The Herald Motor Company was set up in the south of England back in 2010. Back then they had their design work done in the UK and the bikes were built for them by a third party in China. Now twelve years later the team have realised their goal of building their complete range in Britain. And unlike some other, much bigger, manufacturers their machines are manufactured in their entirety there. No prebuilt components are imported to make the process cheaper or easier. As far as British bikes go, these are very much the real thing.
Herald now have eleven bikes in the range. All of these are retro styled. Bench seats and spoked wheels feature prominently. They’re all naked and would look very cool parked outside a city centre café. The range consists of two 400cc machines as well as a pair of 250s. And no fewer than six 125cc bikes. The one we’re looking at today is the daddy of the bunch, the Brute 500.
This was the first bike that Herald designed, engineered and built in its entirety in the UK. At its heart is a 449cc single cylinder engine which puts out a shade under 43 brake horse power. Drive is delivered through a conventional six speed gear box. This, combined with that single cylinder thumper of a motor, offers a rewarding ride.
Herald Brute 500 - Floating-shock Linkage
Herald are rightly proud of the Brute. They’ve made their own levers, swing arms, yolks and even the wiring looms used on the Brute. On other parts they’ve collaborated with partners such as Hel Performance on their own in house braking system.
The bike is dressed with a full digital dash in addition to a set of those streaming indicators of the type that make it so easy to judge Audi drivers so harshly. The whole thing sits in an aluminium and steel frame and rolls on a set of Metzeler roadtec Z8 tyres. The team has designed their own floating-shock linkage system. This works in conjunction with adjustable Racetek suspension on both ends of the bike.
At only 145 kilos it’s a very easy machine to make progress and it handles significantly better than anything that looks this cool has a right to. It’s not, however, all about parking it up outside a South William Street café and gazing at it as you consume grossly overpriced chai lattes.
Herald Brute 500 - New To The Game
Indeed the Herald Brute produces all the power necessary to make short work of a city commute, it’s also perfect on our wonderful twisty country roads. Shod on a set of knobblies one will even dismiss a trail road with ease. It’s also a machine that has been made with those of us who are returning to motorcycling, or new to the game, in mind with is A2 licence friendly power to weight ratio.
The Brute, along with the rest of the Herald range, is available from Franklin Motorcycles in Swords. You can contact them on 015385005.
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