If you’re a vintage motorcycle enthusiast or a collector looking for a piece of motorcycling history, “Ike’s Bike” is an unmissable opportunity. This 1922 Brough Superior 996cc MkI/SS80 ‘Special,’ first owned by Isaac ‘Ike’ Webb, General Manager of Brough Superior, is now up for auction. Let’s dive into the fascinating story behind this iconic motorcycle and why it’s such a significant part of motorcycling heritage.

The Early Days of Brough Superior and Ike Webb

George Brough founded Brough Superior in 1919, quickly earning a reputation for producing some of the finest motorcycles in the world. Isaac ‘Ike’ Webb, a close friend of George, played a pivotal role in the company’s success. Webb’s expertise and dedication were well-known, making him as familiar to Brough customers as George Brough himself.

This SS80 Special, affectionately known as “Ike’s Bike,” was assembled in the early spring of 1923, mainly from spares, and has a unique specification that sets it apart from other models.


Unique Features and Specifications of Ike’s Bike

One of the most distinctive aspects of Ike’s Bike is its 11-50 cylinders and heads by JAP, a renowned manufacturer of motorcycle engines. The bike’s engine, originally fitted in 1939, was sent to JAP for a complete rebuild, where Stan Greening carried out the work without charge. Over the years, the engine number has been restamped, and various components have been updated or replaced, making this motorcycle a unique blend of parts from different periods.

A Journey Through Time: Ownership and Modifications

After Ike Webb, the motorcycle saw several owners, each contributing to its rich history. The first registered owner was Jack Smith of Nottinghamshire, followed by Barry Robinson, a founding member of the Brough Superior Club who worked for George Brough. In 1969, ownership passed to Jack Frank Brown and then to his son, Nick Brown, who maintained and cherished the bike until his death in 2021.

During Nick Brown’s custodianship, the motorcycle was damaged in a fire caused by blowback through the carburettor while starting the engine. The repairs included manufacturing a new fuel tank, but the original tank remains with the bike. Nick’s modifications, such as adding a Tansad pillion for his wife, kept the spirit of Ike’s Bike alive, ensuring it continued to be a special part of the Brough Superior legacy.

The Importance of Ike’s Bike in Brough Superior History

According to the Brough Club’s Registrar, Mike Leatherdale, Ike’s Bike was never intended to be sold and was always evolving. This makes it a unique motorcycle, often seen at the works and representing a significant part of the Haydn Road factory and Brough Superior history. Ike Webb sold the bike around 1946, but its legacy continued through its various owners, each of whom recognized its historical importance.

The Historical Documents and Provenance

The sale of Ike’s Bike includes a substantial history file with original documentation, Ike Webb’s personal handwritten notes, and a framed and glazed 1923 Motorcycle Insurance Policy in Webb’s name. The file contains numerous invoices, previous owner correspondence, period photographs, and old/current V5C Registration Certificates. A notable highlight is the ‘Notice of Intended Prosecution’ issued by Nottinghamshire Constabulary in 1937, citing Ike for exceeding the 30mph speed limit.

The Condition and Potential of Ike’s Bike

Having been dry stored since around 2006, Ike’s Bike will require recommissioning or possibly more extensive restoration before it can return to the road. The bike is sold strictly as viewed, offering a unique opportunity for a new owner to bring this piece of motorcycling history back to life. Mrs. Brown, Nick’s widow, hopes the new owner will enjoy Ike’s Bike as much as her family did and appreciates its historical significance.

Why You Should Bid on Ike’s Bike

Owning Ike’s Bike means acquiring not just a motorcycle but a significant piece of Brough Superior and motorcycling history. This bike is more than a machine; it’s a story of innovation, friendship, and dedication. As a collector or enthusiast, adding Ike’s Bike to your collection means preserving a unique chapter of motorcycling heritage.

Auction Details: How to Bid on Ike’s Bike

Ike’s Bike will be auctioned on Sunday, 21 April, starting at 11 am GMT. Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness, and originality of the bike prior to bidding. All lots are sold ‘as is/where is,’ and potential buyers are encouraged to peruse the substantial history file and inspect the motorcycle thoroughly.

Requesting a Transport Quote

For those interested in bidding, transportation quotes can be requested from recommended transport companies. For UK or European shipping quotes, contact Moving Motorcycles. For international shipping quotes, reach out to Shippio.

Final Thoughts: Embrace the Legacy of Ike’s Bike

This auction presents a rare chance to own a motorcycle with unparalleled historical significance. Ike’s Bike is not just a Brough Superior SS80 Special; it’s a testament to the ingenuity and passion that defined an era of motorcycling. By bidding on this unique piece, you can become a custodian of history, ensuring that Ike Webb’s legacy and the story of Brough Superior continue to inspire future generations.


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