Despite its somewhat rocky financial position, Aston Martin’s not quite dead yet. And it’s actually branching out into the 2-wheeled segment—specifically, with motorcycles. But the upcoming Aston Martin AMB 001 isn’t a solo effort, though. To develop it, Aston Martin called upon another iconic British company: Brough Superior.
This isn’t Brough Superior’s newest bike
This partnership isn’t actually a way of bringing back the Brough Superior name. In fact, although it went out of business in 1939, it restarted in 2013, Autoweek reports. And in 2016, the revitalized Brough Superior company brought back another famous name: the SS100.
The original SS100 was a genuine superbike of its time. In 1920, when the fastest cars couldn’t reach 100 mph, the SS100 could. The new Brough Superior SS100, though, is definitely faster. And more powerful.
Like the original, the new SS100 has a V-twin, a 997cc one rated at 102 hp and 64 lb-ft. That doesn’t sound like much, considering my 2012 Triumph Street Triple R makes 106 hp from 675cc. But the Brough Superior SS100 is fairly light for a liter-bike, Cycle World reports.
It has an aluminum and titanium frame, Motorcyclist reports, an aluminum swingarm, and aluminum wheels. The fuel tank is also aluminum, Motorcycle News reports, and takes 35 hours to machine, assemble, and polish. All told, the bike weighs 410 pounds without fluids.
Although it doesn’t deliver record-shattering speed, the new SS100 does a different kind of innovation. Its ‘Fior’ front suspension, named after its designer, is meant to prevent the bike diving forward under braking. Which, considering it has 2 dual-disc front brakes, is suitably impressive.
In fact, that Fior suspension also made its way to the Aston Martin AMB 001, The Drive reports. And that’s just one part of the upcoming superbike.
The Aston Martin AMB 001
Like the SS100, the Aston Martin AMB 001 also has a 997cc V-twin, Motor Trend reports. Only in this bike, it’s turbocharged and intercooled, bumping the output to 180 hp, RideApart reports. And without fluids, it only weighs 397 pounds.
That low weight is thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber, titanium, and aluminum. The body panels, which are hand-painted, are made of carbon fiber, as is the fuel tank. The frame, wheels, and front suspension are made of aluminum. And to sharpen the Aston Martin AMB 001’s handling, the engine is a stressed member of the frame.
As of this writing, Aston Martin and Brough Superior are still finalizing aspects of the AMB 001’s performance. However, the British superbike is going to face some stiff competition on the racetrack.
The Ducati Panigale V4 R, for example, makes 234 hp with the racing exhaust but weighs 18 pounds less than the AMB 001. A racetrack, though, is likely the only place where you’ll likely see these two bikes facing off.
Pricing and availability
Aston Martin and Brough Superior are only planning to produce 100 AMB 001s. In addition, the bike is track-only, and there won’t be a street-legal version. At least with the V4 R, you can give up 13 hp to fit a street-legal exhaust, Cycle World reports. Finally, with a $121,000 price tag, the Aston Martin AMB 001 isn’t cheap. The Ducati, in contrast, starts at $40,000.
But, if you still want a modern Brough Superior, the SS100 can be imported into the US. It’s also not particularly cheap; prices start at roughly $56,000. However, that’s still cheaper than a classic SS100.
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