The VB1 was first debuted in 1999 at the Paris Motorcycle show (seems appropriate), but it would be another two years before customers would finally receive deliveries of the rare French liter bike which was only produced in 2001. Designed by Thierry Henriette (of Boxer who designed various stylish sporty two and four-wheelers), only 30 VB1 models were manufactured, making it an ultra-rare machine. Surprisingly, the small boutique manufacturer actually created the bike in an effort to take on Yamaha’s (then) R1 for super bike supremacy and despite Voxan lacking the resources possessed by the tuning fork manufacturer, their bike’s substantial price enabled Voxan to deck the VB1 out in top-of-the-line components and solid machinery, all wrapped in some seriously sexy European bodywork.
Voxan is a small French manufacturer based in Issoire, France that first opened its doors in ’95. The company had ambitious goals of becoming the only major French manufacturer on the global market but you can guess how that worked out. All of Voxan’s machines utilize the same 996cc 72-degree V-twin power plant. Producing a dozen models over a decade from 1999-2009, (they would continue to design bikes until 2013 but the last four models never saw production), the small French player delivered a wide variety of motorcycles including cafe racers, scramblers, a roadster and a few racers and sport models. Three days before Christmas in ’09, Voxan was forced into liquidation and is now as a result a subsidiary of another French auto-manufacturer.
The VB1’s engine was a 4-stroke, liquid-cooled 996cc 72-degree V-twin that made 100hp at 8,000rpm and was married to a chain-drive six-speed transmission, all wrapped in a double-tubular beam chassis. The French Supersport boasted Brembo Gold series brakes and a 41mm inverted telehydraulic fork. The exhaust routing and manifold appear to be structural elements, running under the tank and seat while still being visibly exposed. It’s personally my favorite feature, and the VB1’s carbon front intakes that protrude slightly from the machine’s nose definitely gives it a unique look.
Though the VB1 admittedly now does look a little dated, when it debuted 15 years ago it sported a bold and sexy design. In more recent years the small French manufacturer delivered a fully-electric futuristic Diavel-esque looking machine that demonstrates what the boutique company is capable of. You can check it out at this Voxan press conference:
The same year Voxan began selling the VB1, it also introduced the world to its Scrambler model – also designed by Thierry Henriette – which is something of a “love it or hate it” design.
You can find this rare French 2001 Voxan Boxer VB1 which is number 20 of 31 for sale here on RaceBikeMart.com in Luxembourg with a price of $35,000 (or €30,000).