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Herald Brute 500

It's been 18 months since we rode a development model of the Herald Brute 500 at the Malle Mile for Sideburn 43, and now the British company are close to releasing the single-cylinder street tracker to the public, saying that the first bikes will be delivered by the end of March this year.

The Brute 500 marks a change in direction for Herald. The company established itself as a producer of budget lightweight 125s and 250s, aimed at learner riders and the newly qualified. These bikes were/are retro-style, based on older Japanese chassis and engines, with updates, which were built in China to Herald's specification.

The Brute 500 is a ground-up brand new design, only utilising a third-party, 449cc liquid-cooled engine. The rest is Herald's design, and much of it also their manufacture. What isn't their own in-house production (some of it via their sister company, Racetek), is UK-made where possible, including the Herald-branded HEL front brakes. The list of UK-made components include:

Frame and swingarm


Yokes (triple clamps)





Wiring loom

Front brake

Shock linkage

Herald claim the Brute 500 has a dry weight of 150kg (330lb) and produces 43bhp, making it A2 compliant for UK licence holders. With its short, carbon-fibre tail, flat-bottomed tank, tidy sidepanels, minimal subframe, chunky USD forks, custom-style front mudguard stays, and shallow LED headlight, the Brute 500 has the look of a thoughtfully-designed Bike Shed show bike, and has changed very little in overall style, since it was first shown as a concept in 2018.

The other major change from the Cambridgeshire company's previous models is the price - the Brute 500's RRP is £6950 (plus on the road costs), which puts Herald into a different league. Yet, the new model remains at the competitively-priced end of the niche of premium, sporty, single-cylinder roadsters, a segment of the UK bike market that has, historically, been notoriously difficult to attract buyers. Only recently has the CCM Spitfire proved that there is a decent-sized market for characterful singles in the UK. The film above does a good job of selling the idea of the single life.

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