Falcon Motorcycles finally revealed their latest creation, the Black Falcon. It’s a hand built Vincent powered machine with perfect workmanship and incredible attention to detail wherever you look. The praise from all quarters has been lavish and practically automatic and I can’t find fault with any of it. The bike seems perfect from end to end, sculptured and polished hand adjustment knobs everywhere, one off pieces in every nook and cranny, it’s about as far as the six man build team working over a full year could take it. It’s art, it’s jewelry, it’s a tangible demonstration of the builders’ skills, it’s even functional with a top speed alleged to be in the 150 mph range, what more could anyone want? The bike is already sold, something I believe happened long before it was built, somewhat like the patrons of the renaissance who financed works and kept the artists and sculptors employed, so why am I having such a hard time forming an opinion about it?
Maybe the difficulty lies in wondering whether the Black Falcon is really a motorcycle at all. The owner may have every intention of riding it whenever possible, though my hunch is it will sit on display. There’s nothing wrong with that, I hang art on my walls, too, but this should be something more. Perhaps it needs to be ridden and proven as a motorcycle to show all of those exquisite pieces won’t break after 20 miles of bumps and vibration. They look plenty durable, but we may never know.
Restored and put on display after a year or two on the road would add to the credibility of what this bike represents. The original Vincents were ridden hard, raced, abused, rebuilt, restored and now find themselves objects of desire because of their proven ability to perform while looking good. The Vincent engine, to my eye, is one of the best looking motorcycle powerplants ever produced, and they still race them. Those low mileage vintage bikes everyone tries to find for their collection are pristine examples of the ones that were run until they expired. If a particular vintage motorcycle had never been proven in some way, would anyone want one now? Would it be a great motorcycle or just a curiosity?
The Spruce Goose, the enormous wooden flying boat built by Howard Hughes, barely lifted off from the water just one time and then never flew again. Was it ever really an airplane or merely a museum curiosity? Motorcycles like the Black Falcon, if never run but only put on display, run the risk of a similar fate and that would be a shame because this motorcycle seems very capable of being so much more. Dust and grime take nothing away from a beauty like this, they add value no one can bolt on in the workshop. Let’s hope some future photos show this bike on the road with the owner all smiles, bugs on the engine and dirt on the wheels. If he cleans it up and parks it afterwards, I think we’ll all understand.
Link: Falcon Motorcycles
Amaryllis Knight asked if I would include the video below in the post: