Motorcycles

Vyrus returns with the 202-horsepower, Ducati-powered Alyen motorcycle

Vyrus returns with the 202-hor...
The Vyrus Alyen is the latest hub-steered monster out of Rimini, Italy
The Vyrus Alyen is the latest hub-steered monster out of Rimini, Italy
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Doesn't look like it's built for touring
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Doesn't look like it's built for touring
Vicious flared-out underseat exhausts
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Vicious flared-out underseat exhausts
Ducati Superquadro engine is tuned for 202 hp
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Ducati Superquadro engine is tuned for 202 hp
Those carbon rims look like you could lift 'em with one finger
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Those carbon rims look like you could lift 'em with one finger
By all rights, this thing should sound like a v-twin saxophone
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By all rights, this thing should sound like a v-twin saxophone
The Vyrus Alyen is the latest hub-steered monster out of Rimini, Italy
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The Vyrus Alyen is the latest hub-steered monster out of Rimini, Italy
The steering system pivots the front wheel and brake systems
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The steering system pivots the front wheel and brake systems
Gold suspension at either end is usually a good sign
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Gold suspension at either end is usually a good sign
From the front, she's very wide
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From the front, she's very wide
Colossal front fairing and barkbusters
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Colossal front fairing and barkbusters
Looks a bit like a stretched Multistrada
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Looks a bit like a stretched Multistrada
View gallery - 11 images

Boutique motorcycle builder Vyrus has always loved its hub-steered super-naked motorcycles, and its latest 202-horsepower Ducati-powered beast is probably its most aesthetically challenging to date. Meet the Alyen 988, fresh out of Rimini, Italy.

This one starts out with a Ducati Superquadro engine, a 1,285cc, 90-degree v-twin with Ducati's trademark desmodromic valves. But from there, like everything Vyrus has made, things get real wacky, real quick. As with all Vyrus bikes, it runs two swingarms for suspension, front and rear. The front wheel, of course, needs to be able to steer the bike, so the front axle and wheel, along with the brakes, are set to pivot via a "hydraulic wired" steering system that connects to the handlebars.

The benefits are said to include an almost supernatural separation of braking and steering forces, with as much or as little brake dive as you care to dial in. Thus, you can brake super late and deep into corners without affecting your steering geometry, helping the bike feel super planted and consistent. The drawbacks are generally said to be a slightly indirect feeling at the handlebars and a wide turning circle without as much side-to-side steering lock as you're used to.

The steering system pivots the front wheel and brake systems
The steering system pivots the front wheel and brake systems

Where regular bikes with forks for suspension have frames that build towards a main pivot at the steering head, hub-center-steered bikes tend to use a hump-shaped frame, and the Alyen uses a magnesium frame in a "double omega" shape that fits the bill.

Its composite upper bodywork – and there sure is a lot of it – sits on top. The whole thing is small-series and finely detailed, more exclusive than even a Bimota, from the sexy carbon rims to the wild, flared underseat exhausts, which look as evil as all hell. This thing will certainly be a head-turner. Just perhaps not for the right reasons.

Like Bimota's recent Tesi H2, the Alyen struggles with some truly hideous looks. Where previous hub-steered Vyrus bikes like the 987 C3 4V have been technical but lightweight-looking designs, the Alyen is super front-heavy, with a barrel-chested set of fairings and barkbusters that almost look like a Hypermotard has been stretched sideways. There's a lot going on here, but it just doesn't look very good to us.

Looks a bit like a stretched Multistrada
Looks a bit like a stretched Multistrada

Seeing this new bike made us wonder what happened to the Moto2 contender the company was threatening to build back in 2011. The Vyrus 982 M2 Factory was a slim and purposeful race bike built around the Honda CBR600RR engine, which was then the homologation motor for Moto2. Weighing bang on 135 kg (298 lb), it was the first unforked bike we'd seen throw its hat in the top-level racing ring in many years. Well, according to Odd Bike, the Vyrus team couldn't find anyone willing to buy the things and go racing, so the prototypes were sold off and the program scrapped. A pity, because that thing looked like a weapon and we'd have loved to see where it made up and lost time against a field full of telescopic forks.

There's no pricing available for the Vyrus Alyen, but previous bikes have come in around the US$90k mark and this looks no less extravagant.

Source: Vyrus

View gallery - 11 images
3 comments
buzzclick
Up close, there's a lot of interesting elements to admire, but back off and this machine gets a little busy. There's a lot going on. Just think, you could cor-own a Vyrus Alyen if you got an extra 90 thou hanging around, but is the hub-steering something you can live with?
ChairmanLMAO
i think it looks fantastic. Impossible to ride maybe. But, why not go the rest of the way. Like a trike of the future we could drive. Separate the wheels from the steering and put a cab on it. Then you could put some storage on the back. Thats star trek cardassians written all over it.
T N Args
Loz, are you a wheelie-head? Just trying to think of why you are so put off by visuals that weight the front end. ;)