Being the international man of mystery that you are, you must be in need of an exquisitely designed and meticulously crafted melding of leather and metal that transcends transportation to get you from that hilltop villa overlooking the French Riviera, to your luxury yacht waiting below to take you and your supermodel “friends” out to sail the Côte d’Azur.

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Not you? That’s okay; we can all appreciate the French motorcycle maker, Midual’s attention to detail and engineering prowess which led them to design a motorcycle quite a bit differently than everyone else. It has a certain, je ne sais quoi, one might say.

Midual is a French motorcycle company which resides in the sleepy, yet historic, town of Angers, France, 190 miles southwest of Paris. The entire idea for the motorcycle was developed around a unique perspective of a Boxer-type engine conceptualized by Olivier Midy after his graduation from engineering school. The newly certified engineer decided he would build a motorcycle and, like any engineer would, he would start with the motor.

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In 1992, Olivier began designing a flat-Twin engine that, unlike its German counterpart, sat parallel to the direction of travel, facing fore and aft. It would sit in the motorcycle at 25 degrees and, rather than a shaft-drive, would use a more traditional chain for its final drive system. Olivier and his brother had founded a company that operates in the automotive industry which would give him the R&D assistance needed to help him see through the creation of his flat-Twin engine.

The brothers debuted a foam-and-resin concept at the 1999 Paris Motorcycle Show to much acclaim however, the company then fell from the spotlight in the following years and would remain quiet until roughly eight years later. In the summer of 2007, the roar of an unmistakable, 180-degree, flat-Twin engine would erupt out of an R&D facility in the historic French city of Angers, nearly 15 years after Olivier’s initial conception.

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After pouring blood and sweat and tears into the motor, they decided the undertaking of the entire motorcycle should be just as thorough, a design with an attention to detail that one would liken to that of a finely crafted timepiece. In 2010, the brothers became fully committed to creating a masterpiece of a motorcycle that would be in a class of one.

A Boxer engine with pistons in line with wheels is a unique item in the moto world.

A Boxer engine with pistons in line with wheels is a unique item in the moto world.

The Midual Type 1, which is now available to interested parties, is truly a masterclass of engineering and meticulous attention to detail. The unique engine uses a 100mm x 60mm bore/stroke to yield 1036cc. Fed by two 54mm throttle bodies, Midual claims a crankshaft rating of 106 hp at 8200 rpm and 69 ft-lb of torque at 5500 rpm. The especially clever bit is how Midual placed the engine inside the sand-cast aluminum alloy frame sloped at a 25-degree angle, turned 90 degrees from a traditional BMW flat-Twin arrangement. The monocoque frame also acts as the fuel tank and incorporates the cooling system of the motorcycle. In addition to being liquid-cooled, the Midual Type 1 also includes two oil coolers to be sure things don’t get too warm.

The aluminum monocoque frame is a complex yet beautiful component.

The aluminum monocoque frame is a complex yet beautiful component.

Even engineers looking to build themselves a motorcycle from the ground up must occasionally concede to using great feats of engineering created by others. Consequently, the Type 1 boasts a 43 mm Öhlins FGRT fork up front and an Öhlins TTX 36 cantilever shock in the rear. Both of which provide 4.7 inches of travel. The brothers Midy also use Brembo brakes for stopping duties on the 527-lb motorcycle, with a pair of four-piston Brembo calipers up front squeezing 320mm floating discs, while a 2-pot Brembo caliper in the rear clenches a single 245mm disc.

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Top-shelf suspension coupled with the low center of gravity, a 59-inch wheelbase and 17-inch spoked (tubeless) wheels front and rear, lends us to imagine that the Midual handles nicely around the curves of any far-off European luxury destination. Attributing to the vision of the handling of the motorcycle is the adjustable rake, from 24.0 to 25.0 degrees which at 24.5 degrees gives a trail figure of 100mm.

With the technical specs out of the way, Midual also offers buyers a plethora of customization to match the leather on your motorcycle to that of your Bentley Continental. From the dash plates to paint colors, leather colors, finishing techniques and colors of the engine casings, you will be hard pressed to find this many factory options for customization (aside from the aforementioned Bentley).

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Sure, we left the price for last because it’s kind of one of those if you have to ask… deals. At $185,000 the Midual places itself at the top of the production luxury motorcycles of the world list, and why not, for the attention to detail that the Midy brothers have given this two-wheeled masterclass, the phrase, pièce de résistance comes to mind.

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  • Jon Jones

    Intriguing.

    • Mad4TheCrest

      Yeah, in a kind of steampunk sort of way …

  • Matt O

    i love the frame mounted mirrors. i’m sure it gives the rider a great view of their knees.
    Also, seems a bit heavy. Certainly beautiful though.

  • JerryMander

    Looks like an R nine T had a baby with a Husqvarna

    • spiff

      Husky on top?

  • Mad4TheCrest

    This is an interesting enough engine design, although I’d guess the requirement for two oil coolers highlights the benefit of BMW’s original boxer arrangement where the cylinders stick out in the breeze.

    It’s interesting enough that it’s a shame only a handful (if that many) will ever sell, given the staggeringly unjustifiable price.

  • Steve McLaughlin

    Indian Motorcycle company made the same engine in 1917. It was called the Model O. http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/hof/Classic-Bikes/1917-indian-model-o

    • mackja

      Harley-Davidson also made one called the model WF or Speedster from 1919 to 1923.

  • Steve McLaughlin

    At first I was confused by the name similar to the Midalu V6 Motorcycle from the Czech. http://newatlas.com/fgr-midalu-2500cc-exotic-luxury-bike/46151/

  • Gruf Rude

    Hopefully, for $185,000 all the gauges down out of sight on top of the airbox project their readings holographically forward in a heads up display.

  • DickRuble

    Rolling s**t a la French.

  • Bill Hawley

    There’s a reason that Duesenberg SJ’s sell for over a million, and Rolls and Bentley can still sell every car they can make. There’s something to be said for small volume production with painstaking hand craftsmanship; using the best available materials – along with the knowledge that you’ll never pull up to a red light next to yourself. There’s also a few young people out there looking at that thinking: “Someday I’ll own one of those”. Can’t think of a better motivational tool. To those few that have been enterprising enough to be able to purchase one without flinching, I say: Job well done – enjoy the fruits of your work.

    • Gruf Rude

      More likely trust babies will be the ones buying this bike, not driven young entrepreneurs.

  • kenneth_moore

    Do the designers make any claims about the advantages of their engine design? Czysz built an inline 4 with counter rotating cranks to eliminate gyroscopic resustance to turning. Bimmer’s boxers cool well. HD’s V Twin makes a certain sound. What’s cool about a longitudinal boxer twin?

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Its out of the way.

      • kenneth_moore

        Out of the way of what? They had to put the rear shock mount half way up the rear fender because the cylinder blocks the usual position. Although it does appear to be narrow as DR pointed out, so is a VTwin.

        Maybe I’m cynical, but this engine strikes me as a solution looking for a problem to solve.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          The boxer twins are always in the way so you can’t stretch your legs. They put heat on your legs. And adventure bikes can hit them on rocks and break them or get stuck between rocks.

        • therr850

          Out of the way of your shines, smoother than a V, liquid cooled with two oil coolers, as expensive as hell.

    • DickRuble

      + Eliminates the slight rocking motion induced by the transversal (BMW) boxer engine.
      + Makes bike narrower, higher lean angles. Have you noticed how high the engine is on the R9T, compared to the bikes of the 70’s?
      – Cooling becomes an issue
      – This concept bike has been around and written about many years ago, at least 10.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    What? No place for a tank bag?

  • HazardtoMyself

    Thought about ordering one, but insurance is a little too pricey.

  • allworld

    It is a good looking bike, a bit busy but nice.
    I wish they had a picture with the mirrors and license plate attached.

  • Ken Evan

    No pics of the right side?

  • Jeff S. Wiebe

    The only reason the manufacturers would want to even inform people like me (broke motorcycle fanatics) about this bike is so that if and when I ever see Scrooge McDuck on his, he can hear me gasp knowledgeably, rather than in mere ignorant amazement.