Among the long list of motorcycles introduced at EICMA, we just noticed one that slipped by at first, the brand new Brough Superior SS100. It's quite the bike. It's been a work in progress for a long time and we can imagine there was a lot of planning and debate within the company before launching a new model carrying the name of the most famous Brough Superior of all time.
The new SS100 exhibits the extremely high quality craftsmanship plus high end components and materials you would expect of the name and it has a certain visual connection to the legendary classics, but as a motorcycle, I'm not sure what to think of it. Is this what the Brough would have been if it had survived all of these years and continued to evolve or is this a modern recreation of sorts based on the famous name with enough visual hints to make you feel like it's a true descendant?
The custom designed engine is an 88 degree V-Twin DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, water and oil cooled of 997cc displacement and available in configurations from 100 to 140 horsepower. Dry weight of the SS100 is a very svelte 395 pounds. The frame is steel and titanium with an aluminum and magnesium alloy swing arm, shocks are from Ohlins and it looks like the front suspension is a Hossack derivative. Brakes are Beringer, with 4 ceramic discs.
The SS100 is designed as a very limited production model and will be followed by a whole series of Brough Superior models "which aims to become the new reference in technology, performance and distinction," according to their website.
Based on everything we see here it will be rather unique and certainly very expensive. I think it has the look of a highly engineered and finely crafted Swiss watch and should probably be thought of in much the same way, as a high end luxury item, more so than just another motorcycle.
How well it lives up to the functional goals laid out by the company will be something to be determined over time. How well it fits into the legendary history of the marque is another matter altogether and sure to be hotly debated.