The Vincent Comet was designed and built at the Vincent works in Great North Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England. It was one of four 499 cc single models. As well as the sports Comet, Vincent produced a TT racing model, the Comet Special (a TT model with lights) and the standard Vincent Meteor which shared many of the same cycle parts.
The Vincent Series C Comet is the most numerous and most widely available of all single-cylinder Vincent motorcycles. The number built is generally quoted at 3,971. Introduced in 1948 and priced at £240, the Series C Comet was built upon an engine architecture that had been conceived 14 years earlier and which formed the basis of all subsequent motorcycles originating from the Stevenage, Hertfordshire based firm.
Depending on whose version of history you accept, the Comet platform was either created jointly by company founder, Phil Vincent (1908-1979) and Chief Engineer, Phil Irving (1903 - 1992), or was designed solely by Phil Irving.
Certainly much of the fundamental motive-power thinking was that of Irving's, a cool-headed and pragmatic Australian motorcycle engineer who had travelled to Great Britain in 1930 to develop and market his ideas.
But Philip Conrad Vincent (PCV) was nevertheless a shrewd businessman and a forward-thinking motorcycle designer who knew what he wanted and had a plan to get there. And that plan had two central tenets: Build the best, and make the best better.
It's inconceivable therefore that PCV had little or no input into the engine that was to underpin his company's fortunes. Or lack thereof.
Vincent Comet C specifications
Engine and transmission
Engine: 998cc, 45hp, compression ratio 6.7:1
Bore and Stroke 84x90mm.
Twin cylinder, OHV, air-cooled, enclosed push-rod operated valves.
Cast iron cylinder liner shrunk into finned alumunim alloy cylinder jacket.
Lubrication: Dry sump, double acting rotary plunger pump.
Petrol capacity: 3 3/4 gallons, pressed steel tank, twin taps. Dropped rear of tank to catch water or dirt.
Oil Capacity: 6 pints, oil tank forms upper frame member.
Brakes: Four internal expanding.
Suspension: Hydraulically damped front and rear.
Saddle: Feridax Dunlopillo dual seat
Instruments: chronometric speed, 120mph.
Maximum speed: 116mph.