Resurrected British motorcycle brand Levis has unveiled their prototype V6 Cafe Racer with an engine that sounds “like three Harleys all firing together”.
The first pre-production model will be at Salon Prive at Blenheim Palace, UK on August 30–September 1 and when it finally hits the market, possibly next year, the exotic bespoke bike will cost £102,000 (about $A180,000, $US133,000).
It will be followed by an Urban Roadster at £78,000 (about $A138,000, $US101,500).
At the centre of the Levis cafe racer is an ingenious transverse V6 engine which can be easily adapted for V10, V8, V6, V4 or V-twin configurations in four stroke, sit-sump two-stroke and even a two-stroke diesel.
It features a narrow 22-degree V-angle, which enables single block construction allowing the block, pistons and conrods for different strokes. The narrow angle is also means it runs smooth without the need for a heavy counter-balancer.
Automotive designer Phil Bevan, who purchased the company name in 2017, says it “sounds like three Harleys all firing together”.
It was originally designed in 2004 by Tim Bishop as a two-litre 224kW V10 car engine.
As a V6, it will have 97kW of power and a whopping 190Nm of torque.
The transverse power plant is driven via a shaft in a single-sided bile-aluminium swingarm.
It also features a stainless-steel chassis, fat 200mm rear tyre, billet aluminium Hossack forks, and high pipes like the 1920s Levis race bikes with six small catalytic converters hidden inside each header.
Interestingly, the instruments are in the tank, not the headstock.Levis will make the entire bike in-house including the ECU, ABS and traction control.
Old British motorcycle brands are trendy again and the latest to be resurrected is Levis (pronounced leh-viss) not the American jeans brand!
The brand started making mainly two-stroke bikes in Birmingham in 1911 and stalled in 1940.
Ownership of the name seems to have changed hands at least a couple of times in 2014 to the online Auto Crowd Group and last year to Phil Bevan.
Levis will join a growing number of British marques being resurrected in the past few years Ariel, BSA, Brough, Hesketh, Matchless and Norton.
Most have returned with hideously expensive bespoke models that, except for the Brough, are nothing like their previous incarnations.
Norton is the only manufacturer to return to its roots with any sense of tradition and taste. They’re also not outrageously expensive, starting at under $30,000.