Tag Archives: Other brands

Superior by name, Superior by nature

The modern Brough Superior motorcycles are superior by name and superior by build and nature.

They are now being imported to Australia by industry stalwart Fred who has opened a showroom for the expensive bespoke machines in his business equipment offices at 6/281 Station Rd, Yeerongpilly, Brisbane. Click here for more details.

The model line-up is:

  • SS100, $105,000 (Euro 3);
  • SS100, $110,000 (Euro 4);
  • Pendine Sand Racer, $105,000;
  • Anniversary, $168,000;
  • AMB 001, $185,000.Brough Superior

Feel the Superior quality

They may be expensive, but you can literally see and feel the quality.

For example, their traditionally shaped tanks are made of solid cast aluminium and are so thick they can be machined with all sorts of designs.Brough Superior

In fact, there is a lot of machined billet aluminium in the build from the fenders to the swingarm and forks.

The chassis is also machined titanium, plus there are exotic components such as Beringer brakes with quad discs — yes, that’s right four front discs!Brough Superior SS100

Yet the bikes weigh about 186kg all up even though there are no lightweight plastic panels.

Unfortunately, my insurance wouldn’t let me take one for a test ride, but Fred did allow me a short ride around the warehouse carpark and suburban street.

Brough Superior SS100Carpark test!

It was enough to convince me that this is a very special machine.

Fire it up and it snarls as only an 88-degree V-twin can.

Then you pull the clutch in and it feels so light you would swear it is not connected. It’s the lightest I have ever felt.

Click it into gear and the transmission feels more like some precision surgical equipment than a mechanical gearbox. Brough Superior SS100

A short trundle around the carpark and I’m sweating buckets worrying about dropping the machine.

But I’m also now considering crawling to the bank for a mortgage on the house!

Every detail of these bikes is immaculate, beautifully crafted and oozing with style.Brough Superior

There are virtually no panels to disguise messy wiring or components.

Everything is on show and everything is exquisite.

The craftsmen and women who build them are so proud, they have the name of each bike’s builder etched into a plate on the forks.Brough Superior

Even the bolts are all made of stainless steel.Brough Superior

We can understand that many collectors would be keen to buy them, but so far Fred says all their prospective customers have been motorcycle enthusiasts and riders.


The SS100 is a cross between a café racer and a traditional sports motorcycle.

Only 300 units are planned.


In 1928, George Brough won a famous beach race at Pendine in Wales and in following years many Brough Superior victories were recorded there by other famous racers.

This new Pendine Sand Racer model pays homage to those victories with a very unique and contemporary take on a modern scrambler-styled motorcycle.

ANNIVERSARYBrough Superior Anniversary

The Anniversary was created to celebrate the centenary of Brough Superior.

It is limited to just 100 numbered examples.

AMB 001

AMB 001 Aston Martin BroughAMB 001

This creation is a collaboration with arguably the most famous British sports car brand, Aston Martin, who are now celebrating their 107th year of production.

Also limited to just 100 units worldwide, the track-only AMB 001 uses a turbo-charged version of the Brough Superior V twin engine and a unique chassis incorporating composite materials.

SuperSport 100 (SS100) tech specs

Brough Superior SS100SS100

  • Price: $110,000 (Euro 4) + on-road costs.
  • Warranty: 2 two-year, unlimited-km (parts and labour); 2-year roadside assistance program.
  • Engine: 997cc, 4-stroke, water-cooled, 88-degree V-twin; DOHC 4-valves per cylinder.
  • Power: 75kW @ 9600rpm. 
  • Torque: 87Nm @ 7300rpm.
  • Gearbox: 6-speed, chain drive. 
  • Weight: 186kg.
  • Suspension front/rear: Fior-type cast aluminium wishbone fork with twin articulated titanium triangular links, and monoshock adjustable for preload and rebound damping, 120mm travel; cast aluminium swingarm pivoting in engine crankcases, with monoshock adjustable for preload and rebound damping and progressive rate link, 130mm travel.
  • Brakes front/rear: 4x230mm Beringer stainless steel discs, 2×4-piston Beringer radial calipers; 1 x 230mm Beringer 4D stainless steel disc with 1 x two-piston Beringer caliper; ABS.
  • Tyres: 120/70 – 18; 160/60 – 18.
  • Length: 2180mm
  • Height: 1108mm
  • Wheelbase: 1540mm
  • Fuel: 17.5-litre (4.5L reserve), 95 RON.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bike wrecker now Brough Superior importer

When he started his motorcycle wrecking parts business under his house in 1971, Fred Drake probably never dreamed he would one day be selling $100k+ Brough Superiors to well-heeled riders.

Fred, 70, is now the first Australian distributor for the venerable British-now-French marque in more than 80 years.

He has opened a showroom for the expensive bespoke machines in his business equipment offices in the gradually gentrifying warehouse district behind Brisbane’s “Magic Mile of Motors” in Moorooka.

The model line-up is:

  • SS100, $105,000 (Euro 3);
  • SS100, $110,000 (Euro 4);
  • Pendine Sand Racer, $105,000;
  • Anniversary, $168,000;
  • AMB 001 (track only), $185,000.

Click here for a short test ride and more info on these models.

Long Brough history

Brough Superior 100th year anniversary model

Brough Superiors weren’t no longer being built when Fred was a lad.

George Brough stunned the world with his handmade machines of which he built only 3048 from 1919 to 1940 in Nottingham, England.

They were called the Rolls Royce of motorcycles and each SS100 model came with a certificate to prove it could go 100mph (160km/h).

Owners included such luminaries as Orson Welles, George Bernard Shaw and T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) who tragically crashed one at high speed and died.

Today, old Brough Superior bikes sell for around half a million dollars at auction.

1939 Brough Superior SS80 vintage1939 Brough Superior SS80

The brand lay dormant until 2008 when Austrian-based English businessman and motorcycle enthusiast Mark Upham bought the rights to the name.

In 2013 he enlisted French designer Thierry Henriette to build a modern-era SS100 prototype and the first Brough Superior motorcycles in seven decades rolled off the assembly line in France in 2016.

They are all handmade to order at a rate of one a day in Toulouse, France.

Broughs are powered by a 997cc, DOHC 88-degree V-twin built by French company Akira, who built the Kawasaki ZX-10R which won the World Superbike championship.

It comes as a 75kW unit but can be tuned up to 102kW at the customer’s request.

Importer of passion

Brough Superior SS100 Fred DrakeFred takes a spin on his SS100

Fred became the importer almost by accident.

“I saw them at the Paris Retromobile Classic Car show in 2019 and liked them,” Fred says. (https://www.retromobile.com/)

“I was interested in buying one. I like a naked bike where you can see the engine and the shape.

“To me the Brough captures the essence of the original 1930s bike, but in a modern machine.”

So he bought an SS100 and the company asked if he would also be interested in importing them.

After considering the business case with industry veteran Dale Schmidtchen, he went ahead with what he calls his “passion project”.

“I thought it would be a bit of fun,” he says.

“You park this bike anywhere and you instantly get people stop and say ‘wow’.Brough Superior

“I had it parked out front and two teenagers stopped to look at it, then a mum and her daughter admired it and then some older people.”

His “showroom” is just an office in a modern warehouse on Station Rd, Yeerongpilly, behind a trendy cafe shop.

You can drop in and have a look at 6/281 Station Rd, Yeerongpilly, but they don’t encourage “tyre kickers”.

In fact, you really need to make an appointment first.

Since all bikes are made to order, Dale says it could take about two months for customer delivery.

He and Fred expect they will sell anywhere from 10 to 25 a year.

About 60% of Brough Superiors are bought by collectors, but Fred says they are a joy to ride and should be ridden, not just admired.Brough Superior SS100 Fred Drake

Warranty and service

They will come with a two-year unlimited-kilometre warranty on parts and labour and two-year roadside assistance program.

There will also be an extended warranty offer.

They may be expensive to buy, but Fred says they are no more expensive to maintain than any other bike.

He will stock service spare parts and order in other parts as needed.

There won’t be a dealer network as such, but a network of preferred dealers to do the handover and servicing. 

Dale has also sourced a selection of finance and insurance options for customers.

Now check out the tech specs.


Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMoto CF1250J is biggest yet

A civilian version of the new CFMoto CF1250J police bike with a modified KTM LC8 engine is coming and it will be the biggest Chinese bike yet!

Michael Poynton, director of Australian importer Mojo Motorcycles, confirms the civvy version of the CF1350J is coming, “however this will be a while off yet”.

“I haven’t received technical details yet from CFMoto,” he says.

However details published in the UK “appears to be on the money from what I know”.

CF1250J tech specsCFMoto CF1250J police bike

That means it is a superseded KTM LC8 engine with new castings and now 1279cc with 104kW output and 240km/h top speed.

That would make it the biggest and most powerful motorcycle engine from a Chinese factory.

Other details include a porky 279kg wet weight, digital instruments, 190/55 ZR17 and 120/70 ZR17 tyres, Bosch ABS and Brembo calipers.CFMoto CF1250J police bike

The civvy version will be a CF1250G and, of course, it will include a pillion seat.

The current CFMoto range in Australia includes 150-650cc learner-approved motorcycles ranging in price from just $3290 to $8490.

They are also adding the 300SR, their first fully faired sports model.

CFMoto 300SRCFMoto 300SR

It was to arrive this month, but Michael says they decided to postpone the release of this model to spring due to current market conditions.

“This decision was made at the end of March, when things were obviously looking a lot worse than they are currently,” he says.

Full production

CFmoto factory coronavirusCFMoto factory

After a temporary closure in early February for the coronavirus pandemic, the CFMoto factory has been in full capacity production since the end of March, Michael says.

The factory in Hangzhou makes their bikes for the world market as well as KTMs for China.

“We have seen no impact to our supply chain, vehicles or spare parts,” he says.

“As we enter our peak season with ATV/UTVs in the lead-up to end of financial year, we actually have record volumes of CFMoto shipments scheduled to arrive over the coming months.

“And no, we have not experienced any backlash against Chinese products with our CFMoto retail numbers actually increasing over the first four months of 2020.”

The CFMoto factory is just outside Shanghai and about 750km from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

CFMoto and KTM are also building a joint factory in China with an estimated output of more than half a million bikes a year for the world market.

Michael says the joint factory was progressing well with production planned for the third quarter of this year.

“I believe the first models to be manufactured there will be the new CFMoto 700s (released in Milan) followed by KTM 790s.”

CFMoto 700CL-X HeritageCFMoto 700CL-X Heritage

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

New Norton owner promises upcoming models

Norton Motorcycles will continue to be British made and the new owner, India’s TVS Motor Company, promises to go ahead and build the pledged Atlas (pictured above) and V4 RR models.

TVS bought the troubled British manufacturer in a $A31m cash deal at the weekend.

Click here to read more about the historic sale.

The Indian company plans to continue production at Donington Hall and then move to a new headquarters nearby in Leicestershire.

Norton Motorcycles Donington Hall factory crowdNorton’s Donington Hall factory

New owner

TVS Corporate Communication VP Varghese M Thomas tells us the new owner will continue to build the Commando, Dominator and V4 RR as well as the promised Atlas series.

That is despite the Atlas 650cc parallel twin engine being sold by former Norton CEO Stuart Garner to a Chinese company.

In further good news for Australian Norton fans, Varghese tells us they will continue with their current dealer network with importer james Mutton of Brisbane Motorcycles.

James says they have returned deposits to those who paid for bikes not yet delivered, but if they decided to go ahead wth their order, they would not lose their place in the queue. 

Norton Motorcycles V4 RR British atlasNorton V4 RR

The 1200cc V4RR was priced at £28,000 in the UK and $59,990 in Australia plus on-road costs, but we don’t believe any models have yet been delivered to customers.

Likewise, the Atlas models which have powered by a 650cc which is basically half the 1200cc V4’s engine, were expected to be released this year for £9995 (Nomad) and £11,995 (Ranger), but have not yet been produced. They should cost around $A20,000 here.

Varghese says he cannot answer our questions about warranty and spare parts “at this point in time”.

There is also no word yet on whether any motorcycles or at least components will be built by TVS in India.

However, it should be noted that Norton signed a deal in 2017 with Indian company Kinetic Group to jointly produce and sell Norton motorcycles in India.  That deal is not expected to go ahead.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Vyrus even scarier than coronavirus

If you think coronavirus is scary, how about the Italian Vyrus Alyen 988 with its origami bikini fairing and tailpiece with a host of winglets?

It’s a rather unfortunate name for an Italian bespoke motorcycle company given the horrendous impact of the coronavirus on that country.

But Vyrus has been around for a while and even Hollywood actor Tom Cruise, who began riding at the age of 10, owns a Vyrus 987 C3 4V worth more than $100,000.

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 5 - on his Vyrus 987Tom on his Vyrus 987

Their latest bike is the Aylen 988 which features a hoist of winglets in styling that looks more like origami than motorcycles.VYRUS ALYEN 03

Winglets have been used in the past couple of seasons of MotoGP and are now starting to make their way on to production bikes such as the Aprilia RSV-4, Ducati Superleggera V4 and the Honda CBR1000RR-R.

Ugly Ducati MotoGP bike directDucati MotoGP winglets

The Alyen 988 is powered by a Ducati Panigale 1299 L-twin which is actually 1285cc and has output of 207hp at 11000rpm and 142Nm of torque at 9000rpm.

In this bike, power is down slightly to 2305hp, and there is no indication of the torque output.

Nor do they mention price.

In fact, their website only features some images, tech specs (below) and the word “Request” which takes you to a form to fill in to request a quote.

If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.VYRUS ALYEN 03

It is likely to cost around $100,000 given the lashings of carbon fibre on the body, tank and exhausts, plus the rather complex hub-centre steering.

That is understandable as Vyrus worked with Bimota on their Tesi model which features similar steering.

While motorcycling is experiencing a global downturn in sales that will be exacerbated by the current pandemic, it seems there is always space for esoteric bikes for the rich and famous.

Vyrus Alyen 988 tech specs

VYRUS ALYEN 03Origami tail

Engine type Ducati L-twin shaped 90° Desmo drive
Bore 116mm
Stroke 70.8mm
Displacement 1285cc
Compression ratio 11,3:1
Lubrication system forced by gear pump
Cooling system Water-cooled
Power 205hp @ 10.500 rpm
Gearbox 6 speed
Clutch wet clutch
Fuel injection Electronic Injection
Front suspension Push Rod Twin Pivot Vyrus
Rear suspension Push Rod Twin Pivot Vyrus
Frame Vyrus Magnesium double omega design combined with a self-supporting composite Body
Steering System Vyrus Hydraulic Wired Steering System
Caster angle 17° to 25°
Trail 84 mm to 112 mm
Front tire 120/70 ZR 17
Rear tire 200/60 ZR17
Fuel tank capacity 11 lt
Wheelbase 1575 mm

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMoto adds 300SR supersport

Chinese motorcycle manufacturer CFMoto will introduce its first fully faired sports model to Australia in May, the 300SR.

It is powered by a 300cc single-cylinder engine with 21kW (29hp) at 8750rpm and 23.5Nm of torque at 7250rpm.

Further details and pricing will be revealed later this month.

However, given the bargain prices of CFMoto models, it will no doubt be highly competitive.

Its main rivals are the Honda CBR300R at $5749, KTM RC390 ($5995), Suzuki GSX250R ($5790) and Yamaha YZF-R3 ($6299).

Supply of the 300SR should not be affected by the coronavirus.CFMoto 300SR

While the CFMoto factory was closed for an extra couple of weeks in January because of virus outbreak, it has reopened.

Australian importer Michael Poynton of Mojo Motorcycles says production is now “close to returning to full capacity”.

The 300SR will join the company’s first non-LAMS bike, the sexy new 700CL-X, which is due at the end of this year.

CFMoto 700CL-X SportCFMoto 700CL-X

The current Aussie line-up consists of the 150NK ($3490 ride away), 250NK ($4290), 300NK ($4990) and 650NK naked bikes, plus 650MT sports/adventure ($7490) and 650GT tourer ($8490). 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Cagiva online to return as electric

Since 2018, MV Agusta has been working on reviving the Cagiva name, but with an electric motor, and now new boss Timur Sardarov (pictured above) confirms it is still part of their plan.

“Cagiva production will resume next year, at the latest in early 2021, and will be dedicated to electric urban mobility,” he told Italian site Motociclismo.

The interview is unclear about what the electric vehicle will be: scooter, motorcycle, e-bike?

“But we will not make scooters, they will be motorcycles,” says Timur who took over from Giovanni Castiglioni last year.

Cagiva Raptor Customised BMW R nineTCagiva V-Raptor

Then he seems to contradict himself.

“Easy to drive and below 4kW, because at the moment no-one who produces beyond this threshold can generate profits.

“In six or seven years, it will probably be possible to reach the profit with vehicles equivalent to 350cc.”

Cagiva return

MV Agusta boss Giovanni Castiglioni classicGiovanni when he was still boss in 2018

When I met with MV Agusta boss Giovanni Castiglioni in July 2018, he talked about the electric Cagiva project and said he believed in the potential of electric bikes.

“There is a market for high-performing light bikes and that’s how the Cagiva electric bike project started,” he told me.

“From my pure personal experience, the torque, power and throttle response is great. You can have fun and you don’t scare the cows and the deers. It’s actually enjoyable.”

He said Cagiva electric bikes would start with 80km of range and reach 320km in the next five years with a range of bikes from commuters to off-road.

But he also said MV would not go into electric bikes because there is no market for high-performing electric street bikes.

John Kocinski's Cagiva V594 grand prixJohn Kocinski’s Cagiva V594

“People think the electric bike is for losers and the reality is it is not.

“But at the moment, its potential is in cities for short-range commuting from home to the office or for short trips.

“We don’t yet live in a world where you can live with an electric car. I would like to buy a Tesla, but only for driving from home to the office. I travel a lot by car and I can’t start my journey by doing a flight plan like in a plane.

“The charging infrastructure needs to improve first.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Icon Motorcycles plan new-age Triton

Dutch company Icon Motorcycles plans to hand-make new-age Triton motorcycles with Norton featherbed frames and modern Triumph 900cc engines.

Original Triton

The original 1960-70s Tritons were not factory models but private builds where enthusiasts mated the lithe-handling Norton featherbed frame with Triumph Bonneville engines.

Now Dutch company Icon Motorcycles plans to supply handmade Triton cafe racers for private orders with bespoke specifications. However, they won’t bear the name “Triton”.Icon Motorcycles plan new-age Triton

Wouter Pullens of Icon Motorcycles says the frame is special build.

“It’s a replica from the famous Norton ‘featherbed’ frame of the sixties,” he says.

They will use the air/oil-cooled 900cc parallel twin from the previous model Thruxton, so it’s not liquid cooled and doesn’t have an ugly radiator.

He says the “Triumph engine is standard, not tweaked”, so that means 51.5kW of power and 71.8Nm of torque.

“They are available in the second half of this year, I expect about July,” he says.

“This is depending on the final inspection/approval of the Dutch Government.”  

There is no word on pricing because each bike will be handmade to order, but Wouter says they can can “ship to every country”.

As a bit of a guide, Triumph 900 models cost around $15,000 while Norton 961 models cost more than $30,000.

So we expect they will cost around the Norton prices, or more depending on how much exotic kit you want to add.Icon Motorcycles plan new-age Triton


Icon Motorcycles says the original Triton was “perhaps the most influential motor movement the world has ever seen”. 

Certainly the cafe racer seem was seminal, but they may be overstating the case a bit.

Here’s more hyperbole from their website:

Icon motorcycles guarantee you exclusivity as exclusivity is intended. You invest in craftsmanship and quality. We see every Icon engine as an investment in life that only becomes more beautiful with the years. You never really own a motorcycle really look after it for the next generation. Authentic hand assembled engines , we create an interesting investment . This is how we achieve our goal, creating rare motorcycles for the owner. Because of the exclusivity and rarity we create, you are guaranteed a right investment. Courtesy is timeless class, you must be able to enjoy the ownership.

At Icon Motorcycles we don’t just produce motorcycles, we go back deep into history. We let our hands do the work and lay our soul and salvation in every model, with the greatest care for the smallest details and that with only one goal let man and machine come together in perfect harmony.Icon Motorcycles plan new-age Triton

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Whatever happened to BSA revival?

The expected revival of the traditional British motorcycle brand, BSA, seems to have stalled more than three years after the brand was bought by Mahindra.

Indian tractor and automotive company Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) bought the revered brand for $A5.4m in October 2016 through their wholly owned subsidiary, Classic Legends Private Limited (CLPL).

At the time they expressed intentions to make it a traditional-styled revival.

A few months later Italian motorcycle designer Oberdan Bezzi released some sketches of BSA models but they were never confirmed.

Xmas revival

On Boxing Day 2017, M&M boss Anand Mahindra Tweeted a short note that suggested they would produce a new motorcycle by Christmas 2018.BSA tweet Mahindra

His Tweet, accompanied by the old advertising image above, reads:BSA tweet Mahindra

However, two Christmases have now passed and there is not even a hint from Mahindra about reviving the brand.

Several old motorcycle brands have been revived in recent years including Bultaco, Brough, Hesketh, Levis, Matchless, Norton and Jawa.

The latter was also revived by Mahindra’s Classic Legends who released a range of classic motorcycles for the local market in late 2018 and added the Perak bobber in November 2018.

Jawa Perak bobber revival
Jawa Perak bobber

When they launched, the order website crashed because of demand.

They said they planned to sell 90,000 bikes a year.

But despite the interest, the Jawa relaunch has been fraught with production problems and delays of up to a year.

Some customers cancelled their orders in frustration.

And that’s just for domestic sale. They haven’t even contemplated exports.

Jawa say that production is improving and customers only need now wait a few weeks for a bike.

However, Mahindra’s boss recently lamented getting into motorcycles at all, so the revival of BSA could be stalled permanently.

BSA history

The inside cover of the original BSA factory record book Why you should secretly mark your bike
An original BSA factory record book

BSA stands for Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited and it began in 1861 making guns.

It gradually moved into bicycles and motorcycles for which they are most famous, although they also made cars, buses, tools and other metal products over the years.

Its most famous motorcycles were the Gold Star 350cc and 500cc single-cylinder four-stroke bikes considered among the fastest of the 1950s. At the time, BSA was also the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer.

However, the halcyon post-war days slipped away in the 1960s under competition from more modern and reliable Japanese models.

BSA went bankrupt in the early 1970s and merged with the Norton Villiers Triumph Group. BSA-branded machines ceased production in 1973.

BSA is currently just a brand that churns out motorcycle t-shirts and merchandise.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Husqvarna confirm Norden 901 adventurer

Husqvarna Australia has confirmed they will import the production version of the Norden 901 Concept model unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan last month.

That was a quick move from concept to production confirmation.

However, Husqvarna Motorcycles say the concept was so well accepted by consumers they took no time in announcing their decision to go ahead.Husqvarna Norden 901 concept (7)

Husqvarna Australia has not yet released a scheduled arrival date or pricing, but we expect it some time in 2020.

Let’s hope they get the pricing right on this after the debacle of the overpricing for the single-cylinder 401 and 701 Svartpilen and Vitpilen street models.

Sales were consequently so slow, they dropped prices between $3000 and a massive $7000 in August.

Norden specsHusqvarna Norden 901 concept (7)

The Norden will be only their second attempt at the street/adventure market since the company became part of the KTM group in 2013.

While specifications have not yet been released, it will be powered by an 889.5cc parallel-twin engine.

Like the 401 and 701 models, it will likely be a reworked KTM engine, possibly the new 799cc motor powering the 790 Duke and Adventure.Husqvarna Norden 901 concept (7)

Also, like the the Husky street models, it will be suspended by premium WP suspension which is also part of the KTM group.

If the concept is anything to go by, it will be shod with a 21-inch front Pirelli Scorpion Really STR front tyre for off-road ability with an 18-inch rear.

We are not sure how much of the attractive concept will make it into production.

However, these images show it will be set up for adventure touring with lots of luggage and protection options.Husqvarna Norden 901 concept (7)

Husky promises the slim and light adventure tourer will have comfortable ergonomics and “confidence inspiring handling”.

If it’s as successful as the KTM 790 Adventure, it will be another great option for adventure riders … so long as they get the pricing right!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com