Motorcycle, Brough Superior, 1150 (E1992.120)
Lawrence had used motorcycles occasionally during war service in Arabia and he had an old Triumph while serving with the Royal Air Force in 1922. But his abiding love of speed and good machinery led him to purchase a brand new Brough about a year later. Brough motorcycles were produced from 1902 to 1940 and the Superior first appeared in 1919. It is often referred to as the 'Rolls-Royce of Motorcycles'. The model SS100, which was Lawrence's favourite machine, entered production in 1924 and, to quote a sales brochure, each 'machine has actually been timed over 100mph for a quarter of a mile'.
Lawrence owned seven Superiors between 1922 and 1935; one model SS80 and six SS100. Although George Brough discounted the price of some machines he sold to Lawrence (and indeed one of them was a gift from friends), there is no truth in the story that Lawrence was a trials rider for Brough, or that he advised on design. Even so he was a dauntless rider, covering hundreds of miles at a stretch. And while it is true that the roads were not so busy in those days, they were not all surfaced as well as they are today, especially in the countryside.
The 1933 Brough Superior SS100 was powered by a 1096cc JAP V-twin engine and equipped with a four-speed gearbox. Development at the company's Haydn Road Works in Nottingham was, however, almost continuous and many variations are recorded. Perhaps Lawrence should have the last word; "Your present machines are as fast and reliable as express trains, and the greatest fun in the world to drive: - and I say this after twenty years' experience of cycles and cars."