Racer Test: Brough Superior Taylormade Moto2 Racer

Alan Cathcart | August 7, 2014

The legendary British high-performance brand Brough Superior has been reborn, with the acclaimed debut of its 140 horsepower SS100 V-twin at the EICMA Milan Show last November. The high-end (as in $67,000), high-performance retro roadster is due to begin production at the end of this year powered by a dedicated 999cc engine developed by Akira Engineering, the French company that tuned Tom Sykes’ World Superbike title-winning Kawasaki ZX-10R.

But the first steps in returning Brough to the racetrack, where it tasted serial success in the pre-WWII era, have been taken with the creation (in Taylormade Racing’s Los Angeles, California, workshops) of the Brough Superior Moto2 Grand Prix racer that will make its debut in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on August 31.

“Brough Superior is a sporting brand which has always competed at the highest level,” said company owner Mark Upham. “We felt it vital to remind the motorcycle world what Brough Superior stands for. Taylormade’s innovative use of carbon fiber and avant-garde technology in creating such a literally unique motorcycle bearing the Brough name is something George Brough [the company’s founder] would have completely supported if he’d been alive today. Its presence on the starting grid will underline the fact that Brough Superior is not a brand of yesteryear, but of today – one that’s alive and well, and is intent on claiming its rightful place at the top table of today’s motorcycle marques.”

Conceived by Taylormade Racing’s British-born boss Paul Taylor and designed in Great Britain by former Triumph and Buell designer John Keogh, the U.S.-built Brough Superior Moto2 follows the high-tech traditions of the brand in employing leading-edge technology in the pursuit of performance. It uses a carbon fiber composite chassis that integrates the fuel tank and bodywork in a single monocoque structure, thus cutting weight, reducing frontal area, and increasing stiffness.

According to Taylor, the aim is to produce a stripped-down racebike with an enhanced stiffness to weight ratio, incorporating a wide range of adjustment to suit different riders and track conditions.

“The bike is simple, and has very few components,” says Taylor. “Just the carbon fiber monocoque, two pieces of bodywork comprising the nose and seat, the swingarm and shock, front fork, radiator, and the engine.”

To read more of our test of Brough Superior’s Moto2 racer in this week’s issue of Cycle News, click here

Alan Cathcart | European Editor

Cathcart has ridden practically every road racer and streetbike ever built and written about them in Cycle News. They don’t call him Sir Alan for nothing.