Carbon Fiber Brough Superior Moto2 Bike To Make Debut At Silverstone

Despite some early promise, there has been much complaining of a lack of innovation from chassis builders in Moto2. the bikes have followed the same basic layout as all modern race bikes since the late 1980s: aluminium twin spar chassis and conventional suspension arrangements.The only real interest has come from wildcards. At Le Mans, the French Promoto Sport team raced their Transfiormer chassis, with some solid results. Beyond that, the bikes have been pretty much identikit.

At Silverstone, another interesting wildcard will get its first public running. The British round of Moto2 will see the Brough Superior make its debut in a competitive race, after making an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year. The bike is a rebrand of the design by John Keogh and Taylormade Racing, discussed on last year. The bike uses a monocoque chassis design made fully from carbon fiber, with integral fuel tank. The front suspension is a single wishbone with damping in the forks, while the rear swingarm is also fully carbon fiber. The radiator has been moved to the rear of the bike, to allow the machine to be narrower and free up space in front of the engine.

The Brough Superior is to be raced by Luke Mossey, currently competing in the British Supersport championship. The effort is to be backed by British insurance giant Bennetts, one of the largest specialist motorcycle insurers in the UK. The press release announcing the deal appears below:


Bennetts Back Racing Return of British Icon

Insurance specialists to sponsor Brough Superior project at British MotoGP round

Bike insurance specialists Bennetts are backing the return of the iconic British Brough Superior brand by sponsoring the reborn marque’s one-off entry into the British Grand Prix at Silverstone next month.

Bennetts Brough Superior, as the team will be known, will enter the Moto2 class with rider Luke Mossey competing on board the team’s innovative British-designed carbon fibre Carbon 2 machine.

The project is headed by California-based Brits Paul Taylor and John Keogh, who are running the team on behalf of the soon-to-be relaunched Brough Superior brand. The bike, which has won national level races in the United States, features a unique carbon fibre monocoque design and has received input from famed Formula One engineers John McQuilliam and Steve Nichols. Like all bikes on the Moto2 grid, the Brough Superior will be powered by the standard specification 600cc four-cylinder Honda engine.

Dubbed the ‘Rolls Royce of motorcycles’ Brough Superiors were rare and expensive machines during their 20 year production run from 1920. Famous for their association with Lawrence of Arabia, Broughs acheived numerous race wins and speed records in the 1920s and 1930s. The brand was bought by British engineer Mark Upham in 2013 and the company has plans to sell its new SS100 model early next year, the first new motorcycles to go on sale wearing the famous name in 75 years.

Mossey, a front runner in the British Supersport championships, has already tested the bike in America, before giving the Carbon 2 a first run out on British soil at Silverstone yesterday. The team is planning to undergo one further test, before making its world championship debut at the Northamptonshire circuit on the weekend of 29-31 August.

Paul Taylor, CEO, Taylormade Racing said: “It is really exciting to be partnering with Bennetts to bring the Brough Superior Carbon 2 to the track at Silverstone. The bike has been in development and testing for a number of years and as befitting the iconic Brough Superior name, this is the state of the art in chassis design. We’ve been able to benefit from Formula 1 expertise here in the UK and hope that will make for a very competitive package first time out. Luke has taken well to the bike so we are really looking forward to mixing it up with the regular Moto2 competition to see how good it is.”

Luke Mossey, Bennetts Brough Superior Carbon 2 rider, said: “I can’t wait to race the Bennetts Brough Superior Carbon 2. I’ve ridden it in California and really like the bike - it reminds me of riding my 250GP bikes. I’ve done well at Silverstone, its one of my favourite tracks, so think we can be competitive even though have had less track time than our competitors. Roll on August!”

Mark Upham, CEO of Brough Superior, said: “We are proud to be partnering with Bennetts, a long-established company that George Brough would have known, to show why Brough Superior is an iconic British name! The Carbon 2 is everything George Brough would want in a motorcycle and I’m sure he and TE Lawrence wil be watching from on high and cheering Luke on as his namesake rolls out in front of the British MotoGP fans.”

Paul Taylor, PR and Sponsorship Manager at Bennetts, said: “We are delighted to be working with the team and are looking forward to seeing what they can do at Silverstone. There is a lot of romance around Brough Superior and the project is sure to attract attention around the world, but as much as anything we are just excited to be backing British engineering and design. When it was introduced in 2010, we expected Moto2 to be a place for chassis innovation. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case and we’re proud to be backing this original design in an otherwise homogenised field. There are no results expectations from Luke and the team, we’re just thrilled to be flying the flag for Britain. There’s no doubt that we are the underdogs, but we like that and hope that the British public will get behind this exciting project.”

Image credit: Double Red

Back to top


Taylor Made finally makes the moto2 grid!!!

very happy to see this!

The best of intentions and all that, but without free tyre choice it seems that alternative front suspension systems have little hope of being successful. It has been reported that it is not possible to get enough heat into the front tyre when using tyres that are designed for telescopic forks. See SuspensionSmith's build thread on the Performance Bikes forum. That thread also contains links to similar reports. Given that racing motorcycles are extremely sensitive to their tyre construction and compound, it would be logical (more like blatantly obvious) to conclude that they need a completely new tyre design rather than trying to adapt one that is made for telescopic forks. That will never happen of course. It will just be year in and year out of the same thing.

A welcome innovation, but Moto2 is a barren wasteland for it.

I'm interested in the rear mounted radiator and efforts to reduce aero drag. Not sure there is anything to be had there, but good to see someone trying. BTW, I wonder what the "national-level" race in the US that this bike is claimed to have won might be... WERA perhaps? If so, a bit of PR doublespeak.

Innovation takes time and funding as this article well illustrates. We are continually reading how cash strapped all private teams are and to think that a Moto2 team would have the wherewithal to bring new technology which will prove superior to the evolving contemporary engineering is laughable. Those with longer memories will remember the ELF prototypes and how successful they weren't with huge backing and talented engineers. In the present environment those who follow this course do so for the furthering of technical knowledge and not much else.

At long last, someone with the determination to try something different in Moto2. It looks much smaller than a regular Moto2 bike. When I first read about it, Taylormade were right on the weight limit and could go lighter if necessary, so, it seems it is going to be the lightest bike there, and with the smallest frontal area, so it should be fast, at least on a straight line. I hope they succeed, just to see everybody else copying them, so that, eventually, racebikes will stop looking like something from the early 20th century.

Moto2 produces some close racing but it is nothing other than a glorified chassis championship. In order to keep sponsors happy and for that to remain competitive various chassis makers have all adopted the common aluminium twin spar chassis. The Moto2 class is therefore devoid of innovations in the chassis sphere. Sealed Honda engines and the claiming rules ensure that the engine also does not see any innovation. I really do not know why this category exists. Maybe to just have the three race format. Other than Marc Marquez no other Moto2 champion has shown that there is a logical progression from Moto2 to MotoGP. Toni Elias, Stefan Bradl and Pol Espargaro (at least as of now) have not looked like they will make some impact in MotoGP. I think Dorna needs to rethink this category. And while the return of the name Brough Superior is in itself exciting, I think racing that motorcycle in Moto2 with Honda engines is somehow not the right thing. In fact, Brough Superior should have first consolidated their road presence with their own engines (one can go to technology boutiques for that) and then thought of racing. On the whole I am not too kicked about this.

Good point.

I think the category will change, in time. At least I hope so.

When the GP championships were two stroke the logic behind the progression seemed logical: 125cc single cylinder, 2 of them to make 250s and four to make 500cc. Easy.

With the current classes, it seems they are there just because that is what already exists. Having 250cc singles and 1000cc fours is fine but slightly smaller 600cc fours just makes no sense, except as I say, they already exist. I have heard Honda suggesting 500cc twins as the mid point and I think this would be great- pushing and restarting 'supersport' class development (as 500cc twins) and making far more sense as road bikes.

As an added bonus they would make more sensible road bikes too- assuming they don't try to claim a link to the rebodied commuters currently on offer.

This is the first time I can remember multiple riders talking seriously about skipping the middle class altogether. This could be just idle talk but teams are taking them seriously.

The dream of any rider is a factory ride. A factory contract but satellite ride has been invented by the powers that be to cool the jets of aspiring greats but they still pine to be one of the 2 riders in official factory livery. The salary. The support. The perks. The pressure. And don't forget the salary. What am I getting at? There are no factory teams in Moto2. There are big and good teams but nobody a rider looks up to like a factory. The idea that two or three of the top 125 riders could skip Moto2 I think is indicative that they feel there is not much to learn and no major contacts to be made there.

Oh yea, Moto2 was never intended to be a class intended to cultivate technical innovation. Spec tires and spec engine pretty much ensure that.


Moto2 is pure racing spectacle.

The fact that riders are talking about skipping over the class, that race fans are questioning its relevance and bemoaning the lack of variety in machinery and diversity and interest in equipment, is evidence that at the GP level, pure racing spectacle between the lights and the checkered flag is not enough.

Moto3, Honda vs. KTM, Marquez vs. Miller, is far more interesting to me than watching Moto2 identibike racing ...

You may be right. MM 93 seems to think it's useful, but that might just be trying to keep the usurpers at bay.
It has provided some of the best racing and spectacle over the past few years, although the technology seems to be stagnating, I agree. Like Moto 3, the 'cost-cutting' has had what we think are unintended consequences, and the factories and well-funded teams have proven, yet again, that they can find ways around most cost-cutting measures. Just as they did with 125 2-strokes really - if you wanted to be fast, or a champion, an Aprilia (factory fettled and big bucks) was an absolute necessity. Not much has changed.

The perennial problem of whatever wins being the de facto choice for the aspiring racer is still the major technology influence. It doesn't look like changing unless they ban anyone from having the same as someone else. (Maybe that's not a bad idea...)

The Ducati has frightened me off carbon composite for chassis on racers because of the limitations on quick changes (I haven't seen carbon composite out of a 3D printer just yet). To be fair I feel their problems were more to do with the stressed engine being most of the chassis frame rather than the material per se. It will be very interesting to see if this can be made competitive within a season (and if it gets that far).
I think Moto 2 still has some legs, but keeping it fresh and interesting and not seeming to be a one-make series is the challenge that needs to be addressed as the chassis makers leave for more fertile territory (or should I say are forced to leave because of the winning-formula problem).

What happened that Mossey has been replaced by McWilliams for the GP? Did he get hurt or something? How fast can a 50-year-old man be? So much for causing a good impression with new, I mean, unconventional technology.