Part-Austrian, part-Chinese brand Brixton has already managed to impress with its range of retro-styled Cromwell machines - singles and twins ranging from 125cc to 1200cc - and the more contemporary Crossfire 125 and 500 scramblers. Now the firm has its sights set on the adventure bike and electric scooter markets with a brace of concepts unveiled at EICMA in Milan.
The Storr might have a slightly odd name – it might sound like a piece of Ikea furniture but the title actually comes from the Storr rock formation on the Isle of Skye – but like the Crossfire 500 that shares its main mechanical parts, it’s a distinctive and good-looking machine that promises to be a tempting option for A2-licence riders.
The styling is the work of Austrian design studio RiDE, and there are definitely overtones of the Husqvarna Norden 901 in the bluff nose and horizontally-split, circular headlight. But it’s far from a copy, as other elements include a practical, raised, protective panel on either side – finished in bare black plastic to shrug off scratches and used on the concept to store a specially-shaped first aid kit in case you don’t take scrapes as well as it does.
The steel frame, radial J.Juan brakes calipers and the 486cc, 46hp, DOHC twin all come straight from the Crossfire 500 range, but the rear subframe is longer and taller, helping shift the proportions from ‘scramber’ to ‘adventure bike’. The nose fairing is completely new, as is the tank, while the USD forks and spoked wheels are from the Crossfire 500XC variant.
Although the Storr has yet to be signed-off for production, that’s likely to be a formality. Even Brixton’s own press release admits that in the past the firm’s concept bikes (notably the ambitious 1200cc parallel twin that has gone on to become the Cromwell 1200) have always turned into showroom models.
Whether that rule also applies to Brixton’s second EICMA concept, the Layback, remains to be seen – but it’s a much bigger departure from the rest of the firm’s range.
It’s an electric scooter with a stripped back aesthetic that’s reminiscent of machines like the Honda Ruckus, with exposed steel tube frames and nothing in the way of bodywork. Rather like BMW’s CE 02 concept, it’s aimed at young riders who might well be graduating from BMXs or mountain bikes and takes cues from the arenas of skateboarding and surfing, right down to having a plywood skid plate under the frame, doubling as a footboard and looking like an extra-wide skateboard deck.
While there are upside-down forks at the front, the rear end is a hardtail with a damped coilover shock supporting the seat to provide a bit of relief for the rider. Brixton’s first attempt at an electric bike, it uses a hub-mounted motor inside the rear wheel, while the electronics and battery are stashed in a box between your feet, with the top surface doubling as a space to carry bags or any other luggage that you’re happy to clamp between your knees.
The headlight carries Brixton’s ‘X’ logo, and the fact that the bike also has mirrors, indicators, taillights and a licence plate are an indicator that its performance is at least of moped levels. In other words, it’s going to be fast enough to require a licence, registration and insurance, not just a glorified push scooter capable of bicycle speeds.
While the appearance is bold, there are few ‘concept’ features here; this is a machine that, like the Storr, looks every inch like it could go into production tomorrow. There are even legally-required reflectors on the fork legs, and mirrors on the bar-ends – parts that many show bikes go without.