A Weekend at Silverstone 28/29/30/31 August 2014 by Giles Jackson




The Brough Superior Taylormade Moto 2 team assembled on the Wednesday before the British Motorcycle Grand Prix. The team had received the Moto 2 specification engine from organisers Dorna and the first task was to install it in the bike. This is a standard specification  Honda CBR600 engine prepared by Extern Pro, a Spanish Engineering company based at Motorland, Aragon. The engine is carefully prepared so that all competitors receive an engine which is consistently powerful across the board to within one percent.  This replaced the Honda Supersport engine that the team had used previously for testing.


Team principals Paul Taylor, Tim Saunders and Shawn Higbee were joined by rider Jeremy McWilliams and Brough Superior CEO Mark Upham for the Day of Champions on the Thursday. The bike had originally been scheduled to be ridden by British Supersport rider Luke Mossey. He decided to pull out just ten days prior to the Grand Prix for personal reasons.


The team were very fortunate to acquire the services of the  very experienced and former Grand Prix rider, Jeremy McWilliams. Jeremy was the last British rider to stand on a 500 GP podium and and is a winner in the 250 GP class. He is an exceptional test rider and the team looked forward to making the use of his expertise. He managed to test the machine prior to the Grand Prix weekend but this was to be his first run with the full Moto 2 Specification bike.




The first practice on Friday proved frustrating for the team. The engine covers supplied on the Moto 2 Specification engine are deeper and this required the team to cut holes in the fairings on either side. In addition it became clear that the bike was some 19 kms an hour slower than the fastest bikes. Eventually a technician from another team found that the software supplied with the engine for the engine management system was two years out of date. A new disc with the latest data was provided and this made a substantial difference to the top speed but it was felt that a day had been wasted.  A change of gearing to suit the new  EMS  software was made.


The Taylormade/Brough Superior is a radical departure from  the typical Moto 2 machines on the grid. Rather than a frame constructed from steel tubing or from alumimium extrusions, it is fabricated from carbonfibre. Unlike the unsuccessful Ducati Moto GP bike which used a carbon fibre frame, the Taylormade/Brough Superior uses a carbon fibre monocoque in which the bodywork is a structural part of the motorcycle more like a racing car. The front suspension is unconventional using a pivoted A-arm mounted on a carbon structure attached to the frame and cylinder head.  The fork tubes


run conventional gas cartridges inside the actual tubes which allow adjustment in a similar way to a normal pair of forks. There is no headstock and this allows unimpeded

air to flow from the front of the fairing through to the rear mounted radiator. The idea is not dissimilar to the BMW telelever system and had been used successfully on Paul Taylor’s Saxon Triumph in the past. Designers Paul Taylor and John Keogh had hoped to improve the cornering ability by separating the braking and suspension forces. The idea is to provide a more stable platform and reduce dive and weight transfer under braking. The other aim is to have a suspension system that responds while the bike is leaned over during cornering something that is often absent with a conventional fork.


When the author talked to Jeremy McWilliams  after the first evening it became clear that some problems were being experienced. Normally weight transfer under braking causes a conventional bike to put more weight on the front wheel and raises the rear of the bike. This in turn reduces the steering head angle relative to the road and promotes a faster turn in at the entrance to a corner. When the bike accelerates the weight is transferred backwards. This increases the amount of trail which improves the stability of the bike under acceleration and allows for a faster exit. Unfortunately McWilliams was finding that the reverse was true of the current Taylormade/Brough Superior. The movement of the A-arm was increasing the trail under braking.  This meant that when entering the corner at competitive speeds he was unable to turn in effectively.  This caused him to miss the apex of the corner and run wide spoiling his exit and often his line for the next corner. He also felt that the rear mounted radiator was causing a rear weight bias.  The bike was also suffering from chatter.  Data logging had shown that the front suspension was briefly locking at a certain point during the travel usually on the entry into a corner. Initially this was thought to be a valving issue causing hydraulic lock in the front forks but no amount of adjustment seemed to clear it. Eventually all the fork internals were removed in the pits and the problem was shown to persist even when the suspension was compressed by hand. This confirmed a mechanical issue and it was found that the A-arm was rubbing just  enough on the monocoque to cause stiction. This was corrected overnight.


In spite of all these problems which are inevitable when a new bike is raced for the first time, progress was being made and the bike was within the 107% qualifying time.




Day two of practice saw some gradual improvement. Designer John Keogh was present and was able to give his input. The suspension was further adjusted and the change of gearing and engine management raised the top speed. Eventually by Saturday afternoon Jeremy felt that they had the improved the machine as much as was possible in the time available and the only thing left was to ride as fast as he could to make up time. In doing so he stepped off the machine but was able to return to the pits virtually undamaged and the team were able to get him out again quite quickly. Once again trying as hard as he could the machine went down again. This time Jeremy was unlucky



enough to be hit in the face by the errant bike as it slid down the track. He suffered severe bruising to his face, nose and shoulder and a broken right thumb. Not the best thing when you are trying to hang on at 170mph! However the team had gone fast enough to qualify well within the 107% rule and had improved a further two seconds in pace as had the rest of the field.




Sunday and race day at Silverstone brought greatly improved weather. The sky was much brighter and there was none of the low grey cloud which had threatened rain on the previous two days. There was just enough time for the team to make one or two last minute suspension adjustments and Jeremy completed warm up without any further incidents.


The Moto 2 race was the first race of the day and the field made a clean getaway. After initially circulating in close formation, the competitors broke away into two major groups. Tito Rabat of the Marc VDS team won narrowly from his team mate Miko Kallio just six one hundredths of a second back and Maverick Vinales just two tenths further back. Jeremy in an amazingly brave performance given his injuries completed a trouble free race albeit at the back of the field. The team had successfully completed their first world championship meeting. The experience has given them new directions to work on and a version of this bike may be built with a conventional front suspension for comparison purposes.


.Silverstone 2014




MotoGp of Great Britain: Practice (Jeremy McWilliams)



Jeremy McWilliams; Moto2-Debüt mit Hindernissen



Jeremy McWilliams finishes 29th in British GP Moto2 race



Silverstone Impressions 31st of August


Pictures from Moto GP at Silverstone 31st of August



Brough Superior announces Moto2 Wildcard Entry at Silverstone with Carbon Fiber Bike



Wild Card with Luke Mossey - never happend



Moto2 Brough Superior to mark return with British GP Moto2 appearance



Moto GP - Moto2 Brough Superior to wild card at Silverstoine



Shawn Higbee Wins On The Brough Superior



NEWS - Motorcyclist



formulamoto - Brough Superior Moto2



Brough Superior at Podium at Las Vegas

Brough-Superior moto2 bike gets 2nd place in its first competitive outing; the final WERA round at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the hands of Shawn Higbee.


Youtube Video


Brough Superior Moto2 at Big Dog Garage

Brough Superior Moto2 @ Jay Lenos



Dateline: 21st August 2013 Los Angeles - by Giles Jackson

Brough Superior finished their preparations for their record breaking attempts at the Bonneville Salt Flats at the Jay Leno Big Dog Garage in Burbank, California.  The team were very grateful to Jay and his team of engineers at the garage. He gave the team full use of his facilities including all the machinery. This turned out to be very useful when one of the bikes. incurred minor damage during transit from the United Kingdom.

With preparation completed  the team transferred the two record breaking bikes to the Top Floor of the Petersen Museum in downtown Los Angeles.

The Ace Café hosted Brough Superior at an exclusive reception at the Museum to show off the Bonneville bikes and the new Moto 2  GP bike. Jay Leno kindly agreed to unveil the Moto 2 bike and there were gasps of amazement when the high-tech all carbon framed bike was shown off. As befitting a Brough Superior motorcycle the machine features many innovative design concepts. These will be covered in a later article on this website.

The elite of Los Angeles’s Café Racer society were present including The Boot Campaign charity for injured soldiers. Mark Upham was keen to include the charity as his own son, a serving soldier in the British Army,  had completed three tours of duty in Afghanistan.   A number of items were auctioned off for the charity including a jacket donated by Matchless Motorcycles  and  a Cushman scooter once owned by Bruce Willis which fetched $5000. Mr Jay Leno very kindly donated a number of  day visits to the Big Dog Garage at $100 a time. This also raised a great deal of money as there were plenty of takers.

Compere for the evening Alan Cathcart introduced a number of Brough personnel including CEO Mark Upham , constructors/designers Alastair Gibson and Sam Lovegrove, constructor of the Moto 2 bike Paul Taylor,  celebrity and TV presenter Henry Cole,  record attempt rider Eric Patterson and development rider Shawn Higbee .

Attending the party was  Argentinian designer who designed amongst other motorcycles  the Ducati Monster as well as three other motorcycle designers. With the current interest in motorcycling and given its location near Hollywood it was no surprise that the party acted as a magnet for actors and production staff from the film and television industry. Rider Henry Cole was present with members of his production company HCA entertainment.

Many suppliers and sponsors of Brough Superior were present including Bill Gordon of Red Torpedo who manufactures clothing for Brough Superior and Michele Malenotti of Matchless who kindly provided Brough Superior with top quality team  jackets. Matchless are keen to re-establish the connection with Brough Superior as they provided engines for the marque from 1935 to 1940. 


Brough Superior Debuts Familiar Moto2 Race Bike



Brough Superior in Cyclenews

Cyclenews pages 44-47