by Matthew Biberman,
Sid Biberman fell in love with motorcycles growing up in Norfolk Virginia. A favourite hangout was the local motorcycle shop where he would gaze longingly at the assorted machines for sale or in for repair, and read the motorcycling magazines scattered about. He craved speed and power, and the freedom those represented, so it didn’t take him long to be drawn to the Vincent, arguably the most powerful motorcycle of the day. And when, in 1948, Rollie Free set a new world record of 150.313 mph for unstreamlined and unsupercharged bikes he was truly hooked.
Fast forward through many years of Vincent ownership and repairs to other owners’ bikes. Big Sid Biberman was the “go to” guy when it came to repairing and refurbishing Vincent motorcycles. But then, Big Sid’s fortunes turned. A serious heart attack, a failing marriage, and financial woes all sapped his will to live. That’s when his son, Matthew, suggested they build Big Sid’s dream bike, a Vincati.
This is the story of Big Sid, son Matthew, and a dream they brought to life. It wasn’t an easy road and the project nearly got derailed on several occasions, but they overcame many obstacles, not least of which was their own somewhat dysfunctional relationship, to make the Vincati a reality.
Almost as a back story to the main narrative, the book provides a fascinating window into the world of vintage motorcycle ownership. Anyone who has been involved in such a community (I’ve dabbled on the fringes) will recognise many of the characters and relationships that develop between people who are passionate about and focused on a single marque – especially one as limited as the Vincent.
Big Sid’s Vincati was a very good read. Recommended.