We Trip: Herald’s Brute 500

Herald’s made an enormous leap ahead with the discharge of its raucous, stripped-back custom-style single – the Brute 500. The (principally) British-built bare is equally spec-ed and equally priced to the brand-new BSA Gold Star – and possibly may enchantment to the kind of riders BSA is aiming its bike at: younger, stylish varieties (not essentially the outdated boys who keep in mind the originals from again within the day). 

Herald Brute 500

We’ve examined our justifiable share of Herald Motor Firm’s bikes over the previous few years, so we’ll spare you an in-depth rundown of its quick however largely profitable historical past. In essence, it’s carved out a reasonably respectable repute for its small vary of learner-friendly, retro-styled bikes which can be inbuilt China after which tweaked and improved again house at its Cambridgeshire HQ. It’s been a profitable system that’s seen Herald promote loads of bikes to riders new and outdated who need a mixture of practicality, efficiency, styling and, finally, worth for cash. However not content material to relaxation on its laurels, it’s been beavering away creating its greatest and arguably greatest bike but: the Brute 500. And it’s really been designed and constructed within the UK (other than the engine, and some small fine details). Which is greater than will be mentioned for the BSA…

Digs within the ribs apart, it’s nice to see a fledgling British agency taking the leap and attempting to construct its personal bikes. And after years of ready because it was first teased, we’ve lastly managed to swing our leg over one and put it by its paces.

Within the flesh, it’s a fairly funky wanting little bit of equipment. The white one we had been testing isn’t fairly as particular because the blue… however both approach, it’s nonetheless lots fashionable sufficient to face out from the group (notably when the group is a pair of 60s replicas which can be virtually interchangeable). It’s nobody factor – mixing café racer, avenue tracker and bare bike styling to create a bundle that appears extra {custom} than manufacturing. That’s no unhealthy factor in my e-book.

Herald Brute 500

The end is basically good, and Herald’s carried out a prime job each manufacturing and sourcing elements. The body castings, aluminium swingarm, yokes and spindles are all machined in-house, whereas the entrance four-piston radial brake comes from HEL brakes down in Devon (though the rear’s a J. Juan quantity). The adjustable inverted and rear shock and 17-inch wheels come from Herald’s sister firm Racetek, the sprint comes from Acewell, and even the seat, wiring loom and plastic mouldings are made in Britain (other than the tank… that’s made in Italy).

Barely disappointingly, the Brute’s 499cc liquid-cooled four-stroke single cylinder motor isn’t precisely homegrown. Herald made the selection to utilize Zongshen’s tried and examined NC450 unit (which can also be in Fantic’s Caballero 500) – though it has sorted the tuning itself, utilizing its personal dyno set as much as get issues simply so.

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It’s a fairly feisty little motor, which must be labored exhausting and revved to make the most effective use of the 43bhp on faucet. Sadly that does imply it wants pretty frequent servicing, so that you’ll be taking it again to the vendor each 3000 miles.

It’s nice enjoyable in a lairy type of approach – and there’s greater than sufficient punch from the Herald to maintain on the heels of lots larger bikes on twisty roads. It’s good for about 80mph, however something greater than that appears like a little bit of a pressure. It’s not essentially the most refined factor both, so there’s loads of vibration and also you’ll get pop and bangs and burbles as you’re employed your approach down by the six-speed gearbox. It’s enjoyable to trip.

It stops properly, too, although the brakes are undoubtedly on the sharper finish of the spectrum. The British-made HEL entrance arrange is a specific spotlight, though the J. Juan on the rear has sufficient chew and really feel to assist out. With none ABS and traction management, you’ll undoubtedly must maintain your wits about you if you wish to cease it in a rush in sketchy circumstances.

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Constructed specifically for the Brute, the Racetek floating hyperlink monoshock out again and the inverted forks up entrance are totally adjustable and will be fine-tuned, however in reality they’re at all times going to be on the stiffer facet of issues, due to a give attention to efficiency and dealing with moderately than outright consolation. That mentioned, when ridden exhausting, it’s surprisingly simple to overlook about any shortcomings in that division, as you bob and weave and throw the factor backward and forward.

Herald Brute 500

The Avon Highway Rider Mk2 tyres are a pleasant contact, offering loads of usable grip in all however the worst circumstances, though I did discover their limits on a few events on notably moist roads, however that could possibly be partly on account of the marginally aggressive throttle response and my heavy palms.

Is the Herald Brute 500 actually similar to the BSA. Most likely not. In truth, it’s probably not similar to another manufacturing bike available on the market. It’s a novel (principally) British-built proposition which’ll undoubtedly enchantment to riders of a sure type who need one thing with a little bit of chew that’ll put a smile on their face. The motor’s most likely the spotlight, and though it’s a bit loud and a bit lairy and a little bit bit unpolished, I discovered so much to love.

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The large query mark is the worth – and at £6950 plus a bit additional for on-the-road charges, the Herald is certainly not the inexpensive possibility.

Tech spec


Engine: 499cc four-stroke single cylinder

Energy: 49.2bhp

Torque: 40Nm

Body: Metal and aluminum

Transmission: 6 velocity handbook gearbox

Suspension: (F) Racetek inverted forks (R) Racetek floating hyperlink monoshock / totally adjustable

Brakes: (F) Single disc and HEL 4-piston radial caliper (R) Single disc and J.Juan radial caliper

Weight: 145kg

Seat Peak: 835mm

Gasoline Tank: 13.5 litres

Worth: £6950 + OTR

Contact: www.heraldmotorcompany.com

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