T.E Lawrence and his Brough Superior

T.E. Lawrence or Lawrence of Arabia as the media liked to call him was an intriguing individual. An Archaeologist by trade he joined the army during world war one and became involved in the Arab revolt.

Another fact not so well known was Lawrence's passion for motorcycles. He had a long association with the British bike manufacturer Brough Superior. He affectionately called his first bike 'Boanerges', meaning 'sons of thunder'.

In their day the Brough Superior bikes were considered high performace motorcycles and some of the models were capable of 100 mph. They were often referred to as the Rolls Royce of motorcycles due to their meticulous build quality and the high standard of components. Of the 3000 models that were made only 1000 still exist. In a recent article in Australian Motorcycle News the author reported that some owners have travelled over 250,000 miles on their Brough Superiors. A true legend in the pantheon of motorcycles even without their association to one of the 20th century's most iconic figures.

A noted author Lawrence (The Seven Pillars of Wisdom) occasionally wrote about his passion for riding;

"Another bend: and I have the honour of one of England's straightest and fastest roads. The burble of my exhaust unwound like a long cord behind me. Soon my speed snapped it, and I heard only the cry of the wind which my battering head split and fended aside. The cry rose with my speed to a shriek: while the air's coldness streamed like two jets of iced water into my dissolving eyes. I screwed them to slits, and focused my sight two hundred yards ahead of me on the empty mosaic of the tar's gravelled undulations."

Excerpts from The Road, a chapter of The Mint by T.E. Lawrence

A fascinating individual who was a motorcycle enthusiast in the pioneering days of the industry. Sadly he died on he's beloved bike.

Interested in reading more; check out Lawrence; the uncrowned king of Arabia by Michael Asher.


Popular Posts