custom revolution



From Los Angeles, CA, USA


THE BLACK - Header Image

Among the designers building new-generation customs, none rose as quickly into superstardom, nor any quite so high, as Ian Barry and his LA Falcon Motorcycles team. The execution of each Falcon is so detailed as to beggar belief. The “Black” began as a basket case 1950 Vincent Black Shadow, a machine of legendary performance that’s also been called a “collection of engineering solutions in search of a problem.” Designer Philip Vincent loved incorporating hand-adjustable details, and these quirky gadgets make Vincents unique. Ian Barry reimagined the Vincents’ adjustability for the 21st century, incorporating even more hand-adjustable components. Each compact engineering solution carries the whiff of genius, as well as being an object of striking beauty. That Falcon’s parts are also superior in function to a Vincents is atypical in the world of customs, where form usually follows fashion.

The list of work done on the “Black” is staggering. The chassis was completely fabricated by Falcon (barring a single frame lug to retain the stamped ID,) and the frame, forks, brakes, tanks, handlebars, controls, seat, mudguards, etc, were all handmade. Redesigning parts involved a host of novel problems, like integrating the routing of two brake cables (from the new twin-sided front racing brake) and an internal-scroll throttle assembly into a 7/8” diameter handlebar. The humble handlebar clamps are a poem to function; they control both the rotation of the handlebars and the position of their risers on the fork yoke (to alter bar height). Each part is held on tapers that are cinched together and locked with a serrated-head bolt, the cap of which is the very wrench used to adjust it; it looks like a dragonfly’s wing and is held in place with a circlip. Ian Barry invented this system, and many others on the “Black,” each of which is equally elegant in engineering, and beautiful in execution. Unless you’ve watched these parts being adjusted, and had their use explained, you’d never know the magic of their existence. This is motorcycling on the level of Mozart, but only ten people on the planet have seen it.

‘The Black’ has been featured in The New York Times, CycleWorldWired, and The Los Angeles Times.

THE BLACK - Banner Image

Follow the Builder: Falcon Motorcycles