Words: Gary Inman
It's a year since Fantic presented their Caballero concept at the EICMA show and we're told the 125 version is days away from production, with 250 and 500 big brothers following soon. Fantic say the 125 will be in production by the end of November 2017, the 250s will start being built in February 2018 with 500 assembly starting a month or two later.
This is the first 21st century production street tracker. We would consider the Zaeta DT, but it's built to order so not a true production bike. The Harley XR1200? Er, not really a street tracker, was it? The only true factory street tracker, worthy of that description in Sideburn's opinion, was the Honda FTR250, and of them the early one with the twin downtube frame is the one to have.
The latest Caballero prototypes were at EICMA and Motorcycle Live in the UK and they are handsome beasts. There are very few differences between the 500 and 125, except for the engines of course. It's worth noting the manufacturer seems to be following a similar route to the one Ducati took with the Scrambler, by actively disassociating the maker's name from the bike range - there are very few references to Fantic and the tank badge reads Caballero.
This is what we know: the bikes will be assembled in Treviso, Italy. The 125 engine is a Yamaha Minarelli unit, the 250 and 450/500 are Chinese Zongshen, but Fantic say, 'developed by Fantic with a lot of Italian stuff: clutch; cams; ignition...'
There are flat track and scrambler styles, but both are very similar, the major difference being the wheels and tyres. The bike in these photos is the Flat Track 500 (ridden by Marco Belli, who we interviewed for SB30).
The street tracker version has been homologated with road legal 19in wheels and tyres front and rear. This might be a first, I can't think of another showroom bike that comes with 19s front and rear. Frames are made from chro-mo steel, helping the 500 (which is actually 449cc) weigh in at a claimed 145kg (320lb). Forks are 41mm USD on all models. Brakes are a single radial caliper up front, chewing on a 320mm wavy disc. Rear brake is 230mm diameter disc. To comply with Euro 4 regs, the Caballeros have ABS, but it is switchable. Lights are cool looking LEDs. All three engine sizes get exhaust systems with dual tailpipes made by Arrow.
The wheelsbase is 1425mm (56.1in), so longer than a framer, which are traditionally around the 1320mm (52in).
The full range will be on sale in 2018, which is the 50th anniversary of the Italian manufacturer.
The prices, in Italy, are:
125 - €4990
250 - €5790
500 - €6490
Expect UK prices to be very similar, but in pounds. There are importers lined up in UK, France, Benelux, Germany, Spain, Finland and elsewhere.
We've also been told that Fantic would like to organise a one make dirt track race series for the Caballero, probably for the 125 model.
Find out more a caballerofantic.com
Photos: Xxxxx xxxx