Preface by Fritz Egli

With the preparation of this book, came numerous questions about my passion for the Vincent. How and why was I inspired to create a frame for that fantastic engine, details about my design choices, my successes in business, but also some failures such as my project to reproduce the Vincent engine in the 1970s. And, of course, the fact that many workshops have been manufacturing and selling unauthorized copies of my frames even today. In fact, dozens of questions and a lot of good memories, all wrapped up with intense feelings.

Everything started in 1953 when I met a Black Shadow for the first time while I was in the middle of my four-year apprenticeship as a precision mechanic in Zurich. I became the owner of this fabulous machine one and a half years later and fast forward, more than 60 years later, this Vincent is still my favorite bike utilizing the stock frame but with some improvements to the brakes and suspension

Today I ride it attached to a classic French Precision sidecar. I also recently upgraded my Shadow with a stunning Godet 1330cc engine delivering 98 horsepower. I cannot imagine a bike that could give me more pleasure considering I have had the privilege to build, ride and race many different dream motorcycles, all more attractive than the last. But this is the one. I started my riding experience with it and I will not separate from it for the rest of my life.

Fritz W. Egli

(Photo © Denis Boussard)

(Photo © Denis Boussard)

All the content of this website is subject to copyright – Philippe Guyony © 2015


Chapter 3

The original Egli-Vincent

Until the mid-1960s, all the attempts to improve the handling of the Vincent were either to adapt modern suspension and brakes to the existing frame, or, more radical, to install the Vincent power plant into a Norton chassis. Even Fritz Egli started this way, adding a telescopic fork to his Rapide in 1966. But Fritz’s frustration mounted and when he saw how much better a Manx handled in some portions of the same track he used, he decided to make his own brew, designing an all-new and innovative chassis during the winter of 1966-1967. As the Egli-Vincent won its first race in four of the Swiss hillclimb championships between 1968 and 1971, a track legend was born.

This chapter features the following main sections and 186 photos:

  • “Going my way”.
  • Buying a ton-up motorcycle in 1967.
  • Fame came only in 1968, corner after corner.
  • After racing success, sales kick off in 1968.
  • From 1969, the Egli-Vincent is raced competitively across the world.
  • An Egli or not an Egli? That is the question.
  • A visit to Fritz Egli’s shop in 1970 and 1979 (by David Minton).
  • The early days from a different perspective.
  • The motorcycle of a lifetime (by David Dunfey).
  • 1968-1973: Five transformational years for the industry.
  • From the mighty Vincent to explosive turbocharged four-banger.
  • Egli after Egli, with Alexander Frei.
Egli-Vincent 1000 built in 1968. (Photo © Jean-Francois Muguet)

Egli-Vincent 1000 built in 1968. (Photo © Jean-Francois Muguet)

All the content of this website is subject to copyright – Philippe Guyony © 2015