When you think of a V-twin, the mind usually goes to a classic American cruiser covered with lashings of chrome, and perhaps a few too many tassels. However, not long after Harley and Davidson started fiddling around with engines, the Brits joined the game with ancient marques such as Matchless, Zenith, and BSA trying their hand. However, the most famous British V-Twin made before the second world war has to be the Brough Superior, once dubbed "the Rolls Royce of Motorcycles."
If you're in the market for a Brough, Bonhams will be happy to help. The Spring Stafford Sale, set to take place at the International Classic Motorcycle Show on the 27th and 28th April, is listing no less than three Broughs, which are estimated to sell from £60,000 to £130,000 ($79,325.10 to $171,871.05.)
Of the three Broughs, the star of the show has to be the 1920's 986cc Brough SS100 Alpine Grand Sports, a very rare model which was guaranteed to go faster than 100 miles an hour, an impressive feat in the 1920's. This bike was restored in 1986, and a similar model was sold by Bonhams in 2014 for £315,100 ($416,703.99). Lawrence of Arabia is famous for his love of SS100's and owned 7 of them before his death riding one.
Also up for sale is a 1,096cc Brough 11-50hp (the model designation, not the bhp rating) with a cruiser sidecar which was built in 1924. This bike competed in the International Six Days Trial (ISDT) and starred in the British show Dad's Army. It is estimated to sell from £60,000 to £80,000 ($79,325.10 to $105,796).
Continuing the Pre-World War Two British V-twin theme, Bonhams are selling an overhead valve 981cc Coventry-Eagle Flying-8 from 1925, described by a journalist at the time as "On the open road, as one would expect, it is possible to annihilate space on the merest whiff of gas." So just like a Panigale then.
Finally, there is the most dapper sidecar combination known to man, the Chater Lea. built in 1922, this bike is sure to be quick of the line, with a staggering 8hp.