Midual 900

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - RETRO REBOOT -

So Midual fi­nally gave us their big twin af­ter 15 years of wait­ing, but we wished it had looked more like this!

Back in 1999 French designer Olivier Midy un­veiled an am­bi­tious project at the Paris bike show, fea­tur­ing a brand new en­gine de­sign – a 900cc boxer twin with one cylin­der point­ing for­ward and one point­ing back­ward. Fit­ted to a tubu­lar steel frame, that orig­i­nal pro­to­type was styled by Bri­tish designer Glynn Kerr. Fi­nally un­veiled late in 2014, the bike’s ca­pac­ity had not only grown to 1036cc, but so had the ex­pected price tag – a whop­ping £124,000. While the steam­punk-like styling also caught the gen­eral public by sur­prise we can’t help but won­der what could’ve been, even back a decade and a half ago.

Orig­i­nally de­signed with France’s 100bhp limit in mind, the 900cc en­gine would’ve been likely to ap­peal to those want­ing torque over brute power. With the wa­ter-cooled en­gine canted for­ward to re­duce length, this would also al­low the rear cylin­der to clear the rear shock. One of the benefits of such an en­gine lay­out would be the nar­row pro­file, mak­ing for a very slim, ag­ile bike. The lat­est 1036cc mo­tor is claimed to make a steady 106bhp and a healthy 74ft-lb of torque, which we think is achiev­able with the 900cc ver­sion.

The cast alu­minium al­loy mono­coque frame not only dou­bles as the fuel tank, but acts as the sub­frame too. The of­fi­cial bike is a clas­sic road­ster with a smat­ter­ing of luxury thrown in but we’d forgo all that for more con­ven­tional tastes and a more per­for­mance-ori­en­tated bike. We’ve opted for sporty al­loy March­esi­nis over the spoked wheels which is more in line with the fu­tur­is­tic mono­coque frame. Large alu­minium brack­ets hold the swingarm pivot and en­gine firmly in place while Oh­lins sus­pen­sion takes care of the bumps.

We’ve styled our bike with min­i­mal body­work to show­case the chas­sis tech­nol­ogy – just look at that frame! With a com­pact, low-slung head­light and waspish tail unit our Midual shuns the pil­lion op­tion along with the usual tail-mounted num­ber plate bracket for a cleaner, purer line. There might not be 45 dif­fer­ent leather op­tions for our ver­sion but it’d be a whole lot more of an af­ford­able Midual ex­pe­ri­ence and we think per­haps a much bet­ter one! Is the Midual just too weird any­way? And too ex­pen­sive? What do you want to see be­ing part of the CMM Retro Re­boot for the next is­sue? Drop us a mail at the nor­mal ad­dress.

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