FANTIC CABALLERO 500 RALLY (2019 - on) Review
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
For the kind of machine where low speed thrills, lightweight simplicity and style is more important than brute power and technology, the Caballero Rally 500 is a credible and affordable alternative to the retro mainstream. It looks fantastic, is well equipped, fun and with its rugged styling and longer travel suspension the Fantic has a proper ‘big bike’ feel to it.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Taller suspension and blocky rubber gives the Rally a tougher stance, genuine off-road potential and more room for taller riders, but the suspension sinks low enough not to be a problem for shorties at a standstill either.
Stability and grip are hampered slightly by the off-road rubber, but thanks to the Fantic’s chunky front end and balanced chassis the Rally is still grippy and predictable. Fitting the Scrambler’s Pirelli Scorpion STR dual purpose tyres would be a big improvement for pure road action.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Powered by a robust 43bhp, 449cc liquid cooled single cylinder motor, produced by Zongshen in China, the Fantic has a light clutch, smooth gearbox and easy power delivery.
Packed with character the Rally is easy to control at low speed, but wind up the wick and you’re rewarded with a deep airbox bellow, a spitting exhaust note on the overrun and just the right amount of power for backroad blasting and green lane heaven. Never once do you ever feel like you’re riding a ‘small’ bike and yearn for something bigger, even on A-roads.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Tried and tested Italian chassis parts shouldn’t cause any major problems and although it’s early days, there have been no reliability issues for the Caballero 500 range so far.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Fantic Rally 500 is remarkable value for money when you consider the level of equipment, styling touches and thrills on offer, especially compared to its scrambler-shaped (but bigger-engined) rivals like the Ducati Scrambler, Desert Sled, BMW R nineT Scrambler and Triumph Street Scrambler.
A rugged Caballero Scrambler 500 on stilts, the Rally has 50mm more suspension travel, adjustable forks, remote rear compression damping, cross-braced handlebars, sump bash plate, radiator guard, headlight grill and an aluminium swingarm, replacing the Scrambler’s steel item. Michelin Anakee Wild tyres and an army-green plastic fuel tank complete the more serious off-road look.
Like its Caballero 500 sisters the Italian-built machine is loaded with quality kit: Arrow pipes, a carbon fibre exhaust guard, spoked wheels, anodised rims, a radial Bybre caliper, wavy disc and a Brembo master cylinder. Yokes and bottom frame sections are CNC machined from aluminium – something usually the preserve of Italian exotica rather than a sub-seven grand mud-plugger.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 4v, single|
|Frame type||Tubular steel backbone|
|Fuel capacity||12 litres|
|Front suspension||Fantic FRS 41mm USD forks adjustable for rebound and compression damping|
|Rear suspension||Single Fantic FRS rear shock adjustable for preload and compression damping|
|Front brake||320mm wave disc with Bybre four-piston radial calipers.|
|Rear brake||230mm rear disc with single-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||110/80 x 19|
|Rear tyre size||140/80 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£67|
|Annual service cost||-|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||43 bhp|
|Max torque||32 ft-lb|
|Top speed||105 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
2019: Fantic Caballero Rally 500 introduced.
Fantic Caballero Scrambler 500 - Same engine and chassis spec as the Rally with lower travel, non-adjustable suspension and dual-purpose Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres.
Caballero Flat Track 500 Scrambler spec with 19in rims and flat track style seat unit and tyres, Big-wheel handling isn’t as sure footed as the Scrambler on the road.
Owners' reviews for the FANTIC CABALLERO 500 RALLY (2019 - on)
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