Fantic Caballero Scrambler 500 (2019-current): Review & Buying Guide


Price: £4500-£5500 | Power: 40bhp | Weight: 162kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 4/5


Italian manufacturer Fantic may not be a familiar name to all, however after being founded in the late 1960s they went on to produce a range of sports 50cc mopeds as well as off-roaders that were highly regarded. A period of bankruptcy followed and then in 2014 the firm re-emerged and started making a whole new range of models. Built in Italy (they even own an engine manufacturing plant) and using locally-sourced products were possible, Fantic are rapidly establishing themselves as a company that has a bright future. The Caballero Scrambler 500 was their first ‘big’ bike and although it has since been followed up by the Yamaha CP2-engined (MT-07 motor) Caballero 700, the single-cylinder 500 has bags of charm, a lower price tag and great looks. If you are after a lightweight retro scrambler, the Caballero Scrambler 500 is worth considering as it combines Italian heritage and flair with a Ricardo-designed engine, hopefully making it both stylish and reliable!


Fantic Caballero Scrambler 500 (2019-current) Price

Brand new the Caballero Scrambler costs £6749 and as well as the basic Scrambler 500 there is the option of the Flat Track 500, Rally 500 and Scrambler Deluxe, which are all based around the same single-cylinder platform but with varying styling and spec upping their price tag slightly. Not that plentiful in the used market as they don’t sell much in terms of volume, you can pick up a Scrambler for between £4500 and £5500 with one of the variants adding about £300-500 to the price tag.


Pros & Cons

  • Cool looks
  • Fun to ride
  • High spec list
  • Small dealer network
  • Lacks a bit of power
  • It does vibrate a bit
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Engine and Performance

The Fantic’s 449cc single cylinder engine is built (well, assembled) in Italy by Minarelli, who Fantic bought from Yamaha in 2020. Not the most complex of engines as it only runs a single overhead cam, it is nonetheless liquid-cooled and has a four-valve head. Originally designed by engine gurus Ricardo, early Caballero models used Chinese-company Zongshen-built engines but assembly has since moved to Italy. A spirited single, it makes a decent 40bhp with of torque and has a really useable spread of power with pleasingly little vibrations – enough to add character but not enough to annoy. You can merrily zip around town on one and out on the open road it will hold 70mph, not that this is much fun. A big part of Fantic’s ethos is using Italian brands were possible and it is great to see the stylish twin stacked Arrow exhaust, which adds a dash of class to the bike.

When buying used, the Fantic is still very new so there shouldn’t be too many reliability issues however you do need to be aware that its service intervals are every 3000 miles with a valve-clearance check at each one. Costing between £250 and £300 a go it’s not a massive drama but worth keeping on top of as the little single does get a hard life. Owners recommend covering exposed parts in anti-rust spray to keep it looking good and a few have experienced silly teething issues such as an out of line throttle position sensor or slight oil weep but overall, nothing major.


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Fantic Caballero Scrambler 500 (2019-current) Handling & Suspension

Running a fairly wide 19-inch front wheel shod in quality (Italian-made) Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres and with good suspension, the Fantic is remarkably solid and assured in bends. You can really throw it around and its light 162kg wet weight means it is eager to respond. Great fun to ride on backroads and devoid of any unpleasant weave when up to speed, Fantic have done an impressive job on the Caballero’s chassis and the single four-piston radial brake caliper (made by ByBre, a subsidiary of Italian-company Brembo) has more than enough bite. Pleasingly for those who want to scramble, the ABS system can be deactivated at the rear for off-road use if required.

It would be easy to criticise the standard suspension for lacking much in the way of adjustment (only the shock’s preload can be altered) but you seldom feel the need to fiddle with its settings, mainly as you aren’t pushing the Scrambler as hard as you might a naked bike in the bends. And for its price tag, you can’t expect full adjustability – if you want this, look at one of the pricier Caballero variants. It is also great to see lots of CNC-machined parts on the Caballero, something that makes it both look and feel a quality product.

When buying used, check the wheel rims for dings due to off-road use (unlikely) and also inspect for any corrosion on exposed metal parts. Not many Fantics get ridden all year round but if they do the finish can suffer. This is a bike that has style at its heart so you want to buy one that looks good.


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Comfort & Economy

As you would imagine, a single-cylinder scrambler model isn’t great when it comes to covering distance. Although it will average 55mpg with ease, giving it a tank range of around 145 miles from its 12-litre tank, you won’t want to stay on it this long. It may not vibrate that badly but this is a short-hop city or backroad bike, not a tourer.


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Fantic Caballero Scrambler 500 (2019-current) Equipment

Aside from switchable ABS and a fuel gauge hidden away on the dash (you need to press a few buttons to activate it), the Fantic has very little tech. But it doesn’t need it and Fantic have instead spent their money very wisely on parts that add to the bike’s overall feeling of quality such as the various metal panels, CNC-machined parts and known-brand items.

When it comes to accessories, Fantic sell a few bits and bobs with crash protection, soft luggage, a tail tidy and a taller seat (840mm) on the menu as well as a lowering kit but generally, most models stay standard. If you want to make your bike stand out, the best route is to buy one of the model variants instead.



Fantic Caballero Scrambler 500 (2019-current) Rivals

Fantics are short-hop bikes and as such live either in a city or open backroads. Generally, owners buy them as a weekend toy rather than a practical commuter.


Triumph Street Scrambler (2019-2022) | Approx Price: £6000-£9000

Power/Torque: 64bhp/59lb-ft | Weight: 203kg


Ducati Scrambler Icon (2015-2022) | Approx Price: £4000-£8000

Power/Torque: 75bhp/50lb-ft | Weight: 186kg


Mash X-Ride 650 Trail (2022-current) | Approx Price: £3500-£5000

Power/Torque: 39bhp/32lb-ft | Weight: 178kg



Fantic Caballero Scrambler 500 (2019-current) Verdict

If you are after a stylish scrambler model, there is lots to like about the Fantic. Classy-looking with some lovely details, it certainly turns heads and although not the fastest bike in the world, handles well and has enough poke to hit reasonable speeds. As a cool city scrambler or for sunny weekend cruising to a local pub, it’s on the money.


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Fantic Caballero Scrambler 500 (2019-current) – Technical Specifications

Original price


Current price range




Bore x Stroke

94.5mm x 64mm

Engine layout

Single cylinder

Engine details

Liquid-cooled, SOHC, 4-valve


40bhp (30kW) 7500@ rpm


31.7lb-ft (43Nm) @ 6000rpm

Top speed



Six-speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption


Tank size


Max range to empty (theoretical)

144 miles

Reserve capacity

25 miles

Rider aids

ABS, switchable for off-road use


Tubular steel

Front suspension

41mm inverted forks

Front suspension adjustment


Rear suspension


Rear suspension adjustment

Adjustable spring preload

Front brake

1 x 320mm disc, four-piston caliper. Switchable ABS

Rear brake

230mm disc, single-piston caliper. Switchable ABS

Front tyre

110/80 R19

Rear tyre

140/80 R17



Dimensions (LxWxH)




Ground clearance


Seat height


Kerb weight

162Kg Wet


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