Motorworld’s newspaper № 21
Test-drive video
In 1924 the most famous Brough Superior model had its debut: the SS 100. The digits in its name meant that it could achieve the speed of 100 miles per hour (160.90 km/h): each motorcycle was provided with a special certificate verifying the fact that this speed was indeed achieved during the motorcycle testing. Right from the start, when Brough Superior started the production of its models, they were dubbed “the Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles”, and this expression was used as company advertising slogan after Rolls-Royce representatives had thoroughly examined the motorcycle and given their permission for such a comparison. However, in addition to Rolls-Royce qualities that became famous, in the first place, due to the beauty and grace of its models, Brough Superior motorcycles showed a very imposing performance. They were capable of achieving speeds far higher than the limited achievement of road motorcycles of the time.

J.A.P. engine. This version was installed on Brough Superior SS 100 after 1928

It was powered by the twin-cylinder, V-shape (the angle between the cylinders was 50 degrees), OHV, 988-cc J.A.P. engine. Its peak brake power was 45 h.p. at 4800 rpm, as per today’s assessment (Brough Superior, just as Rolls-Royce, never published official information regarding the engine power of its motorcycle). The parallelogram front fork which was used for earlier models was replaced in this case by a characteristic cantilever fork made by the Castle Fork and Accessory Company (obviously a copy of that on Harley-Davidson motorcycles). Eventually, the front fork of this type was used in all of company models.

Page from Brough Superior brochure

At the close of the 1920s George Brough (who had founded the company) started experimenting with “soft” rear-wheel suspension. He chose a concept patented by Bentley & Draper: a non-planar triangle of the rear pendulum and a spring unit under the seat. After 1928 suspension of this type was custom-built for SS100 model and its modifications.

Brough Superior SS 100 at Dunlop testing facility

Brough Superior motorcycles were hand-assembled and constantly modernized. George Brough created models which he would love to ride himself, and this was a significant part of their success with customers. When a new and a better modification of the J.A.P. engine appeared, the motorcycle was immediately modernized, for George Brough was comfortable only when getting the best… After 1926, the same was true with Matchless engines which were installed on some of company models.

281 motorcycles with J.A.P. engines were manufactured between 1924 to 1938, and 102 motorcycles with Matchless engines were made between 1926 and 1940.

The motorcycle in our collection has an interesting story. It was previously owned by Dunlop that got it for its 40th anniversary. This machine was used for advertizing and for testing Dunlop tires, took part in many public events. Originally it had the sidecar too, but it did not survive WWII.

Dunlop’s choice was dictated by the consideration that Brough Superior SS 100 was, obviously, the best and most magnificent motorcycle of its time. It was also one of the most well-known models and its fame spread far beyond the British Isles, both way back and until today: Brough Superior motorcycles were many times sold at auctions for very high, record-setting bids.

Manufacturer Brough Superior, England
Years of manufacture 1924 – 1940
Quantity produced, units 383
Price 170 £
Today’s value 11011,52 $
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
Type Twin-cylinder, V-shape
Engine capacity, cc 988
Bore & stroke, mm 85 x 85
Engine power 45 h.p. at 4800 rpm
Sparking Magneto Lucas
Carburator Binks 1¼
Battery 6 V
Clutch Multiple plate
Transmisson 3-speed
FRAME AND WHEELBASE
Type Tubular
Front suspession Leading-link, with Castle friction damper
Rear suspession Rigid
Brakes Drum type
Wheel size 3,0 х 19
DIMENSIONS
Length, mm
2 200*
Widgth, mm
   820*
Height, mm
1 030*
Wheel base, mm
1 499
Ground clearence, mm
   110*
Seat height, mm
   770*
Mass, kg
   154
Gas tank size, l
     18
Maximum speed, km/h
    210
Range, km
    350

* – Data on the results of metering at the exhibit “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov”.


Literature:

PDF

The Book of the JAP Engine (eng)

PDF