Bullit offers A1-licence holders cheap entry into retro world
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