BULLIT HERO 125 (2017 - on) Review
- Characterful 125cc learner bike
- Extremely low list price
- A number of natty colour schemes
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£280|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Despite a horribly tall seat height, the Bullit Hero 125 looks and sounds the part (its exhaust is lovely and fruity), and on a 125 it's better to be upright and ready to take on the traffic rather than tucked into a racer-style crouch like its café racer sibling, the Spirit.
- Related: Best 125cc motorbikes
Of course, being a 125, it's possible to ride the Hero on a provisional car licence, as long as you're over 16 and have done a CBT.
In response to customer feedback since launch, Bullit have launched a couple of special edition models. The black and gold scheme below was just a cosmetic styling exercise, while the famous Gulf livery comes with a number of additional features, including a matching watch...
- Related: Learn to ride a motorbike with MCN
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
While the wide, chunky, Kingstone tyres make the handling a bit lazy, the Hero’s upright stance and wide bars give you a real sense of dominating the road – despite the fact you are only travelling at 50mph… The Hero is ideal for carving through busy city streets, avoiding zombies and other such obstacles…
EngineNext up: Reliability
Bullit use a Chinese copy of Suzuki’s GN125 motor, an air-cooled two-valve SOHC engine that has been made Euro4-compliant thanks to a fuel-injection system. This lump is as old as the hills and irrespective of where it was built, is highly unlikely to have any mechanical issues as it is only making 11.5bhp.
It vibrates a bit and isn’t as smooth or powerful as a modern four-valve DOHC water-cooled 125, but in many ways this replicates the retro ethos of sacrificing performance for air-cooled authenticity.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
We are talking a Chinese-built bike here so while the engine is unlikely to misbehave, there will always be a few question marks over the general level of finish and plating on its nuts and bolts. When new the Hero appears well finished, however a few years down the line may well tell a different story.
Our Bullit Hero 125 owners' reviews show some people have struggled with electrical problems on their bikes. Either buy new with a warranty or check everything incredibly carefully to make sure it's all functional.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
At just £2499 the Hero is great value for money, but it’s a Chinese-built 125 so you expect it to be cheap.
There are plenty of firms importing trendy 125s to the UK these days and many share components or even whole motorcycles with the competition with different embellishments and tank badges.
Mutt Motorcycles use classy finishing touches on their 125s including branded CNC components. But you pay more for the privilege, with most of the 125 models costing £3495 plus on the road costs.
At the more economical end of the market is the Lexmoto Tempest GT at just £1899. Generally known for more modern style machines and sporty 125s, Lexmoto’s retro styled bike has everything you need to get motoring and no more, but it still looks good.
And in the middle of the market sits the Herald Brat 125, which costs £2999. What sets the Brat apart from the field is that it was designed in house in the UK before being built in China.
You could also pick up a second hand Suzuki GN125, the engine from which is copied in the Bullit but you would have to consider all the potential costs of running a classic.
Unlike the Bullit Spirit, the Hero gets a monoshock with adjustable spring preload and rebound adjustment in its inverted forks, but the fuel gauge is gone and the single seat replaced with a bench seat, but again there are no pillion provisions. A bash-guard comes as standard as well as a small fly screen, wave discs and cool high-level exhaust.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, air-cooled 2v sohc single|
|Frame type||Tubular steel|
|Fuel capacity||9 litres|
|Front suspension||Inverted forks, adjustable rebound|
|Rear suspension||Monoshock, adjustable spring preload.|
|Front brake||1 x 275mm disc, three-piston caliper; CBS|
|Rear brake||210mm disc, two-piston caliper CBS|
|Front tyre size||4.10 x18|
|Rear tyre size||4.60 x17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||80 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£22|
|Annual service cost||£280|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||12 bhp|
|Max torque||7.4 ft-lb|
|Top speed||60 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||150 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2017: Model introduced
- 2020: Limited edition Black and Gold, and Gulf Oil, liveries revealed for Hero 125.
There have been two limited edition paintjobs including a black and gold version and a Gulf Oil tribute. The standard bike comes in grey or racing white. There are also 250cc or 50cc versions available.
Owners' reviews for the BULLIT HERO 125 (2017 - on)
6 owners have reviewed their BULLIT HERO 125 (2017 - 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£280|
Version: Gulf Special Edition
I’m a tall rider and this is a perfect bike for me. As a new rider, it’s not fast or powerful but that’s a good thing because it allows me time to learn. The bike is stable and responsive and very forgiving for the new biker. I was looking for the well respected Varadero 125cc as a learner bike, mainly because of the size, but the Bullit Hero feels like a big bike too. The styling is rather masculine and but with a feminine edge that I believe would appeal to both male and female riders, and it sounds really meaty for a 125cc. It feels really comfortable to ride and I would recommend this for any new rider. I can’t speak to the reliability as I have this brand new (a first for me), but at the price, it’s a bargain. The special edition colours are great and being just one of the 250 made world wide, it makes it that little bit special to me.
Very comfortable for this big and tall rider.
Sounds meaty and responsive.
Quality feels good, but can’t speak to the reliability at this stage.
Good value for a new bike.
My only gripe really is that the Speedo is very small as are the instrument lights, and I would have loved a rev counter, which would have helped as a leaner. The switch gear however is well placed and feels robust.
Buying experience: Bought new from a Dealer, Bikestrobe in Barnet, and I can’t fault the experience one bit.
Version: 125 gulf
Great looking retro style bike with high seat and ride position for the taller rider.
Buying experience: The dealer warranty is about useless as at every possible point of contact they are not bothered at all. The build quality IMO is very poor and rust like crazy, under the tank, indicator supports, mirrors, foot pegs etc. Very cheap metalwork with very little attention to detail on rust prevention. My bike never saw rain and was always stored in the garage. Many small parts fail like indicators or electrical issues.
Annual servicing cost: £29
problem with cutting out sorted wiring bad connection ,fuel warning gauge failed ,replaced ,one month later failed ;high beam warning bulb not working bought bike from new covered only 2000 km but i really like the bike
Buying experience: poor dealer support
Annual servicing cost: £800
Definitely a head turner. You get compliments at a petrol station or the traffic lights. A high seat gives a good view and loud engine exhaust keeps other drivers aware of Hero's presence. However, weaving through the slow traffic is difficult as the handle bar is too wide. Comfortable ride with perfect mechanics but the electrical is the worst part. I've been to Bullit's main dealer and to other mechanics. Replaced ECM, TPS and other electronics which are expensive but the bike would let you down again and shut off. I am the second owner and don't have the warranty and spent a lot on repairs.
Disc brakes are very efficient along with good front shocks.
A decent 125cc engine with 5 gears. Sometimes the gear shifting from higher to lower gear at slow speed or while stationary becomes difficult to change but one can still manage it.
The build seems good and no signs of rust. However, the speedometer wire snapped well before the 1000km mark. While running smoothly, the engine would just shut off. I've been to three different workshops including Bullit's main dealer but can't find the fault. Replaced all possible electronic parts but to no respite.
The amounts include parts and labour in six months. The Bullit dealer in North London, after my complaint kept the bike for one day and didn't find any fault and billed me labour charges but the same day I took the bike on road and it stopped again. There is no professional satisfactory, after sales service and support. There is also no company email available on the website. For support the Bullit website will refer to local dealers near or around London where I live.
The speedometer is in KM instead of MPH. For maintaining speed limit on road I have to make my own markings on the glass of the speedometer which may not be very accurate. The tyres look good but honestly on slippery situation, rain or ice one has to be very careful. One should go for road tyres if the bike is used for the roads alone. Side view mirrors angle and design can be improved. The view remains partially blocked by the rider's arms/shoulders himself.
Buying experience: I was the second buyer and bought it privately. The first buyer sold it within a year. Now I avoid taking it to work and stay near my home. I have this fear that I'll get stranded. I am still hoping for reliable repair or I'll have to go for another bike.
Annual servicing cost: £25
Great styling and does turn heads.
Brakes are disturbingly useless. Vibrates a huge amount. Wanders all over the road.
Quick to the top end but lucky to hit 55mph downhill.
Standard tyres are horrible and cheap.
Buying experience: Great buying experience from my dealer roadhouse motorcycles.
Pros... Great styling, good on fuel, nice seat hight, very comfortable, exhaust sound nice and growly. Cons... only a 125cc lowish power for longer journeys, would be great in a 250cc or 500cc version.
Comfortable to ride, good smooth gear changing and decent braking.
Average power output for a 125.
Overall no problems with the bike . It does have a recommended engine running in process. I basically stayed below 40mph for first 700 kilometres.
Buying experience: Bought for £2399 on the road.