In the world of special production, limited edition motorcycles, there is one that was much-awaited, and left many wondering if it would ever come to fruition since the company was founded back in 2001. This is the Vyrus, a hub-centre steered motorcycle that strongly resembles the legendary Bimota Tesi.
This is no accident, as Vyrus split-off from Bimota as the Rimini, Italy maker was facing financial difficulties (is there any other for Italian vehicle makers?). Taking the basis of Massimo Tamburini’s Tesi – thesis in Italian, Vyrus continued developing the basic design, which has now culminated in the Vyrus 986 M2.
Using a Honda CBR600R inline-four as its powerplant, the Vyrus 986 M2 uses the engine as a stressed-member, cradled between two billet-machined plates, just like its Tesi forebear. What sets the 986 M2 apart is the hub-centre steering, something that is difficult to execute well for motorcycles, but Tamburini’s dream.
The advantage of hub-centre swingarm steering for the motorcycle’s front wheel is anti-dive is inherent in the design, and with tweaking of the actuation rods and steering geometry, the bike can be made to rise under braking. This will be something familiar to those who have ridden motorcycles with leading link front suspension, like the venerable Honda Cub.
Obvious disadvantages are the weight of the entire system, plus the swingarm having to be wide enough to allow for adequate steering movement. What the hub-centre design does give you is this perfectly neutral steering through corners at high-speed, something almost unnatural in its performance.
Hand-built to order from some 750 components and discrete parts, the Vyrus 986 M2 comes with carbon-fibre bodywork, de rigeur at this level of motorcycle. There are two versions available, a hand-built factory option tailored to the customer, or a kit version which is assembled by the customer using their own CBR600R engine, and pricing starts from 25,000 euros (RM119,020).