ESCAPING THE CITY ON THE BRAT 125
One of our Herald Riders, Elliot, gives a round up of our recent trip to Wales with the Brat 125s.
When planning a trip at the start of the year in the UK, there are a few uncontrollable factors to come to terms with, none more so than the good old weather. After a few postponements and with a classically British stiff upper lip we decided to brave the rather dismal forecast ahead and packed our bags with our sights set on our first target – Liverpool. Teaming up with Tom Kahler Photography and Dom from Sense Films, the main objective was to capture our new British designed Brat 125s tackling a variety of terrains while showcasing their durability and stunning aesthetic.
A few dozen ratchet straps later, the Herald van was locked and loaded. With the obligatory services pit stop made we were edging closer to our first destination. Arriving at the Docklands ahead of schedule, we jumped out of the van to take in the joys of Liverpool and the brisk sea breeze. There’s only one perfect way to truly experience the city and it’s on two wheels, it was minutes until we were manoeuvring our way through the ratchet strap maze we had created a few hours ago, a vague resemblance to a scene out of Mission Impossible, with slightly less grace and a lot more profanities.
From the Docklands past numerous rightly deserved murals of Klopp, swinging past Anfield and a brief pitstop atop of the Everton Brow soaking in the city, the Brats excelled traversing through the city from alleys to dual carriageways, the handling and brakes were extremely responsive even in torrential downpour. After our brief tour round the city we returned to the van and met with the rest of the crew.
Sideways, the rain hurtled towards us almost perpendicular to the tarmac as we tailed the van through the city streets, the side door wide open as Dom hung out attached to a harness to capture some intense fly by shots. After a long day of riding, soaked through we decided to call it a day, with eyes set on the hotel bar for a warranted pint of whatever was on draught. Located in between Liverpool and our next destination on the northern coast of Wales, we hunkered down at The Stamford Gate Hotel. An extremely late check in the staff, some avid motorcyclists themselves, were very accommodating and friendly (they also deserve a special recognition for the great food they serve!).
No rest for the wicked, to make the most of the next day we were up with the sunrise. Fuelling up with a full English and copious amounts of coffee we set off with the camera van trailing. I had heard fantastic things from fellow riders and friends on what Wales had to offer and my first venture did not disappoint, the scenery and roads made for an unforgettable experience and one I could not recommend enough from winding hill roads to mountain passes reminiscent of something through mainland Europe. Wales had it all including some unexpected sunshine which we did not take for granted.
Stopping off at some cinematic locations throughout the weekend, including stumbling across a dam on the Alwen Reservoir, we were accompanied by Sam Gillespie, Dom’s favoured drone pilot who captured some stunning aerial footage and also assisted driving the van while Tom & Dom hung out the back and side of the van respectively. Cruising around the Evo Triangle the Brats didn’t skip a beat, an incredibly smooth ride as we soaked in the scenery. After a few hours of riding we managed to locate a local greasy spoon, complete with discerning looks from a local it provided a well-earned stop to warm up with some hot food and a cup of coffee. Heading towards our final location of Black Rock Sands beach we travelled through Gwydir Forest Park and took a slight detour south via the Snowdonia National Park in search of some dirt trails.
Arriving at Black Rock Sands beach was bittersweet, signalling the end of our journey. However, any remnant of despair was quickly obliterated as we took to the beach, an experience I will never forget. If you ever have the opportunity to put two wheels to sand, jump at it. Grinning ear to ear as we ripped up and down the beach with the occasional donut thrown in, the only thing that stopped us was the tide consuming the sand beneath us
The Brats handled everything we threw at them, tarmac, dirt, mud, and sand they did not skip a bit, truly a jack of all trades. The purpose of the trip was to capture the little pleasures in life we all too often take for granted, I know now more than ever how resonant this is during such uncertain circumstances. The freedom felt on a motorcycle is one like no other, and one that we need now more than ever! The Brat 125 is available from Franklin Motorcycles for €3690 in Copper, Iron Grey & Military Green.