As if by chance, there is still a good place between the collection of Fabergé eggs, the old Renoir hanging on the wall, and the bust of Coisevox. Could a motorcycle impeccably complete this gallery, with a very high-end positioning? Yes ! How daring to revive the French motorcycle in a definition close to that of the era of excellence and luxury of our national manufactures (between the two wars).
It has a name: Midual, and its type 1. A luxurious roadster like a Bugatti, with original and / or prestigious technical solutions.
It is no longer motorcycles, superb or demonstrations; it is refinement at its peak. Should we have a reasoned opinion when we are faced with a bike costing the price of a house in the suburbs? The Midual Type 1 refers to the rank of charms the Norton, Brough Superior, Harley CVO, or other Ducati 1199 Superleggera. The competition, you have to look for it at Avinton, NCR, Lotus or in the near past with the MV-Agusta F4 1080 CC. Why ? Because the Midual Type 1 only uses materials and know-how worthy of French haute couture. Just a glance at the tank makes you realize that you are in another dimension. A real exercise in pageantry: with a precious wood veneer (several species available, including a superb Australian oak, or metal surfaced with the most beautiful effect), it feels like being at the controls of a Riva canoe anchored in Monaco or in a 1950s jaguar convertible. All analog instrumentation leaves you speechless; the multiple dials indicate engine speed, temperature, voltage, time, etc … What class all these beautiful hands! A real Swiss boutique. Only the tachometer stands apart by installing itself in front of the handlebars.
But this back of the tank is just one of the delicacies of the Midual. The top of the range is not only noble and renowned equipment, like the inverted fork Ö43mm FGRT hlins or Brembo brake calipers. It is above all details, everywhere, which testify to a permanent concern for beauty, excellence, passion for work. Alloy parts and plates cut in the mass, a radiator captured in the inspiration of design, aluminum stems, genuine leather knee grips, brake jars worthy of a best craftsman in France, while aluminum and topped with knurled, engraved and polished lids. Giving more warmth to this mechanical ode, the skins can be chosen in 45 different colors.
Those who will afford a Type 1 will not buy a motorcycle; they will acquire a Midual. How many bikes have so many engraved parts? A wheel arch reflecting the settings of the shock absorber Öhlins TTX36? A concern for finish pushing the manufacturer to offer 25 shades of sandblasted foundry, applicable to engine parts? Customizing your Midual Type 1 will be quite close to an experience in a jewelry store.
Engine side, the terrain is striking but not unknown for those who follow the adventure of the small brand … or history buffs. The thruster is a flat twin, the cylinder heads of which face the direction of the motorcycle, with a transverse crankshaft. A mechanical arrangement already experimented with … more than a century ago. By delving into this slice of motorcycle history, we discover that an English manufacturer, Douglas, whose activity extended from 1907 to 1957, marketed a motorcycle equipped with this type of carton. Surprising detail: this engine served as a model for a current famous brand, which rotated it 90 ° to the side. Thus was born an eternal flat-twin, to propel a certain BMW R32. We know the rest.
A cylinder that hits you behind while the other wants to box the road … The mechanical layout does not fail to be surprising. However, without going to look in the archives of Douglas, you have the impression to have already seen it in a crumpled magazine or a souvenir of a Parisian salon … Normal, Midual is not at his first attempt. Already in 1999, the brand presented its 900 prototype with this type of engine. Yesterday, this machine wanted to play in the Voxan category; tomorrow, she will flirt between the art object and luxury crafts.
But back to this engine. It takes the main lines of the 900 but inflates its displacement to 1036 cm3. Inclined at 25 °, provided with a distribution by cascade of pinions (the VFRistes will shed a tear of nostalgia), this block is developed, dixit Midual, to produce torque at low revs – However, its hyper-square ribs of 100 mm of bore for 66 mm of stroke would be rather favorable to the power at high speed. But no, the numbers speak: this boxer produces 106 horsepower at 8000 rpm. A reasonable value, nothing more, for a block of this displacement. More than 10 mkg are available at 5300 rpm. The curves and character of the engine delight the throbbing as much as the bike flatters the ego.
The nerve center of this type of engine, its layout undermines the wheelbase. With its inclination, the total value manages to remain reasonable, at 1505 mm. Closer to a Yamaha 1300 XJR (1500 mm) than a Honda CB 1000 R (1445 mm).
To be different, to be noble, to be above others. This philosophy extends from the tip of the toe clips to the frame. An aluminum perimeter? A tubular trellis? No, no, see bigger, more delicate, more raised! Midual went so far as to design a load-bearing shell in solid aluminum. Its double skin allows it to act as a fuel tank.
Braking, after all classic in the eyes of a motorcycle of this caliber, would look good on a sports car. Large 320 mm wafers at the front clamped by radial 4-piston jaws. The rear wheel accommodates a 245mm disc surrounded by a 2-piston caliper. ABS? Not wanted. No more than a motor control, cartography at all costs or electronic assistance "full control update challenge over the top". The Midual is authentic, full of taste and without a butler to tell you how to eat.
Assistance is elsewhere; human. With its Type 1, Midual not only sells a motorcycle but also an after-sales service of a scale worthy of English sedans. Happy customers will have their motorcycle delivered to their home by a technician from the brand. Each model will bear its date of creation, its number and the name of its owner. The warranty and maintenance contract runs for 4 years, where the motorcycle will be treated with respect. No question of bringing him to the local workshop; maintenance will be done at the factory, and someone will come and collect your Type 1 from you and then bring it back when serviced. A princely service !
Midual understood that it was useless to seek out the general public to find a place in the current motorcycle market. Voxan has broken its teeth there, and in times of crisis, it is taxes and luxury which show the strongest increases. The bet is daring, but what a calling card when you can play close to names like Cartier, Dior, Vuitton, Mauboussin, Chanel … Tomorrow, Midual in the list ?
35 Midual Type 1 are planned for 2016. Monegasques, Qataries and private collections are already in the starting blocks. I dare not tell you the price. When I saw him, he tore a molar tooth out of me …….. Well, if you insist! The base price, likely to fly off very easily with the options, is 140,000 euros.
Photos: Image catcher – Alexis GOURE – Midual
What you must remember
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Model marketed in
200 km / h
The technical aspect
Midual Type 1 2016
- Tank: 14 liters
- Wheelbase: 1505 mm
- Operating weight: 239 kg
- Train before
- secondary by chain
- Rear axle
(100 x 66 mm)
at 8000 rpm
at 5,300 rpm