Riding the Brough Superior Moto2

 if you are visiting this page via a search engine, please click here for the full website.

 

Up popped an Email on my computer from an old racing buddy Alistair Wager: "can you please contact me asap regarding a ride you may be interested in".

 

So what's the deal Alistair?

"would you be available to test the Borough Superior Moto2 machine?"

 

It took me several mille seconds to respond "yes".

 

The bike is still undergoing development testing but it's very close to going racing. Their rider Luke Mossey wasn't comfortable the feeling that the front end of the bike was giving.

All action photos: Pete Wileman

The bike has a unique front suspension system similar to the one BMW use on some of their range; which in effect has an anti dive built in, that does take some getting used to.

At a point where Luke wasn't getting the feel that a 'normal' suspension system would give, the engineers were now attempting to change the bike's feeling into what he was looking for.

The irony was, these changes were potentially taking away the system's advantages, very quick steering, the ability to hold or change a line mid corner and being able to stay on line under hard acceleration out of turns.

I was first out on the bike in the morning and even during the sighting laps I found the front suspension too soft, it was using most of it travel even at slow speed.

We ran telemetry equipment and cameras on the bike to see what was going on and it was clear we had an issue to cure. Max the suspension guy from the States was on hand and swung into action adding pre-load, more fork oil, harder springs, compression and rebound damping, tyre pressures as the test went on.

 

All the data and my gut feelings seemed to be pointing in the same direction which was reassuring to know that I was on the right track, sorry about the pun. Suspension and 'feel' issues can end up in lots of blind alleys without the 'black box' recording everything.

 

Luke arrived later in the day to pick up where he'd left off from the last test at Silverstone; to sample how the bike felt now, and discuss with me and the team any improvements or issues etc.

Luckily we had the opportunity to back to back each other bouncing ideas and describing how we felt what the bike was up to.

Looking at the data we defiantly made a step forward and hopefully helped Luke feel more confident about racing the bike at the British GP the following weekend.

 

For me the bike was fabulous to ride, in my humble opinion it has huge potential, not quite yet perfect, but to be honest, I've never ridden a perfect bike yet.

I had a laugh with Paul the designer "it's been 17 years since I last raced a 600 so it'll take me a while to get going I reckon".

It actually took me about 10 laps before I found the groove, buzzing it through the gears and riding hard to keeping it on the boil all the time.

 

I found as I went faster and faster it felt better and better, the side grip mid corner was amazing and I had to recalibrate my apex speed into 'bonkers mode'.

Paul said the chassis would feel stiff, he wasn't wrong only I would say 'Uber stiff' giving tremendous grip to the rear Dunlop tyre. I didn't have a rear slide all day and the bike effortlessly laughed off my attempts to catch it out, simply driving out of corners.

The front end felt 'unusual' compared to most standard machines, it was so easy to change direction making 'easy meat' of the chicane and the bottom of the mountain - a simple shake of the head and hips was all that was needed.

As the bike is made entirely of carbon fibre with a monocoque construction, tank, seat and frame being one item it is incredibly light, in fact 6KG under the minimum weight limit for the class.

 

The radiator is under the seat in front of the back wheel getting its cooling through the frame from a massive air intake in the nose of the fairing. The low pressure area behind the seat helps draw cool air through the frame. A brilliant concept, which also allows the engine to be moved forward in the chassis putting more weight onto the front wheel.

Did I enjoy the bike?

Oh yes and I'd love to get another shot on it.