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"BRIXTON" brand motorcycles?! And it's a bigg'un, too!

Motorcycle news mah Brothahs and Sistahs! Read on or post your own.
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User avatar
DerGolgo
Zaphod's Zeitgeist
Location: Potato

"BRIXTON" brand motorcycles?! And it's a bigg'un, too!

Post by DerGolgo » Fri Jan 20, 2023 6:16 am

I put this here because it's new to me, and I'm drunk with power!

[EDIT: And I just found out it's actually virtually identical to the Triumph T120. See further comment for details.]

Behold:
the Brixton Cromwell 1200
Screenshot 2023-01-20 135243.jpg
Image
Screenshot 2023-01-20 150800.jpg
Brixton being a notoriously rough, under-privileged corner of London, and Oliver Cromwell having been the man to lead the Glorious Revolution, overthrowing and executing the King of England. A guy who was such a rebel, when the monarchy was back, they exhumed him - just so they could execute him, put the noose on his skeleton.

So the bike is, of course... from China!
Brixton being a brand of Gaokin Motors, and what you see here is the 2022 model.
I must suspect that the names, for the brand and for the model, were chosen by people who maintain some of the old Chinese revolutionary attitude.

Here is the English website: https://www.brixton-motorcycles.com/mod ... well-1200/

And while some Gaokin engines end up in Geely bikes, this is not one of those.
Check the specs:
1222cc
Water cooled
83 hp @ 6,550 rpm
80 ft.lbs. @ 3,100 rpm
270° crank
6-speed tranny
235 kg / 518 lbs. (no mention wet or dry, but I suspect wet)
400 kg / 882 lbs. max allowable
123 mph tops.
Max torque at 3,100 rpm!
Even the Harley Street 750 wants four grand to get all the torques!
Having only ever ridden the latter around the Cross Keys parking lot, I still found that the first gear on that bike seemed utterly superfluous.
Seeing how Brit bikes of old were lauded for the bottom ends with the torques (and their vibrations), I'm not all that upset about them trying to make themselves look and sound British.

And the Cromwell, it appears, really is not just a China Junk ScootBike.
Check the features:
Mahle pistons

Anti-Hopping clutch

Ride by wire (electric throttle)

Traction control

Bosch ABS system

Anti-theft key system (??)

2 drive modes: ECO and Sport

Cruise Control

Nissin Brake system

KYB (Kayaba) shocks

all-stainless exhaust system
I'm sure electric throttle is supposed to be electronic throttle. While Anti-theft key system sounds a lot like, well. Keys. And a lock.
But besides that. They are selling it in Europe, so I'm pretty sure Mahle and Bosch would have some notes about misusing their brand names. Nor can I imagine Nissin or KYB to appreciate such.

Price over here is €11k.
The cruise control is mentioned kinda btw in the description, not in standard equipment, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's an option.
The 2 drive modes business sounds interesting. Eco for when you're about to run out of gas, and Sport for when you're not. Either the commodity ECU does that out of the box and only needed a few variables set, or someone at Gaokin paid attention!

This at least looks like the real deal, doesn't it.
All the most safety-relevant bits are imported from Japan and potato (brakes, shocks, ABS). And whatever causes that engine to fail, it probably won't be the pistons. Nor would it be in the first 2 years (such warranty on motor vehicles is legally mandated in Europe).

Even the instrument "cluster" is not just some sad old LCD, nor pretty clocks. But a TFT that looks like a clock!
Screenshot 2023-01-20 150714.jpg
Showing the idiot lights on in a promo photo is some big-dick energy.

I wonder. And this isn't just the anti-royalist Cromwell-fanboy in me speaking.
Are we at a Japan moment?
I mean the late 60s, early 70s. Up till then, Japanese motorcycles had been seen as and treated like either small things for kids, or total rip-offs of European and British models. Basically "pathetic". Where, in retrospect, we can substitute "pathetic" with significantly improved build quality and mechanics.
Japan wasn't making "real bikes", or wasn't "really making bikes". Not good bikes, at least.
And then came the Honda CB450, and the CB750, and Yam with the XS650, and so on and before you know it, Japan had ruled the roost.

The motoring press here is speculating if the Gaokin GK1000 Thor will be offered in Europe as a Brixton.
Image
Kilo v-twin, the aluminium frame gives it a weight of "only" 593 lbs.
94 hp @ 7,600 rpm
75 ft.lbs. @ 6,500 rpm


The Cromwell model name is also applied to a 125 and 250 respectively. Besides Cromwell, Brixton doesn't appear to have any other models.
Screenshot 2023-01-20 141901.jpg
I like the idea of the line up. An entry level bike (125s are legal for 16 year olds here, provided they get the license, anything bigger gotta be 18), a small, lightweight machine (described as THE TWO FIFTY CALIBRE BULLET) for people who are entirely happy with 17 hp and a revvie 12.1 ft.lbs..
Then nothing nothing nothing HUGE TORQUE MONSTER.
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If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

User avatar
AZRider
"I said THREE motorcycles worth of Fuck You!"
Location: Insane Diego, CA

Re: "BRIXTON" brand motorcycles?! And it's a bigg'un, too!

Post by AZRider » Sat Jan 21, 2023 1:39 pm

The only question about the Chinese and Indian brands in the premiere segment of the Western market is “when?”

I think it’s really about whether they decide to get into the tail end of the traditional gasoline internal combustion game at the premiere level, or do they aim to lead the market in the transition to battery/hybrid/fuel cell/hydrogen/natural gas/whatever else new power source sector.

You are absolutely correct to compare the current moment to the arrival of the Honda CB750. The new kids will have to drop a bomb with a bike that indisputably competes well if not dominates a leading market in order to change the riding public’s view.

I would say that Indian building a better cruiser in America has answered the question of whether a new company can make their name in the cruiser sector with a resounding “NO!” So they need a bike that outdoes the BMW GS or the Ducati Panigale in their own home turf. Dominate the ADV or Sport segment, where performance still matters most to buyers. And don’t dominate with an asterisk. Dominate in every real world situation.
"Motorcycles are made of three kinds of materials: various metals, various plastics, and Fuck You. The trick is to design and build them with the right proportion and distribution of these three materials."
"--Really.. I AM a nice guy by preference. I do, however, have other options." - Merlyn

User avatar
DerGolgo
Zaphod's Zeitgeist
Location: Potato

Re: "BRIXTON" brand motorcycles?! And it's a bigg'un, too!

Post by DerGolgo » Sun Jan 22, 2023 6:09 am

And I just realized I misjudged.
AZRider wrote:
Sat Jan 21, 2023 1:39 pm
You are absolutely correct to compare the current moment to the arrival of the Honda CB750. The new kids will have to drop a bomb with a bike that indisputably competes well if not dominates a leading market in order to change the riding public’s view.
This is not the CB750 moment. This is the W1 moment. When everybody was pointing and laughing at Kawasaki for copying the obsolete, older model BSA.

It's like soooo many things, not just with motorcycles. Why do people think they can compete and break into a market by doing exactly what the established brands are doing?
Like anyone who wants and can afford a Harley is gonna go buy a Harley.
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The Japanese didn't come out of the gate with a pushrod v-twin cruiser. The first Japanese cruisers used the relatively revvy, overhead-cam engines from their standard line up, were a bit cheaper, and had begun building that reliable reputation.
The first pushrod v-twin out of Japan that I'm aware of was the Honda CX500. Which, very unlike HD, spun all the way to 9,000 rpm, and delivered the magical 100 hp/liter. If anything, that was competing with Italian v-twins.
What if Moto Guzzi, with the engine and drivetrain layout, and Moto Morini, with the incredibly high-revving, single cam pushrod engines, had a water-cooled lovechild that didn't break down every sixty and a third miles.
They had the reliables
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The only established sort of thing the big four went up against early, I believe, was the British parallel twin, and the tripple (singular).
When Kawasaki brought the W1 to western markets, it looked like an obsolete BSA. Even BSA had done something about their 650 vibrating itself to pieces; the oversquare A65 got to 650cc with a wider bore, rather than the A10's longer stroke. All Kawa brought to the table was better reliability - which we really only know in hindsight, since no Japanese brand had yet established any reputation for reliability then. There's a reason only three of the original Kawasaki Ws were ever imported to potato. Not three models. Three bikes, total.

But for their next trick, they weren't doing the same stuff. I remember reading an old, old article about road-testing the new Kawa 900. A four, but exemplary for what Japan was bringing to the road. And what people who had previously bought British would be glancing at. Few would be buying parallel twins because they were desperate for a twin, and by that point, there were plenty twins from Japan, also.
The test was a 1,000 km ride from the magazine's offices in Hamburg to Vienna, and 1,000 km back. The reviewer was positively flabberghasted when he reached Vienna without adjusting the ignition once, and cracking the covers, found that the valve clearance was still in spec. Not to mention that nothing had broken off from excessive vibration, he didn't even touch the roll of wire that hard won experience on Brit twins had taught him to bring.
But that was a half century ago. The Bonneville isn't just a better bike than it used to be, I recall reading that it, like some other Triumphs, is beating many Japanese models in reliability.
On paper, the Cromwell might be competitive. It outperforms the 900, obviously, apart from a few pounds of extra weight (also obviously). And is a few hundred € cheaper than the 900. A little over 2k cheaper than the 1,200cc T120.
It's virtually identical
Show
So it might be a new 1,200 for someone on a 900 budget. But so would be a used 1,200, wouldn't it. Which, with modern Triumph reliability, should scare no one.
Comparing the Cromwell to the T120, the specs are practically identical. Same power at same rpm, same weight. Torque is functionally identical, all of 2 more ft.lbs. and 400 rpm sooner. Which is a nothing difference, really. There might a difference in the even-lower rpms, but that would take a dyno-chart to identify, or actually riding and comparing both bikes.
It even competes on the farkle-features. USB charging port, obviously ABS, but also traction control. Fancy clutch, too, "torque assisted". I assume it won't hop, either.
The 120 appears to also have multiple riding modes, for setting the traction control to wet or dry conditions.
The Cromwell 1200 is virtually identical to the Boneville 120, apart from being cheaper, having a fun name, and being Chinese.
Considering Triumph's modern reputation, the Cromwell can, at best, be as reliable as a Triumph. But the reputation isn't there, is it.

So the only reason to buy a new Cromwell would be a sudden and inexplicable shortage of used T120s. Or if the only used T120s around are an earlier model, without traction control or whatever. Any rational person would almost wait a few extra months. They will either find a used T120 that is to their liking, or will have saved up enough to finance the the price-difference between a new T120 and a new Cromwell.

But it beats the 900! Let's be serious. Very few people will choose a new T100 because they can't afford a new T120.
AZRider wrote:
Sat Jan 21, 2023 1:39 pm
I would say that Indian building a better cruiser in America has answered the question of whether a new company can make their name in the cruiser sector with a resounding “NO!” So they need a bike that outdoes the BMW GS or the Ducati Panigale in their own home turf. Dominate the ADV or Sport segment, where performance still matters most to buyers. And don’t dominate with an asterisk. Dominate in every real world situation.
The Scout maybe? Or is it too Ducati?
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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