Differing points of view on the Vincent Black Shadow

This guy is a little less colorful, and certainly finds the Vincent less abusive than Hunter Thompson did.

Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 (1973):

But first things first. We were talking about motorcycles. Jackson and I were out there in Ventura fucking around with a 750 Honda and an experimental prototype of the new Vincent — a 1000-cc brute that proved to be so awesomely fast that I didn't even have time to get scared of it before I found myself coming up on a highway stoplight at ninety miles an hour and then skidding halfway through the intersection with both wheel-brakes locked.

A genuinely hellish bike. Second gear peaks around 65 — cruising speed on the freeways — and third winds out somewhere between 95 and 100. I never got to fourth, which takes you up to 120 or so — and after that you shift into fifth.

Top speed is 140, more or less, depending on how the thing is tuned — but there is nowhere in Los Angeles County to run a bike like that. I managed to get it back from Ventura to McGovern's downtown headquarters hotel, staying mainly in second gear, but the vibration almost fused my wrist bones and boiling oil from the breather pipes turned my right foot completely black. Later, when I tried to start it up for another test-run, the backlash from the kick-starter almost broke my leg. For two days afterward I limped around with a golfball-sized blood-bruise in my right arch.

Later in the week I tried the bastard again, but it stalled on a ramp leading up to the Hollywood Freeway and I almost broke my hand when I exploded in a stupid, screaming rage and punched the gas tank. After that I locked it up and left it in the hotel parking lot — where it sat for many days with a MCGOVERN FOR PRESIDENT tag on the handlebars.

George never mentioned it, and when I suggested to Gary Hart that the Senator might like to take the machine out for a quick test-ride and some photos for the national press, I got almost exactly the same reaction that Mankiewicz laid on me in Florida when I suggested that McGovern could pick up a million or so votes by inviting the wire-service photographers to come out and snap him lounging around on the beach with a can of beer in his hand and wearing my Grateful Dead T-shirt.

Whom to believe?