The Heralds took a giant leap forward with the stripped down, loud custom style single “Brute 500.” The (mostly) British-made naked bikes are similarly equipped and priced to the all-new BSA Gold Star, and are probably the kind of rider BSA is targeting the bikes for: young trendy men (not necessarily remember It may appeal to old people (not the originals of the time).

We have tested quite a few Herald Motor Company motorcycles over the years. As such, I won’t go into a detailed review of the short but largely successful history of the Herald Motor Company. Basically, the company has built quite a reputation with a handful of retro-style learner bikes, made in China and then tuned and improved at its headquarters in Cambridgeshire. It’s a winning formula that Herald has sold numerous bikes to riders new and old looking for a combination of utility, performance, design and, ultimately, value for money. But they don’t rest on their laurels and are working hard to develop their biggest and possibly best bike, the Brute 500. And indeed this bike (with the exception of the engine and some small bikes) is designed and built in the UK. trifles). That’s all I can say about BSA.

Ribs aside, it’s nice to see a young British company take the plunge and build their own bike. And after years of waiting after being teased the first time, we finally managed to swing our feet over it and pass that pace..

Basically, it’s pretty funky looking gear. The white example we tested isn’t as special as the blue one. but it’s certainly stylish enough to stand out from the crowd (especially if the crowd is a pair of ’60s replicas, i.e. almost are interchangeable years). It’s not just one of his things that Café combines the styling of racers, street trackers and naked bikes to create a package that looks more custom than off the shelf. In my opinion it’s not a bad thing..

The build is mostly good and Herald did a great job both building and sourcing the parts. The frame castings, aluminum swingarm, triple clamps and spindles are all made in-house, and the front four-piston radial brakes are from Devon-based HEL Brakes (but the rear is a J. fan number). The adjustable reverse and rear shock absorbers and 17-inch wheels are from Herald’s sister company Racetek, the dashboard is from Acewell, and the seats, wiring harnesses and plastic moldings are also UK made (apart from the tank. UK made). in Italy).

A little disappointingly, Brute’s 499cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder engine isn’t exactly native. Herald chose to use Zongshen’s proven NC450 unit (also found in Fantic’s Caballero 500), but the company did the tuning in-house and had its own dynamo to get things right.

This is a very lively little engine that will have to work hard and rev up to make the most of the 43 horsepower available. Unfortunately, that means I have to service it fairly often and have to take it back to the dealer every 3,000 miles.

It’s a lot of fun in a way – and the Herald has enough power to keep up with many big bikes on winding roads. He’s fine up to about 130km/h, but above that he gets a little tired. It’s not the most sophisticated either, so it vibrates a lot and you hear a pop, pop, thud as you pass through the six-speed gearbox. It’s fun to drive.

Braking is clearly on the sharper end of the spectrum, but it also lasts well. A particular highlight is his HEL front setup, made in England, but J. Juan brings plenty of bite and feel to the rear. Without ABS or traction control, you’ll need to keep your cool if you want to stop quickly in dangerous situations..

The Brute’s exclusive Racetek floating-link rear monoshock and upside-down front fork are fully adjustable and tweakable, but the truth is that the focus on performance and handling is always on the stiff side. More than absolute comfort. But when you’re driving hard, it’s surprisingly easy to forget about your shortcomings as you bob and weave and throw the thing from side to side.

Avon Road Rider Mk2 tires feel great and offer plenty of grip in all but the worst conditions. However, I did feel limited on some particularly wet surfaces, which may be due in part to the lighter tires being aggressive throttle response and my heavy hands.

Is the Herald Brute 500 really he’s comparable to BSA? Probably not. In fact, it doesn’t compare to other commercial bikes on the market. This is a unique (largely) British-made product that will definitely appeal to certain breeds of drivers looking for something with a little bite to put a smile on their face. The motor was probably the highlight, a little loud and a little loud and a little unsophisticated, but there was a lot to like about it..

The big question mark is the price – and at £6950 plus a bit extra for on-the-road fees, the Herald is by no means the affordable option.

Tech spec HERALD BRUTE 500