The Rolls Royce of Motorcycles – The Brough Superior

November 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm 4 comments


Image Credit: The Brough Superior Club

I was watching “Lawrence of Arabia” and really, really dug the motorcycle Lawrence was riding at the very beginning of the movie. So I did some research on the real Lawrence of Arabia and discovered the fantastic Brough Superior! (Pronounced like the British – “Bruff” Superior).

From the wikipedia article:

Each motorcycle was assembled twice. The first assembly was for fitting of all components, then the motorcycle was disassembled and all parts were painted or plated as needed, then the finished parts were assembled a final time. Every motorcycle was test ridden to ensure that it performed to specification, and was personally certified by George Brough. The SS100 model was ridden at 100 mph or more prior to delivery. The SS80 model was ridden at 80 mph or more before delivery. If any motorcycle didn’t meet specification, it returned to the shop for rework until it performed properly. The fit and finish was comparable to a Rolls-Royce automobile, and were among the most expensive motorcycles.

And here is a clip from the “Greatest Motorcycles Ever,” where it places #7:

Of course now the Brough Superior is a major collector’s item, but wouldn’t it be amazing to find an original in some farmer’s barn? British bikes are so damn cool. Just give me a Norton Commando and I’ll be happy.

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Entry filed under: 2 Wheel Luv.

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4 Comments

  • 1. alex  |  November 17, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I just got a speedmen’s boner!

  • 2. dave  |  November 17, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    That’s a beautiful bike. I like the pipes. Chromey. Did you know that Lawrence of Arabia died in a motorcycle crash after having to swerve to avoid two boys on their bicycles? I always thought that was kind of sad and wonderful. The fact that he lived through all those adventures in other lands, and then ended up dieing in retirement, a few miles from his house, because two young boys were in a blind spot in the middle of the road. But in a way his death was still kind of heroic. He saved the boys from being hurt. It’s still way more poetic than slipping on goose shit or some such nonsense.

  • 3. Robert  |  November 18, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Yeah.. that scene is how Lawrence of Arabia starts out. What is crazy to me was the neurosurgeon who worked on him was puzzled why so many motorcyclists were dying from head injuries. So this guy did all this research and decided that motorcyclists should wear crash helmets from now on. Just goes to show that even the most “common sense” things weren’t that common back then.

    If I owned a British bike, I’d have to get a whole new set of tools.

  • 4. dave  |  November 18, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I’ve never seen the movie. I’m going to have to rent it. Yeah, it’s interesting to see how much things have changed over the years, especially in terms of health and safety. I was talking with my friend Sandy, who is only 30 years older than me, and he was talking about how firefighters didn’t used to wear masks that much and didn’t have as much safety gear. As a kid he had a neighbor who was a fireman, and one day Sandy ran down to the scene of a local fire and saw his neighbor emerging from a burning building with no mask and a lit cigarette in his mouth. I love this image.


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