Vincent, one of the legendary motorcycle marques of history, is to make a comeback in the hands of American entrepreneur Bernard Li.

Best recognised for its Black Shadow 1000cc V-twin, the new Vincent prototype shown at a small group of journalists earlier this week will bear many similarities to the bike which built the legend.

Though it will have many styling cues to the famous Black Shadow, the new machine will lack for nothing in comparison to the superbikes of today, and much of the black enamel of yesteryear has become carbon-fibre in the new guise. Most importantly, fashion will not need to yield to function, as Li has secured an OEM deal with American Honda, and the new range will be powered by no less than Honda's 2002 World Superbike championship-winning RC51 motor - also a 1000cc V-twin.

The original V-twin Vincent motor held the world land-speed record for motorcycles for over 20 years and was designed by Australian Phil Irving, whose career as an automotive engineer was as stellar as the Vincent name itself - Irving was later to design the Formula 1 engines which won several titles for another Aussie-legend, Jack Brabham.

Plans are for the bike to be available in showrooms in late 2004 with an anticipated price of US$20,000