2016 Midual Type 1 Prototype – Motorcycle Opulence

08/27/2014 @ 11:35 am, by Jensen Beeler51 COMMENTS


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.













Source: Midual via Motorcycle.com

  • mudgun

    Fun to look at.

  • @DaveMinella

    It is beautiful. The attention to detail is remarkable, and I love the one-piece tank/frame design. It definitely earns its price tag.

  • RL

    Why is there a Cessna gauge cluster on the tank?

  • JS

    Exquisite. For once a bespoke motorcycle where the lines and features actually make sense instead of the expensive parts bin hobbled together look that blights many “bespoke” attempts. An expensive but worthy addition to the motorcycle world.

  • KSW

    Beautiful indeed.
    I sent copies of this bike to my friend Satya Kraus while he was on the Hot Bike Tour last week.
    Reminds my of what Satya does and if you’ve not seen Satya Sketches of what he’s yet to do you’d see the same thing. Funny that everyone looks to RSD in the USA when Satya is as good or even better. Sad really.

  • Richard Gozinya

    It’s certainly beautiful, I just can’t figure out what, beyond exclusivity, justifies the price. I’d expect to see much more in the way of exotic materials: Carbon Fiber, Titanium, Inconel, stuff like that.

  • Emptybee

    I thought the Japanese were making the fugliest exhaust pipes in the world. I was wrong.

  • Spamtasticus

    That boxer twin is longitudinally mounted. The BMWs are transverse twins. Other than that, sweet bike.

  • johnrdupree

    “Debuting at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance” = this bike is irrelevant to the real world.

  • tony

    “It definitely earns its price tag.”

    please see my notes on the r1 trackday thingy. dave you have lost your senses man. $185 grand?

    lets try this again…how about a new bmw r9t+ a new kawasaki zx10r + a year off work + as many trackdays as you like + a small ranch house (fixer-upper!) in new braunsfels tx…

  • JoeD

    The WayBack Machine will take you to pre-war England and the Douglas brand with their flat twin designs. If they built two would the price be half?

  • mike

    Hmmm. Steam punk for millionaires.

  • Paul

    Mmmmmm… Gross. OCC lives!

  • L2C

    Beautiful bike, no doubt about it. But–I don’t understand the use of the leather accents. For sure there are some high-grade, soft-touch synthetic materials that would have been both utilitarian and aesthetically proper. The use of leather, particularly brown leather, adds some sort of pipes/cigars bourgeois touch that’s a bit distracting and frumpy, to be honest. It’s got me thinking taxidermy. And, you know, that’s Ralph Lauren’s slightly overweight cousin riding the damn thing in the photos.

    Anyway, I dig the bike, just not completely happy with the way it looks. If I was going to drop $200 grand on a motorcycle, looks would play a big role in consideration.

  • L2C

    Steampunk? …

  • “dave you have lost your senses man. $185 grand?”

    Perceived value is entirely subjective, Tony. It makes no sense whatsoever to attempt to judge another’s sense of value as right or wrong compared to yours. It just is what it is. Some who consider the bike well priced will gladly pay for it. Some who wish they could pay for it yet cannot won’t. And still others who could easily pay for it will not see the value and will pass.

    Such is life.

  • irksome

    It’s a motorcycle; BLACK leather.

    Geez, do I have to tell you kids everything?

  • Tanker Man

    Looks nice.

  • tony

    all good points trane, but motorcycling doesn’t exist in a bubble. it exists in a context. now i enjoy bike porn as much as anybody, but i really get rocks off on eating $20k ducatis on the track on a $7k r1.

    this bike is for folks who have more money than sense. bless their hearts, my 1970 cb750 looks better than this. bespoke? yeah, made/modified most of it myself. goes pretty good too!

    here’s one from my surfing roots…”a millionaire who blows a takeoff (dropping into a wave) is still just a kook.” speaking of millionaires, who would rather take a bike trip with, ewan mcgregor or tom cruise? and who is the intended market for this thing? thought so…

  • My goodness, it actually has functional fenders, you know to fend off road spray. Love the radiator surround, easily the best looking ever.

  • Wayne Thomas

    $185,000 buys a lot of Justified Haterade. $30-$40,000 couldn’t though.

  • CrisCo

    I like it , but I don’t lust after it. There is one hell of alot of power & performance between my car and one that would cost me 185k.

    The emperor’s new motorcycle?

  • paulus

    value is up to the buyer to decide if it is acceptable.

  • “all good points trane, but motorcycling doesn’t exist in a bubble. it exists in a context. now i enjoy bike porn as much as anybody, but i really get rocks off on eating $20k ducatis on the track on a $7k r1.”

    You’re using your subjective preference to justify saying somebody else’s preference is invalid. While that may hold up to your own personal reasoning, it fails the logic test. Your preference is only guaranteed to be valid to an audience of one: You.

    “this bike is for folks who have more money than sense. bless their hearts”

    The same could be said of the Mona Lisa in the art world. There are those who consider it to be a priceless work of art. There are others who consider it to be pretty much a worthless piece of art. *shrug*

    I have no dog in this race. Just noting the similarity in absolute statements of value with regard to this bike versus the heated arguments along the same line when the Motus was announced. Attacking the more expensive bike seems to be a means used by those to justify their preference for something less expensive.

  • Stephano

    What does that very famous phrase say again???? “There’s a sucker born every minute”.. Right? I guess we have a situation here! ROGER THAT!!

  • craig1200

    Olivier Midy must have been digging in Philippe Stark’s recycling bin.

  • BMW’s very first motorcycle engine was a boxer twin in this same fore and aft configuration. It was supplied to other manufacturers for use in their chassis. This was before BMW had decided to build entire motorcycles.

    At that time BMW were still a builder of aero engines but they were hamstrung by the treaty of Versailles and so had to find other uses for their engineering and production capability.

    As for this bike, it is very French. That’s not an insult, it’s just that the French do “avant-garde” better than anyone else. I would still prefer any Voxan.

  • bowoKoplak

    where is ducati scrambler ??

  • Peter

    Thanks for the info @Dewey

    I had to research it:

    According to wiki the Bayern Motor boxer was reverse engineered off a Douglas bike …




  • Val

    ok so it ain’t bad looking by any means and has a few nice design elements like the engine layout but the tank mounted gauges aren’t working for me, makes that area look too busy and neither is that awful looking exhaust system.. and at that price you’d expect it to be shaft driven rather than a conventional chain drive.

    Even if the asking price was half that it would still be way too much to swallow.. there are so many other much nicer bikes out there for a quarter of the price!

  • tony

    hey val, at that price i’d expect a cup of coffee and a blow job. morningly…

    and trane, speaking of jobs, this is quickly turning into a handjob. dont play the art card on me. i graduated from a really nice art school in n. florida. on the dean’s list. what degree did you earn? communications? any?

    we do digress dont we? come down to fontana anytime. i’ll give you a big bearhug. show you the layout. two wheels good! i’m a nice motoring christian. just dont believe you re smarter or more philosophical than me for a moment man…and dont stick a wheel on my inside. i will lean on you..

  • Renn


    lol… being a brit I had to work that out. we don’t have Gatorade here as far as I am aware.

    The bike looks very nicely designed and detailed but I am less then underwhelmed by the overall look. The Horex looks similar and better. The Horex having a VR6 engine which is rather speacial.

    The bike which trumps this in every regard is the Ariel V4. The Honda powered bikes look to be more bespoke in design and detailing, rather more special even though they have a mass produced drive train. I love the girder front end as one of the options.

    The swing arm and wheels don’t look hot enough for me on this bike.

    This is a Pebble beach bike… not one for the Ace cafe.

  • “and trane, speaking of jobs, this is quickly turning into a handjob. dont play the art card on me. i graduated from a really nice art school in n. florida. on the dean’s list. what degree did you earn? communications? any?”

    I bow to your unequaled one-upmanship, Tony. You are the One True Man.

    Handjob? Seriously? Do you take yourself even remotely THAT seriously? ROTFLMAO. OMG. Please.

    Wow. Art School. You rule, man. You got that whole vaseline thing down pat.

  • tony

    answered none of my q’s trane but de-evolved into hollywood sarcasm. good nite man. spend that big brain and that big wallet wisely.

  • taikebo

    $185,000 price tag is a meh

  • Wayne Thomas


    This has nothing to do with preferences. It has to do with logic and the ability to accept reality. The bike is nice and unique. It is well designed and one can assume well built. However, it is nothing more than a “whale penis leather” fashion accessory to do nothing more than show off a person’s wealth. As such, this bike has no other real purpose. It offers nothing in design or engineering that has not been done before and so, it is logical and realistic to accept this obvious truth of the bike. It will be quickly forgotten and do nothing for the marque or motorycles in general. If anything, it’s greatest accomplishment has already been achieved – online mentioning. If this bike is lucky…..lucky, it will make it into some coffee table book of bike dreams that faded away into nothingness.

    As for the Mona Lisa? Seriously man. Motorcycles are functional whereas paintings are purely aesthetic. The Mona Lisa, like most paintings, never became valuable until long after Leonardo’s death. The analogy is not appropriate in any way.

  • sideswipe

    @Mike “Hmmm. Steam punk for millionaires.”

    Ha! that’s golden!

    I’ll keep my Haterade capped & chilled for another occasion. I can appreciate the detail and craftsmanship to pull off something this precious. If anything it’s a good benchmark for all the garage custom builders. Looks like it was meant to be parked between the Rolls & the Criss Craft boat in the alpha capitalist man cave (Oops, let a little of the hate juice spill). If you’re that guy who needs a bike that looks like it came out of a GQ luggage ad then here’s someone to make it for you (Ooops, spilled a little more). Aw hell this thing is ridiculous. Luxury goods masquerading as a motorcycle? GTF outta here!

  • Westward

    I love it, a Steampunk motorcycle…

  • “spend that big brain and that big wallet wisely.”

    Dude, my wallet’s so thin that you can see through it. :)

    “This has nothing to do with preferences.”

    Everything is based on preferences without exception, IMO.

    “Motorcycles are functional whereas paintings are purely aesthetic.”

    I see. So you’re now trying to suggest that people don’t actually chose their motorcycles because they prefer them? I don’ think so, man. Even the most utilitarian choices are based on a combination of personal preference and an evaluation of suitability. That holds true whether it be a dude in India buying a 125 to carry his family of 5 or a zillionaire looking for his whale penis leather.

    IMO, YMMV and all that.

  • Lewis Dawson

    Perhaps a minor point, but this bike’s motor is transversely mounted, not longitudinally mounted. The crankshaft is oriented across the frame, not in line with the frame. Like a Ducati or Harley except the V is flattened out to 180 degrees.

    Longitudinal motors would be like a BMW boxer or a Moto Guzzi.

  • This is the only boxer I would ever ride, and I’ll never get the chance. HOT!

    I just feel bad for the guy riding it; had to keep the goggles on the helmet because of his 4-eyes. Bummer.

  • kevin

    at least its not a electric P.O.S.

  • tHE oTHER bOB

    Aesthetically and functionally, I really like how the main frame is also part of the airbox and that the radiator shrouds are nicely integrated to the tank/frame. It’s very slick looking.

    Functionally, I’m not digging the engine layout. I dig the cornering clearance over the transverse BMW boxer but from a lubrication standpoint, I’m not seeing how top end lubrication on that front cylinder is going to get back to the sump or external tank (whichever it uses.) Usually, once oil lubing is in the valve cover, it needs gravity to drain back.

  • tHE oTHER bOB

    As for French Motorcycles, even if I had 185k to blow, I would rather have the 40k Waken Roadster over this any day. It’s the Buell that Buell should have built (in the tube frame days).

  • x

    I assume that a large part of the price is due the very low units they are going to be shifting so a lot of costs of the project won’t be amortized over a large volume of vehicles. Unique projects will cost a big amount of coin, not issues there.

  • Singletrack

    This story has some of the best comments. Keep them going ! (save for the Trane vs. Tony sparring) ;)

    Regarding the bike design. I love it ! (except the twerked muffler). Best radiator design ever. The price is merely a pie in the sky number, purely to get people talking about it. Mission accomplished!

    I think that engine layout is a first, is it not? However, as there are no new ideas, I assume someone tried it in the early days and quickly realized the the rear cylinder ran way too hot and decided to hang the engine sideways with the cylinders out in the breeze…

  • Singletrack

    Yup, should have read the Douglas info first. Embarrased.

  • Singletrack

    Make that… embarrassed.

  • “(save for the Trane vs. Tony sparring)”

    I apologize for my part in that. You’d think after all these years that I’d know well enough to steer clear of the keyboard when I’ve been into the wine. Alas, apparently not. :-\

  • tony

    agreed! minus wine, sub tequila!

    hey jensen, 50 comments! can we close it now!?

  • scott

    can you say………..OCD?!?!?