Retro-styled scrambler on a budget.
The first time I rode the 2017 Bullit Hero 125 was on a soaking wet summer’s day, but the retro-styled scrambler, still managed to put a huge smile on my face. I love its styling, which pays homage to classic British motorcycle design of the 60s – but it doesn’t just look good, this bike has a lot going for it.
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As a 6’1″ larger-than-average human being, I expected this 125 to feel disproportionately small and make me look like a giant, but, I actually found the ergonomics of the sitting position very comfortable, with its 86cm ride height offering a deceptively roomy ride. The wide handlebars and easy to reach gear lever were a pleasure to use, but, some of the instruments did feel quite tightly packed together – and as I wear an XL glove, I initially found myself tapping the horn when going for the indicators. After a few rides, I re-calibrated my hand movement and stopped telling everybody that I was turning with a quick pip of the horn and flashing indicator. Saying that, the throaty exhaust note goes some way to let everyone know you are on your way – and what a satisfying sound that is. I kept rolling off the throttle just to hear the exhaust gargle and crackle. The dials are simple yet informative, with the speedometer in kilometres. The indicator, neutral and fuel light are small but easy enough to see at a glance.
The Hero has some well thought-out design features, be that its bash plate behind the footrest and under the front forks, in addition to an engine guard, each adding that extra bit of style – which should allow the underside of the Hero to handle a bruising in a more off-road setting. The Kingstone knobbly tyres contribute to the Hero’s scrambler styling. Admittedly, I can’t imagine I’ll be taking it off-road much, but they look great – and at the speed you’re doing on the roads (around 45mph from the 125cc four-stroke air-cooled 11.5bhp engine) the tyres don’t take anything away from the on-road handling. In fact, I found myself just optimising the corner speed and not letting off on all my favourite corners – after all, I’m not going to be breaking any speed limits on the open road. When I had to slow, the brakes where strong and able, pulling me up with confidence.
The Bullit brand is imported from Dutch company Mooof who were founded in 2005; they also supply the Neco and Beaufort brands for the UK market. But back to the Bullit Hero – if its looks are something you appreciate, then I’d recommend you get yourself booked in for a test ride. By the time you get off the bike, you’ll have a smile from ear-to-ear and you’ll be looking for an excuse to getting back on. It may not be the quickest 125cc on the market, but its great looking and great fun.
Words: Paul Fincham
Images: Matt Hull
ENGINE: 125cc SOHC air-cooled twin-valve, 4-stroke, 5-speed
SEAT HEIGHT: 860mm
TANK CAPACITY: 9 litres
PRICE: £2499 (OTR)
O2W RATING: 8 stars