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As a young lad, the author used to listen to his father speak of a man named T.E. Lawrence – better known as Lawrence of Arabia – who was responsible for shaping much of what the Middle East is today. Lawrence had an abiding passion for motorcycles, with his preferred choice being the Brough Superior, then the fastest motorcycle of its day.

What stayed in the author’s mind, though, was being told of how Lawrence met his demise in May 1935, whilst riding a 1932 Brough Superior SS100 named “George VII” through the country roads of Dorset, England. Whilst riding his Brough, Lawrence swerved to avoid two young boys cycling, whom he could not see due to a dip in the road. He was thrown over the handlebars, and sustained head injuries in the crash, passing away six days later.

As a result of the mishap, Sir Hugh Cairns, a neurosurgeon who attended to Lawrence, began a study into head injuries from motorcycle accidents. Cairns’ research led to the development and adoption of the motorcycle crash helmet, now compulsory safety equipment for motorcycle riders throughout the world.

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The Brough Superior SS100 itself was a record-setting motorcycle back in the 1920s, and offered a high degree of customisation to owners. George Brough encouraged his customers to provide feedback and ideas for improvement, and the SS100 was pretty much a hand-built and custom motorcycle, earning the sobriquet “the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles”.

After the conclusion of World War II, the company folded after 20 years in business, due to a lack of raw materials during the post-war austerity years. About 1,000 Brough Superiors from the pre-war period survive, looked after by a dedicated group of enthusiasts.

Until 2008, when Brough Superior restorer Mark Upham bought the rights to the Brough Superior name. After showing a prototype of the SS100 at the Milan International Bike Show in 2014, Brough Superior is now back with a production facility in Toulouse, France.

Carrying a 997 cc liquid-cooled eight-valve 88-degree V-twin, the engine is custom designed for the Brough Superior by Akira from Bayonne, Louisiana. Using DOHC and EFI, the V-twin engine is the culmination of George Brough’s dream to have an engine with cylinders integrated into a horizontally-split semi-dry sump crankcase.

The engine is able to be tuned to produce anywhere between 100 to 140 hp, depending on customer preference. A neat design touch is the integration of the clutch slave cylinder into the primary drive cover, giving the engine casing a sleek look.

Another unique touch to the Brough Superior SS100 is the twin-wishbone front fork, using cast-alloy girders. This put fewer moving parts on the steering, and reduces the sprung to unsprung weight ratio, a key factor in ride comfort and suspension compliance.

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Brake calipers are specially machined for Brough Superior, carved out of a solid block of aircraft-grade 6082-T6 aluminium alloy, grabbing 320 mm 4D Ceramic Beringer aluminium-ceramic discs. It is claimed to be the first brake calipers machined for radial mounting, and is said to be 10% lighter.

More aircraft technology transfer comes in the form of the Brough Superior SS100’s frame. Made in-house in Brough Superior’s facility, entirely from titanium, it is formed out of machined plates instead of the more traditional tubes. Weighing in at 186 kg dry, the SS100 stands 820 mm at the saddle. Wheelbase is 1,540 mm, which will give very sporty handling.

In all instances, the Brough Superior SS100 is, quite possibly, the ultimate retro-style custom build you could buy, with properly updated modern components, and unique engineering design touches.

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The options list is extensive, giving the buyer a choice of finishes – Traditional, Racing Full Black or Titanium. In the options list, five different leather covers for the seat are available, and a choice of alloy or spoked wheels in either polished or black finish.

Like Lawrence himself, who eschewed the conventional ways and preferred the company of his Arab brethren, this is certainly not a mainstream bike, and is intended for the connoisseur or serious collector who appreciates motorcycle art. Pricing starts from 50,000 euro (RM226,000), and we assume depending on the types of materials and options, the final price will be not cheap.