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Brough Superior SS100

Brough Superior SS100 vintage motorcycle

When it came to his best-known brand of motorcycle, George Brough did not beat about the bush. ‘Superior’ pretty much said it all! And, to be fair to him, it was – as compared with most of its two-wheeled rivals, at any rate. Saying that, Brough – and his small team of Nottingham-based engineers – were responsible only for the frame. The engine and cycle parts were outsourced. Initially, JAP – and later Matchless – provided the power. All the parts, though, still had to be coaxed to work as one. Brough and the boys clearly made a good job of it – since the SS100 was widely considered to be the best bike in the world at the time. The Superior range as a whole was produced from 1919 to 1940.

George Brough was among a group of riders, who, time and again, proved the Superior’s worth. Both at circuits – and in land speed record attempts – the bike was a regular sight, in the ’20s and ’30s. As usual, racing ‘improved the breed’. In time, track-side tweaks trickled down into mainstream SS100 production.

TE Lawrence – better known as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ – was in love with Brough Superiors. He owned a succession of them … all topped off with his trademark stainless steel tank. Sadly, he was to be fatally injured, whilst riding one of them. Of course, his best-known mode of transport was the cantankerous camel. But, for many, no ‘ship of the desert’ could ever match a Brough Superior SS100 steaming along at full chat!

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