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Brough Superior Unveils 2021 Lawrence


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Brough’s latest bike is this sleek, titanium-framed, 102 hp ode to T.E. Lawrence.
Brough’s latest bike is this sleek, titanium-framed, 102 hp ode to T.E. Lawrence. (Brough Superior/)

For those wondering what on earth happened to the buzzy revival of quintessential Brit brand Brough Superior, we’ve dug up a couple of answers. The first is, the pandemic knocked it a bit off track; the second is, the company has since regrouped and is back with a brand-new bike. The now French-based marque has just released its latest model, the Lawrence, a hand-built two-seater fittingly named after one of the brand’s most famous and ardent fanboys, Thomas Edward Lawrence, who owned seven Brough Superior motorcycles in his time.

The new 2021 Lawrence is a premium model, essentially hand-built with high-end materials like titanium, carbon fiber, and aluminum.
The new 2021 Lawrence is a premium model, essentially hand-built with high-end materials like titanium, carbon fiber, and aluminum. (Brough Superior/)

Brough announced the reveal of this titanium-framed stunner a couple of days ago with little fanfare, having had its thunder stolen by the unfortunate cancellation of the 2020 EICMA event, where the Lawrence was set to have its worldwide coming-out party. But Brough still expects the new bike, the fifth in its current range, to make waves; it’s a departure from the brand’s SS100, Anniversary, and Pendine models, classically styled bikes that more closely echoed the original company’s low-slung designs (Brough’s AMB 001 collaboration with Aston Martin however is on a whole other planet). The new Lawrence is more trim, refined, and modern in tone, with curvier new carbon fiber bodywork (not that there’s all that much of it) and a new fuel tank with raised “brows” to set it distinctly apart from its stablemates. A Brough spokesman says the tank’s lines are designed after “the curved daggers Bedouins wore on their belts and pictured on Lawrence of Arabia” (or T.E. Lawrence to you and me). Daggers or not, neo-retro feels like the right description of this bike’s style.

The Lawrence is powered by Brough’s in-house water-cooled, 997cc, eight-valve V-twin, claimed to output 102 hp.
The Lawrence is powered by Brough’s in-house water-cooled, 997cc, eight-valve V-twin, claimed to output 102 hp. (Brough Superior/)

Which is not to say the newest member of the Brough range is ditching the old reputation for innovation, performance, and lofty price tags; the Lawrence brings some unique engineering, exotic materials, and high-zoot components to the table. For instance, there’s that titanium frame, which is further bolstered by a titanium subframe; a Fior-type fork CNC-machined from aluminum with titanium links connecting to a centrally mounted monoshock (which offers preload and rebound adjustability); a cast aluminum swingarm that pivots in the engine crankcases, also joined to an adjustable monoshock; and machined aluminum wheels with a dual-disc Beringer brake setup upfront. All that aluminum helps keep claimed weight down to a featherweight 440 pounds (but it’s not clear if that’s wet or dry weight).

It’s an interesting arrangement upfront, with a Fior-type aluminum fork and articulated titanium links attaching to a preload- and rebound-adjustable monoshock.
It’s an interesting arrangement upfront, with a Fior-type aluminum fork and articulated titanium links attaching to a preload- and rebound-adjustable monoshock. (Brough Superior/)

But Brough Superior being a small-volume maker of boutique bikes, there are certain components that necessarily get shared across the line. One is that 997cc, water-cooled, eight-valve, DOHC motor, a version of which Brough uses in its other bikes, originally built for Brough by Boxer Design (Boxer Design principal Thierry Henriette is the man building the new Broughs, by the way). The V-twin unit is set at 88 degrees and produces 102 hp at 9,600 rpm and 64 pound-feet of peak torque in this application, and is homologated for Euro 4.

Even the high-mount pipes on either side sport meticulous detailing.
Even the high-mount pipes on either side sport meticulous detailing. (Brough Superior/)

Despite the high-mounted chrome cannons sticking out on either side of the bike, Brough Superior calls the Lawrence a “cruising rider’s ideal” in its marketing copy, and the wider handlebar, deeply scooped saddle, and 200-section, 17-inch rear tire may have something to do with that. This also happens to be the company’s first two-seater, but these photos don’t make a very convincing argument that the skimpy pillion will be all that tolerable for your passenger. That said, the styling, ergonomics, and shape of the Lawrence mark a departure from Brough’s initial classic designs, and with Henriette at the helm, there’s a good chance we’ll see yet more wild designs to come from the brand—ones that are hopefully more affordable to regular Joes (and Janes).

Aluminum components and details bring weight down to a superlight 440 pounds. The look is definitely futuristic from this angle.
Aluminum components and details bring weight down to a superlight 440 pounds. The look is definitely futuristic from this angle. (Brough Superior/)

This is probably a great place to mention that hand-built bikes made of top-shelf materials don’t come cheap, and this one will set you back a wallet-gouging 66,000 euros—or approximately 79,083 of today’s US dollars. And that’s provided you can get your mitts on one; Brough is minting just 188 examples of this model, as a tribute to T.E. Lawrence’s birth year of 1888. If he were alive today, Lawrence of Arabia would definitely have dug that, even if he couldn’t afford one.

The rider - who some say looks like a French version of Ted Cruz - attempts to convince his unsuspecting lady friend that the brief pillion might actually be comfortable.
The rider - who some say looks like a French version of Ted Cruz - attempts to convince his unsuspecting lady friend that the brief pillion might actually be comfortable. (Brough Superior/)Success. And off we go to Cancun, on a French-built motorcycle inspired by a famous British bike brand.
Success. And off we go to Cancun, on a French-built motorcycle inspired by a famous British bike brand. (Brough Superior/)Although it still maintains a long and low stance, the Lawrence model marks a departure from the rest of the modern Brough brand’s range.
Although it still maintains a long and low stance, the Lawrence model marks a departure from the rest of the modern Brough brand’s range. (Brough Superior/)

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Oooo that’s nice, solid looking. Got a little bit of an ‘I’m a tw*t that drives a Porsche’ look but I could live with that 😂

They had me right up to the photo with the little lady riding pillion, sod ‘em 😂

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