just wasn’t ‘there’ for any of us.”
Bryan removed all the pieces that weren’t hitting the target and started redesigning the entire foundation. For starters, the rear frame area was too wide and bulky, and didn’t fit the tidy little tail section Bryan had in mind.
So he scrapped the rear oil tank tube and made a new Chromoly tube in its place. Fox shocks now suspend the rear.
Then he took Ducati’s Imola-style tank design and integrated it into a compact fairing. “It was a function of necessity; we wanted to get at least two gallons of gas capacity while still retaining the large, tubular oil tank.
The center parts of the tank and tail started life as a five-inch-wide strip of aluminum. Bryan then water-jetted a custom die for his Pullmax [metal shaping] machine to keep the shape consistent in the front and back.
“It’s a great way to start and keep the design consistent. The tail and seat came together pretty well after a few tweaks and tweaks.
Next is the stainless steel exhaust, which uses 1¾-inch tubing wrapped around a three-wheel roller to get the long nose-down parts. “The U-bends were then made on a mandrel bender and are assembled to create the rest.”
“It’s very tight in the head area, and as the head flanges are threaded, we had to be very careful that they didn’t strip. We made a special tap to chase the threads at some point.
The windshield is much higher technology. “The concept was to be able to look straight into the bike and see straight into the guts of the crown and headlight area,” says Bryan. Dallas-based 3D printer Adam Tulin took Bryan’s cardboard templates and made (as far as we know) the first printed motorcycle windshield.
“It took a few sample prints to get things dialed in,” Bryan notes. “Adam nailed the design, and we even integrated the factory headlight brackets into the print, which made assembly really easy.”
Shaun requested that a Smiths tachometer be fitted to the bike, to match the originals. Bryan didn’t get the unit in his hands until very late in the build, but a 2-inch roll of tape worked as a placeholder.
The birdcage stand uses lathe made bungs and a ¼ inch steel rod carefully bent into configuration. “There was a lot of back and forth adjusting, peeling, regluing and making sure every hole lined up perfectly. This screen is about as tight as you can get.
The brakes and triple shafts are reproduction magnesium units from Argentina, supplied by Shaun. “I was worried that the raw finish of the mag would look weird with this highly polished machine,” says Bryan. “So we powder coated and then painted the side plates to match the most visible parts.”
A trickier job was to print titanium oval intake runners and stacks. “Making custom intake tubes can take a while, and metal finishing is always a lengthy process,” says Bryan. “We printed several plastic mockups to get the positioning right.”
“Metallic printing is an amazing technology that we are using more and more on our projects. I haven’t found any impurities yet in the pile of parts we’ve made so far. »
After some extra finesse for the tank and fairing lines, Bryan sketched out the idea for the buttress seat cover with Fuller Moto staffer Cato. “We had an old leather jacket to use as seat material. I love how the design came together – I can’t remember seeing another like this.
The compact tail unit hides the electronics and a battery compartment, and Bryan has water-squirted a transparent “spear” that runs over the top and around the cylindrical taillight. It’s a transparent trick that adds a touch of magic in the dark.
As with all Fuller Moto projects, nearly all of the bindings on the Vincent have been replaced with ARP stainless steel 12-point bindings. (“This project was an even tougher trade than usual, due to the mix of Wentworth, Standard, and Metric thread sizes and patterns.”)
After a few years of intermittent work, everything was ready for painting and polishing. “Our in-house paint shop put together a flawless, killer matte black paint job. Chastin Brand came to help with the logos and stripes.
Bryan says the name “Black Flash” was an easy choice: “One of the few Vincent family names not used, as far as I know.
‘Black Flash’ has just wrapped up its US tour, and now it’s ready for a real shakedown. “I get chills thinking of driving down an open road, opening the throttle and seeing Smiths heading for the redline!” Brian said.
And who wouldn’t? Black Flash is as close to motorcycle art as it gets – and a brilliant homage to classic Egli cafe racers.
Motorcycle more complete | Facebook | Instagram | Images of Steve West