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Café Godet

Bar's 'Tribute to Patrick' Vincent Project

Part 1
Update # 1 The Patrick Godet Engine Shows up
Update # 2 More Details on this Wonderful Engine
Update # 3 Offering Up The Egli Frame
Update # 4 Fitting the NOS Fritz Egli Racing Magnesium Front Forks
More updates Part 2
Update #1 - Engine Shows Up!

It all started when I asked my friend, Nicolas Durasoff, a fellow Vincent Collector, if he would ask his good friend, Patrick Godet, renowned Egli-Vincent manufacturer, if Patrick would supply me one of his new electric start 1330cc Vincent engines. Shortly afterward I received a call from this great man who said an astounding thing to me. Patrick told me he will not sell his engines as he only sells his complete bikes. However, he said he was a fan of my work so he would build an engine for me and would I like a magnesium one as he was casting the cases soon. I said yes and thanked him for this wonderful opportunity. We kept in contact and some months later he forwarded a video email attachment showing my new engine mounted in his test mule being run through the gears on his dyno in his workshop in France.

This was hugely exciting to me...

Patrick Godet 1330cc Vincent engine that Bar is installing

...and a month later the crated engine arrived in our driveway in Canada!

Bar Hodgson and Troy Scanga with the Vincent 1330 cc engine

I asked my good friend, Troy Scanga, to help me wrestle this jewel of an engine up onto the workbench so I could get started. In the background you can see bits and pieces of the special stuff I'd been stashing for this project, and that I was looking forward to installing for the mock up.

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Update # 2 - More Details on this Wonderful Engine

Vincent Godet 1330 cc engine on the hoist While we have this beautiful engine on the bench, I thought I'd take this opportunity to point out some of the things that make it such a truly unique engine. Legendary Egli-Vincent builder, Patrick Godet, built all his bikes at his workshop in France with very powerful engines that constantly evolved with his latest developments. The engine he built for me incorporated all of these advances and was in fact developed as the engine for his limited production run Black Lightning Replica project. The 1330cc 100hp magnesium electric start engine is meant to be street legal. It is as big as they come and is the only 1330cc magnesium electric-start engine Patrick built before his untimely death. The magnesium crankcases required altered special castings to accommodate the new electric starter feature positioned at the lower rear, behind the clutch. Patrick had also re-developed what became known in Vincent days of old as the Big Port Heads, requiring 1 & 7/16" Amal TT10 carbs. Back in the late 40s these were a special run, racing-only product, order placed by Phil Vincent to Amal and not available to the public. (In today's world a new-old-stock pair of Vincent factory big port heads with 1 & 7/16" TT10 carbs would be unfindable and, if found, very, very expensive.) So typical of Patrick, he made his own. Cast them, machined them and made all the various gubbins, because that is the only way he could get them for this engine. The engine runs an electronic ignition system firing NGK R CR6C plugs. It runs a 5-speed gearbox with a multi-plate clutch. It runs an upper cap breather system, mechanical tach drive and a 12-volt Alton alternator charging system.

The engine was assigned number F13MB/5C/17111 and the matching case numbers of BH M1; BH for Bar Hodgson, and M1 for Magnesium Engine #1.

One needs to appreciate that an engine like this does not come with an owner's manual or shop manual or descriptive list of components, and having already heard it run on the dyno I am most reluctant to do any exploratory disassembly! However, as I discover more revelations on this wonderful engine and its special components, I will happily publish updates.

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Update #3 - Offering Up The Egli Frame

Egli frame for the Vincent Godet project build by Bar Hodgson

After offering up the frame to the engine I took this photo... I find this a most compelling photo and studied it for some time to see if I could put into words why it is so compelling. The strong visual appeal of the large and powerful black Vincent engine design, combined with the obvious structural rigidity, elegance, lightness and minimalistic simplicity of the red Egli frame design just stops me dead in my tracks. When one considers that in the year 2020, in pursuit of high performance, we would still be eagerly combining this engine designed in the mid-40s with this frame designed specifically for this engine in the mid-60s it illustrates precisely the sheer brilliance of Phil Vincent/Phil Irving and Fritz Egli.

I could sit and look at this combination all day as it is simply a thing of beauty. Studying it at this stage it becomes evident that the sheer impact of these two great designs bolted together leave me feeling that this layout is 'fixed' and all additions further enhance the original design. Yes, one will choose what type of front end to put on, what wheels, brakes, bodywork and exhaust, but these are all only further 'details'.

Vincent Godet Egli frame full view from left side It was at this stage that I felt I had to make this bike a tribute to Patrick Godet and to deliberately draw attention to all these other 'details'. In my opinion Patrick did more than any other person to keep the flame going as he continued to improve the components of the Godet Egli Vincent while incorporating other enthusiasts' products such as alternators and electric starters, and through marketing the Egli Vincent by Godet for many years to an enthusiastic worldwide audience. Godet Motorcycles continues to market his products today.

The left side of the engine/frame combo is dominated by the Patrick Godet made 1 & 7/16" TT carbs and huge remote float bowls which fit the frame so well and top off Patrick's 100hp package quite nicely. The fitting of the top engine mounts into their mating top frame member mounts took a fair amount of hand filing and fitting, but now fit squarely and line up well with the bottom of the rear triangulated sections where the swingarm pivot shaft will pass through both sides of the frame, swingarm and engine, tying everything together in three points as a rigid unit just as Fritz Egli designed it to do.

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Fritz Egli NOS Magnesium front forks being fitted to the Godet Tribute Vincent build project Update #4 - Fitting the NOS Fritz Egli Racing Magnesium Front Forks

Through an American race tuner that I know, I was fortunate to locate the Fritz Egli forks that I'm using on this project.

These are probably the pinnacle of 70s and 80s old school forks technology, being relatively light and very rigid and able to handle the stresses and strain of big horsepower engines. More radical engineering from the creative mind of Fritz Egli with amazing visual appeal. 38mm fork tubes with magnesium triple trees and lower fork legs. Note the top magnesium yokes with the famous hollow castings, titanium fork stem and aluminium top bolt. The secret to the Egli forks' well-known rigidity is the two stainless steel tubes that pass through the top front and top rear of the magnesium fork legs, meaning the fork is boxed at 4 separate locations over its entire length to completely eliminate any fork flex.

I had taken these forks along with the Egli frame to my old friend John, proprietor of Connery's Custom Paint in Toronto. I told John that I needed a red that was 'right in your face' and he looked at me and stated, "I have got the 'reddest red' ever made", to which I replied, "That's the one I want!".

fork close up view for the Fritz Egli magnesium new old stock being fitted to this project bike by Bar Hodgson On the now mounted front end I'm using a set of mismatched Italian clip-ons until I decide which ones to buy, along with a set of Tommaselli rubber mounted headlight brackets that I had in my stockpile.

detail of the top of the Fritz Egli magnesium front end being assembled onto the Vincent Godet tribute project bike being build by Bar Hodgson There was a fair amount of small mods to install the Egli Racing front end, including machining up a couple of bearing spacers and a suitable for-street-use steering lock stop that had to fit without obstructing the Timkin bearing setup. After greasing with a quality grease my method of adjusting the bearings is to tighten them down deliberately overtight to eliminate any slack then back them off until the front end can just move freely from side to side with no drag and with no perceptible slack to be felt, then lock down the top yoke.

It has indeed been a privilege to work with this set of new old stock, genuine Fritz Egli Racing magnesium front forks, serial #340.

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Updates Part 2


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All photos by Hedy Hodgson unless otherwise noted.

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