As if they didn’t already have it good enough, those over indulged millennial types have been gifted with the coolest of new bikes from English company, Mutt Motorcycles. The really good thing about them is they are small capacity machines. This makes them accessible to first time rider and novices. They are also really cool looking coming with bags of style even at a stand still.
Mutt Motorcycles are an interesting company. The team has been building one off custom bikes for far longer than their youthful demeanors would suggest. They have built hundreds of one off machines using all sorts of bikes as a base for their projects. Everything from vintage American as well as classic British motorcycles. When they decided to build their own production motorcycle it was always going to be a bit special. As bike builders, they were coming from a very good place. Rather than being designed by men in labs in white coats, Mutt’s are designed by guys that actually build and ride custom bikes. The custom DNA runs through the veins of all their range.
Mutt are fast becoming the cool small cc bike to own amongst the new wave riders who prefer something with a bit of class rather than something that is always going to feel a bit ‘entry level’.
To achieve their goal, Mutt Motorcycles were going to need a starting point. They chose the indestructible Suzuki GN 125 motor which is still being made by one of Suzuki’s partners. Next, they specify their own frames and other parts. The lot is then shipped to the UK. The team finish the build by hand deep in the industrial sector in Birmingham. Mutt are just a stones throw away from the same premises that BSA, New Imperial and many other iconic motorcycles were constructed back in the day.
Some might see it as a wee bit ironic that a new British motorcycle company had started up in the former heartland of the now much changed, English motorcycle industry. Not only that, but it would be powered by the primary culprit in the industries decline, a Japanese engine. However, it would be a little foolish to dismiss them on such simple terms.
Take a look at what our neighbours are doing when it comes to the motor industry. A lot of it is exactly like the model that Mutt use. The poshest of posh English car brands is Rolls Royce. These days it’s owned by BMW. They are built with a BMW engine and chassis with all the electrics and bodywork manufactured in Germany. However, in order to finish one to the standards expected from a brand like RR, all the coachwork is done by British craftsmen who have learned their trade building the interiors of remarkably expensive boats. Without the input from these people, Rolls Royce simply wouldn’t be what it is.
While mainstream motorcycle manufacturing may have moved on from what it was back in the day, the old neighbourhood still has what it takes to finish a decent piece of engineering. Just like their car brethren, the craftsmen at Mutts Motorcycles are no different.
The paintwork, as well as the wheels, exhaust, handlebars and switchgear are all fitted in the UK. This has a number of advantages, not least of which is that the bikes are finished by hand to a very high standard. They also allow for a level of bespoke customisation that just isn’t normally available. Mutt will customise any of their models for customers including paintwork, seat styles, handlebars and tyres and many other fine details.
Wide bars sit above the headlamp. A single mini speedometer which has enough ‘digital’ in it not to frighten the average hipster away. Features like road legal knobblies, large tank and bench seat make the bikes physically big machines that are often mistaken for much larger cc bikes. The beautiful hand finished seats wouldn’t look out of place on a bike that costs multiples of what one of these will set you back.
Mutt design harks back to the golden age of British motorcycle design. Of course all have the mod cons of a modern machine. One of the latest additions to the Mutt family is no exception. The Mongrel 250 is now available here in Ireland. For those of us who have started their road life on a 125 and have now moved on to a full license or are old enough to do direct Initial Basic Training and want to ride a supercool, lightweight retro bike then this new machine is just what you need.
The Mutt 250 Mongrel follows the same stylistic approach of the companies 125cc machines. The paintwork is flat black, the styling cool, and it looks the part on the move and when parked up.
The power is supplied by a single cylinder 250-cc air cooled engine, which is housed in a wonderfully straightforward tubular twin shock frame. It’s slightly bigger, thanks to its longer swing arm, than the 125-cc range. The 250 has a lot more grunt, of course, which makes it a perfect machine for slicing through the city traffic. This thing is going to look awesome parked up on Harry Street outside McDaids! It’s also quite capable of handling the open country road. But not nearly as many people will see you out there. Less of them, therefore, will realise how utterly cool you are.
Those same low wide handlebars and simply beautiful slim line tan seat on the Mutt 250 Mongrel afford the rider all the comfort they need while still looking the part. The ergonomics work brilliantly allowing the rider to hold what one might describe as a purposeful position. Totally modern features such as the halogen headlight work a treat while at the same time keeping its look true to its retro classic roots.
The Mutt 250 Mongrel runs on 17 inch wheels with front and rear being shod with classic looking Firestone tyres. The short black rear shocks and wide yokes with telescopic forks finish the bike wonderfully, giving the bike plenty of presence, while also keeping the bike firmly planted on the road.
The attention to detail is exceptional. The bars not only offer rider comfort but they also nail that retro look thanks to them being fitted with diamond pattern tan grips which in turn are finished off with neat aluminium bar ends in black. The company also fit the all black wheels with black spokes. The flat black aluminium mudguards look the part. The neat LED aluminium taillight is the icing on the cake.
The full range of Mutt bikes have a healthy low down rumble and the Mutt 250 Mongrel is no exception. The standard Euro compliant black heat treated stainless steel exhaust and silencer look the part while making enough noise to sound good without being intrusive.
The engine is fed by a bang-up-to-date fuel injection system. This provides the single with a strangely smooth acceleration while the gearbox is a five speed affair. Acceleration is brisk and works well in the city where it delivers more than enough power to handle the commute. At the other end of the spectrum there is a full ABS system as standard. This, combined with a set of disc brakes, provides more than safe stopping when yet another taxi attempts to murder you!
When I legally got my first bike the idea of a gear neutral indicator, LED indicators and an electric start along with everything else you could expect to find on a modern bike just wasn’t even imaginable. All of this is standard on the Mutt range.
The Mutt 250 Mongrel has it all in terms of design, tech and finish. Young folk these days, you’ve no idea how good you have it! There are a lot of experienced riders of much larger capacity machines using them as daily commuters in the UK. We can expect to see the same here in Ireland as the bikes are rolled out.
All Mutt models are available in both 125 and 250 cc with some bigger cc machines in the pipeline. The full Mutt Motorcycles range is now available from Franklin Motorcycles here in Dublin. Call any of the team on 015385005 to book a test ride.
Words Paddy Digby Baker with Ciarán Dunne