Over the last decade, the world has become increasingly infatuated with all things nostalgia, resulting in everything from shoe companies to appliance brands producing vintage-inspired offerings.
Unsurprisingly, this same phenomenon is prevalent in today’s motorbike industry, where retro-themed scooter, café racer and scrambler models continue to be introduced at an unprecedented rate.
With big-bore powertrains, beefier and not to mention, gorgeous frames, café racers and scramblers are of course, aspirational machines—they certainly make you look cool on and off it. But they also command a premium price.
For most of us, we settle for the more practical alternatives—scooters if not small-displacement motorbikes that are a lot more affordable. Besides, with a much smaller, more manageable bike frame, they are still a joy to ride especially when getting away from traffic. As the old adage goes, “it’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast than it is to ride a fast bike slow.”
Long-time custom bike builder Benny Thomas recognized and understood this gap in the small displacement market—the scarcity of models that could offer style, simplicity and sheer fun factor, but at a reasonable price. So, in 2013, he established Mutt Motorcycle that creates something that is easy to ride and maintain, affordable to buy and run, with the feel, style and sound of a bigger classically styled machine.
From his workshop in Birmingham, England—the historic heart of British motorcycle manufacturing—Thomas and his team began working with manufacturers in Asia to source and develop parts. The engine they chose is a modified version of Suzuki’s bombproof GN engine (125cc and 250cc) that is manufactured by Suzuki partners in China. Parts for the drivetrain and chassis are also custom made to Mutt’s specification, helping give their bike’s a signature look.
The result is retro-looking cafe racers/scramblers on a budget. With most of the parts painted black, use of chunky, knobbly tires, shortened seat sub-frame, comfy diamond stitched tan or black colored seat, and Renthal bars, Mutt motorcycles exude plenty of old-school charm, much like those 1960s Britbikes.
While powered by a single cylinder engine, Mutt engineers made sure this engine would sound fantastic, a unique tone that would make anyone laugh if you said that the engine was only a 125 or a 250.
Lu also shared that they already set up a showroom in Clark Pampanga where UAAGI is also based with the launching expected to happen anytime this month.
But here’s the more interesting part: Once Mutt Motorcycle models like the Mongel 125cc and Akita 125cc become available here, they would only have a price tag ranging from P200,000 to P300,000.
“With the arrival of Mutt Motorcycle, UAAGI’s first foray into the two-wheeled market, we have a formidable offering that would give those considering to buy premium scooter another compelling option, one that brings in an exciting and fresh attitude to the small displacement market at an affordable price,” assured Lu.
Charles E. Buban is an old timer in the Philippine automotive journalism scene. He first started covering the automotive beat in 2003, writing news and reviews of new models and car tech, among other car-related stuff. When not writing about cars, he could often be seen riding his mountain bike or doing long walks in the hope of catching a couple of legendary Pokemons.