It is entirely reasonable to be skeptical about Aston Martin's segue into the world of hi-end motorbikes. Anything a car manufacturer does with its registered trademark that doesn't include it being glued to a car must be treated pessimistically because most firms have proven themselves tragically undiscerning when it comes to third-party partnerships. But it's hard to cling onto that sense of cynicism when presented with first sight of the AMB 001. Clearly, this is not an Aston Martin iPad cover.
It stops short of genuine beauty, perhaps - but the collaboration with Brough Superior has obviously delivered something very striking indeed. Aston's design team, apparently taking their inspiration from the forthcoming mid-engine supercars, must take the credit here. The bumf says the AMB 001 is 'designed to display a level of elegance that isn't normally found on racing bikes', and while that's a head nod to the fact that the limited edition bike isn't coming to a road near you, it also rings true. Whether you think it a work of art or not, plainly it is a two-wheeled machine for the connoisseur.
Brough Superior's existing lineup tends to qualify for this status anyway, but Aston's involvement has obviously led to much gilding of the lily. Think carbon fibre, titanium and billet aluminium in eye-catching quantities, offset rather wonderfully by the Oxford Tan leather pads of that hand-stitched saddle. There's a double wishbone fork and aerodynamic downforce to the front (the latter delivered by those wings attached to the cowl) and a turbocharged V-twin sending power to the rear.
The AMB 001 marks the first time Brough Superior has deployed such a motor, and it's said to deliver 'huge' torque alongside a 180hp peak output. Given the bike's quoted dry weight of just 180kg, we'd imagine that 1hp per kilogram unlocks rather a lot of performance (although, granted, it's still heavier and less powerful than the current Ducati Panigale V4 - and is certainly not in the same zany, track-only league as things like the Kawasaki Ninja H2R).
Realistically, of course, that's by the by. The AMB 001 has 'track-inspired pedigree', sure - but it's not really meant for pounding around a track. We know this because it comes with the remarkable asking price of €108,000 - which, no question about it, is an extravagant sum for a motorcycle of any sort. Just 100 examples will be handmade at Brough Superior's factory in Toulouse, and it doesn't seem unreasonable to suggest that more than a few will disappear into private collections, never to be seen again.
As ever, that doesn't seem quite right for something designed and built with such naked function in mind - nor something that can wear its nine-micron stainless steel Aston Martin wings (the same version that adorn the Valkyrie) with pride. Hopefully some buyers will resist the understandable temptation to mount the AMB 001 on the wall, and endeavour to find out whether it's capable of cashing the enormous cheques that body is writing. Either way, we're onboard with AM's first bike.
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