Guest post from Max Inman
As one of the headline sponsors of the 2021 Malle Mile, the Herald Motor Company offered Sideburn the chance to race some of their bikes at the newly expanded event, now at its new home, Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire. Over the course of both days I raced all three tracks on the Herald Brat 250X and Herald Classic 250, and had a brilliant time.
With the variation tracks offered I managed to test the bikes in a variety of conditions. I started with the Sprint Races, one on tarmac and one on grass, then moved on to the Hill Climb, followed by the Malle100, which is a circuit on a sloping hillside with multiple turns and a Le Mans style running start. All in the grounds of the historic stately home, grounds that were landscaped by the famous 'Capability' Brown. He could never have envisaged that hundreds of classic and retro bikes would be ripping up the lawns, and riding around the banks of the lake.
I don't have a lot of experience riding road bikes, but both bikes performed better than I imagined on all the tracks, considering they’re 250cc road legal machines. The Herald riders were up against other off-road race bikes which are perfect for the job, and the Heralds did exceptionally well putting up a fight in all types of racing.
My personal preference was the Brat 250X (above), complete with Renthal Fat Bars, and Pirelli Scorpion STRs. It has more of a modern, off-road style bike, which is what I am used to riding. I can see why people like the twin shock Classic 250 (below), especially this one which was mildly customised by Vikki for Dirt Quake 2016. The 250 is no longer available, but Herald have 125 and 400 Classics in their range.
Although the Malle Mile event programme is renowned for running late, it is a brilliant event, with classes made for every ability of riding, and every style of bike, on a range of tracks, so no one should miss out. And with plenty of marshals helping out, they make sure you know what is going on as much as anyone else does, which usually isn’t a lot at the Malle Mile. It is a very relaxed event.
Malle 100 Le Mans start...
... I had Co-Built Geoff helping me holding the bike and...
...giving me a push.
The Herald Motors Brat 250X really proved itself when I won the Hill Climb in my class. The top 5 riders from each track get entered into ‘The Derby’, which is the final race, and it’s all for all, no classes. Unfortunately, I had to leave before The Derby, but a couple of Herald Motors had qualified to be in the race. Up against Triumphs with a lot more power than, and electric bikes with instant torque, all the Herald riders and bikes did great, while having loads of fun. In the end DTRA regular Joe Banks won overall on an electric bike.
Thanks to Elliot at Herald Motors and the rest of the team for sorting me out, and the Malle London crew for putting on such a great event. I hope to be back next year.
For more info on these bikes and everything else Herald are up to, visit Herald Motor Company
All photos: Jake Baggaley