Brough Superior Anniversary Trial


Birthday bling bling

88 ° V-Twin of 997 cm3, 102 hp and 87 Nm, 186 kg dry, Fior fork, titanium frame … 100,000 €

To celebrate its centenary in 2019, Brough Superior has launched production in France of its limited edition Anniversary, a model based on SS100 but which will only be manufactured in 100 copies with the price of the exception.. Because the Anniversary is marketed for the modest sum of 100,000 €, an amount that may seem high but not for everyone because the brand has already delivered 48 copies and there are only 38 available for sale according to Thierry Henriette, the boss of Brough. One more reason to accept the privilege of trying it out and to avoid getting one on its handlebars more than ever..

Brough Superior Anniversary TestBrough Superior Anniversary Test


The Brough Superior Anniversary is essentially an accessorized version of the SS100 that marked the brand’s rebirth. Its 997cc eight-valve DOHC V-Twin engine is now Euro 4-compliant, with four truncated and separated oblique mufflers which its CEO says are more there for looks than performance. In addition, the anniversary model incorporates a wide selection of specific equipment and parts, all made in-house by Brough from die-cut aluminum, ranging from double tank caps to triple tee through the cover and the hood of the headlight up to the radiator sides and to the plates which adorn the lower half of the 14-liter tank and the single-seater seat.

The very distinctive 18-inch 5-spoke Anniversary rims are cut from aluminum with dimensions of 3.50 "at the front and 4.50" at the rear, all shod with Michelin Pilot Road tires..

Once again, the Brough accepts only its pilotOnce again, the Brough accepts only its pilot

This version is all the more exclusive as there is still no room for a passenger, even if the CEO confirms that a two-seater Alpine Grand Sports will be the next production to join the SS100, the Pendine and now the Anniversary.

The tinsel aspect is such that you will need a tinted visor to ride the bike in full sun, as I was able to do during this day when I took advantage of the visit to the Toulouse factory for this test. Because yes, the factory is in France and it is she who manufactures both the engine and the motorcycle..

The Anniversary is actually an accessorized SS100The Anniversary is actually an accessorized SS100

The 997cc, liquid-cooled V-twin engine measuring 94 x 71.8mm is used as the load-bearing element of the chassis, with the titanium top frame bolted to the cylinder heads to allow the work of the front suspension. Compressing to 11: 1, this eight-valve block with double overhead camshaft delivers an advertised power of 102 hp at 9,600 rpm with a torque of 87 Nm at 7,300 rpm while respecting Euro4. However, as for the SS100 and the Pendine, it is possible to order a version only approved for the track, capable of outputting 130 horsepower and 120 Nm..

997cc V-Twin delivers 102hp and 87Nm997cc V-Twin delivers 102hp and 87Nm

There is not much growl on this approved road version. So you have to play with the six-speed gearbox to keep the V-Twin running and the Anniversary to come alive. Working with the very easy box remains a pleasure, even in town or in interlocking. It’s really a very pleasant ride … if we manage to forget for a moment the price of the motorcycle.

The 6-speed gearbox is very pleasant to useThe 6-speed gearbox is very pleasant to use

The Brough Superior’s brakes are also at the forefront with no less than four floating 230mm ceramic / aluminum composite discs, with two pairs on each side, each pinched by four-piston Beringer radial calipers featuring sintered metal pads capable of stopping this 186 kg bike dry and with a balanced distribution (50/50).

At the front we find the Beringer quadruple disc systemAt the front we find the Beringer quadruple disc system

In the saddle

"My" bike was No. 87 out of 100, so it was built in advance, because its owner wanted to get the chassis number corresponding to his son’s year of birth! When we can, why deprive ourselves ?

No change in instrumentationNo change in instrumentation

The Anniversary’s thick metal handles feel good in the hand and aren’t as slippery as I expected. Paired with all the metal parts of the bike, they help give that massive look to the whole thing, with some very neat details like the brake and clutch master cylinders which further add to the impression of quality. Even the key is a work of art.

Metal handles provide a good gripMetal handles provide a good grip

There is still an old-fashioned throttle cable. There is therefore no choice of driving mode as with a ride-by-wire. This does not prevent the Synerject injection mapping in low revs from being really excellent, with instant power supply offering a smooth recovery with closed throttle valve and linear acceleration during pick-ups. Even without a balance shaft, vibrations remain minimal, probably thanks to the 88 ° opening chosen to allow a more compact frame while saving 30 mm on the upper part of the cylinders. The set is even more refined than on the Pendine Sand Racer which was however already well adjusted..

Saddle up for a day aboard the BroughIn the saddle for a day aboard the Brough


The design of the fork has several advantages, including the separation of the steering and suspension functions, so that the fork does not lock up when braking suddenly in a corner turn. The suspension is also better suited thanks to its fully adjustable shock absorber which reduces mass transfer and maintains a constant steering geometry, with the rigid arms allowing the front wheel to only thrust on a purely vertical plane, even with the strongest braking. possible.

Brough Superior Anniversary road testBrough Superior Anniversary road test

The latest modifications made by Henriette & Co. on the 88 ° V-Twin made it even more precise and easier to control than on the Pendine, already excellent at this level and with a sound identical to the one I had driven. when it goes into production. On the Anniversary, there’s still plenty of torque and horsepower, but getting there is easier. The recovery, throttle closed, is also smoother than before without being lazy as the engine shifts cleanly into the upper gear without any trace of transmission while the needle continues to progress towards the red zone at 5 figures on the barely legible counter, which still does not improve, despite the 100,000 € requested for the motorcycle. While I blame it, let’s also talk about the starter buttons and turn signals which are still too small to be used with gloves on. Moreover, no fuel gauge is present, only a warning light…

The engine seems even better tuned than on the PendineThe engine seems even better tuned than on the Pendine

On the other hand, the six-speed gearbox works perfectly with a neutral now easy to find and a clutch whose lightness at the lever is more than acceptable for such a level of torque and power. This makes it a pleasant motorbike in the city, especially with its relatively upright position which helps to see far ahead (there is a wide choice of handlebars so that each customer is happy).

And when you go on the gas, prepare to be surprised; the 88 ° angle is not so far from Ducati’s 90 ° L-Twins and the dimensions of 94 x 71.8 mm almost identical to the 94 x 71.5 mm of the Desmodue of the 1000DS. However, the Anniversary does not sound like a Ducati, but more like an Aprilia RSV1000 with its V at 60 °. A more acute and jerky sound coming out of this quartet of silencers at 1,400 rpm at idle. The engine also encourages to go up in the revs while a surplus of power arrives from 6,000 revs to the red zone..

The Anniversary likes to be pushed into the towersThe Anniversary likes to be pushed into the towers

The Anniversary allows you to keep the trajectory well without the fork deviating under braking and without risk of collision between the wheel and the engine. In addition, the unsprung weight is reduced, allowing for better suspension tuning and a clean aesthetic. The Fior fork also offers the ability to immediately adjust geometry (caster, caster angle, wheelbase, ground clearance and weight distribution) as well as more precise suspension settings, even compared to the most sophisticated of telescopic forks. Add to that a stiffness / weight ratio of the front axle much higher than that of a conventional fork..

The Anniversary ensures good trajectoriesThe Anniversary ensures good trajectories

As with all modern Broughs, one can quickly experience these benefits on the Anniversary as it becomes almost second nature to brake hard and late in the turn without fear of blocking the steering. The top yoke can be seen moving up and down as it works to absorb irregularities in the road, but without really feeling the physical effects. In addition, Henriette has kept just the right amount of diving to allow bikers not used to these unconventional front axles to feel that the bike slows down when the front lever is squeezed..

The cycle part allows you to brake very late when entering a curveThe cycle part allows you to brake very late when entering a curve

Cycle part

What immediately stands out among the many elements of these modern Broughs is the Anniversary front suspension which combines a retro appearance with a modern design. It builds on the Fior-type fork system that had been proven in endurance and Grand Prix racing in the late 1970s. There’s that constant reminder that you’re riding something completely different when it comes to front suspension when the tinted bubble rises and falls in front of you as the fully adjustable Kayaba shock absorbs road bumps. Despite its wheelbase of 1,530 mm, the Anniversary is rather comfortable in the changes of direction, without needing to make an additional effort when entering the bike in curves. The ride inspires confidence and everything seems well controlled with good handling quality thanks to the 130mm rear travel (120mm at the front).

The Fior-type fork of the Brough Superior AnniversaryThe Fior-type fork of the Brough Superior Anniversary


The brakes work well and are not excessive in their interventions. Using such a large number of discs is therefore not too much, as the reduction in rotational weight helps to maintain precise steering, as much as it serves the look of the bike. What, at first glance, might sound like a drum from yesterday’s motorcycles is clearly not. It is even rather the reverse, due to its practical and forgiving configuration. You can apply the front brakes once on the corner and well into a curve, and the bike won’t lie down or pull straight out like other sports machines with imperfect steering geometry. And the two-channel Continental MK100MAD ABS works well, without intervening too early on the smooth asphalt warmed by the sun. It works just when it is needed and not in an intrusive way. Good job, gentlemen…

The single rear Beringer discThe single rear Beringer disc


Brough Superior has created an anniversary edition of this century-old motorcycle whose visual presence perfectly matches the dynamic capabilities and riding pleasure once on board, if you manage not to focus on all those zeros on the price tag..

Only 100 copies are available for this 100th anniversaryOnly 100 copies are available for this 100th anniversary

Let’s face it, this is a motorcycle that will only appeal to a few bikers for whom exclusivity and snobbery matter more than dynamic pleasure. My favorite modern Brough is still the Pendine powered by the same engine and costing "only" € 60,000. It’s almost a bargain compared to the Anniversary and its 100,000 €. As a former owner of a Brough Superior (before the auction prices soared) I would have appreciated to join the Brough club again, but I can’t see how that could happen! Finally, we can always dream…

Strong points

  • An even better tuned engine
  • The Fior fork
  • Braking
  • General quality

Weak points

  • The barely readable counter
  • Ergonomics of the commodos
  • The disproportionate price

The Brough Superior Anniversary technical sheet

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