Brough Superior – a name that evokes visions of Lawrence of Arabia in full military dress blasting along a dirt road on what used to be known as the ‘Rolls Royce of motorcycling’.
That vision may be long lost to a dusty old textbook (remember those?), but the name and the brand have made a comeback, and the bikes the new/old company are making are as string and as beautifully finished as ever.
Some 68 years after Brough Superior went bust, the firm is back producing gloriously beautiful motorcycles like this modern £52,999 Brough Superior SS100 you see here. They are sold in the UK by MotoCorsa.
Old SS100s regularly attract bids in the hundreds of thousands of pounds at auction, so some may think that £52,999 in current UK prices may be a bit steep, but just look at it. This is no mass produced retro classic, it’s a hand-built, well-designed big chunk of valuable metal, crafted to perfection in every single detail.
The company name is owned by Englishman Mark Upham who started building bikes for sale last year at a factory in Saint Jean in the South of France. The factory was formerly home to French motorcycle firm Voxan motorcycles, and bike design house Boxer.
They are now building Brough Superiors from an immaculate factory that’s shaped like a ship on the outside, and it really is as immaculate inside as any F1 team’s workshops.
Using an engine designed by world superbike and MotoGP engine development company Akira, the engine makes 100bhp as standard, but can make up to 130bhp with a set of race exhausts and a reflashed ECU.
In 130bhp form the motor is really punchy at low revs and has way more midrange and top-end that you’d expect from a modern classic looking motorcycle. It sounds glorious.
The petrol tanks are built to mimic classic Broughs of old and take a day to bash out of steel, the frames are made from titanium and the bike features Beringer disc brakes with calipers designed to look like drum brakes.
It weighs in at 186kg thanks to the titanium frame and feels lighter than it looks (if that makes sense). That front end is based on the Fiori concept of suspension and uses an Ohlins front shock, plus Ohlins at the rear. It works.
Some bikes built by smaller manufacturers can be nice to look at but not so good to ride – this is not the case with the Brough.
The Brough Superior SS100 is a feat of engineering, a bike that remains true to its historic brand yet brings a new level of performance to modern retro classics.
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