The Brough Superior SS100 was superior in more than just its name. This custom-built motorcycle line, also known as the “Rolls Royce of motorcycles,” was superior to others in every way from its unique, open-frame design to its disconnected, two-piece seat and pillion.
The Brough Superior SS100 first entered production in 1924 to meet demand for specific, custom-built, two-wheeled automobiles. Only five models were produced in 1924 and 69 more in 1925.
No doubt a driving factor behind the success of the SS100 was the fact that Bert LeVack, one of the men responsible for developing this classic superbike, was the holder of several world records, including the record for the world’s fastest motorcycle speed (130 mph) on the SS100.
Due to the custom nature of the SS100, these models sold for £170 at the time, which amounts to roughly £10,152.47 ($12,267.42) in today’s money. However, since the production of the original line ceased in 1940, you’d be lucky to get one for under $225,000!
The original 1925 Brough Superior SS100 sported a 990cc, air-cooled, OHV, 50-degree, V-twin engine with an 85.5 by 85.5mm bore and stroke and a compression ratio of 6.5:1. With an engine like this, it’s no surprise that LeVack was able to set record speeds with this bike.
The specifics of each particular motorcycle, even those of the engine, varied from individual to individual, because these models were never put into unit-production. They remained, always and forever, a custom-designed classic.
Timeline of Versions with Changes and Pictures
There are two motorcycles that bear the name Brough Superior SS100, the one previously mentioned that was produced from 1925 to 1940 and the newer release which was produced from 2016 to present.
- Brough Superior SS100 (1925-1940)
This model is the only of the two considered a classic. With its unique design, perforated silhouette, and heavy steel appearance, these machines drive with an elegant ferocity unique to the SS100 in that time and likely forever more.
But they weren’t just good-looking vehicles. They were as powerful and as fast as they were beautiful, with the option to have the designers of your own custom purchase to sacrifice speed for comfort or comfort for speed.
- Brough Superior SS100 (2016-present)
While the 1925 to 1940 models can claim the title of “motorcycle classics,” the 2016 to present models have certainly staked their claim on the title of “must-have motorcycles.”
These modern models sport V-twin, four-stroke engines with four valves per cylinder and a composite chain/gear cam-drive. These, however, suffer from overt similarity from model to model, a quality shared by most other unit-production motorcycles.
The SS100 in the News
On March 4th, 2019, another world record was shattered for the SS100 when a 1930 Brough Superior sold at auction for $561,556, the highest any SS100 has ever sold for in the past. If you’re trying to get your hands on one of these, you might need to take out a second mortgage.
One of the most famous riders of the Brough Superior SS100 was Lawrence of Arabia. T. E. Lawrence was one of the most widely recognized SS100-enthusiasts alive until the notorious crash that took his life on an SS100 when he swerved to avoid hitting two children on bicycles.
Social groups for the Superior exist from Facebook to country clubs, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find one specifically designated for owners of the original models, since there were only a couple hundred ever produced.
The Brough Superior SS100 – The Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles
Compared to all the other superbikes, motorcycles, and scooters ever produced, the Brough Superior SS100, more accurately referred to as the Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles, is far and beyond the superior option.