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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.