Biker Down ...I'm a bit late with this one...

Probably the most famous ‘Biker Down’ incident in history happened 78 years ago yesterday on a small country road in Dorset …

T E Lawrence (of Arabia) riding his 100mph Brough Superior was reportedly doing 50-60mph when he came up from a dip in the road to find two kids on butchers bikes dead ahead of him…changing down (hand change on the same side as the brake lever!) and braking hard he was ‘thrown from his motorcycle’ (did he high-side?) and received massive head injuries, dying a week later in hospital.

But good came of it - the neurosurgeon who treated him later went on to champion helmets and influenced helmet design and the compulsory use of head protection for WW2 dispatch riders…

Nice! Not so much for Peter O’Toole though

maybe he locked up the back wheel, the Borough was a v twin wasnt it?


Yep sure was - witnesses heard him changing down before the crash - then the skid of tyres …:crying:

How not? Without a doubt the best film he made!

Sure was (Peter O’Tooles best film!)

Ratty you’re probably right.

Here’s a big (1000cc) V twin… 46bhp doesn’t sound like much but tiny brake drums with cardboard for a lining - tyres that are only slightly bigger than bicycle tyres and a brake lever on the same side as the hand gear lever…

…so to slow down on the gears you can’t brake the front wheel and rely on the rear brake and gears only to slow you down…at 50mph in an emergency?

Sounds like lockup to me…

One of Lawrence’s Brough’s is in the Imperial War Museum

What? They’re not the same guy? Oh…

There is even a T.E. Lawrence ‘Ghost’ … or at least the ghost of his bike…

“Since his death, it is said that local farmers and people have often heard the haunting roar of his Brough Superior motorcycle just before sunrise.”


“However, reports say the noise abruptly ceases before anything is seen.”

Nah…I think it’s someone who lives neaby with an SV , a VStrom or a Ducati with loud pipes having a laugh!

I might go down there myself, just before dawn, and give the locals a few revs…:slight_smile:

See here

if i am right, he was first to do 100mph+ on a Borough too?

bit of a character was old TE

i rekon, he locked the back up going down the box, that or the engine siezed?

imagine a 46bhp vee twin mountain bike:w00t: