Home » This $89,000 Motorcycle From A Brand You’ve Never Heard Of Hauls Like A Semi With Its Massive 156 Pound-Feet Of Torque

This $89,000 Motorcycle From A Brand You’ve Never Heard Of Hauls Like A Semi With Its Massive 156 Pound-Feet Of Torque

Audette
ADVERTISEMENT

Boutique motorcycles are a wonderful niche. If a mainstream motorcycle doesn’t quite tickle your fancy, you can swing a leg over something powered by a turbine, funded by Keanu Reeves, or built by hand with leather pieces from Amish craftsmen. The factory custom is alive and well, if you have the cash. Another factory custom wants your attention and it’s bringing some impressive specs to the table. The Audette Velos is a handbuilt muscle-bike powered by a chunky 2,147cc V-twin making up to 128 HP and 156 lb-ft torque. It also weighs just 467 pounds, but this bike will cost you. It commands an incredible $89,000 to start.

This stunning machine crossed into my feed from our friends at RideApart at just the right time. Last weekend, I brought home a 2005 Triumph Rocket III. That bike, despite proudly calling out its British origins, has a spec sheet that sounds so American. It’s powered by a 2300cc triple making 140 HP and 147 lb-ft torque. Yeah, that’s 2.3-liters, a bigger engine than you’d find in many of today’s crossovers! That motorcycle, which you will read about soon, has more muscle than you will know what to do with. And despite its about 800-pound wet weight, it’s a motorcycle where you will run out of skill and open road before it runs out of power. It’s a machine befitting of its name.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The Audette Velos doesn’t have a name that makes you think you’re strapping yourself to a Falcon Heavy, but it has even more torque than my Rocket and nearly half of the weight. This motorcycle makes even more torque than the current fastest piston-powered streetbike, the Kawasaki Ninja H2.

8c3318 70f1159d73e74fb1b52cb7f51

Audette? What’s That?

The Audette Velos started life as the Audette Revere in 2021 before its name was changed to Velos in 2022. Velos is the Greek term for Arrow and the bike was more or less officially unveiled back in late 2022. But there’s more to this story than what’s in a name.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Velos is the brainchild of Tony Audette. He comes from a family with multiple generations of military service. Audette followed in those footsteps when he joined the United States Marine Corps. As Veteran Life writes, Audette then set his goals on being the best Marine he could be.

 Mg 8395

His service would take a turn in 2011 when he became one of the so-called “Exiled 8,” an eight-man Marine squad who found themselves alone in Afghanistan after they were lost on their platoon roster during the military’s 2011 draw-down. The Marines then spent weeks in the desert without support, working with dwindling supplies, and oh yeah, they still had to fight.

As Veteran Life writes, the Exiled 8 kept true to the Marine value of never leaving another soldier behind, so they stuck together no matter what was thrown at them. The squad faced sandstorms and in early November, faced insurgent fire. A little more than a week later, one member of the team stepped on an IED, resulting in the loss of two legs. Audette’s squad even had to put down their pet goat after it was bitten by a pit viper. But Audette’s team pulled through, making home wherever they set down. They made friends with the locals and learned new things along the way, from Veteran Life:

Audette noted, “You define what freedom is by how you build your life… Those people there, they had nothing, and they certainly weren’t in a free country like we are. But at the same time, they were the most free that I’ve ever seen anybody.”

After weeks of fending for themselves, Audette and his team were finally scooped up and brought home. They wanted to remain on active duty but were sent to the Reserve Marine Corps reserves. Now, the veterans faced a new battle: figuring out how to integrate back into the typical American life. Audette had a goal of getting a motorcycle once he got back home. He rebuilt a 1972 Honda CL350 with his father when he was 14 years old. Now, after coming home, he went back to his roots and picked up his own 1975 Honda CB750.

ADVERTISEMENT

Audette Velos A Bespoke V Twin M (1)

As Bike Bound notes, Audette then went to Central Connecticut State University, where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. From there, he worked in the prototyping workshop O.F. Mossberg & Sons and later for helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky. Audette would also become the lead engineer for the Curtiss Motorcycles’ Zeus, an early EV effort after Confederate Motorcycles changed its name and went in on EVs.

Audette wasn’t content engineering for others and decided that he wanted to make his own version of the ultimate American motorcycle. He then spent three and a half years making what he calls a motorcycle completely free of compromise. Apparently, Audette had to sell many of his possessions to fund his dream. The result is the Audette Velos, a streetfighter literally built around a heavily-modified 2,147cc Indian Thunder Stroke V-twin.

The Audette Velos

8c3318 D5d387fdbe9e41169da13753e

What you’re looking at here is at least $89,000 of handbuilt American muscle, designed in collaboration with Kar Lee, a popular motorcycle designer and founder of Kardesigns. Kar is famous for designing machines like the 382 HP Superbusa and he assisted Audette with rendering. Audette is proud of the fact that aside from the modded powertrain, wheels, tires, brakes, and computers, the Velos is completely bespoke.

ADVERTISEMENT

The motorcycle rides on a proprietary chassis and has well over 120 custom CNC parts. Audette is so obsessed with the idea of a factory custom that the company takes three to four months to build each one, and each one is different, built specifically for the rider. To illustrate how crazy this gets, you don’t just throw money at Audette to buy one of these. You have to apply to be able to buy one. You then have to go through a comprehensive consultation before your machine gets built. In this consultation, you get to choose your engine tuning, paint, and suspension settings.

Optionally, your motorcycle can be built around your form, too, so you’ll have to visit a physical therapist to help you dial in the perfect ergonomics for your Velos.

Iver Johnson 1
National Motorcycle Museum

Starting with the aesthetic, Audette says he was inspired by the designs of the motorcycles of the 1910s, such as the 1915 Iver Johnson. The idea here is a pure motorcycle devoid of all excess. It’s stripped of everything that isn’t needed to get it down the road.

8c3318 9dd8dad9d2264494890551309

This isn’t a laptop with all kinds of rider aids, but something that’s supposed to harken back to the old days of motorcycling. It’s like a Royal Enfield, but for rich folks. Two design goals for the motorcycle were usability and comfort.

ADVERTISEMENT

The latter is why you have to visit a physical therapist on the custom version. Your Audette’s controls, pegs, and seat will be made and positioned just for you and your tuchus. Audette says that the seat was inspired by the ones found on old 1920s tractors. Farmers could sit in those seats all day, so he made a modern version of them.

8c3318 067a1049809a4364a45f9877f033802e~mv2

Another annoying thing you’ll find with some motorcycles is a sidestand that’s too small. My old Triumph Tiger’s stand was so thin that the bike literally dug into the pavement on hot days. Forget about parking in grass unless you wanted the bike to end up on its side. Some motorcyclists get around inadequate stands by using pucks. But that’s clunky and requires you to carry the puck around. Thus, Audette engineered a fat sidestand that doesn’t need a puck.

Under the vintage-inspired looks resides some serious firepower and engineering. Audette says he took the Indian Thunder Stroke engine, 3D scanned it, and reverse-engineered it as a CAD model. Audette modifies the Indian engine with Carrillo connecting rods and Wiseco Forged Pistons. When all is said and done, Audette says the only parts of the engine that aren’t touched are the casings. Even the transmission got a durable Rekluse clutch and the belt drive was swapped for a chain.

8c3318 Cdd89737caf043bebc690c62f1f67155~mv2

ADVERTISEMENT

A stock Indian Thunder Stroke 111 makes around 74 HP and 108 lb-ft torque from its 1,811cc displacement. The base Audette Velos has the same displacement but makes 113 HP and 138 lb-ft torque. The max-rated power is 128 HP and 156 lb-ft torque with an uprated displacement of 2,147cc.

There are fewer ponies in the stable than the 140 found in my Triumph Rocket, but my 147 lb-ft torque is beaten by this bike’s max 156 lb-ft number. Again, this is nearly half of the weight, so if riding my rocket is like strapping myself to a Saturn V, I could only imagine what this is like.

8c3318 109a642bdd0943f5a445cd407

Keeping the weight down is an aircraft-grade aluminum twin-spar internally braced C-channel and a single piece of aluminum was used to craft the swingarm. Wheels come from South African brand BST while braking is handled by Galfer rotors and Beringer calipers. Race Tech 43-millimeter inverted forks provide suspension up front while a shock absorber brings up the rear.

Sadly, this monster does sacrifice some touring chops in exchange of low weight and handling. You get a 4-gallon tank mounted to the twin-spar.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rare And Expensive

Audette Velos A Bespoke V Twin M  

Overall, the Audette Velos sounds like the streetfighter of many riders’ dreams. It makes some thunderous power, keeps weight low, and I can even get behind the modernized vintage styling. Unfortunately, few riders will be able to buy one and aren’t likely to see one in the wild. Audette says these start at $89,000 and can cost $125,000 with the larger and more powerful engine upgrade, the custom tailoring, and more. And because it takes three to four months to build them, Audette says it’ll produce just 20 of them a year.

I’m also not entirely sold on the claim of the Velos being a motorcycle without compromise. To my eyes, a motorcycle without compromise is one that is suitable for multiple roles. A BMW GS can be your off-roader and your tourer. A Kawasaki Ninja H2 is fast enough to leave most vehicles as a blur in your rearview mirror, but you can also configure it for a road trip. Maybe Audette will have similar here, but the company doesn’t advertise it.

8c3318 C2bef1078aba42978723e6fdb

How many of those will actually be ridden and not just stored away? I cannot say, but it will be a treat should you ever find one in the wild. That said, while I may never be able to afford one of these, I’d love to swing a leg over one and experience what sounds like brutal torque. (Images: Manufacturer, unless otherwise noted.) Popular Stories  

ADVERTISEMENT

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
31 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bomber
Bomber
1 year ago

90 grand for a motorcycle…and I feel “dirty” for spending 17k for one. Sheesh! Gorgeous though

Lotsofchops
Lotsofchops
1 year ago

I’m definitely in my naked bike phase (I ride a Speed Triple), so I really dig the looks. But as many others have commented, the price doesn’t really reflect what you’re getting. I suppose that’s the case with the vast majority of these boutique builders, you’re half-paying for the exclusivity. Still glad to see something interesting.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 year ago

Umm.. I thought I was on the Autopian website, you know the website that features low cost sh*t piles and yet I see articles for $89,000.00 motorcycles? v┐(´д` )┌

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
1 year ago
Reply to  Shooting Brake

You know, I’m ok with this. MotorTrend gets a lot of flack for the amount of space they dedicate to high-end supercars that none of us will ever be able to buy. Their response is they want to feature everything. While I always thought their response was lacking, it’s not wrong.

I like that Autopian covers weird expensive stuff. I also like that they mostly don’t cover weird expensive stuff. As long as it’s the occasional article and not half the website, I think it’s cool.

Similarly I have zero interest in campers, but the camper articles are also a small fraction of what’s posted.

Tsorel
Tsorel
1 year ago

You do realize that 156 lb-ft of torque at the crank is what any 225+ lb person can crank out on a bicycle? What concerns most people (whether they know it or not) is how much torque can be applied to the rear wheel at any given speed (i.e. power). Take for instance a Yamaha R1 – there are bikes that haul more asses – the torque at the rear wheel gets as high as 840 lb-ft in first gear, all the way up to 96 mph before you’d need to shift into second! It takes less than six seconds to get there. This bike also has a transmission but I don’t know what the ratios are. However, judging by the total output of each bike, the R1 will catapult your hiney 55% harder. The Yamaha costs as little as 14% of what this bike costs, you would be buying this bike for its looks and exclusivity, not performance.

Black Peter
Black Peter
1 year ago

I know it’s like arguing you can only call a two door a shooting brake, but a streetfighter isn’t a factory bike, it’s a homemade bike.. Just like a caferacer, and just like that misuse I know I’m shouting into the void.

Dsa Lkjh
Dsa Lkjh
1 year ago

Absolutely nothing is engineered without compromise. Nothing.

I have a titanium con-rod on my desk right now. It’s light, it does it’s job, it even looks great. But it’s forged, which means some constraints on its geometry. It could have been machined from billet, but that also puts different constraints on the geometry. The custom titanium bolts are M10, but I can’t help thinking an M9.7 would have been strong enough but lighter (and smaller, so less windage and more power), but you’d have to make your own taps, and maybe dies as a rolled thread is stronger. Don’t even get me started on whether 60 degrees is the right angle for a thread form.

When I build something just for me I build it compromised. But it’s the balance of compromise that I’m happy with. That’s why my RVF400 has magnesium wheels, nowhere to store a lock and isn’t a 750.

Gubbin
Gubbin
1 year ago

This is one of the few handbuilt bikes that actually seems bespoke, and not just an S&S motor stuffed into a generic frame. The Indian engine somehow looks entirely unique when framed like that. And thank you for relating the builder’s story.

Also: hooray, I’ve been rooting for the Rocket III. As oddball production bikes go, it’s the the bonkers-est.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

$89,000 I’d expect a little better stitch work on the seat for that. Do they even know what a stitch groover is? Those threads are anything but equally taut.
Kidding. That bike is beautiful and I’m glad it exists. Looks like a real smile factory for someone.

Matthew Skwarczek
Matthew Skwarczek
1 year ago

Firstly, yay for Triumph Rocket III! May those three pistons thump you across all the roads.
Secondly, I kind of view this in a similar vein to Janus’ bikes, albeit with a very different mission. Both are expensive based on pure specs, but the quality of engineering, purpose, and US-made status does contribute to that sticker price. More power to both, I say.
And 156 lb-ft of torque in a bike that has to weigh at most like 400 pounds is ridiculous in all the right ways.

Slack00
Slack00
1 year ago

Mercedes, congratulations on your Triumph Rocket III! I have a 2006 Special Edition R3R with only 9k miles that I adore as well. It handles much better than it ought to, and yeah, that engine is a freight train of power.

Vishnuisgod, a Gawd, not thee Gawd
Vishnuisgod, a Gawd, not thee Gawd
1 year ago

Ill stick to my MT-01. Its 90% of what this is, and I can afford it….. $90k for a bike, no matter how bespoke is…. too much

Slack00
Slack00
1 year ago

OOoh, nice! That’s on my short list of used bikes I’d like to own. I’d also love to have a B-King

Black Peter
Black Peter
1 year ago

Great comparison, because the MT also is a retro-pseudo-custom very similar design aesthetic

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 year ago

Daaaaaamn! That engine should be pretty amazing.

Unfortunately I just can’t get on board with the design: the small seat with nothing behind it looks wrong to my eye.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
1 year ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Right. Road bikes shouldn’t look like hillclimbers.

Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
1 year ago

Very Boutique. Not my style, but that’s the beauty of motorcycles. You choose one the fits your particular style and mood.

The first objective of a motorcycle is it must make you feel good when you look at it

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
1 year ago

It’s undeniably gorgeous to those of us who appreciate a handbuilt cruiser. But this isn’t 2004. I don’t think we have the correct stock market trajectory. And the baby boomers are finding that they need their 401K money to deal with inflation during retirement. This is an exemplary homage to Thorten Veblen’s critique of the American bourgeoise. As such, it can only exist, when there is sufficient aggregate demand for luxury goods, that it seems to be a rational purchase in the minds of young members of the wealthy leisure class.

I don’t think there are enough of them at present, to make this bike an actual thing, in contemporary culture. It will end up like Bugatti, but with less accolades. A bit of motorcycling punctuation at the terminus of the ICE era.

I am, regretably, wearied and sad by this simple fact.

Arthur Flax
Arthur Flax
1 year ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

Only 20 members of society per year have to demonstrate Pecuniary emulation and indulge in conspicuous consumption for this company to succeed. I see a few homeless people now and then, but the bread lines are short at present. The Audette Velos should do fine provided it generates a positive reputation among the Leisure Class. If all else fails, the company will just have to raise the price on this Veblen good. (Thank you Wikipedia. I hope I got that right!)

R Rr
R Rr
1 year ago

You could buy TWO Ducati Diavels for HALF the money this costs, and you’d run circles around this bike.

At this price I would expect him to get a special order engine made by Cosworth rather than throw forged internals into an Indian mill. Also ‘customized to rider’ is something many bikes already do with adjustable ergos (handlebars, footpegs, seats etc.)

Last edited 1 year ago by R Rr
Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 year ago
Reply to  R Rr

This is almost verbatim what I was thinking. I like the bike, but I can’t see the value matching the price. I’ll take the Ducati bike with the Ducati motor for a fraction of the price.

ILikeBigBolts
ILikeBigBolts
1 year ago

The idea (minus the pricey, bespoke part of it) reminds me very much of the older Buells – a pretty light naked bike built around far too much Harley V-Twin.

Robot Turds
Robot Turds
1 year ago

Sorry but to me the bike is pretty fugly.

W124
W124
1 year ago

Yeah, the bike is beautiful in its own way and I’d love to have one, but come on, the price? It would be expensive even half the price.

And as impressive that war story is, what the hell has it to do with an actual motorcycle? In that context I call just bullshit marketing.

David Smith
David Smith
1 year ago

I can think of dozens hundreds thousands of less expensive ways to die with just as much thrill factor.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago

89 grand!?!?!?!?!

Alright, I’ll go back and read the article now. I just needed to get that out.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

Cool story & a cool bike!

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
1 year ago

Don’t get me wrong, the bike is pretty slick. But I was more fascinated with the story of the man than the bike.

Dsa Lkjh
Dsa Lkjh
1 year ago

Yeah, there are other boutique bikes, but that guy is exceptional. I couldn’t have gone through what he’s gone though.

MH7
MH7
1 year ago

Props to the builder for doing so much from scratch. It’s pretty incredible he was able to hit that weight with this engine. Looks a little stretched out for my tastes but should be a blast regardless.

Going through the effort of custom sizing to each person seems a bit of a waste on a bike that can support pretty much no luggage. How far will you really go? I guess the type of buyer that’ll drop this kind of cash expects ‘bespoke’ though, if only for bragging rights.

Looking forward to hearing about the rocket 3. It’s not quite my cup of tea but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to sneak a ride on one.

CSRoad
CSRoad
1 year ago

I wouldn’t want one, but I am pleased they exist.
It makes some sense to me, unlike a lot of customs and low volume bikes.
Maybe I’m too old, poor and cynical.
The true test will be in used value at the 20 year mark. (-;

31
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x