Herald Motor Company are looking to become the latest in a long line of British motorcycle manufacturers as they set their sights on releasing their very own UK-built bike at the end of 2016. Not bad going for an oufit who, at just three years-old, are still in their infancy.
Based in Cambridgeshire, Herald currently import Chinese bikes, which they then convert to their own design of modern retro roadster. But the company are now designing their own frame, which will be built in the UK.
“Being a British manufacturer has long been a dream of Herald’s MD,” explains Rob Croxall, Business Operations Manager. “We have been converting the 250s for a while now and we want to up the British content. Eventually the plan is to build an entirely British bike, so producing our own frame is the first step towards achieving this goal.”
Once Herald have designed the aluminium frame, subframe and swingarm, they will slot in a Chinese-built air-cooled 400cc single, and combine it with as many British parts as economically viable. “We have already sourced a Euro4-compliant engine from China, along with an ABS system, which we couldn’t find in the UK, but as many of the other components as possible will be British, including the seat and petrol tank,” said Peter Wickham, Herald’s Chief Engineer and the man responsible for designing the new bike.
“The bike will be very light, which is why we decided to use air-cooling and not base it on the 450cc water-cooled Rottweiler prototype we showed at Motorcycle Live last year. Like the 250 it will be a platform bike, so we can give customers the option of customisation through items such as bars, tyres and seats, and it will have high specification suspension built by Racetek.”
Herald have set an ambitious target of showing the new 400 at Motorcycle Live at the end of the year as a 2017 model at a competitive price.