Specialist frame builders hold a special place in the motorcycle industry and hobby. Names like Harris, Spondon, Seeley, Rickman, Moto Martin, and the inimitable Swiss engineer, Fritz Egli. Egli built his first frame reel in the vague handling of the Vincent V-Twin. He welded a tubular backbone rather than the bolted original for a far stiffer result and an adaptable one to all kinds of engine applications, from mid-century British singles to multi-cylinder Japanese superbike motors. However, the Egli chassis is most synonymous with the V-Twin from Stevenage.
After full development, Egli moved to other projects, but granted license to other builders, the best known of which is Frenchman Patrick Godet. At his small factory in Malaunay, just outside Rouen in Normandy, Godet built over 250 of his beautiful Vincent specials, and repaired/restored countless original Vincents and engines for owners around the world, with incredibly high standards. An ex-racer, he bought his first Vincent in 1974, and after some modifications and development work, taking the Black Shadow to Lightning spec, he turned to Egli to truly realize the potential of the great Vincent engine. On seeing the quality of Godet’s work, he became the only licensed manufacturer of the Egli frame, and the Godet-Egli-Vincent was born. The Godet-Egli-Vincents were built in a new factory by a team of six by 2006, and the waiting list for new machines was very long indeed.
The bike offered here, formerly of the Mike Taggart collection, is to Godet’s 1000cc Café Racer specification. In brief, Nikasil-coated aluminum cylinder liners; lead-free compatible valve seats; Mark II camshafts; multi-plate dry clutch; electric starter by Francois Grosset; 12-volt Alton alternator; electronic ignition; and Mikuni VM carburetors. The hand-made exhaust pipes and muffler are of stainless steel. The high standard of the build and the experience of the builder cures all the foibles of the original 1940s design.
The chassis’ main spine is fabricated from 100mm CDS with the smaller tubes made from the French equivalent of Reynolds 531, all TIG welded and nickel plated. Ceriani 35mm GP forks prop up the front end with Maxton shocks at the rear, while the brakes are Fontana 230mm magnesium four-leading-shoe at the front and Black Lightning type at the rear. Akront aluminum rims are laced to the hubs with stainless steel polished spokes, while the aluminum control levers are by Amal and the instruments by Smiths, the latter comprising a 5” Chronometric speedometer and 3” tachometer.
With only 585 miles on the odometer, the bike presents perfectly. On static display for practically its entire life, the motorcycle will need re-commissioning before returning to the most exhilarating of road rides.