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Picture story: Rollie's difficult second

Published: 26 April 2016

Everyone knows the Rollie Free, nearly-naked-man-on-a-motorbike, speeding-across-Bonneville shot. Well, here's the less-well-known, difficult-second-album follow-up.

Two years later, Rollie returned to the flats, this time with a fully-enclosed Vincent Black Lightning that resembled nothing so much as a fat canoe. On this bike, Free suffered a potentially nasty crash while attempting to beat his own 1948 record, travelling around 5mph faster than his 150.313mph previous best.


But the salt flats failed to grind their way through the bike's turtle shell, and in typically unperturbed fashion, Free returned the next day to set a new US record of 156.58mph. It was the occasion for a lovely ad by the US importer, boasting that not only were these bikes record breakers, but 'Vincent prices are low'!



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