Known as “The Rolls Royce of Motorcycles”, Brough Superior motorcycles were built from 1919 until 1940 in Nottingham, England. They were the creation of George Brough – a racer, designer, and showman.
All Brough Superior motorcycles were high performance and superior quality. Most were custom-built to the customer’s needs, and rarely were any two of the same configuration.
Each motorcycle was assembled twice. The first assembly was to fit all the components. Then the motorcycle was disassembled and all the parts painted or plated as needed. Finally, the finished parts were assembled a second time.
Every motorcycle was test ridden to ensure that it performed to specification, and was personally certified by George Brough. The SS100 model was ridden at 100 mph (160 km/h) or more prior to delivery. The SS80 model was ridden at 80 mph (130 km/h) or more before delivery. If any motorcycle did not meet specification, it was returned to the works for rework until it performed properly. The fit and finish was comparable to a Rolls-Royce car, and they were the most expensive road-going motorcycles in the world.
Brough Superior motorcycles have always been rare and expensive. Prices for these motorcycles ranged from £100 to £185 in the 1920s and 1930s. Since the average annual salary in Britain during the 1930s was £200, only the wealthy were able to afford them.
In 1940, World War II brought an end to production as the factory was turned over to produce Rolls-Royce Merlin aero-engines. After hostilities had ceased there were no suitable engines available so the company was wound up. Less than 1,000 still exist. The most famous of Brough Superior owners was Lawrence of Arabia who owned seven of them and rode them regularly.