The definitive British –perhaps all time - V-twin is arguably the Brough Superior SS100, seen here at speed by regular record breaker Eric Fernihough.
What is it about Broughs? Some say that if any motorcycle was ever more than the sum of its parts, it was the Brough Superior. It's the cliché, and one hard to fully explain given that during the 1920s there were a number of other manufacturers, including Zenith, Montgomery, McEvoy and Coventry Eagle which used the same ingredients for their motorcycles: JAP V-twin overhead-valve engine, Sturmey Archer gearbox, Amal Carburettors, Pilgrim oil pumps, Lucas electrics, and so on. But only George Brough’s was described as “The Rolls Royce of Motorcycles” and he was a magnificent self-promoter, starting with calling his machines “Superior” rather than plain old Brough like his dad’s. He persuaded George Bernard Shaw to buy one, who in turn persuaded Lawrence of Arabia to buy one. But although George Brough’s was one of the few premium brands to make it through the Depression years, he ceased production of motorcycles in 1940 to focus on the more profitable engineering business.
Much more in The Road, volume one, almost 200 heavyweight pages of motorcycling glories available at my shop or via bio link a half price – just £10 including UK postage
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