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A tight-look­ing corner is ap­proach­ing, so I in­stinc­tively reach for the front brake lever, all of Mark’s as­ser­tions of its worth­less­ness pushed far from my in­tox­i­cated brain. I’m pretty sure I’m pulling the lever al­most hard enough to snap it, but noth­ing’s hap­pen­ing. And I do mean noth­ing. It would be as ef­fec­tive to open up my jacket for some ex­tra wind-re­sis­tance. As my eyes widen I give se­ri­ous fleet­ing con­sid­er­a­tion to jam­ming my feet into the tar­mac, then re­mem­ber Mark’s ad­vice and put some pres­sure on the back brake which does a de­cent job of slow­ing the bike.

A few miles later and I’ve ac­cu­mu­lated enough con­fi­dence to go for a moving gearchange as I ap­proach an­other se­ries of bends. Clutch in, grab the hand­shifter and pull it up and into sec­ond. There’s no graunch­ing, no hic­cups, no rear wheel lock up. Easy. By the time we get back to the Brough Su­pe­rior base just out­side of Toulouse I’m des­per­ate for just a few more miles, aching at the thought of hav­ing to give this bike back. I just want to keep on rid­ing for as long as I can. All I kept think­ing about was how fan­tas­tic it would be to have this bike on a Bri­tish sum­mer’s day and set off for a lazy ride with no par­tic­u­lar des­ti­na­tion in mind. I pull the de­com­pres­sion lever to kill the en­gine and the fi­nal cou­ple of pis­ton strokes fade away. White oil smoke is drift­ing up­wards as it hits the hot ex­haust pipe and it will for­ever be the smell I as­so­ciate with this ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­pe­ri­ence. An hour later I am sat at the ho­tel and re­alise I still reek of burn­ing oil. Sadly, this is one me­mento of the day that’s go­ing to be washed off in the shower but the mem­o­ries will never fade.

1936 SS80 project

In a nut­shell: The most af­ford­able way into Brough Su­pe­rior own­er­ship. Spe­cial be­cause: You won’t find a cheaper way to (tech­ni­cally) own a Brough Su­pe­rior mo­tor­cy­cle than this. You’ll es­sen­tially be buy­ing the in­com­plete pieces of a once great ma­chine. But if you’ve got a god-like tal­ent for restora­tion you may find some value here. Price: £22,425


In a nut­shell: Re­stored ver­sion of the most de­sir­able model. Spe­cial be­cause: It still runs, and ap­par­ently runs well. It’s had its top end in­spected and given mi­nor re­pairs in 2015. A stun­ning ma­chine for its age. Price: £219,900

1938 SS100 project

In a nut­shell: Poor con­di­tion Spe­cial be­cause: In 1963 this model was ad­ver­tised as ac­ci­dent dam­aged, with a twisted frame, cracked gear­box, tanks and ex­haust sys­tem dam­aged… but with a re­cently over­hauled en­gine. If restora­tion is your tal­ent you will cer­ti­fi­ably be buy­ing a SS100. Price: £41,400

The ‘Golden Dream’

In a nut­shell: The rarest Brough of all… and it doesn’t even have en­gine in­ter­nals. Spe­cial be­cause: The Golden Dream car­ried a unique en­gine made up of two hor­i­zon­tal flat twins placed on top of each other and geared to­gether. Painted gold, it was in­tended to be the ul­ti­mate ex­am­ple of what Brough could achieve.

Only one model was made for the Earls Court mo­tor­cy­cle show in 1938, with a fur­ther five be­ing built the fol­low­ing year. Then WWII broke out and pro­duc­tion stopped per­ma­nently. This ex­am­ple lives at the Na­tional Mo­tor­cy­cle Museum near Soli­hull. Price: Cur­rently price­less

1927 SS680 OHV

In a nut­shell: Ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of the sec­ond most pop­u­lar model in beau­ti­ful con­di­tion. Spe­cial be­cause: It’s still made up of many orig­i­nal com­po­nents, and is in ex­cel­lent me­chan­i­cal and cos­metic or­der. It has spent the past few years as a museum ex­hibit in Calne, Wilt­shire and even comes with a copy of the orig­i­nal fac­tory record card. Price: £124,995 Find it: an­tho­ny­ brough-su­pe­rior-680/

With 92 years be­tween them, the new SS100 owes a lot to the orig­i­nal, as do all bikes... Ex­tra­or­di­nary side­car out­fit is one of only 21 ever made

Built to show­case Brough’s tech­ni­cal abil­i­ties, Golden Dream is rarest of all Above: Bon­niksen Speedome­ter showed 100mph Be­low: SS680 was one of the best-sell­ing Broughs

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