Mutt's 2018 Fat Sabbath
28th April 2018
Blackest Sabbath | Suzuki GN125 | Birmingham
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Nobody's yelling anymore that the Chinese are coming. That's because, of course, our oriental friends are now well established here in the UK—and not for the first time. One hundred to two hundred years ago Chinese goods, largely knock-offs of Wedgwood crockery and Chippendale furniture flooded the British market, which shows exactly how the wheels keep on turning. If it could be copied, the Chinese did copy it. The Western markets were awash with both good and poor quality unlicensed products.
Well here are two more wheels turning, these hoops coming from Mutt Motorcycles in Birmingham, a smart up-to-the-moment company that's steadily building a fashionable brand based upon a Chinese licensed Suzuki GN125 copy.
What Mutt does is import the basic machines, then sets to work making them a lot cooler and much more acceptable to British tastes. Pretty much everything outside of the motor gets the Mutt treatment. At the time of writing, we're counting 13 variations on the theme, all of them limited edition bikes designed to draw exactly the right rider from the crowd and seat him comfortably astride a bike that's as near to bespoke as you're going to get at these prices.
The 2018 125cc Fat Sabbath, introduced earlier this year, picks up where the 125cc Blackest Sabbath left off. The most obvious features are the super wide and super chunky Continental Twin-duro tyres. At both the front and rear, the rubber is 4.00 x 18; apparently this bike has the widest front tyre offered by Mutt on any model in the range. A fatter front mudguard is, naturally, also offered to help keep you in the black.
Narrower and higher blacked-out Renthal handlebars with black diamond pattern grips set you up in the right pose (not that anyone care about that, right?). And to make that perch both look and feel right, the boys in Birmingham hand-make the saddles.
Other features include a shortened aluminium rear mudguard (in black); flat black shocks; a full stainless steel satin black exhaust system (selected for not only the right look, but the right "thump"); a satin black headlight grill (protecting the upgraded halogen headlight); and Mutt's own LED aluminium black tail light.
The four-stroke 125cc, fuel-injected, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine chain drives through a 5-speed 'box. Starting is electric. Brakes are linked. The frame is twin loop. And the engine is described as "bullet proof". We wouldn't know about that because our experience of these Chinese take-aways is very limited. But the guys at Mutt are very sincere and are working overtime to create the right product. With a little luck, we think they'll go far. We certainly hope so.
We see this motorcycle largely as an urban crawler; something to hop from bar to bar, or (in these more politically sensitive times) cafe to cafe (or even delicatessen to delicatessen). But a neat and tidy little package like this could take you pretty much anywhere you want to go, and there are now Mutt dealers all over the place—meaning that you're not likely to be far from a sympathetic mechanic should you ever need one. Mutt reckons that you can hit 70mps on this flyweight, and that's plenty for us, most of the time.
Naturally, we'd love to see a British engine at the heart of this bike. Even a British licensed knock-off would do. But you have to be realistic, and the accounting numbers simply don't stack up. Back east they build these things for a few bowls of rice and dormitory matt to kip on [Hey, steady on, chaps - Ed]. And come to think of it, in the current British economy we're starting to see some similar dodgy employment practices.
Meanwhile, Mutt has done pretty much all it reasonably can to help this motorcycle forget its oriental roots and make a nice little home for itself here in Blighty. And they don't even make Triumph Bonnevilles in Britain anymore, such is the nature of the "globalised" world in which we live.
And the price for the Fat Sabbath? £3,495 plus the usual OTR costs.
One final thing; the warranty is two years.
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