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Classic Motorcycle Review - Posted 25th November 2016
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Simple 'Sickles: Herald, Mash, Enfield, SWM & Hollis

'If only there was a simple, air-cooled single cylinder bike with decent performance and economy, and that wasn't too heavy or too expensive,' we hear you cry. Well there are quite a few around, as Martin Gelder found out at Motorcycle Live earlier this week...

There are times when you want a motorcycle that just... goes. Classics are great, don't get me wrong, but there are days when some modern conveniences are more than welcome. Electric start?Indicators that work? Effective headlight? Power and brakes to cope with modern traffic?

And buying a modern bike doesn't have to mean a full fairing, a crippling kerb weight or a stratospheric price tag. Here are some simple, single cylinder suggestions spotted at the NEC show:

Herald Classic 400

The Herald Classic is a basic, single overhead cam four-valve four-stroke single derived from a 20 year old Honda engine, as are most of the bikes here. It complies with Euro 4 emissions regulations which means it'll be nicely frugal as well as kinder to the environment.

Herald, Mash, Enfield, SWM and Hollis Singles Herald Classic 400

The Classic 400 claims 27.8bhp @ 7200prm and 33Nm @5600 rpm, so will be flexible if not exactly a plodder. It has a five speed gearbox, a 15 litre (3.3 Imp. Gallons) tank, front and rear disc brakes with ABS and a 790mm (31) seat height.

Mash Trackstar 400

If you want something a little more head-down, the Trackstar is the lastest of Mash's offerings. It's got the ubiquitous S.O.H.C 398cc single cyclinder engine and five speed gearbox making a claimed 28bhp and complying with Euro 4.

Herald, Mash, Enfield, SWM and Hollis Singles Mash Trackstar 400

The fuel tank holds 17 litres (3.7 Imp gallons), there's switchable ABS and a two year warranty, and the bike weighs 151kg (332lbs). For your 4,699.00 inc. VAT you even get a choice of colours.

Herald, Mash, Enfield, SWM and Hollis Singles Mash Trackstar 400
Mash Motorcycles on Now...

Royal Enfield Himalayan

Using their own 411cc under-square (78mmm x 86mm)four-stroke single engine, the new Himalayan extends the Continental GT family of new models with off-road styling that will make for a practical all-day riding bike. Enfield claim 24.5bhp @6500 rpm and 32Nm @4000 rpm meaning the Himalayan should be a little less frantic than the OHC motor in its rivals.

Herald, Mash, Enfield, SWM and Hollis Singles Royal Enfield Himalayan

Like all the bikes here it has an electric start as well as ABS as standard. The seat height is 800mm (31.5), the fuel capacity is 15 litres (3.3 Imp. Gallons) and the weight is 182kgs (401lbs). No word on price at the time of writing, but there'll be more information at

SWM Gran Milano

Fancy something slighlty less identikit-retro? The SWM Gran Milano 440 has a little more Italian panache than its competitors, and is arguably all the better for it. The 445.3cc S.O.H.C four-valve four-stroke (does this sound familiar?) single makes 30bhp and has the usual electric start and five speed box.

Herald, Mash, Enfield, SWM and Hollis Singles SWM Gran Milano

With a weight of 145kg (320lbs) and seat height of 813mm (32) it should be a nimble ride. The upside-down forks and twin shocks are adjustable and the petrol tank holds a generous 23.5 litres or 5 Imperial gallons. There's a two year parts and labour warranty and a choice of colour for the price of 4,999.00 inc. VAT.

Hollis Type 'A' 350

And finally... If all of the above are just a bit too modern, how about a recreation of the past using a 2000 t0 2008 Enfield 350 or 500 motor? The 157kg (346lbs) Hollis has a girder front end, monoshock rear suspension which looks like a rigid rear end, single saddle and a certain pre-war style.

Herald, Mash, Enfield, SWM and Hollis Singles Hollis Type 'A' 350

Built to order in Hampshire based around an engine you provide, you'll certainly stand out from the crowd. More info from Steve Hayes and Steve Lowe at hollismotorcycles .com

Words and Photos: Martin Gelder

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