Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Brough Superior Titanium

The new Brough Superior SS100 at the
London showing.

The new Brough Superior SS100 is a pretty enough bike in pictures, in the flesh it is exquisite. A mildly tweaked version on the SS100, the 'Titanium' was revealed at Eicma show last November along with the 'Black' model. The new Broughs seem to be edging slowly closer to production...

Quite when though the new SS100s will reach customers is unsure. It is said that there are some 50 pre-orders for a batch of 100 at a selling price somewhere around £50k. That means there are a surprising number of folks out there with a lot of spare money to spend on a high end motorcycle and are prepared to do so without anything more than a prototype and a tech spec.

Certainly the SS100 is jaw-droppingly beautiful. The attention to detail on the design is fantastic, hardly any components are off the shelf and it isn't difficult to see where your money is being spent. Indeed with development and production costs to take into consideration Brough is certain not to make any money on this first batch. The Brough is at the forefront of the new 'boutique bike' trend, small manufacturers producing low volume high end bikes for wealthy folks who want something a little different. Are people buying boutique bikes as an investment or are they simply motorcycle enthusiasts with a high disposable income. I've got a feeling that investors will end up disappointed.

There is still no word of any road test of the new Brough. If the SS100 has covered any miles so far then it has been kept under wraps. I suspect that when it does reach market there will not be many that cover more than a handful of miles no matter how capable a machine it may be which will be a shame as seeing a few out and about would be a treat.

Something is afoot in the motorcycle world and small volume manufacturers are apparently on the rise. Obviously the market seems ready for this but it must be in large parts thanks to moves forward in design and manufacturing technology. In previous times a draftsman would draw up a new design, a prototype would be made and faith would be put in it working, which often it would not first time. Now the designer can model and simulate the engine and likely get it right from the start. Fuel injection and engine management systems facilitate sweet running and easy tuning. Prototypes can be produced swiftly with CNC machinery, the same technology enables production on demand and small volume runs to be viable.

What I find so likable about the new Brough Superior company is that they appear to be a wildly enthusiastic bunch of motorcycle enthusiasts out there to create beautiful bikes and have a blast doing so. Making money seems to be secondary on the agenda. They're not going heavy on the branded merchandising, there's the trips to Bonneville, updated replicas of twenties Broughs and the Moto2 race bike - none of these are the route to riches, in fact they are legendary methods of hemorrhaging some heavy duty amounts of cash. They are making the world of motorcycles that little bit more interesting for their presence and for that I wish them every success.

Beautifully designed and engineered front end.
Four discs, two calipers with three pads apiece.
Lower rotating mass, more braking and better

Rider's view is a nice echo of twenties bikes. Instrument is
a Smiths Jaeger.

Front view of the SS100.

Engine and tank detail.

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