When we initially heard that Aston Martin and Brough Superior were going to to debut at the 2019 EICMA show in Italy, we were a little skeptical.
I mean, the history of car companies doing motorcycle stuff hasn't necessarily always yielded the most attractive or practical result -- see the Dodge Tomahawk for an example -- but in this instance, the results aren't too shabby, though they're a little confusing. We'll elaborate.
The AMB 001, which made its official debut on Wednesday, is interesting from both a design standpoint and an engineering standpoint. The latter is true mostly because the bike is turbocharged -- forced induction being something of a rarity in the two-wheeled world -- though its breathed-upon V-twin is only good for 180 horsepower. For comparison's sake, the naturally aspirated Ducati and is street-legal. Weirdly, Aston and Brough didn't list a torque number, an area where it would likely eclipse its competition thanks to its turbocharger and V-twin layout.
Aesthetically, the bike borrows much from Aston Martin's current design language, with the front fairings sharing much with the present-day Vantage. The thin leather pad that makes up this track-only bike's seat also takes inspiration from the current crop of Aston supercars.
While we like the general style of the bike, there are a couple of downright questionable design choices, such as the spine that rises out of the fuel tank area and bisects the digital gauge cluster. It's just weird, and even on a racing motorcycle, we can't imagine it's especially convenient.
The bike's skin is made mostly of carbon fiber, which helps contribute to its svelte 397-pound dry weight (meaning measured without fluids or fuel). Again, though, the Panigale weighs just 386 pounds dry, and that goes up to 436 pounds when full of fluids.
So, the AMB 001 is cool-looking (mostly) and reasonably powerful, but it's not really close to the competition, and you can't ride it on the road. It's also superlimited in its production run, with just 100 being built at the Brough Superior factory in France (Wait, it's not even British?), oh, and it'll set you back around $97,000 (or 108,000 euro if you add in the 20% VAT).
At the end of the day, it's hard to see exactly who this bike is for, aside from Aston fans who need more garage jewelry. Still, it looks good under lights on the turntable in Milan, so at least there's that.