How Midual crafted one of the world’s best motorcycles…
Most vehicle makers design their products based on their customers’ needs. But some companies — Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Bugatti — build to let their customers experience what is possible. In the motorcycle realm, this crown is worn by French motorcycle builder Midual and its roughly US$185,000 Type 1. The long-awaited offering from Midual, cofounded in 1997 by Frenchman Olivier Midy, is a new benchmark in performance and design. Midy is of the belief that brand identity is first and foremost an engine, and the rest of the bike is there to serve it. A lover of big two-cylinder engines, Midy was intrigued by the potential of a flat engine, with its balance and reliable performance. In 2007 he tested his own flat-twin engine, tilted down 25 degrees, mounted parallel to the road, and attached
via a chain drive. The result is a balanced setup with an output of 106 hp at 8,200 rpm, and 93 Nm of torque at only 5,500 rpm. Once Midy had created his dream engine, he needed to craft the chassis, a process that took at least five years. The result is a double-wall aluminum alloy monocoque that serves not only as the frame but as the fuel tank as well. Suspension is entrusted to the experts at Öhlins, while the brakes, two four-piston calipers up front and a two-piston caliper at the rear, are sourced from industry leader Brembo. The production run was short — just 16 units were initially in the works — and moved fast; as it is worth the price tag. ■
BY KEITH GORDON
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