Bullit of­fers A1-li­cence hold­ers cheap en­try into retro world

Motorcycle News (UK) - - THIS WEEK - By Jon Urry MCN GUEST TESTER

There’s one stand­out fea­ture on Bullit’s range – and it isn’t the retro styling. It’s the price. The Spirit café racer is £2395, while the ur­ban en­duro Hero is just £100 more. That’s fan­tas­tic value for two bikes that look as good as they do. But are they just style over sub­stance?

Both are ef­fec­tively cheap Chi­nese 125s dressed in a cool retro style. Is there anything wrong with that? In my book, no – be­cause it gives learn­ers the op­tion of two funky 125s for a song.

The Spirit uses a Chi­nese copy of Suzuki’s GN125 mo­tor, an air- cooled SOHC two- valver that’s been made Euro4 com­pli­ant via fuel-in­jec­tion. It’s as old as the hills and highly un­likely to have any me­chan­i­cal is­sues as it makes only 11.5bhp. It vi­brates a bit and isn’t as smooth or as pow­er­ful as a four-valve DOHC water-cooled 125, but in many ways this repli­cates the retro ethos of sac­ri­fic­ing per­for­mance for air­cooled au­then­tic­ity. And sur­round­ing it is an ac­cept­able chas­sis.

The clip-ons aren’t too ag­gres­sive, and the solo-only seat is com­fort­able, although there’s too much reach from the hideous foot­pegs to the brake lever. Weigh­ing just 118kg and rid­ing on cheap sus­pen­sion with ques­tion­able Tim­sun tyres does make the Spirit a lit­tle skit­tish in bends, and again it’s not a patch on, say, a 125 Duke. The brakes, which don’t have ABS but are com­bined to pass Euro4 reg­u­la­tions, are weak but pro­vide ad­e­quate stop­ping power if you pull the lever hard enough and use the rear, too.

For just £2395 you get a fuel gauge, elec­tric start, chrome pipe, pil­lion seat cover, piggy- back- style shocks, in­verted forks, mini-in­di­ca­tors and a cen­tre­stand on a great-look­ing, Euro4­com­pli­ant 125. That’s im­pres­sive, ir­re­spec­tive of its coun­try of ori­gin.

Not for tall riders, but Spirit makes a great learner bike

Retro feel ex­tends to chromed-rimmed dials – al­beit the read-out is dig­i­tal

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