The name Vyrus may not be familiar to motorcycle enthusiasts when they begin reading this article, but by the end of it, there’s every chance it will be at the top of their list of “dream bikes.” The small Rimini-based Italian company is currently best known for producing the Bimota Tesi 2D, but the company's new, top-of-the-range, Vyrus 987 C3 4VV naked superbike is just about to propel it to even greater world renown, leapfrogging past a gaggle of superbikes to become the most powerful production motorcycle in the world. It's more powerful than Ducati’s Desmosedici RR, MV Agusta’s F4 312RR, Suzuki’s Hayabusa or Kawasaki’s ZZR1400. The hub-centre-steered Vyrus runs a 211 bhp supercharged 1198cc 1098R Ducati engine, weighs just 158 kg and costs EUR 65,000 (US$91,700).
The 4VV is the lightest and most powerful of four Vyrus variants.
The base model 984 C3 2V comes with a 100 bhp two valve 1000DS air-cooled Ducati engine, weighs in at a featherweight 150 kg and sells for EUR 33,400 (US$47,000). Just to put that weight in perspective, a MotoGP bike weighs 148 kg.
Next up the ladder is the 985 C3 4V, which weighs in at 157 kg, uses a 155 bhp 999R water-cooled Testastretta Ducati engine and costs EUR 50,000 (US$70,500).
Second from top is the 155 kg 987 C3 4V which sells for EUR 55,000 (US$77,500) and uses a water-cooled 1098R 1198cc Ducati engine producing 184 bhp
Finally, the range-topping 987 C3 4V V takes the 987 C3 4V and adds EUR 10,000, a supercharger, three kilograms, 27 bhp and, of course, the title of being the world’s fastest production motorcycle.
Take a close look at the Vyrus in the photo gallery and you’ll see the machine is full of innovation and incredible attention to detail, and very much a production of Vyrus’ owner, Ascanio Rodorigo.
The essence of the Vyrus brand is adequately encapsulated by this short outline from Rodorigo which explains his passion for detail:
I was a young boy, at the airport of Rimini the Ferrari Team came with a tester and a F40 to make brakes homologation. My father, a jet fighter pilot, was invited to participate and was inside the car. Happy and excited by the adventure. I walked around the car and looked at every particular. Lights, dashboard, internal equipment, everything did tell me, "I’m a race car, only race sensation, rude but efficient", I thought that was the best thing I could see at that time, the enthusiasm of my father become virulent because his approval of noise, velocity, real sensations and feeling. What a beauty!
My dream was a production of little series of bikes that could give me the fantastic sensation of a Race GP motorcycle but with lights and lateral stand!
The rear swing arm hand bended and welded to be the strongest and lightest possible, the special bolts machine worked to save 3 grams each, the seat with 8 mm foam to have the best feeling in drive, the carbon fibre everywhere, the fuel tank cap screw type, the bleeding system of fuel and engine vapour running in carbon fibre canisters, injection and ignition controlled by the most advanced computer, cable wiring almost invisible but the most complicate available, Racing style dashboards, the best brakes. All the best for a “Championship with a license plate”: the dream became true with Vyrus. I never had compromise since was young boy, why should I change now?
So what’s it like to ride?
The most experienced, knowledgable and best known motorcycle road tester in the world is Brit Alan Cathcart. Cathcart rode the unblown Vyrus and his report is available online here.