1912 Brough Superior SS100 Alpine Grand Sports Photo Gallery
Even within the rarefied atmosphere inhaled by Brough Superior enthusiasts, there are certain motorcycles that still take your breath away — the iconic British marque’s legendary SS100 line has that visceral impact.
In the Roaring Twenties, the Brough Superior SS100 was sold with the guarantee that it could run 100 mph over a quarter-mile — an astounding feat for the time. T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) was an SS100 owner, firmly cementing the superbike’s reputation for high-performance.
Inspired by the demanding 1925 Austrian Alpine Trial — George Brough entered on an SS100 and brought home a Best Performance cup — 1926 saw the first year of the SS100 Alpine Grand Sports edition, which boasted a new frame. The features that make the AGS distinctive are designed with touring in mind, including a small flyscreen, a pair
of toolboxes, and a lower compression ratio for the overhead valve V-twin 986cc JAP engine.
Like so many motorcycles of the between-wars era, the 1929 AGS shown here has some unique features. Purchased by H.A. Preston of Worcestershire, it counter-intuitively has the old-style SS100 spring frame, along with dual headlights, large model-specific bags, Castle forks (patented by George Brough and Harold “Oily” Karslake), a seat-tube mounted oil tank (for increased oil pressure), and a now curiously missing Cruiser sidecar.
After spending time in the United States, this Brough Superior SS100 Alpine Grand Sports was restored by the highly regarded Brough specialist Tony Leedal, and toured through Europe in the ’00s. Thanks to matching registration, frame and engine numbers, Bonhams was able to auction the bike at The Bond Street Sale recently for a tidy £315,100.
“Brough products are of the highest quality and engineering excellence, and are admired by all and highly sought-after, almost 100 years after the Haydn Road Works first opened their doors” Director for Bonhams Motorcycle Department Ben Walker relates. “The most charismatic of the marque’s stable is unquestionably the SS100.”
Take a deep breath and enjoy.
Story from Ultimate MotorCycling magazine; for subscription services, click here.
1929 Brough Superior SS100 Alpine Grand Sports Photo Gallery