Cambridgeshire based manufacturer Herald unveiled its new model, the Brute 500, at last month’s Motorcycle Live event in Birmingham, marking a new era for the brand.
Previously Herald has imported small Chinese made bikes, which it reengineered and gave a retro makeover for the British market. The result was a number of popular, classically styled, models that sold well – however the British made Brute marks a new direction for the expanding company.
The street tracker styled machine has been designed and built at Herald’s Huntingdon headquarters. Power is bought in and comes in the form of a single cylinder 449cc from Italian company Fantic. The 43bhp unit is shared with Fantic’s stylish Caballero and Scrambler models and is Herald’s first liquid cooled design.
Herald’s home brewed frame is made from T45 steel tubing and aluminium, while recognised suppliers have been brought in to provide the cycle parts. Herald has designed its own ‘floating shock’ rear suspension linkage, while Racetek have provided the fully adjustable 41mm upside down front forks and rear shock absorber. Racetek also provide the radially mounted four-piston front brake caliper, which is mated to race style wavy discs and HEL lines. Other neat touches are the digital dashboard, LED lights and high spec Michelin Pilot Road 4 tyres.
The minimalist lines give the Brute the kind of ‘shed built’ look that has been a big part of Herald’s appeal in recent years, with custom parts like the rear number plate hanger and tidy exhaust system giving it the feeling of a custom or modified motorbike rather than something that’s been mass produced.
Herald are aiming to get the Brute 500 on the road for just over £6500 when it goes on sale in 2020. That prices it alongside more powerful mainstream alternatives like the Kawasaki Z650, Suzuki SV650 and Yamaha MT-07, although the Herald’s hand-built, custom bike, looks and light weight could give it plenty of appeal for city riders searching for sometime that stands out from the crowds.