Leave it to the French. The Midual Type 1 is perhaps one of the most intriguing motorcycle designs that we have seen this year, though much of the roadster seems to lust for attention, rather than serve a realistic purpose.
Debuting at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, an opulent venue in its own right, the 2016 Midual Type 1 prototype appeals to the uber-rich crowd, not only in its touches and aesthetics, but also with its €140,000 price tag ($185,000).
While that price tag gets you a certain exclusivity, the most striking feature of Midual’s machine is of course its 1,036cc longitudinally mounted boxer-twin engine, which sits proudly in the machine’s bespoke frame.
Boxer twins are certainly nothing new (BMW built a whole brand around them, after all), however the longitudinally arrangement is certainly an interesting one, especially with the large visual of a motor cutting diagonally through the bike.
We’re not sure if the design brings any significant advantage (Midual says it lowers the Cg, and reduces longitudinally vibrations) beyond looking different than other roadsters, like say the Horex VR6.
The bike is the work of Olivier Midy, and the Frenchman has been hocking this unique roadster design around the industry since 1999. Now finally able to bring his creation to life, the Midual Type 1 Prototype is set for a 2016 model year release, though we imagine the French firm wouldn’t mind having a few pre-orders before starting production, hence the debut at Pebble Beach.
The company’s liquid-cooled engine makes 106hp and 74 lbs•ft of torque, but the real highlights are the finishing touches, like the cluster of gauges on the top of the fuel tank, and numerous artistic flares and accents.
On the more technical side, suspension is done with the high-sepc Öhlins FGRT forks and an Öhlins TTX36 shock, while brakes are Brembo monoblocks. The fit and finish touches certainly are attractive as well, especially the the leather grip pads on the fuel tank.
We certainly have some eyebrows raised on the “interesting” engine layout, but it’s hard to drink the Hatorade on a machine that looks painstakingly crafted. Unfortunately, not many people have $185k burning a hole in their pocket, so the photos below will be as close as many of us will get.