In Autumn 2019, one of our Mutts had the opportunity to be reviewed by Geoff Seddon for Retro Bike magazine. He took our RS-13 for a blast, and he was not disappointed.
Here's what he has to say about it:
Mutt Motorcycles was formed by long-time custom bike builder, Benny Thomas in Birmingham in 2013 with a view to manufacturing affordable, easy-to-ride bikes with timeless custom style.
The bikes are manufactured in China to Mutt's specifications. The engine itself is a Suzuki fuel-injected SOHC four-stroke single, formerly known as the bulletproof GN250 - built in a government-owned factory under license. The chassis is similarly derivative but has been developed by Mutt for a more cafe/scrambler style, particularly the shortened seat sub-frame. Frame welding is noticeably tidy, always a good sign! The style is 100 per cent Mutt with a very strong British influence.
I parked the RS-13 next to my 1970 Norton Commando in the shed, and it wasn't embarrassed. It certainly look pretty darn cool sitting in the Mutt HQ. When a passer-by told me it was "a fucking great-looking bike, mate", totally unsolicited, I'd say that's a good sign.
The engine makes 21hp, but it sounds like more, courtesy of a genuine (baffled) megaphone exhaust. I'd assume it was a dealer-fit sports option, but no. They all sound this good! It's surprisingly loud, but not enough to annoy your neighbours with that delicious plummy megaphone note. The faster you go, the louder it gets, so you'll never be in doubt that it is a four-stroke single you're riding. Bliss!
I couldn't tell you the last time I rode a four-stroke 250 single, but this one had more poke than I expected. The engine is a baby torque monster with a very broad power band. Perfect for city living, but also powerful enough to make for a fun day ride or weekend away. Claimed top speed at 129km/h, we saw an indicated 120km/h on the motorway and it felt like it had a little bit more in it.
If I had one reservation, it was the scrambler-style block-tread tyres. I could feel the tyres walking on the tread pushing it out the showroom, but once mobile, that feeling disappeared. It took me longer to gain confidence in the twists, however by the end of the ride I'd managed to lightly scuff both tyres to their edges. If it wasn't for the racket they made - like a 4WD ute on mud tyres - I would have forgotten they were there.
That's all well and good, but it is the bike's appearance that will be the main attraction to those starting out on their motorcycling journey - and that's not such a bad thing.
If you think your bike is cool, it will only encourage you to ride it!
We liked the Mutt RS-13 a lot. It looks great, sounds great and didn't miss a beat! It was a hoot to ride and it does everything it says on the box. It is well made and well priced.