That's Mark Upham (below), CEO of Brough Superior and the man behind the brand new, up-to-the-nanosecond, in-yer-face SS100 that was unveiled today (5th November 2013) at the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan, Italy.
This 997cc bespoke motorcycle (think Saville Row) has been years in planning and development by Boxer Design in Toulouse, France and Akira Design right here in the UK.
Upham has been quoted as saying, "Our goal is to be the number two motorcycle manufacturer in the UK", which is fine, but depends on whether you're talking about quantity or quality (no disrespect intended to Triumph).
€4 million has been spent on this project. Upham is looking to build 20 bikes per year, each selling for something shy of €100,000. He's now asking for support from the British government to fund further development and marketing.
Here are some specifications of the new bike:
2013 Brough Superior SS100 Engine
Engine type : Four stroke 88° V-twin, DOHC, 4 valves
per cylinder, water and oil cooled
Bore x stroke: 94mm x 71.8mm
Power : From 73kW (100hp) to 102kW
(140hp) @ 10,000 rpm, depending on bespoke settings
Torque: 125Nm @ 8,000rpm
Compression ratio: 11:1
Wheelbase: 1550mm (61 inches)
Steering angle: 24.6 degrees
Trail: 96.7 mm (3.80 inches)
Front wheel: 18-inch
Rear wheel: 18-inch
Dry weight: 180kg (395lb)
Frame type: Steel and Titanium tubular trellis
Front suspension: Fior double wishbone
Ohlins Shock 120mm (4.72 inches) travel
Rear suspension: Progressive system
Ohlins Shock 130mm (5.11 inches) travel
Braking, wheels & tyres
Front brake: 4D Ceramic Beringer
2 x floating double discs, aluminium-ceramic
composite material, diameter 230mm (9 inches),
2 x four pistons calipers with radial fixation and
special sintered metal pads
Rear brake: Single disc brake, aluminium-ceramic com
posite material, diameter 230mm (9 -inches),
2 piston calipers with special sintered metal pads
Wheels: 18 spokes (aluminium)
Front rim: 3.50 x 18 inch
Rear rim: 4.25 x 18 inch
Front tyre: 120/70 ZR 18
Rear tyre: 160/60 ZR 18
▲ Above: A weird and vulgar hotchpotch of Brough Superior design cues? Or an inspired modern day homage to the world's most coveted marque?
▲ Above: The 997cc 88-degree V-twin is yet to be heard, but you can bet your life that the engineers have put as much thought into the sound as the vision. Expect to hear it anytime in the very near future.
▲ Above: DOHC? Water and oil cooling? Four valves per cylinder? Short-stroke? It doesn't look much like "traditional" Brough-Superior architecture. But if Mark Upham is right, this is way the new Rolls Royce of motorcycling is going to look.
Clearly, the bike has numerous Brough-Superior design cues, in this instance taken from the 1926 Pendine SS100 racer. The front fork, although a girder unit, is CAD designed and developed and is no doubt perfectly capable of providing the kind of control and handling demanded of a machine of this calibre. Ask BMW.
For anyone previously accusing Upham of living in the past, they'll now have to accuse him of living very much in the future.
The future for the 2013 Brough Superior SS100
But is the world ready for a "new" Brough-Superior? We can see opinion splitting into two very distinct camps, but the launch of this bike will do little or nothing to dent the Brough cachet. If anything, we suspect that it will simply fuel desire for the brand—provided that this new SS100 has the kind of performance and build quality that warrants such a price tag.
But SS100? Surely it needs to be SS200 now?
That aside. what we all want to see now is the manufacture of these motorcycles returned to Haydn Road, Nottingham where the story began. And yes, we know that's kinda silly and sentimental. But although we're as tough as crankshafts on the skin, on the inside we're as soft as Hylomar, and we'd be very pleased to see the Brough-Superior project come all the way home.
Pricing update: We spoke today (25th Novermber 2013) to Albert Castaigne, Executive Director and Project Manager for the new Brough to check the price of this bike which, to us, seemed way too high. Albert explained that there has indeed been much pricing confusion and misinformation which needs clarifying. Albert advised us that the basic price for the Brough is €49,500, plus taxes, plus shipping, and quite probably plus extras. Consequently, the final price is likely to be above €60,000, but naturally enough there's no upper cap.
— Big End