Fat Sabbath is heavy metal for riders who want old-school cool
You would not expect a new player like Mutt Motorcycles to make waves in the local market. But the Birmingham-based brand is doing just that, months after entering Singapore.
From January to October, it sold 33 of its retro-looking motorcycles to beat mass-market brands such as Kawasaki, Kymco and Daelim.
Perhaps one thing Mutt has got right is its pricing.
The 250cc Fat Sabbath reviewed here has an on-the-road price tag of $18,500.
That includes certificate of entitlement, a two-year warranty on parts and labour, one-year recovery service, a custom ERP in-vehicle unit bracket, a full tank of petrol and a CashCard with $20 stored value.
Owning a Mutt motorcycle is like getting a membership into a low-key cool club. The Fat Sabbath, which is also available in a 125cc version, drips X-factor.
Like the rest of the Mutt line-up, it oozes 1970s retro charm with rubber garter fork seal protectors, stitched brown leather seats, cable-actuated speedometers and goldflake-coloured fuel tanks.
The matte black test bike comes with knobbly tyres.
Mutt motorcycles will also get the thumbs up from custom builders who "chop up" inexpensive rides such as the Suzuki Van Van or Yamaha TW200 to make unique works of art.
But it is illegal to ride modified motorcycles here. This is where the road-legal Mutt will gain law-abiding followers.
The single-cylinder, five-speed Fat Sabbath looks every bit a custom motorbike. Its front and tail fenders are short. Its LED brake and signal lights look like they come from aftermarket accessory shops.
Billet aluminium brackets support its round headlamp. A bash plate suggests the fuel-injected Fat Sabbath can be taken off the beaten track.
Riding it transports older riders like me back to when I began riding a motorcycle. Its bulletproof and low-maintenance Suzuki engine barks a familiar tune, reminiscent of a time when motorcycles were simple and raw.
Unlike taller dirt bikes of the 1970s and 1980s, the Fat Sabbath, which has a dry weight of 130kg, allows your feet to rest firmly on the tarmac.
Its performance figures, however, are humble - it has only 21bhp and 18Nm of torque. Even so, its engine excels in the low and middle rev ranges. The bike is punchiest between 4,000 rpm and 8,000 rpm.
With a rear sprocket smaller than those on race-ready dirt bikes, the Fat Sabbath will not vibrate violently or strain its engine while travelling on the expressway. Its speed tops out at about 120kmh.
Still, it takes a little effort when cornering as its steering feels heavy.
Its non-adjustable suspension lacks damping for rough terrain but will do just fine for road use. Off-road, its low exhaust pipe may hit big roots and rocks.
A plus for the Fat Sabbath, which has a 12-litre fuel tank, is its great fuel economy. The bike can achieve about 33km on a litre of petrol.
Its anti-lock braking system and aforementioned LED lights are the only modern features you will find on this old-school charmer.