Despite its 125cc motor, the Brat is pleasingly large and feels like it's built for taller riders. Its high bars are comfortable and although the seat is fairly firm, that’s not too much hardship on a bike that is destined to spend much of its time in the inner city.
The bar-end mirrors buzz and blur, but that’s as much to do with the motor needing to be continuously thrashed to its redline than any inherent unpleasant vibrations.
The chunky Cordial tyres do make the bike feel a bit awkward to turn, but that’s the payoff you get for buying a bike with urban scrambler styling.
The Brat uses a generic Chinese-built 125cc air-cooled SOHC two-valve single cylinder motor with fuel-injection, which while acceptable for urban use really starts to struggle once you get above fourth gear.
On A-roads the engine, which only makes 9.5bhp, labours to pull fifth or sixth, meaning your speed is limited to an indicated 50mph with 60mph only showing on downhill sections.
This is just too slow to keep up with the traffic (dual carriageways are particularly daunting) and makes taking the Brat out of the city’s restricted speed zones a worry. And in the wet it is even more concerning as traffic often fails to take into account your lack of speed.
Its technology is so tried and tested that reliability shouldn’t be an issue, and it is frugal with 85mpg easily achievable, but when you are facing up against other traffic it feels woefully underpowered. Herald are altering the Brat’s gearing to increase top-end speed on future production bikes, but MCN tested an early model without this gearing change.
There have been a few issues in the past with the quality of Chinese-built small capacity models, but Herald’s warranty is reassuring and it is hard to see that motor going wrong as it is in such a low state of tune.
It is hard to argue with a brand new bike that costs less than £3000 and comes with 24-months RAC cover as well as a two-year parts and one-year labour warranty.
Yes, it is Chinese-built and is a touch basic in some areas, however it is designed in Britain and there is no way you could hit that price point if it was made elsewhere.
Considering the Brat costs a budget-friendly £2999 it has some lovely details. The firm’s logo is on the engine cases as well as the inverted forks’ tops and the LCD dash has a fuel gauge and gear indicator.
The lights and indicators are LED, the exhaust is made from stainless steel and there are neat aluminium features such as the rivetted hugger, chain guard and infill panels. It lacks ABS, which is a shame, but the spec is impressively high.