$100K Aston Martin AMB 001 Motorcycle Makes First Run on Track
How does 180-hp per liter—on two wheels—sound to you?
This striking bit of mechanical exuberance is the limited-edition Aston Martin AMB 001 motorcycle, the result of a partnership between the venerable British marque and another with a history nearly as long: Brough Superior. Famed for the motorcycles it built in the 1920s and 1930s, the resurrected Brough Superior is contributing its engineering and testing expertise to the project. Today, the duo announced the start of dynamic testing ahead of the Aston Martin AMB001's start of production later this year.
Powered by an 88-degree 997-cc V-twin engine with semi-dry-sump lubrication, a significantly over-square bore of 94 x 71.8 mm, and a turbocharger, the Aston Martin AMB001 is rated at 180 hp—a big number for two wheels at any weight, let alone the rather svelte package of the AMB 001. Aston hasn't yet revealed the intended weight of the AMB 001, but given the bike's look and its apparent mission—thrilling track performance—it's likely to weigh less than 600 pounds in final form (perhaps much less), even with its imposing intercooler.
But before we can see the Aston Martin AMB 001's final specs, it has to finish development. As the video shows, testing has just begun, but the fact it has already begun is remarkable, as the two companies announced their partnership just last November. While the chassis is being developed on track, shown here at Pau-Arnos in France, the engine will undergo simultaneous development back at the factory.
"Everybody involved has managed to make tremendous progress with the development of AMB 001, despite the challenges we have all been facing," said Aston Martin executive vice-president and chief creative officer Marek Reichman. "This special motorcycle is, like our road cars, the result of beautiful design melding with modern technology to produce a bike that any collector will be proud of. We are delighted to see how much progress has been made, both on and off track, and look forward to the moment when production starts for this stunning machine."
It's not all glitz and no substance, however, even aside from the 180-hp V-twin. Brough Superior brought in Mecano ID for its aerospace-grade carbon-fiber expertise to help execute the structure necessary for the characteristic aluminum fin that runs along the length of the carbon fiber-fuel tank, under the rider, and onto the rear fender.
Like Aston's recent James Bond-themed DBS Superleggera limited edition, the AMB 001 will be limited in its run: Just 100 AMB 001s will be produced when the Brough Superior factory in Toulouse, France, begins production this fall, ahead of the start of deliveries to customers at the end of 2020.
How much does it cost? Aston hasn't announced the price in U.S. dollars yet, but it's listed at €108,000 including 20 percent VAT, so it's conceivable an American could get their hands on one for less than $100,000. If you prefer to drive a harder bargain, but still want some unusual British steel, check out Triumph's latest Scrambler Bond Edition, which started at $18,500. However, it has already sold out, so you'll have to keep an eye open for one on the second-hand market.