Visit us at Motorcycle Live 2021 @ The NEC, Birmingham!
We will be at Motorcycle Live 2021 @ the NEC, Birmingham from 4th – 12th December showcasing our new Euro 5 range in Hall 12, Stand 2D10!
New additions to the range will be on show such as our Blacked-out Brat 250X, continuing the limited X series, as well as our new Classic 250cc & all your favourite Euro 5 models.
Our Euro 5 Brat 125 will feature a new water-cooled engine sporting 14bhp, a healthy increase to its predecessor.
As well as this we will have two brand new colour options on show for our first British designed, engineered, and manufactured motorcycle, the Brute 500.
Sporting a 42.9 bhp torquey single, weighing in at 150kg this bike is perfectly suited for all motorcyclists wanting to return to riding in its purest form. From beating the traffic in the city streets, tearing up the B roads in the countryside and exploring forgotten paths with a set of knobbly tyres, this modern tracker can do it all.
With 80% of parts being manufactured in house this is a truly British built motorcycle, where we have been unable to manufacture in house, we have turned to market leading suppliers in the U.K. & Europe. Available for order now, delivery in Q1 2022.
We will also have our brand new Brute 500 launch video premiering this weekend!
Click here to view the Brute 500 Launch Video on our Youtube channel!
Proud to bring manufacturing back to Britain.
HERALD RIDER’S SERIES #2 A conversation with Kordian Handzlik
At Herald we love seeing our motorcycles being put through their paces, tackling different terrains and challenges set before them. Our brand ethos has been epitomised by Kordian Handzlik and his past adventures through Morocco & Spain on his Herald Classic 125. While we are all beginning to plan our post lockdown adventures, we caught up with Kordian to get some inspiration and learn more about his breath-taking escapades on his Herald…
Q: How long have you been riding motorcycles?
First of all let me thank you for having this little conversation with me and let me say say hello to all who might be reading it. It’s a real pleasure to finally have a chance to talk about that trip, despite the fact it’s been two very long years since it took place. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, I’d probably have more new stories to tell, but thanks to you guys I can at least relive the memories.
Now to answer the question, I started riding quite late in my life compared to most of the riders I know – it was 2016, so five years ago and I just turned 30 at that time.
Q: Where did you first hear about Herald Motor Co?
Two years before coming to the UK I completed my motorcycle course in Poland, which took 30 compulsory hours of practical riding on 600cc bikes. Problem was that the motorcycle season ended before I got around to passing my test and right after the winter my wife and I decided to move to the United Kingdom.
Since I lost my chance to get a licence for big bikes, I found out that doing a CBT would be a great way to get back on two wheels quickly. That’s how I started searching for a small engine motorcycle that would look like a serious bike. I soon came across Herald and after seeing it in person I quickly fell in love with the Classic 125.
I believe Herald was a quite new brand on the market back then as there weren’t many reviews on the internet. The ones I found were all positive and what pulled me most towards Herald was the fact that although they had only just started importing these 125s they put an actual effort into improving the bikes and clearly cared about the customer’s experience. Herald definitely stood out and seeing how the company now participates at all those different bike events I can tell that I made the right choice.
And of course once I got the bike I kept hearing people saying things like “I had the exact same bike when I was young” or asking “Is that a Triumph?”. The little Herald proved to be such a wonderful head turner at a great price point and a wonderful base for customisation too. It started as a shiny black classic, two years later it became my army green “Lawrence of Arabia” type machine.
Q: What spurred you on to travel through Morocco & Spain on your Classic 125?
The trip was actually a reward to myself for the long and bumpy road I had taken to get my motorcycle licence. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate that success than to go on an adventure. Some would say a bigger bike should be the next step, but the travel bug inside me told me otherwise!
So once I passed my test in November I started planning the trip. I’ve been to Morocco twice before and I felt like it would make a really interesting and quite exotic destination. It’s far enough to be considered a challenge yet very close to Europe in case something goes wrong. And within a timeframe of 23 days I knew I could potentially reach any place there and still have that extra time for Spain. Eventually I even managed to go back through France rather than take a ferry from Spain like most people do.
Q: How did the Classic 125 handle the different terrains such as the sandy deserts of Morocco and dusty trails of Spain?
Like you say, I rode through so many different terrains and passed a couple of different climate zones, I feel like it would be a shame if I didn’t mention what my trusty Herald had to go through.
Once I left England, I arrived in Santander where I had to take some twisty mountain roads surrounding the north coast of Spain. It was early March so still quite cold and it happened to be one of two rainy days during my whole trip. After I left the Cantabrian mountains it took me roughly three days till I got to Morocco. I chose the easiest route by simply going south – the roads were really beautiful, in Valle del Jerte or at the border of Extremadura and Andalucia especially.
I was covering 200-270 miles to get from point A to B which was taking me roughly 7-9 hours of riding including some small breaks. It was a real test of endurance not only for Herald’s little engine but also for me. I usually had to wake up around 5 in the morning and hit the road before the sunrise. I always tried to arrive before dinner time, get familiar with the area where I was staying and do some shopping for the next day.
I dropped daily mileages down a bit once I crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and got to North Africa, yet still covered around 1500 miles within ten days making a huge loop around Morocco. After arriving in Tanger Med, I rode south to the famous blue city of Chefchaouen and then kept going south through various little towns until I reached the breathtaking Ziz Valley and later on Merzouga – a place they call the gate to Sahara. The dunes had such an unusual golden colour and I couldn’t resist riding into the sand. Once I did, I actually got stuck while scorching heat poured out on me from the cloudless sky. I blamed my own foolishness rather than the road tyres I was riding on, but either way instead of taking a cool photo in the desert I ended up cursing and sweating to get the bike out of the sand. And I left the town as soon as I did.
Merzouga was the southernmost point of my trip and now I headed west. The main challenge was to get through the south side of the Atlas Mountains and eventually to cross the range and get to Marrakech. Still hot and very desert-like but also high on altitude with various mountain passes on the way. I managed to visit two well known gorges – Todra and Dades, went to the Atlas Studios in Ouarzazate where some of the decorations from Ridley Scott’s movies are still on display and after passing Ait Benhaddou and Telouet villages I eventually crossed the Atlas and ended up in Marrakech. After thirteen days of constant riding I could finally take a day off and from then on I was in retreat. Next day I went up north and within two days I closed the loop in Tanger where I caught a ferry and welcomed the Spanish coast again.
This time I gave myself six days for Spain, most of which I spent in Andalucia. The region was so beautiful that I really hope to go back there again someday. The west is covered with mountains and tiny whitewashed villages they call los pueblos blancos, while the east is home to the Tabernas desert. I’m a huge fan of classic movies, so I went to the desert with a particular goal in mind to find a place where Sergio Leone directed his famous spaghetti western – “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. Soon after I found the exact spot where Clint Eastwood split his bounty money with Tuco, I jumped back on the bike and went to Sorbas – another less known town where this time Jack Nicholson played in Michelangelo Antonioni’s “The Passenger” back in 1975 (I highly recommend seeing both movies). What a wonderful day it was!
But as the old saying goes all good things come to an end. Once I covered both west and east Andalucia I had to turn north and head towards Pamplona to cross the western part of Pyrenees and get to France. I stopped briefly in Bardenas Reales badlands and spent a few nights in some lovely places but other than that it was just four days on a full throttle till I got to northern France where I caught a short ferry ride to Portsmouth.
To sum up, my biggest fear in Morocco was getting stranded somewhere high up in the mountains with a punctured tyre or tuning the carburettor every 5 minutes due to high temperatures. Luckily I experienced none of those. In fact, the only things I had to do when it comes to bike maintenance was to change the oil before I entered Morocco, change a headlight, indicator and stoplight bulbs and keep the chain clean, lubed and tensioned pretty much at all times. That’s really all the jobs I had to do on a 4000 mile journey. Now when I think of it, I could’ve left so many spare parts and tools at home and taken a tent instead, which happened to be the only thing I needed and did not have.
So that I’m not accused of sugarcoating, I admit I broke one of the indicators by constantly rubbing a saddle bag against it and one of the foot pegs became loose from hours of standing. A rear brake switch stopped working as too much sand and grime got inside it and some indicator wires under the rear fender got exposed due to the tyre rubbing against them – easy fix with some electrical tape. Speaking of tyres – my rear Dunlop K82 went almost completely bald. It’s normal that some things were worn down along the way but luckily none of them stopped me from moving forward. Going back to the question on how did the Classic 125 handle the different terrains, I’ll say it did absolutely great!
Q: What were your most memorable moments of the journey?
Ohh, there were so many! I remember quite well pretty much every day of riding and every little town I visited. I never used the same road twice, each day welcomed me with different scenery and a different set of challenges, so there was always something new to remember every single day. But to answer your question let me start with something trivial like riding at night. There was one particular town in Spain called Torreorgaz where I stayed for the night and left while it was still dark. I rode under an unbelievably starry sky for almost an hour and every now and then a thick layer of fog covered the tarmac. I know now there were some lakes and small rivers nearby but back then in the dark I had no idea where that fog was coming from. It just felt magical.
I find it too risky to ride till late, so if it wasn’t for my early get ups I’d probably never even see a cloudless sky filled with stars from under a motorcycle helmet. And to top it off, instead of anxiety and fatigue that hit naturally at night I was being rewarded with beautiful sunrises slowly revealing
the unknown. My first few days on Spanish soil were exactly like that – riding into the morning twilight.
Then there was the Valley of Ziz in Morocco – I think the most beautiful place one could go to. Coming from Sefrou – a little town near Fes – I chose some secluded and less popular roads that crossed the mountains and I slowly entered the desert for the first time. Soon the valley similiar to the Canyons of Colorado appeared infront of me and after a bit of searching I found a traditional berber home where I stayed for the night. I ate some delicious harira soup while I watched the home owner’s son playing with my bike and the sun setting behind the orange cliffs. After eight days of constant riding I was finally where I wanted to be and just couldn’t stop smiling to myself.
Two other things I will remember forever, although for slightly different reasons, was getting into a sandstorm near Alnif and going up the R703 and R704 roads in the High Atlas mountains.
Once I left Merzouga, I stopped for a few hours at Gara Medouar, which was a fascinating crater-like rock formation in the middle of nowhere. Some say it used to be a Portuguese prison, in one of his recent movies James Bond claims it’s Bloefeld’s secret hideaway. I only wanted to see the place as it involved some off-road riding and I wanted to hide a letter I wrote to my son for him to find when he gets older and starts travelling. He was only one month old at that time, bless my wife for letting me go.
Once I hid the letter, I went back on tarmac and it didn’t take long till I noticed tiny whirlwinds forming on the side of the road. It was quite fascinating, especially when bigger ones appeared in front of me. As the wind got stronger they all soon vanished while the sky on my right turned dark like it was going to rain. To keep a long story short, the rain never came. It was an actual sandstorm heading my way and I was kind of lucky/unlucky to experience it. Of course now it sounds cool and makes a great story, but at the time I was really scared as the sand was getting everywhere. The road to Alnif was slightly inclining at first, I had like 30kgs of luggage on my bike and I was worried that if somehow the dust finds its way into the carb I may not be able to start it again. I soon discovered it was simply the wind that kept stopping me and once I was on the flat everything was fine. When I rode into Alnif the place looked like a deserted ghost town, the whole thing lasted for about half an hour but it will definitely last forever in my memory.
Now the R703 and R704. These are high altitude mountain roads that connect the Valley of Todra, a small village of Agoudal up in the mountains and the Valley of Dades. Most bikers who plan on touring Morocco have heard of at least the latter one – the famous twisties going through the Dades Gorge is probably the most photographed place among motorised tourists. The thing is that most of them come up from the southwest just to see the hairpins and head back or continue through the main roads towards the Todra Gorge. Since I was coming from a different direction, my idea was to climb up the steep and twisty R703 through Tizi n’Tirherhouzine pass (2.675m) and then, in Agoudal, jump onto the northern tip of R704 – a road many consider the most dangerous in Morocco.
On most of its length the R703 is basically a single track made of nothing but dirt, gravel and rocks that runs through the mountain slopes where huge drops await for anyone who is not careful enough. I rode through the Lake District’s Hardknott Pass as an unexperienced rider within the first
couple of months of my time with Herald and spent a few days on those crazy buses that go through Nepal and the mountainous regions of northern India, but this was just something else. The highest pass on the route was Tizi n’Ouano at 2.910m but at one point, even long before reaching the pass, I had to come off and push the bike on foot while keeping a steady hand on the throttle only because it was so steep that I was scared of coming off the cliff.
A 125-mile distance took me eight long hours, while half of that time I spent only on the 35-mile stretch of unpaved “le piste” as they call it in French. The only vehicles I saw was a group of three oncoming off-road campers when we had a really hard time passing each other. Then just as the sun was setting and I was cooking a meal on the side of the road, two Land Cruisers came onto the dirt and I kept wondering if they knew what they were getting themselves into traversing that road under moonlight.
Q: What advice would you give to new riders planning their first adventure?
There’s a lot of questions you have to ask yourself before going on an adventure. Things like the budget, the level of comfort, the choice between highways and B roads and so on are very individual. I travelled on the cheap but still spent (almost) all my nights in hotel rooms. I ate freeze dried meals cooked on a stove when stopping on the way, yet still dined out once I was at the destination. I also stuck to the B roads to immerse myself in local scenery although I know now that I should’ve been more flexible and would benefit from going onto a highway every now and then.
We all know that motorcycling is not that easy, right? And travelling long distances on a motorcycle day after day is even more demanding – both physically and mentally. So in my opinion by gathering information before the trip one can eliminate most problems before they arise. You can still decide later what your travelling style is going to be and how organised you want to be vs. how much room for spontaneity you want to leave. But there has to be some basic knowledge first to make those conscious decisions.
I’d recommend getting your bike into the best mechanical shape it can be. Find out what are the most common issues with your model and see if you have the skills and tools to fix them. If not, which is fine because not everyone has to be a mechanic, take some extra money in case you need repairs. Change the tyres, chain and sprockets, worn out brake pads and maybe even clutch and throttle cables. Clean the carburettor if you know how to and charge the battery. Basically, replace whatever you can before it breaks, especially if you haven’t done it in the recent past. Something might still break on the way, but at least you’ll minimise that risk.
I had a route plan made for every single day of riding including details such as distance I needed to cover, temperature, pit stops, and documentation required for crossing borders and I always familiarised myself with it the night before. I always knew by what time I needed to get up and leave to arrive on time, I knew where I was heading, what towns were on the way and what clothes I should’ve prepared. All this just to keep my mind at peace as much as possible so I could focus exclusively on enjoying the ride.
I still lost my way once while riding from Seville to Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain – it was so hot that my iPhone shut down and the road I took was too small to be marked on my paper map. Afew times I was also freezing during those early morning rides and then melting in the afternoon sun, these were just small accidents but I feel like if I didn’t do my homework at all they could have quickly become daily nightmares.
Q: Do you have any plans for future adventures?
Of course! The desert rat definitely needs some hot air flowing through the carburettor again so last year I started planning a journey to Tunisia. The pandemic has put an end to it, but only temporarily I hope. This time I would like to cross some parts of France I haven’t seen before, ride through the Swiss Alps, go along the entire Italian coast and after boarding a ferry in Sicily I’d end up in North Africa again. Tunisia may not be as big or as diverse as Morocco but there’s a lot of beautiful places worth visiting and the countries on the way offer even more attractions, so I know I would have a lot of fun travelling there. This time I’d take a bit less stuff but definitely pack a tent!
If somehow that doesn’t work out, maybe I’ll get around to finally ride the Scottish NC500? The dream trip however, if I may share this idea with you, would be to visit Iran. It’s a huge and beautiful country and all I keep hearing is how friendly it is for motorcycle travellers. Seems far for a 125cc, but then again, someone told me the same about Morocco!
If we have learnt anything from recent years, it is that the opportunity to break boundaries, face adversity and push yourself to heights you may have thought were unreachable should be welcomed with open arms.
Kordian’s journey, which many may not attempt on anything less than a high spec adventure bike riddled with electronically assisted controls, is the perfect example of overcoming adversity and we are extremely proud the Classic 125 took part in this inspirational adventure.
HERALD RIDER’S SERIES – A Coffee W/ Rookie Rider Diary
A brisk Wednesday morning and we set off from Herald HQ on the Brat 250X, London bound and excited to return to a vague sense of normality as pubs, restaurants & shops were allowed to open, despite only being outside it was a cause for celebration and a great excuse for a ride nonetheless.
We headed down to one of our favourite pit stops, The Bike Shed in Shoreditch London, last week to catch up with Rookie Rider Diary aka Ellie Portch and her Maverick 125cc Super-Moto with Pirelli Scorpion Trail II’s perfect for carving up the London city streets.
Ellie, who works at the Bike Shed as Global Partnerships Director, only recently commenced her motorcycle adventure after being inspired by the enthusiasm of colleagues and friends at the Shed. We sat down with Ellie over a large coffee or two and discussed her experiences on her adventure into the enticing world of motorcycles…
Q: Where did your interest in motorcycles first come from?
I don’t come from a family of petrol heads, but like a lot of people, I have always been intrigued by the lifestyle that surrounds motorcycles. From the music and movies to the art and fashion, there’s an edgy, rebellious streak that runs through it all and who doesn’t love that?!
Meeting Vikki definitely sparked my interest too. We met about 12 years ago when she was my Manager at a Publishing company. She used to ride her motorbike into work and I thought she was badass. She is even more so now!
Q: How did you find your CBT (Compulsory Basic Training)?
It was definitely challenging, but that was more down to the (hideous) great British weather and my nervousness in London traffic. In hindsight, I should perhaps have booked a date in Spring for the CBT, but instead I chose November. The instructors were very experienced and patient though and I passed, so it was a great day in the end.
Q: When did you first see Herald Motor Co?
It would have been at the Bike Shed Festival back in 2019. I had not long joined the Bike Shed at that point, and Herald had a presence at the event. The festival included a 125cc race and there were a few very good-looking Heralds whipping around the track! The Maverick is such a gorgeous bike. Perfect height, perfect look, perfect ride for a Rookie like me, love it so much!
Q: How have you found learning to ride a motorcycle in London?
The CBT was definitely an eye opener. The traffic in London can be pretty overwhelming when you aren’t used to it and I still need a lot more practice to improve my confidence on that front.
I’m lucky to have ridden a few times with some experienced colleagues though, who have given me tips and helped me to look out for some of London’s unique hazards. During one ride out to Epping Forest, Dan attached a Bluetooth earpiece to my helmet that meant I could chat with him all the way. It was super helpful having him talk me through certain road situations. He also sang to me a few times which also made the ride pretty entertaining!
Q: What has been your favourite experience on two wheels so far?
Getting some Rookie Rider tuition with Stew on the Bike Shed camping trip last year was awesome. Also doing my first “long” ride to Epping Forrest with Dan was a proud moment because I had been pretty nervous before we set off.
Q: Do you have any more motorcycle adventures planned?
Absolutely! I’m excited to get out on the bike more regularly now that summer is approaching.
My motorcycle theory test is booked (I’m keeping the date on the down low in case I flunk it!) and I am starting to look at options for taking my full test later in the year. There will be lots more time and practice needed on my Maverick before that happens though.
Q: What advice would you give to people who are thinking about learning to ride?
There’s no shame in feeling nervous or apprehensive about it because it can be daunting, but there’s also no time like the present, so book that CBT in! And, if you need any advice or inspiration to get started, just head down to the Bike Shed where you’ll be in good company.
As the sky’s began to cloud and rain started to fall, in true British fashion, filling up our empty coffee cups we called it a day with a covid safe elbow bump, put our lids on and hit the road.
If you would like to follow Ellie’s two wheeled adventure, make sure to head over to Instagram and follower her @RookieRiderDiary!
Herald take on Malle Mile 2020
While as a team Herald have been attending the Malle Mile since 2016 for ‘team bonding’ purposes, we decided to get on board this year and sign up as a brand partner. Herald team member and impromptu Moto Polo manager Elliot looks back at the weekend spent racing round the grounds of Kevington Hall and shares insight into how the Brat 250 & Brute 500 got on.
The Malle Mile is by self-definition ‘The British Inappropriate Motorcycle Race’ and it certainly lives up to this description. Kevington Hall, a country estate in Kent, South England has hosted this thrillingly unrivalled event since its inception in 2015. Run by Malle London, who not only curate these events but also produce some fantastic travel accessories made with British materials, which you can see here.
We were overjoyed when we heard that the hard-working team at Malle would be progressing with their plans despite 2020’s best attempts to put a halt on all enjoyment & fun. Unlike other events on the motorcycling calendar, the Malle Mile provides a level of interaction impossible to replicate within the confines of an exhibition hall and a community spirit which is unmatched, the freedom to race and participate in such a variety of events is something we look forward to every year.
Being an outdoor event, the weather can seriously determine the outcome of the weekend. Fortunately, compared to what can only be described as torrential downpour which engulfed the 2019 Malle Mile, we were granted sunshine creating a sand/dust like mixture which was dispersed into any and all orifices throughout the weekend!
Spread across the three days there are three major events: The Sprint, Hill Climb & Mile 100.
A head to head drag race between two rough ‘n’ ready riders with their clutch lever hand bestowed atop of their helmet as they wait for the flag to drop.
Another head to head battle where two competitors once again on the drop of the flag tear up a hill trying to one up each other on every available corner before reaching the finishing line.
The Mile 100
Slightly different than its predecessors, this event is based on motorcycle races of the past. It requires those brave enough to enter to sprint to their stead against their competition and complete a number of laps laced with twists and turns to progress to the next heat.
Descending upon Kent we swiftly set up shop in the Metropolis area of The Mile, a central hub which houses exhibitors, food and a music stage. In previous years it has hosted live bands but due to restrictive measures this time was limited to a DJ, and the all-important bar.
After a quick recce of the grounds I returned to Herald base, grinning from ear to ear, it was almost like stepping into an alternative reality where this year had not been completely side-tracked by a global pandemic. The Mile was familiar to years gone past, bar the addition of face masks and numerous hand sanitising stations dotted around the site. Not long after, the crew started to assemble and we eagerly awaited the antics of the weekend to come. Cue organisers Jonny & Robert from Malle London casually jogging towards our pitch with an unexpected opportunity to play some Moto Polo…… we obviously accepted despite not knowing the rules, how to play or what Moto Polo was.
Herald FC made their debut against the veteran Malle London team on the opening night of the Mile, as the crowds surrounded the pitch there was a feeling in the air that anything was possible and for a moment the Herald boys dreamt of victory. That was shortly and abruptly ended by what was deemed by one of the commentators present as “the fastest goal in Malle Moto Polo history”. The Herald team then banded together and showed some promising play, even securing a goal from a fantastic set piece play between Design Engineer Gareth Williamson to Herald rider and honorary striker Jake Edey. Despite a valiant effort we fell short and were unable to overcome a battle-hardened Malle side on our debut performance.
Saturday morning and the smell of two stroke engine oil was ripe in the air, the first event of the day was the Sprint. The Brute 500 was found to be in its element, lightning quick off the mark with little to no competition it secured its first victory of the weekend. The torque produced by the large, heavy hitting single cylinder coupled with the lightweight nature of the bike made it a true force to be reckoned with defeating some much larger capacity machines on its way to glory.
This trend continued throughout the day moving onto the Hill Climb. The Brute was put through some extreme conditioning, meeting and exceeding expectations at every opportunity. The unique rear linkage suspension system made traversing the dirt tracks a pleasure. With the addition of knobbly tyres the Brute’s performance could have fooled anyone into believing that it was purpose built for mudslinging, a testament to the design team’s intention of creating a motorcycle able to withstand a plethora of disciplines.
Lead design engineer, Gareth Williamson, pictured below rippin’ on the Brute 500 shares his thoughts…
“The Malle Mile was an important event for the Engineering team, as the first opportunity to give the Brute a real thrashing off road, and in front of the public no less. Overall the event was a massive success. The design ethos of light weight and short wheelbase to produce a lively back road racer was directly transferrable to the tight turns and deep soil of Kevington Hall and the bike proved more than capable across the 3 events, with some fantastic results across the Sprint, Hill Climb and Malle 100.
We did experience a few minor niggles across the weekend, and it was back to the drawing board for 1 or 2 components. But this just amplifies the importance of supporting events like the Mile; customers can be assured that we’ve put this bike through its paces, ironed out the issues, and will deliver a product that we can stand behind.”
Our entrants into the lightweight division (250cc or below) performed valiantly. First up was our tried and tested workhorse, the Maverick 125, adding to its long list of adventures which include everything from Lands’ End to John O’Groats, conquering the trans euro trail and even racing round Lydden Hill. While it was one of the smaller capacity engines racing it held its own working its way through the heats only to be knocked out in the penultimate round. We also managed to put our eagerly awaited Brat 250 through its paces, tinkering with the carburettor engine in between races the pops & bangs out of the hand welded exhaust could be heard throughout the campsite. The Brat was extremely responsive and handled as well as its 125cc counterpart, with the added grunt of the carburettor 250cc engine it was in its element kicking up the dirt/sand mixture on the race track and as a defensive cornerstone on the Moto Polo pitch.
The Classic 400 also made its way down to the Mile. Being a staple of our range for the past few years we wanted to showcase its abilities in a more demanding environment. Aware of the varying levels of mud, sand & dust which are always apparent at the Mile we wanted to make sure it was suited for the job. Setting about getting the 400 Malle ready, our first decision was to replace the twin pipe exhaust system, which comes as standard on the stock model, for a more appropriate scrambler style dual exit exhaust, our own RaceTek rear shocks & levers, Scrambler tyres & hand stitched diamond seat to complete the look.
As the evening drew in on an intense day of racing, the Sprint racetrack was transformed back into the epicentre of British Moto Polo. After suffering a tough loss the evening before to the hosts, the participation medal was up for grabs and Herald FC was matched against Royal Enfield who also suffered quite a dramatic loss the evening prior. Fortunately, with a coherent team effort, the first half ended with Herald FC maintaining a goal advantage and a clean sheet for the first time in club history, this streak of good fortune was ended by an equaliser soon after the whistle. After a controversial call from the Ref which had pundits screaming for the introduction of VAR Herald FC’s go-ahead goal was disallowed and the match ended in a draw.
Packing up on Sunday evening was bittersweet, after having such a great weekend full of thrills, spills and so much more in what almost felt like an alternative universe where 2020 was not full of doom and gloom. Watching all the bikes, especially the Brute 500, perform so well was a moment of immense pride, felt by a team that have dedicated so much time and effort into creating Britain’s newest motorcycle manufacturer.
If you’ve made it this far, I’d highly recommend keeping an eye out for The Mile 2021, I have no doubt that the Malle team will produce just as interesting & exciting event to immerse yourself in, forgetting all your troubles for unadulterated joy and thrills.
Watch the video below to check out the footage captured of Herald @ Malle Mile 2020 by our good friend Max Howard.
NOTHING BUT RESILIENT – BRITISH MANUFACTURED BRUTE 500 UPDATE
As we are all aware, the current COVID-19 outbreak has impacted many aspects of everyday life, unfortunately our supply chain for the Brute 500 has not gone unaffected. Despite the setbacks we have been working relentlessly making progress when and where we can.
We are fortunate that numerous parts are being manufactured in-house at our parent company Encocam (a leading engineering company), shown below is one of our swing arms being machined at our HQ in Huntingdon. In addition to the swing arm we have been busy machining yokes, handlebar and foot peg mounts, levers, headlight brackets and axles in the past few weeks amongst numerous other precision engineered components.
As well as this we received our front brake callipers from Hel Performance which were also manufactured in the UK. Hel Performance, established in Exeter in 1985, have been prominent in the motorcycle industry since their inception. We are proud to work with Hel Performance and support British manufacturing and innovation.
We recently completed our ECU calibration with Athena in Northern Italy. Athena has optimised the engine map for responsive performance, keeping a keen eye on balancing efficiency and the power and torque curves, to ensure that whether you are riding through town, or hammering the back roads, the Brute is more than capable
Another of our production spec models is poised to head to MIRA in Nuneaton for extensive structural durability testing. MIRA have worked in close collaboration with vehicle manufacturers around the world and have over 70 years’ experience in developing some of the world’s most iconic vehicles utilising the latest test facilities and simulation tools. We have a good relationship with Mira through years of working together on crash testing through our Cellbond business unit, and are excited to have them involved with our motorcycle validation.
Many of our British suppliers have been running at a severely reduced capacity for months, but as this picks up again, we can move forward with production batches of a number of key components including seating, castings and plastic moulding.
Work relocating Herald HQ to our new factory has continued throughout lockdown, abiding by regulations set out by the UK government. This factory will not only house production of the Brute but also our administration, marketing, parts department & sales team. We very much look forward to opening our doors to our pre-existing and new customers who will have the opportunity to see their Brute built from the ground up in front of them, right here in Cambridgeshire, UK. The new Herald HQ will also have a showroom and somewhere you can try our small batch roasted Herald Coffee!
While COVID-19 has unfortunately forced many events and exhibitions to postpone until next year, we are glad that our friends at Malle London have managed to persevere with the great Malle Mile in conjunction with guidelines set out by the UK government. Not only will we be participating in the racing but we will also be showcasing our range including a look at the production spec Brute 500. Make sure to come and give us a visit if you’re planning on attending the event! Hosted in the grounds of Kevington Hall, Malle Mile is running from the 21st- 23rd August 2020.
ESCAPING THE CITY ON THE BRAT 125
One of our Herald Riders, Elliot, gives a round up of our recent trip to Wales with the Brat 125s.
When planning a trip at the start of the year in the UK, there are a few uncontrollable factors to come to terms with, none more so than the good old weather. After a few postponements and with a classically British stiff upper lip we decided to brave the rather dismal forecast ahead and packed our bags with our sights set on our first target – Liverpool. Teaming up with Tom Kahler Photography and Dom from Sense Films, the main objective was to capture our new British designed Brat 125s tackling a variety of terrains while showcasing their durability and stunning aesthetic.
A few dozen ratchet straps later, the Herald van was locked and loaded. With the obligatory services pit stop made we were edging closer to our first destination. Arriving at the Docklands ahead of schedule, we jumped out of the van to take in the joys of Liverpool and the brisk sea breeze. There’s only one perfect way to truly experience the city and it’s on two wheels, it was minutes until we were manoeuvring our way through the ratchet strap maze we had created a few hours ago, a vague resemblance to a scene out of Mission Impossible, with slightly less grace and a lot more profanities.
From the Docklands past numerous rightly deserved murals of Klopp, swinging past Anfield and a brief pitstop atop of the Everton Brow soaking in the city, the Brats excelled traversing through the city from alleys to dual carriageways, the handling and brakes were extremely responsive even in torrential downpour. After our brief tour round the city we returned to the van and met with the rest of the crew.
Sideways, the rain hurtled towards us almost perpendicular to the tarmac as we tailed the van through the city streets, the side door wide open as Dom hung out attached to a harness to capture some intense fly by shots. After a long day of riding, soaked through we decided to call it a day, with eyes set on the hotel bar for a warranted pint of whatever was on draught. Located in between Liverpool and our next destination on the northern coast of Wales, we hunkered down at The Stamford Gate Hotel. An extremely late check in the staff, some avid motorcyclists themselves, were very accommodating and friendly (they also deserve a special recognition for the great food they serve!).
No rest for the wicked, to make the most of the next day we were up with the sunrise. Fuelling up with a full English and copious amounts of coffee we set off with the camera van trailing. I had heard fantastic things from fellow riders and friends on what Wales had to offer and my first venture did not disappoint, the scenery and roads made for an unforgettable experience and one I could not recommend enough from winding hill roads to mountain passes reminiscent of something through mainland Europe. Wales had it all including some unexpected sunshine which we did not take for granted.
Stopping off at some cinematic locations throughout the weekend, including stumbling across a dam on the Alwen Reservoir, we were accompanied by Sam Gillespie, Dom’s favoured drone pilot who captured some stunning aerial footage and also assisted driving the van while Tom & Dom hung out the back and side of the van respectively. Cruising around the Evo Triangle the Brats didn’t skip a beat, an incredibly smooth ride as we soaked in the scenery. After a few hours of riding we managed to locate a local greasy spoon, complete with discerning looks from a local it provided a well-earned stop to warm up with some hot food and a cup of coffee. Heading towards our final location of Black Rock Sands beach we travelled through Gwydir Forest Park and took a slight detour south via the Snowdonia National Park in search of some dirt trails.
Arriving at Black Rock Sands beach was bittersweet, signalling the end of our journey. However, any remnant of despair was quickly obliterated as we took to the beach, an experience I will never forget. If you ever have the opportunity to put two wheels to sand, jump at it. Grinning ear to ear as we ripped up and down the beach with the occasional donut thrown in, the only thing that stopped us was the tide consuming the sand beneath us.
The Brats handled everything we threw at them, tarmac, dirt, mud, and sand they did not skip a bit, truly a jack of all trades. The purpose of the trip was to capture the little pleasures in life we all too often take for granted, I know now more than ever how resonant this is during such uncertain circumstances. The freedom felt on a motorcycle is one like no other, and one that we need now more than ever! The Brat 125 is available via our dealer network for £2999 in Copper, Iron Grey & Military Green.
Maverick Supermoto Upgrade Kit
The Maverick 125cc has been a staple of the Herald range since its launch back in 2017. With a rugged aesthetic and a growling exhaust to match, this bike is certainly a head turner.
Suited to any adventure, the Maverick has tackled them all from the Land’s End to John O’ Groats road trip, the Welsh Trans Euro trail and many more, including becoming a rather unconventional race bike.
Taking to the track on the Maverick 125cc at last year’s Bike Shed Festival located at Lydden Hill Race Circuit in Canterbury, the team put it through its paces in the Herald Cup, a 125cc only event. Taking inspiration from Supermotos gone by, we changed the 18’ front wheel for a smaller 17’ wheel and replaced the stock knobbly tyres for something a little more track ready selecting Avon Roadriders.
Avon Tyres were established in 1904 in Melksham, just east of Bath and have manufactured tyres in the UK for over a century, this extensive knowledge and experience is apparent in the end product.
After a few tentative test laps first time racer & Herald rider Elliot confidently grew into the race getting lower into the corners, the Roadriders held their own and the Maverick could be heard roaring down the final stretch of the Lydden Hill circuit all the way from the furthest bar. The Maverick’s stellar performance and handling on the track made it a quick favourite for the team at Herald HQ and it can be seen ripping round Cambridgeshire most weekdays.
We have now released the aftermarket Super Moto upgrade package for Maverick 125 riders that want that road bike handling and performance while keeping the rugged aesthetic of the Maverick which makes it so appealing. Included in the package is a 17’ front wheel and a pair of Avon Roadrider tyres, available for £360 inc. VAT* via our HQ parts department & dealer network.
*T&Cs apply. Labour charges may apply, must be professionally fitted by a motorcycle workshop or you could invalidate your warranty.
WE’RE LAUNCHING OUR HERALD COFFEE BRAND AT MOTORCYCLE LIVE!
We’re excited to announce that we will be launching our new Herald Speciality Coffee blend at Motorcycle Live.
The coffee beans are roasted in small batches in Cambridgeshire and when ground can be used in cafetières, filter, moka and espresso coffees. The blend combines a sweet medium bodied bean from the Cerrado, a tropical savanna ecoregion in the centre of Brazil, with a Grade 1 Southern Ethiopian bean.
When selecting our coffee, we chose a blend that consisted entirely of Arabica beans. This coffee is grown at higher altitudes than Robusta. It’s harder to grow due to lower tolerance to disease but it tastes better!
Herald is probably better known for our head-turning motorcycles and clothing. However, coffee and motorcycles are a great combination, just look at the Café Racer! Coffee felt like the next step in expanding our lifestyle range. Currently it’s available to purchase as beans to be consumed at home, but we are looking forward to exploring other options.
The coffee beans will be on sale for the first time on the Herald stand at Motorcycle Live and will soon be available online. Visit us in Hall 3A on stand 3G10 to purchase your coffee beans and pick up a Herald coaster and recipe card (while stocks last).
SEE THE BRAT 125 AND BRUTE 500 AT MOTORCYCLE LIVE 2019
Motorcycle Live 2019 takes place from 16th to 24th November at the NEC in Birmingham and here’s what you will be able to see on our stand….
Designed by the Herald team, the Brat 125 is the latest addition to our range and has an attitude to match its rugged looks. Available in military green, iron grey and copper, it comes with a digital dash, LED lights, monoshock rear suspension and a premium stainless-steel exhaust.
Gareth Williamson, Lead Design Engineer at Herald, said: “When we looked at designing the Brat, we wanted to create something unique to Herald. In the past we have imported more classically-styled motorbikes but this time the styling was down to us. We stripped the look back to bare essentials, working with a clay model to link the lines of the frame with the minimal bodywork, drawing inspiration from Brats, Streetfighters and Scramblers from yesteryear. Flat bars and trail ready tyres set the stance and a stainless-steel exhaust system, brushed Aluminium fenders and 7” LED headlight complete the look. We have already received a lot of interest in the bike and it feels like a step in the right direction towards our goal of designing and manufacturing motorbikes in Britain”.
As well as the Brat 125, visitors to the Herald stand will have the opportunity to see the latest prototype of the Brute 500, which includes an updated engine, a new exhaust and new brakes. Inspired by the racetrack but built for the road this bike is our own modern take on the street tracker and has been designed, engineered and built in house from the ground up. Featuring a single cylinder four-stroke 449cc engine, the first prototype was exhibited at Motorcycle Live last year. Since then we have optimised the design ready for manufacture and are working on production samples with the bike’s release expected in early 2020.
The Brute Flat Tracker will also be on the stand, developed specifically for racing this version of the Brute will be on show in the UK for the first time. With 19” wheels, flat track tyres and a number board, the headlight and front brakes have been removed to make it ready for the track.
Continuing the racing theme, Rock Bottom will be at Motorcycle Live again along with two of the bikes which competed at the recent Bike Shed Festival. Rock Bottom is a special build 250cc that now has 4 land speed records to its name! The Bike Shed Festival bikes include a Café 400 raced in the Journo Cup by ex-World Superbike racer and British Superbike racer Dave Redgate and a 125, which was developed by the Herald Workshop team using spare parts and achieved a podium place in the Herald Cup.
Earlier this year we announced the release of our new collection of lifestyle clothing featuring artwork created exclusively for the brand by a British designer. This will be available to purchase at the show, along with a large selection of Premier Helmets.
We expect it to be a busy event and are looking forward to showing the progress we have made on the Brute 500, as well as launching the Brat 125! Visit us in Hall 3A, stand 3G10 at Motorcycle Live 2019.
BIKE SHED FESTIVAL: INTRODUCING THE HERALD RACERS!
Bike Shed Festival is less than two weeks away and with entries now confirmed, we can release details of some of the Herald racers you will be able to watch at Lydden Hill…
The Journo Cup
This race is open to journalists and ex-champions. Expected to be hotly contended, there are plenty who want to dethrone last year’s Café Racer Cup king, Adam ‘Chad’ Child.
Dave Redgate will be one of the riders taking on this challenge racing a Herald Café 400. Dave is an ex World Superbike racer and British Superbike racer and has been riding, building and racing motorcycles for the last 40 years. He has history on this track as he was crowned “Lord of Lydden” in 1985 and has an unbeaten 350cc race record, and a Superbike lap record at Lydden that has stood since 1994!
Dave “Schoey” Schofield will be racing a Herald Café 125. He may not have as much power behind him as some of the other racers but Dave is an ex British minibikes stock 140 racer, who achieved six podiums over two years. He’s also tested motorcycles for Fastbikes magazine and Bikeworld. Dave has been around bikes and the motorcycling industry since the age of 16 and has raced in many events including drag racing, wheelie competitions and track days.
The Herald Cup
The Herald Cup is limited to 125cc machines and ideally for novices, but we’re also expecting more experienced riders to want to show that these motorcycles can put in a credible lap time.
Three members of the Herald team have submitted race entries – they’ll be competing to see who can achieve the highest place and earn bragging rights for when they return to Herald HQ.
|The Favourite – Chris|
Bike: Café 125
Day Job: Motorcycle Technician
Experience: A novice flat track racer, Chris is hoping to put in a strong lap time and show what a 125 can do.
|The Challenger – Scott |
Bike: Café 125
Day Job: Motorcycle Design Engineer
Experience: Scott is more used to racing on four wheels than two having competed in various go-karting championships.
|The Outsider – Elliot|
Bike: Maverick 125
Day Job: European Sales Executive
Experience: Elliot passed his CBT 8 months ago. What he lacks in track experience, he makes up for in enthusiasm!
Both races take place on Saturday 5th October. We hope you can join us and look forward to cheering them and all the other participants on!
For more information and to book tickets visit the Bike Shed Festival website (tickets must be purchased in advance).
BIKE SHED FESTIVAL: REGISTER FOR THE HERALD CUP!
On 5th & 6th October 2019 Bike Shed will host their first ever Festival, which will now include the Herald Cup!
Celebrating modern and retro motorcycles on the move, on track and on the dirt, Bike Shed Festival takes place at Lydden Hill Race Circuit in Kent. It features multiple riding events, all designed to be accessible to riders who don’t normally race on track.
The Herald Cup is limited to 125cc machines and ideally for novices new to riding, but we’re also expecting fast folk to want to show that these motorcycles can put in a credible lap time. It’s a chance to have fast, safe fun on your bike without the pressure of a full-on track-day.
Practice and qualifying for the Herald Cup takes place on Saturday. If you would like to take part, you have until 18th September to submit your race entry as places are limited. The Cup is open to riders on 125cc motorcycles from all manufacturers but we’re hoping to see lots of Heralds included in the mix.
Other races taking place over the weekend include: the Café Racer Cup, Street Cup, Retro Dirtbike Cup and Journo cup, as well as the Malle Trials. We’ve heard a rumour that you will be able to watch Heralds taking part in some of these races too.
If you’re not racing, then the Festival will also be a great day out for spectators with lots going on both on and off the track. There’s high quality food, drink and accommodation, lots of brands and retail, plus entertainment and live music aimed at a family-friendly crowd. When you’re not watching the races, stop by the Herald stand to see our range of motorcycles up close and have a look at our new collection of Herald Apparel.
For more information and to book tickets visit the Bike Shed Festival website (tickets must be purchased in advance).
THE RAMBLER IS BACK!
We’ve just announced the return of one of our most popular models, the Rambler.
This new Herald 125 is a throwback to the custom Rambler 250. Available in gunmetal metallic with a tan seat, it has slim black side panels, a headlight grill, short mudguard and LED indicators, as well as a single four-stroke engine providing up to 9.6bhp.
Available now, the Rambler can be purchased via Herald’s network of authorised dealers, for the recommended retail price of £2695 +OTR. It comes with a 2-year parts and 1-year labour warranty, as well as 2 years RAC breakdown cover.
It’s great to have the Rambler back as part of our range, especially as we received lots of requests to launch a 125 version!