HERALD CLASSIC 250 (2015-on) Review

Published: 11 September 2015

The Herald 250 is a straightforward bike from another era.

HERALD CLASSIC 250  (2015-on)

The Herald 250 is a straightforward bike from another era.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The Chinese built Herald 250 is fun, stylish and reasonably well made. It’s a simple, straightforward bike from another era with its twin-shock frame housing an air-cooled carb-fed 249cc motor mustering just 21bhp.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Classic feels like a very ordinary 250 roadster once you’re on board – it's pretty basic, with simple switchgear and a lonely looking speedo. On twistier roads, the adjustable rear shocks (for damping and pre-load) do their job and the Avon tyres cling on well in the dry. With a long wheelbase and conservative geometry, the Classic is relatively slow steering, but the upside is impressive stability. Single disc brakes at each end can easily cope with the bike's weight and performance.

Engine 3 out of 5

The engine design is based on an old Suzuki motor, and there’s no artifice, it really is straight out of the 1980’s. On paper, the Herald might not have a lot of power but it weighs a modest 130kg dry, so the four-stroke single delivers a surprisingly punchy performance. There’s useful acceleration in top gear (of five) from an indicated 40mph, and third/fourth gear are zippy enough for overtaking. The Herald's claimed top speed of 80mph sounds about right, and it cruises happily with 65-70mph on the speedo.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

The bike looks reasonably well made but being a new company with a new motorcycle, it’s hard to tell what things will be like on the reliability front and also what the parts backup might be like. Herald do however make a point of upgrading quite a few of the standard consumable bits on the machine to better products which should, in theory, help improve the longevity of some of the parts.

Insurance, running costs & value 2 out of 5

Rival company Sinnis offer a very similar bike (Retrostar 250) made in the same Chinese factory. Herald do however ‘add value’ to this bike by replacing and upgrading a fair few of the standard consumable parts. Whether or not this makes too much difference to a brand new bike, ridden by newer riders remains to be seen.

Equipment 3 out of 5

The Classic doesn’t come with many creature comforts but what it does offer is upgraded parts and adjustable suspension made specifically for Herald. For the premium price you get Avon Distanzia tyres, SBS brake pads, EK drive chain, JT sprockets, a Yuasa battery, NGK spark plug and Silkolene oil. The RaceTek adjustable rear shocks are Herald’s own.

Owners' Reviews

6 owners have reviewed their HERALD CLASSIC 250 (2015-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HERALD CLASSIC 250 (2015-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.5 out of 5
Equipment 2.5 out of 5
1 out of 5

26 May 2017 by Bilius

Worst experience of a company I have ever had. Accepted their Classic 250cc demo bike in exchange for my Classic 125cc which had numerous electrical safety issues which Herald never succeeded in fixing and refused me a refund. The 250cc promptly... Read more mechanically failed in a dangerous manner whilst I was driving. Shocking refusal by Herald to accept any responsibility or apologise. See full details on Herald Motor Company's Google review page.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
Stable ride quality from what I could tell. The exhaust sounds funky but handling not so good compared to other bikes I have ridden. Brakes were average.
Engine
3 out of 5
Based on 1980's suzuki derived engine.
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
Serious mechanical failure whilst driving 7 days after receiving the bike directly from Herald Motor company. The only response Herald gave me for the cause was, and I quote the manager ‘We have never had a problem with any of the other Classic 250’s we’ve sold, one of our Sales representatives is using a similar model nearly every day. So we cannot understand why this particular bike should suddenly have a problem now’…
Value & Running Costs
1 out of 5
Advertised as £2750 new on Herald Motor company's site. £850 was the best offer Herald Motor Company could find for the Classic 250cc 2015 despite having 1300km on the odometer and being in good aesthetic condition.
Equipment
1 out of 5
The bolts on the European JT rear Sprocket Herald Motor company told me they put on themselves mechanically failed before I had driven 100km on the bike.
Buying experience

See full review on Google Reviews for herald motor company.

1 out of 5

16 May 2017 by Bilius

Worst experience of a company I have ever had. Accepted their Classic 250cc demo bike in exchange for my Classic 125cc which had numerous electrical safety issues which Herald never succeeded in fixing and refused me a refund. The 250cc promptly... Read more mechanically failed in a dangerous manner whilst I was driving. Shocking refusal by Herald to accept any responsibility or apologise. See full details on Herald Motor Company's Google review page.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
Stable ride quality from what I could tell. The exhaust sounds funky but handling not so good compared to other bikes I have ridden. Brakes were average.
Engine
3 out of 5
Based on 1980's suzuki derived engine.
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
Serious mechanical failure whilst driving 7 days after receiving the bike directly from Herald Motor company. The only response Herald gave me for the cause was, and I quote the manager ‘We have never had a problem with any of the other Classic 250’s we’ve sold, one of our Sales representatives is using a similar model nearly every day. So we cannot understand why this particular bike should suddenly have a problem now’…
Value & Running Costs
1 out of 5
Advertised as £2750 new on Herald Motor company's site. £850 was the best offer Herald Motor Company could find for the Classic 250cc 2015 despite having 1300km on the odometer and being in good aesthetic condition.
Equipment
1 out of 5
The bolts on the European JT rear Sprocket Herald Motor company told me they put on themselves mechanically failed before I had driven 100km on the bike.
Buying experience

See full review on Google Reviews for herald motor company.

4 out of 5

Ideal work runabout and lots of fun too.

30 December 2016 by David B

Headlight bulb blew after 100km, just went to the local car spares place and no problems since. Clutch lever pivot bolt was lose...just tightend it up. I would for the first few weeks keep an eye on and nuts and bolts and make sure they are tight.... Read more 3rd and 4th gear the bike takes off (40mph to 60mph) which is a pleasant surprise. Great handeling on corners.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
Buying experience

From a dealer; no problems.

5 out of 5

Great little bike...

26 September 2016 by Stuck in the 70s

A lot of character for little outlay. Hard to fault it at this price. I've had loads of fun on it in the short time I've owned it, after owning a 'big four' 600 which although far superior in build quality was too heavy and a pig to start. Don't be... Read more put off by the fact it's a Chinese utility machine. It will put a smile on your face I guarantee. Can't understand why you'd want to pay more for the newer models though (Herald Roamer etc.).

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Suspension and brakes take a bit of getting used to. You just have to put them into perspective with the £2,750 price tag.
Engine
5 out of 5
Great little pokey Suzuki derived single. Exhaust note is lovely!
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No corrosion yet and engine has fired up after over 3 weeks of standing. Something my previous big name bike would never do. Yes, the suspension is firm and the rear brake is ineffective but somehow that can be forgiven, especially when it's only ridden around town (the 250 engine is the perfect urban cc).
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
Avons inspire confidence. EK chain and sprocket are particularly chunky. Manual choke could take some getting used to (my previous bike had this feature so it's home from home). Gear number indicator on speedo face is a useful touch with an engine of this size. The side panel tool space is hilarious... just enough room for a toothbrush!
Buying experience

Bought as an ex-demo from Andy Sim. Portsmouth. Good people to do business with.

4 out of 5

More or less does what it says......

28 March 2016 by Spriddler

I've owned and ridden dozens of old Brit and modern bikes in the past 40 years. I've had this bike 2 months and ridden it only 400 miles so far. Suspension (set at its softest) and seat are very hard making today's potholes a bone-jarring... Read more pain. First gear is so low it's never used. The throttle is very quick action making trickling along in traffic in 2nd or 3rd very jerky. The clutch action is light and progressive, not at all fierce.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
Painfully hard front suspension.
Engine
4 out of 5
F/ree revving and punchy
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Although the Neutral light illuminates it is still in gear 7 times out of 10. Initially I could only select Neutral with the engine turned off but clutch adjustment has improved it. It has also became stuck in 2nd or 3rd a couple of times and I had to pull over and stop the engine to move the gear lever before starting off again. The speedo reads in MPH but the odometer in KPH!
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Too early to say.
Equipment
3 out of 5
Neutral indicator untrustworthy.
Buying experience

Exceptional service from Haywards at Cambridge. £2900

3 out of 5

Return to biking

19 October 2015 by mogul

Economical, with good mpg. The ride is smooth, with very little vibration. It can be a little "snatchy" in lower gears when accelerating, but has enough power to make the daily commute fun. This bike feels light, and maneuverable, making filtering... Read more and riding in traffic very easy, though for taller riders the bike will likely feel too small. The styling of the bike is what originally appealed, with a variety of companies selling customised versions giving it a 'gritty' scrambler look. Although this bike is perhaps not for everyone, for me, returning to riding after many years break, and who mainly uses it for clocking up the miles on the daily commute, this is excellent value.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
While the bike is generally smooth enough, at low speeds it tends to 'snatch' a little in 1st and 2nd when gently applying the accelerator. The dampers are easily adjustable and handle lumps without too much bother. The rear brake on my particular bike is poor, and the front needs a handful to be effective, though both do the job due to the overall light weight of the bike.
Engine
4 out of 5
5th feels more like an overdrive gear, but the engine delivers enough power in the lower gears to enjoy the accelerating around town and country roads. At speeds upto about 50mph the bike is in its element, any faster, and the engine starts to feel underpowered.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
From new, the gear indicator display failed to show top gear due to what appears to be a connection fault within the gearbox. After around 6 months of use, the number plate fell off due to corrosion on the bracket holding it in place. Finally, the odometer stopped accumulating miles along with the trip as it rolls over from 9. (Something that now needs replacing). Aside from these few QC issues above, the bike runs flawlessly, starts without issues, and looks to be holding up well aesthetically.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
I typically get over 200km before needing to switch to reserve.
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Buying experience

I bought this bike from a dealer, and have had no trouble getting any of the niggles thus far resolved.

Read all 6 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2015
Year discontinued -
New price £2,750
Used price £2,500 to £2,500
Warranty term -
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £41
Annual service cost £110
Performance
Max power 21 bhp
Max torque 19.5 ft-lb
Top speed 80 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 249cc
Engine type Single cylinder four stroke
Frame type -
Fuel capacity 12 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 130kg
Front suspension -
Rear suspension Adjustable twin shock
Front brake Single disc
Rear brake Disc
Front tyre size -
Rear tyre size -

Photo Gallery

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  • HERALD CLASSIC 250  (2015-on)
  • HERALD CLASSIC 250  (2015-on)
  • HERALD CLASSIC 250  (2015-on)
  • HERALD CLASSIC 250  (2015-on)
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