- At the crossroads
- 486 cc twin, 47.5 hp, 43 Nm, 5,999 euros
- In the saddle
- In the city
- On the highway
- On departmental
- The Brixton Crossfire 500 in video
At the crossroads
486 cc twin, 47.5 hp, 43 Nm, 5,999 euros
If you have been following Le Repaire for years, Brixton must tell you something and all the more so since behind this brand launched in 2016, hides a major Austrian distributor in Europe, KSR, which also distributes among others Benelli, Lambretta, Malaguti , Royal Enfield, Niu, CF-Moto… even if certain French specificities mean that some of these brands are distributed by other companies in France.
The look will seduce you, the engine will amuse you
In the meantime, the Brixton have thus gradually unveiled themselves at international trade fairs, with one common characteristic: small, nice classic machines with pretty, modern finishes. Neo-retro, cafe racer, scrambler … they throw in while existing mainly in 125 then in 250 cm3. And then for a year, like other brands, all these motorcycles have gained weight by moving to the next category in terms of displacement, like the Crossfire in 500 cm3, while waiting for the Cromwell in 1200 cm3. With the Crossfire, also available in an X version, we are completely out of the neo-retro for a machine that looks more like a preparation with a 500 full of promises inside. So, real novelty that deserves our attention, especially since it is an A2 model, or ultimate Chinese motorcycle (Gaokin) to watch from afar while waiting for the quality to evolve ?
A standard model declined in version X with some subtle differences
We had noticed the concept of the Crossfire 500 at the shows. It’s hard to miss its look! But a concept remains a concept and its materialization in real life often makes a lot of concessions, or even has little to do with the original model. Well, this is not the case of the Crossfire which really looks like a pretty preparation, especially with this tank forming an X, overhung by an elegant polished aluminum cap, an almost flat "leather" saddle, with a headlight front with a nice light signature (including the Brixton brand and cardinal points) completed by a fine tail light and well designed in a minimalist rear loop.
LED rear light
The turn signals almost disappear and the parallelepiped retro ones complete the whole thing with meaning. The escapement changes from the usual big blunderbusses with its oblong shape and goes up to the elegant counter. The side grilles protecting the radiator offer style to the whole, without forgetting the mudguard and the wheel arch. Even the tires have not overlooked quality with Pirelli Angel, while offering a sculpted profile, all in pretty spoke wheels of the most beautiful effect. And the attention to detail goes so far as to embed the brand in the metal, whether on the trigger guard or the fuel cap … and of course the key ring. Even the retractable key changes from the usual key. In short, a real designer has been there, one more French, completely breaking with all the current production, only the Svartpilen being able to approach it..
Brixton Crossfire 500, a little prepa
It is hardly that the Austrian plate which makes task, by its size. And we complain about our plate sizes in France ?
At the center of it all, there is an engine well integrated into the frame, compared to other production where the engine seems lost alone in the middle of a too large frame. The 486 cc liquid-cooled in-line twin is here capable of delivering 47.5 horsepower at 8,500 rpm for a torque of 43 Nm at 6,700 rpm. This makes the motorcycle accessible to holders of the A2 license without restraint.
486cc inline twin, 4T, liquid cooled
Technically, we are in the classic but without cutting back on quality with a tubular steel frame, an inverted fork, an adjustable KYB rear shock absorber, J. Juan brake calipers associated with an ABS (and an adjustable brake lever).
Finally, we note the great leap forward in terms of finishes that can be seen on some recent Chinese products. This is also the case for this Crossfire with an excellent overall finish, whether at the level of the welds or the cables..
180 kg dry
In the saddle
The saddle at just 795mm should get almost anyone on the ground. For the 1.70m rider, it will actually be just tiptoe, due to a particularly wide and square saddle, which deserves to be a little thinner at the crotch, especially since the tank is also quite large, which makes the legs noticeably straddle. On the other hand, we enclose it well and we can therefore tighten the bike. The handlebars fall naturally into the hands, with a natural overall position, in line with a standard roadster. And despite a significant weight of 193 kilos, the weight does not feel at a standstill.
Under the eyes, we discover a very small round counter, entirely digital, with the minimum information, but despite everything a rev counter, a clock, a partial trip, a gear indicator engaged, a fuel gauge (with the reserve signal ) and engine oil temperature. And it’s very readable, which is far from always the case with these minimalist counters. There is also a warning on the commodo.
Stylish and readable digital counter
The mirrors are easily adjusted, with visibility but nothing more.
The problem with all of these machines is that they have the look and sometimes it ends with the look. So, what comes next ?
The twin is snorting with a nice, almost serious sound. It wasn’t just the exhaust which was pretty but also the melody coming out of the side flute. And that is rewarding.
Brixton inscription on the handlebars, handles, keyring
Exhaust thin and with a nice sound
In the city
The twin cylinder is incredibly flexible, without ever knocking and really pleasant on a daily basis, well helped by a soft and precise gearbox. The maneuverability is undeniable and the small size of the whole allows you to slip through traffic without hindrance. You can even wind up in the sixth and last gear at 40 km / h at 2,000 rpm! Even if on a daily basis, we will most often be in third gear, after having shifted gears to around 5,000 rpm, in order to wind quietly at 50 km / h around 3,000 rpm. Because there, also the twin is able to wind at 20 km / h on the third report. Then, this 500 really has gnac and character, giving pep to the slightest request of the throttle and it is really a good surprise, reinforced by its enormous possible speed range, from 2,000 rpm. Suddenly, driving on a daily basis with becomes a part of pleasure, not constrained by the 47.5 horses, reasonable.
A flexible and pleasant twin in the city
On the highway
The Crossfire sets off dynamically on the highway, able in 3rd to reach 125 km / h while stabilizing at 130 km / h at 6,000 rpm in the last gear. The absence of a nose screen limits protection and in any case, the times remain soft even if the 500 is able to take a good 160 km / h, lying in a dab position in Germany … and all with excellent course holding.
An agile machine
The Crossfire is found with ease on departmental where it can roll up quietly. Then it suffices to go down one or two gears to exploit it a little higher in the turns, especially between 3rd and 4th gear and give it the necessary gnac to chain the virolos with dynamics, especially on the range between 5,000 and 8,000 rev / min, where power and torque are maximum, even if she agrees to go tease the breaker at 8,500 rpm.
A living machine that encourages you to take an angle
In fact, even the second would be sufficient on departmental, accepting to go tickle the 95 km / h. On the other hand, if the pace picks up and the roadway deforms noticeably, it begins to waddle noticeably, giving a little life to the whole without ever being worrying if we have rather set on comfort. As often, you will have to choose between comfort and perfect handling..
Dynamics on interim reports
The rear brake is a decent retarder and the front brake is quite effective with its 320 mm discs, well supported by a slightly intrusive Bosh ABS, with a frank attack but a more spongy and less precise end of the race. The whole thing offers a powerful braking offering a good dosage (in the absence of perfect feeling) and efficiency, even with two fingers, even if you should not hesitate to take the lift with your full hand to get all the quintessence when the pace is accelerating.
320mm steel disc, J. Juan caliper, Bosch ABS
The saddle is too wide for my taste (reinforced by a large reservoir) and on the contrary not very thick. What we gain in looks is lost in comfort. On the other hand, the suspensions do the job well to erase the defects of the road, according to the settings of the rear shock absorber. We can not therefore claim comfort, but we are average for roadsters. Only the passenger, without a handle (even if the shape under the saddle offers a shape to cling to) will have to cling to the pilot if the latter has a slightly dynamic driving style. And with the duo, the suspension crashes more and comes into abutment faster on the retarders taken too quickly.
A 13.5-liter tank is always scary, limiting autonomy, but the 500 has a bird’s appetite, 2 sticks only decreasing at the gauge after 200 km, then rapidly descending with a reserve lighting up at 260 km . The whole thus allows a range of more than 300 kilometers with a consumption of 4.5 liters at a sustained pace..
13.5 liter tank
There is an oil change every 5,000 km and a real service every 10,000 km with the change of spark plug and air filter in addition, without forgetting as standard the change of brake fluid and coolant every two years.
The Brixton Crossfire 500 in video
The Brixton Crossfire is a real good surprise of the year 2020, for its looks, its air of – more – big but above all for its dynamic and pleasant engine with which it is possible to play, especially since it does not. does not need to be whipped as much as a 400. It becomes a machine accessible to all levels for an A2 license, including with an almost affordable price of 5,999 euros, the same price as a Benelli Leoncino and a few hundreds of euros below equivalent Japanese models and in particular a CB 500. This makes it a machine especially really pleasant in everyday life, whose look will make bikers and others turn around, especially since we don’t so far see almost none on the road. It remains to have a dealer near you and to see how the bike lives and ages over the months..
- ease of use
- saddle width
The technical sheet of the Brixton Crossfire 500
- Itinerary: small varied roads + interurban highways + city
- Motorcycle mileage: 300 km
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