There are special bikes, then there are really special bikes. Bikes that make every ride a moment to cherish, to feel the rumble of the pistons, hear the boom from the exhaust and generally just feel… alive. Here’s one of those bikes.
The Audette Velos naked V-twin superbike costs a cool $125,000 in tuned form. And for that you get an expertly breathed-on Indian motor, bored out to 2064cc it makes an impressive 128bhp and an astonishing 156 ft-lbs of torque. More than any other internal combustion-engined motorcycle on the market bar one – the Triumph Rocket III. All that performance would arguably be wasted if it was in your typical heavyweight cruiser cradle frame, which is why the Velos sits in an alloy twin spar frame, uses an alloy braced swingarm and is suspended using RaceTech forks and rear shock.
Brakes are courtesy of Beringer Aerotech and carbon fibre wheels come from the BST factory for additional agility. All of this combines to make the sweetest-sounding, sharpest-handling piece of naked V-twin exotica I’ve seen in a long time.
Styling was inspired by American bikes from the early 1900s such as the 1915 Iver Johnson and Velos’s unique brutal aesthetics were actually born on the very same computer this post is written on – the collaboration between Kardesign and Audette begin just as the pandemic was kicking off in March 2020 and for the best part of 2 years the project has been quietly whirring away in the background with visuals bouncing backwards and forwards from Kardesign’s UK office to the Audette base on the west coast of the USA.
The finished prototype Velos arrived in summer 2022, which was pretty good timing as it coincided with a family holiday to New York, just two hours’ drive away from Connecticut where Audette are based. The result being that I managed to meet Tony Audette and Velos, pore over all the details (and there are a LOT of them, from the intake in the tank that ducts air to cool the rear cylinder to the adjustable hugger which also doubles as a chainguard) and take it for a little blast.
It was a surreal, but amazing moment, to finally see a bike that you’d been developing the aesthetics for over the last 24 months, but only ever witnessed in pixel format. It looked incredible in the flesh, and it sounded even better. To cap it all off, riding it was an almost spiritual experience, every twist of the throttle rewarding me with a purr from the engine which transitioned to a bark the more enthusiastic I got with the throttle.
What a bike. If that lottery win ever comes up, I’ll be placing an order for a silver one. Audette Motorcycles
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