A 1330cc / 100-hp scrambler from THE Vincent specialists…
Patrick Godet was a modern master in the world of Vincent Motorcycles. In the 1970s and 1980s, he learned the mechanical art and intricacies of these legendary machines from men who’d worked at the Vincent factory, and he would work to keep the breed alive and well into the 21st century, garnering an astounding list of awards, accomplishments, and titles. In fact, such was Patrick’s reputation in the Vincent world, the legendary Fritz W. Egli solely authorized Godet Motorcycles to officially use the Egli-Vincent brand.
“Patrick made his own way but always in sync with the brand heritage. 45 years later his achievements are so vast that they entitled him to be one of the very few contemporary engineers who dedicated a lifetime to further the design of Vincent motorcycles.” –Philippe Guyony, Egli-Vincent.net
Sadly, Patrick passed away in 2018, but Godet Motorcycles has kept going strong thanks to the efforts of workshop manager François Guérin and a small team of Vincent / HRD specialists, who learned everything they know directly from Patrick. Vincent motorcycles come to them from all over the world for restoration, including the Jack Ehret 1951 Black Lightning that sold for $929,000 in 2018. They are THE Vincent specialists.
Godet MC is also heavily involved in racing, campaigning a Grey Flash in the French classic championship (10 wins in 10 races this year!), and Cameron Donald races one of their bikes for the MotoGallur Team in Australia. In addition, Godet will be returning to the Isle of Man next year, where one of their bikes already holds the Vincent lap record.
What’s more, the company produces the “Godet-Vincent” — a modernized Vincent with an Egli frame, magnesium Fontana brake replicas, and a 1330cc / 100-hp engine with an electric starter and their own cams, crank, cylinder heads, pistons — everything is manufactured in-house, right down to the castings. Models include the including the Sport GT and Café Racer, which has been called “the most exclusive and desirable Café Racer on the road” and a “worthy successor to the Black Lightning.”
The 1330cc Scrambler you see here was a special order from a customer, who wanted a scrambler with an Egli frame and Godet-Vincent engine. While workshop manager François admits that scramblers aren’t really their culture, they decided to move forward with the project, basing it largely on their Sport GT model. The result is not only stunning, but one hell of a ride:
“Some purists will hate this bike, but honestly, to open the gas on a 160kg scrambler, with that tires and a 100hp Vincent engine…. WOWWW….”
Below, we get the full details on Godet MC and this Scrambler project.
Vincent Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I’m François Guérin, workshop manager at Godet MC. We are four guys here, specialized in HRD and Vincent motorcycle restoration and building.
Godet MC was founded by Patrick Godet. He was known to be the reference in Vincent and the only man to have an agreement with Fritz Egli to build Egli-Vincent motorcycles. Patrick taught us everything he knew about these exceptional motorcycles. Since he passed away three years ago, we continue to run the business. Patrick’s partner is still here but we are free to manage the company.
So we only work on Vincent and HRD motorcycles — we restore a lot of bikes. Some of them are part of motorcycling history, such as the “Jack Ehret Black Lightning” or the last of three “Road Grey Flash” models. Bikes come here from all around the world to be restored.
Our second activity is to produce the “Godet-Vincent.” Egli frames are made here, as well as most of the parts for these bikes. We produce our own Fontana brake replicas, the engines are from us too. We make the castings, the machining of our Vincent engines. They are 1330cc, 100hp (compared to the original Vincent: 1000cc, 55hp) — we fit an electric starter, our camshafts, crankshafts, cylinder heads, pistons, etc….
The last activity of our workshop is to produce race bikes, of course, still with a Vincent Godet Engine. A 500cc monocylinder based on the Grey Flash engine, but with 58hp (34 for the original). We run in the French classic championship, 10 wins in 10 races this year.
One of our bikes is also running in Australia for the MotoGallur Team, and their famous pilot, Cameron Donald. They also win all their races.
We have been several times to the Isle Of Man TT, and one of our bikes has the record for a Vincent in the Tourist Trophy, piloted by Horst Sieger for the EMT team (they don’t like that we say it was with our bike, but it’s the case).
Next year, we will return to the Isle Of Man with a bike and our own team, with the objective to bring back the record for our company.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
No donor. Everything was made especially for this project, including the engine. We have two models available, the Sport GT and the Café Racer. This bike has a lot of common parts with the Sport GT. All our bikes are made after ordering.
• Why was this bike built?
It was a special commission from a customer. He had a large collection of classic bikes and cars. He decided to sell most of them because he couldn’t ride and drive them all. He wanted to conserve only a few bikes and cars. He decided to buy a Godet because he loves classic vehicles but didn’t want the inconveniences you can have with them, like oil leaks, difficulties to start etc….
Our bikes, especially the engines, have some internal modifications to avoid the problems you can have with a classic vehicle, with the objective to keep their character without the problems.
The customer didn’t want a classic Sport GT and asked us for a scrambler. It’s not really our culture, but we decided to make the bike he wanted. We had a lot of exchanges about that bike; he proposed a lot of things, we too, and with compromises from both sides, we arrived at the result you see.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Simple concept — make a scrambler with an Egli frame and a Vincent engine, keeping all the trimmings we have on our other bikes.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
It’s always something to ride a Vincent or an Egli Vincent. That engine is a part of motorcycle history. Some purists will hate this bike, but honestly, to open the gas on a 160kg scrambler, with that tires and a 100hp Vincent engine…. WOWWW….
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Not proud of something in particular, but proud to keep the business running.