HERALD CLASSIC 250 (2015 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.3 out of 5 (3.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
Power: 21 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.7 in / 780 mm)
Weight: Low (287 lbs / 130 kg)

Prices

New £2,750
Used £2,600

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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

Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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 (3/5)

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.

Specs

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 -

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £45
Annual service cost £100
New price £2,750
Used price £2,600
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 21 bhp
Max torque 19.5 ft-lb
Top speed 80 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Owners' reviews for the HERALD CLASSIC 250 (2015 - on)

12 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: 3.2 out of 5 (3.2/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.3 out of 5 (3.3/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.9 out of 5 (3.9/5)
Equipment: 2.7 out of 5 (2.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
4 out of 5 Classic 250
11 April 2021 by Colin

Version: Classic 250

Year: 2016

A very nice little bike to ride, simple to maintain I added a rev counter myself and a clock temperature gauge as the equipment is a bit basic but it's a budget bike and does what it says on the tin

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Not very good with a pillion as its a small bike and it impacts the performance, OK on urban and single A roads with a passenger. Handling is firm and confident.

Engine 5 out of 5

Generally good, but gear change can be clunky if you're not careful, so that's a 4. I can get 80mph out of mine, but I weigh 8st so that's a big factor. Cruises OK for me at 70 if I want.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

A few minor niggles the speedo cable loosened itself but easily fixed and a squeaky front disk brake, easily fixed by cleaning excess lacquer of the back off the pads, and again an easy job to do there's something to be said for a low tech approach to a bike.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I do my own servicing so cheap for me, then again the low tech concept makes this simple.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Basic but I added my own tacho, clock, and thermometer, plus a louder horn, controls are easily reachable and do the job.

Buying experience: Private sale of very low mileage bike 800'ish km on the clock.

4 out of 5 A GREAT LITTLE FUN BIKE.
14 February 2021 by nog

Version: rambler

Year: 2016

for an old aircooled 250 motor its what you would expect performance wise, its actually pretty good ,not too strangled by emissions equipment , the exhaust sounds great, this is the scrambler versionand i have used it off road greenlaning,the suspension by Racetech is excelent

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

THE BRAKES ARE FINE FOR A LIGHT BIKE , THE SUSPENSION ON ROAD OR OFF RAOD IS EXCELLENT ,NEVER BOTTOMING OUT AND SOAKING UP ALOT OF PUNSHMENT, HAS SEEN ME THROUGH SOME HAIRY MOMENTS OFF ROAD WITH NO PROBLEMS, THE SEAT IS OK ,PILLION HAS A GRAB RAIL, BETTER OF AS JUST A RIDER THOUGH, ITS ONLY A 250. IT CAN CHUGALONG OFFROAD WITH EASE,STANDARD NOBBLY TYRES ARE GREAT, CAN COMMUTE OR JUST POTER OR DO THE DISTANCE ON THE MOTORWAY AT LEGAL SPEEDS,

Engine 4 out of 5

ITS A SUPRISINGLY GOOD ENGINE, ECONOMICAL, HAS LOWDOWN TORGUE FOR JUST CHUGGING ALONG AT LOW REVS OFF ROAD OR WIND IT UP AND BLAST IT DOWN THE MOTORWAY ,WELL IT WILL DO 70 MPH ALL DAY, IT IS A FUN BIKE.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

ITS AWELL TREID ENGINE , LIGHT, GOOD SUSPENSION ,HAS BEEN VERY RELIABLE, PUT TOGETHER WELL, NO COMPLAINTS NO PROBLEMS,

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

iT DOES ALOT OF MPG , SPARES ARE CHEAP, SERVICE ONCE A YEAR, CHANGE OIL ESSENTIAL REGULARLY, CHEAP TO RUN ,

Equipment 2 out of 5

IT HAS JJUST THE BASICS ,AND A VERY LOUD PIPE AS STANDARD ,SOUNDS GREAT, GOOD KNOBBBLIES CAME WITH THE BIKE FROM NEW, THEY GRIP IN ALL CONDITIONS, ITS A SIMPLE BIKE AND IS ALL THE BETTER FOR IT, LESS TO GO WRONG AND LES STO BREAK OFF ROAD, THE SUSPENSION IS VERY GOOD ESPECIALLY ON GREENLANES, ITS A GREAT LITTLE BIKE. I AM LUCKY TO OWN SEVERAL BIKES THIS IS THE ONE I USE DAILY,

Buying experience: BOUGHT FROMA DEALER AS AN EX DEMONSTRATOR ,HASNT GONE WRONG OR HAD ANY PROBLEMS, PEOPLE AT HERALD ARE FREINDLY AND ANYTHING YOU MIGHT NEED IS DISPATCHED PROMTLY,

4 out of 5
28 October 2020 by spriddler

Year: 2016

Good value.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

I have 4 other bikes (1950's Brit ones) but I've covered 9500 mls in 3 years including to Spain touring with camping gear and back. Never let me down. Only routine maintenance been needed and pleasant to tour at about 60 - 65mph. The clutch adjustment is critical to ensure clean gear and Neutral selection. There's too much travel on the rear brake pedal (fully adjusted, pads not particularly worn) and the rear chain cover has rusted but it's good value for money. I believe Herald has now discontinued it.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
1 out of 5 Stay away from Herald
31 August 2018 by ManxTom

Version: Phantom

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £130

Would never buy a Herald again. The name makes me shudder and worry for rider - sadly it's also put me off all Bobber style bikes as the rear mudguard makes me think of palative care. If you have one, insist on checking for any missing nylon lock nuts and any bolts catching on tyres (as that's what I suspect caused my bike to implode). Would love to speak to Bilius on here to find out more about his experience when their bike fell apart.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Before it broke the ride quality was bouncy, expected for a small bobber. Power was ok for a 250 (hits about 70mph if you're lucky) and the brakes are far better than a 125 Herald that I had as a courtesy bike.

Engine 3 out of 5

Engine is based on a good reliable unit. Choke takes some fettling when cold to keep it going, but once warmed up seems fine. It's not powerful by any means - you couldn't break any laws or do wheelies if you wanted to.

Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5

After only 120km the speedo stopped working (taken in and repaired by dealer) and then at 533km the rear mudguard detatched itself while riding, flicked down under the rear tire and caused me an unexpected/unprecidented lowside accident. Bike written off with zero rider error.

Value vs rivals 1 out of 5

Was booked in for first service on 30th May this year, but it destroyed itself a few days before hand. It's difficult to put a value on my own life, but I clearly value it a little higher than Herald, as Herald ended up making me go through my own insurance to recooperate costs and have so far not acknowledged factory fault I'm totally out of pocket three months later, having not been given compensation or an apology.

Equipment 1 out of 5

Minimal equipment and dials.

Buying experience: Awful. Simply awful. No remorse from Herald for selling me a faulty bike. I only wish I had a dashcam - I will always have one as backup when riding any future bike.

4 out of 5 Good Range, Good MPG
02 February 2018 by Der Alter

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £40

Best: Value for money Worst: Lower than advertised top speed, as configured.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Fine for the max speed

Engine 4 out of 5

It's a 4-stroke single.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

After a 330mile 2-day journey on non-motorways, at fastest pace feasible, I can say it does 83mpg and has a 240 mile tank range.

Equipment 4 out of 5

You can fit panniers and screen.

Buying experience: Dealer - fine

4 out of 5 Cheap Retro Cool
20 November 2017 by Der Alter

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £100

A lightweight bike that is cheap but looks good. Great for short journeys and very cheap to run. The handling is confident. Disks front and rear are ok, given the supplied pads. Will cruise at 60mph.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Accelerates well for a little one, and stays smooth up to 60mph. The big rear cog makes the 1st gear very narrow and brings maximum engine speed at 70mph. The seat becomes uncomfortable after 50 miles. The lights are ok for town use but a bit feeble for any speed on dark roads.

Engine 4 out of 5

It is a single cylinder 4-stroke built to a Japanese design and with a Japanese carburetter. The air filter bolts must be properly tightened or it will 'backfire' a lot and lose power. The choke is necessary but can be difficult to keep pulled out. Gears are one down four up. They are a bit close together with the over large rear cog supplied.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

An initial unreliability was caused by the air filter being inadequately tightened to the frame. Easily solved by an adjustable spanner.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5

The Avon Distanzia tyres are very good indeed for road use. Strangely this bike has a slightly off-roady rear cog so only manages 70mph. I would need to get a smaller cog to reach the stated 80mph, so I avoid motorways. That does give it a pleasant liveliness up to 60mph.

Buying experience: Bought from and serviced by dealer. No problems there, except for an unsecured air filter and the wrong main fuses, installed and spare. They ought to be 12V, 15A, I believe.

1 out of 5
26 May 2017 by Bilius

Version: 250cc 2015

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £120

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 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.

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

Version: 250cc 2015

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £120

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 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.

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

Year: 2016

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. 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
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £100

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 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!

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £100

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 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

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £100

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 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.

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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.

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