Motorworld’s newspaper № 4
Test-drive video
Economic recession in Great Britain was almost over by 1932, and British motorcycle manufacturers started noticing that sales were on the rise. George Brough, however, who was firmly established in the high-end segment of the market, still had problems selling his machines. His Brough Superior model range was not updated for a whole while, so it was necessary to do something in order to attract the general public.

The Brough Superior model range presented in 1932 during the motorcycle show at the Olympia Exhibition Center had only one updated motorcycle model: it was SS80 which received a rigid frame, aluminum exhaust tubes and a smaller gas tank. This machine produced some interested response, but it was not big enough to get back to the pre-crisis sales levels. Next year, during another motorcycle show in the same Olympia center in London, all motorcycle models of this brand were shown in their modernized versions. 7-inch front brakes and 8-inch rear brakes were a novelty. A new option appeared, featuring completely interchangeable wheels (including the sidecar wheel), which made having a spare wheel a very practical idea. They were all easily detachable and could be used for the preceding models as well.

Brough Superior 11-50

Still, there was no significant sales increase happening. It was necessary to take decisive measures in order to keep company’s position on the market. Thus George Brough hastened to announce the release of two new motorcycles. One was the 680-cc, budget-priced Junior—a dream of many who formerly could not afford the Brough Superior. The other one was a new heavy L-head motorcycle designed from scratch and called “11-50”.

Model 11-50 was designed as a response to many requests from abroad, mostly from police officers, who needed a motorcycle as powerful as SS100, but with a simpler, L-head engine and a lower price tag. 11-50 got a double-cylinder, V-shape, 1096-cc JAP LTZ motor, with bore and stroke of 85.7 × 95 mm—George Brough said that it was designed specially for Brough Superior. The angle between the cylinders was equal to 60 degrees, in contrast with the usual 50 degrees, which increased engine torque and was promising rides that would be more gentle in combination with the sidecar.

British policemen on their new Brough Superior motorcycles. SS80 leads the column, followed by 11-50 models. George Brough stands in the background (in the middle).

Announcing his new motorcycle George Brough was promising a 1150-cc engine, but he did not mention bore and stroke. This was a cunning marketing ploy, so typical of George. The reason was that at the time this combination, “11/50”, meant 11 RAC h. p. (RAC stands for Royal Automobile Club), which was the horsepower parameter used in Great Britain to calculate tax on moving vehicles, and 50 h. p. effective output. In other words, when the potential customer heard the name of this motorcycle model, he would imagine a very powerful machine, which would promise a great saving to its owner. In reality, however, engine capacity of the 11-50 model was 36 h. p.

The solo version of this motorcycle model could reach 135 km/h and, when used with the side car and having two passengers, it could go as fast as 110 km/h.

Brough Superior 11-50 had a benevolent reception with critics, but most importantly, with police officers, for whom in was designed in the first place. This is not surprising, since with the guaranteed speed of 110 km/h practically no law violator could escape from a patrolman on 11-50.

Manufacturer Brough Superior, England
Years of manufacture 1933-1940
Quantity produced, units 308
Price £ 130
Today’s value 9 833 $
Type Twin-cylinder, V-shape
Engine capacity, cc 1 096
Bore and stroke, mm 85,7 х 95
Engine rating 36 h.p.
Sparking Magneto
Carburetor Amal
Battery 6 V
Clutch Dry
Transmission 4-speed
Frame type Tubular
Front suspension Castle type
Rear suspension Rigid
Brakes Drum type
Wheel size Front 3,50 х 26, rear 4,00 х 27
Length, mm
2 100
Width, mm
Height, mm
1 010*
Wheelbase, mm
1 448
Ground clearance, mm
Seat height, mm
Mass, kg
Gas tank size, l
Maximum speed, km/h
Range, km

* – Data from the results of the measurement of the “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov” exhibit.



The Book of the JAP Engine (англ.)