Mash Motorcycles Review: Range, Reliability and Cost


Author:
Last Updated: 11th August 2021

Mash is a European-designed, Chinese-manufactured company that focuses on retro-inspired lightweights, inspired by the classic British scrambler era.

Like other companies doing similar things, Mash uses classic engine designs and no-frills components.

Aesthetics are a big part of the appeal here, with an emphasis on miniaturized components, clean lines, and custom-looking detail.

 

How Do Mash Motorcycles Keep Costs Down?


By manufacturing in China, using tried-and-tested engine designs that can be licensed cheaply, and sacrificing all-out performance for reliable, inexpensive parts, Mash offers new bikes at prices close to some second-hand options from the big three Japanese manufacturers.

 

Comparisons


Aesthetically, most of these bikes are a cut above offerings from WK Bikes and Lexmoto (subjective, of course). But they don’t quite reach the premium, custom feel of Mutt’s bikes, which feel closer to a custom Japanese street bike.

Mash’s machines fall somewhere between these two camps.

One thing we noticed when looking through the range is that it almost looks like there are two product lines.

Bikes like the Black Seven, Cafe Racer, Scrambler, Brown Seven, etc, look designed in Europe by someone in love with late 60s/early 70s designs.

In our opinion, the 50 Fifty, Falcone, Dirt Track, X-Ride, and others don’t meet the same high design standard – not even close.

Some of these bikes have inferior paint jobs, more plastic components, and just don’t look as good as the others.

What’s more, the advertising copy for these bikes is clearly written by a different team with less attention to detail and a limited understanding of English. Strange.

 

Reliability


Aware of some of the preconceived ideas surrounding Chinese motorcycles, companies like Mash have been at pains to prove the reliability of their machines.

To be fair, a lot of that reputation comes from a time when Chinese bikes were trying to ill-advisedly compete with their contemporary Japanese counterparts.

Check out this article for more about Chinese motorbikes in general.

One of the key factors on Mash’s side here is the company’s history.

Mash is a part of SIMA, the Société d’Importation de Moto et Accessories in France. Their start as an importer of parts and machines from the Far East puts them in a position to know which suppliers and manufacturers to use for reliability.

It also means they can source parts easily in the UK for all their models. Mash machines are not rebadged Chinese bikes that are being sold elsewhere under a different name. These are designed specifically for the European market and meet Euro 4 regulations.

They’ve been on sale in the UK since at least 2012, so there’s a decent amount of reviews, forum posts, and online discussion about Mash – most of it pretty positive.

 

The Mash Range


Unlike other manufacturers using a similar business model, Mash offers larger displacement bikes. The range runs from a 50cc option right up to a 650cc.

50 Fifty

50 Fifty

This economical little 4-stroke looks a lot cooler than a typical moped. Its early 70s-inspired design with bump seat and full-size chassis is a better jumping-off point than a scooter for anyone sure they want to transition to a motorcycle.

Handling, cornering, and braking on the 50 Fifty are transferable skills for when you’ve got your license and want to go bigger.

We’d also recommend this to anyone who wants to get their hands dirty and learn about bikes in a way that just isn’t possible with a scooter. Disassembly and maintenance are fun with a machine this simple and accessible.

This is a genuinely nice-looking option in the 50cc bracket.


Dirt Track Fifty

Dirt Track Fifty

With a more aggressive look, more plastic, and a number plate headlight, the Dirt Track Fifty is a unique-looking machine.

Again, this is subjective, but we tend to prefer their simpler designs.

Not that there’s anything wrong with this bike though.

Using the same engine, brakes, frame, and components as the 50 Fifty, the Dirt Track 50 will appeal to some riders simply for its look.

The headlight, wide bars, and shortened mudguards give it an aggressive, retro-futuristic look that won’t be for everyone but will certainly turn heads.


Seventy 125

Seventy 125

Bearing a striking similarity to some of Mutt’s range (this is a compliment) and similarly inspired by British classic scramblers, the Seventy 125 has low-key, Steve McQueen cool in spades.

Upside down forks, shortened mudguards, hybrid road/knobby tyres, and black-on-black spoked wheels give this a singular look that’s immediately familiar to fans of vintage bikes and/or cinema.

A flat, tan seat, black headlight, and black gators complete the fence-jumping look. It mightn’t be powerful enough to break us out of prison (like Mc Queen in The Great Escape or El Chapo IRL). But the single-cylinder, 4 -stroke engine feels well-matched with its lightweight frame and geometry.

Economical, fun to throw around, and basic-looking cool.


Dirt Track 125

Dirt Track 125

Like the Dirt Track 50, the Dirt Track 125 has a less vintage look than some of Mash’s range, opting for gold rims, brighter colours, and more plastic.

The same build quality is in effect but it does look like a slightly different company.

There are some cool touches here; We like the black forks and gators and the cowl at the end of the bump seat is a nice touch (even if we don’t love the colour).

The same 125 engine is here as the other 125 models in the range and the off-road stylings are just that – stylings. There’s nothing wrong with this when it’s done right.

The Dirt Track 125 isn’t for us, but it’s as reliable as the rest of the range and certainly unique-looking.


Black Seven 125/250

Black Seven 125/250

The Black Seven comes in 125 and 250 models, the latter with a slightly longer wheelbase. Both are absolutely beautiful.

In addition to the usual British scrambler influence, there’s a bit of 70s Yamaha DNA in that rectangular tank design, and even a pinch of Triumph in the engine casings.

All in all, this is one of the better attempts at modern vintage we’ve ever seen.

The DELPHI electronic fuel injection system gives surprisingly nippy performance (especially the 250) but will also get you impressive miles per gallon.

Dual discs with an effective, combined braking system also contribute to the many reasons why this is our pick of Mash’s range.


British Seven 125

British Seven 125

This is the same machine as the Black Seven, using a different colourway – only available in a 125 model.

Uses the same Euro 4, DELPHI electronic fuel injection, three-piston, combined braking system, and other components as the other colour option.


Cafe Racer 125

Cafe Racer 125

The aptly named Cafe Racer is another example of the kind of bike that used to mean countless hours with a grinder, aftermarket parts, and custom fabrication.

Typically, when a company tries to roll a “cafe racer” stock off the factory floor, the results are awful – overcooked, plastic-covered guff, polished to a shine is the usual order of the day.

This is not the case here.

The Cafe Racer is understated, follows a single, clean line in profile, and doesn’t get carried away with the “racer” part of cafe racer.

We love the miniature indicators, slim, black bump seat, bar-end mirrors, and chunky, rectangular tank.

A seriously compelling alternative to buying a used Japanese 125 and borrowing Grandpa’s tools.


Falcone 125

Falcone 125

The Falcone falls into the retro-futuristic category with its aggressive styling, monoshock suspension, and wide handlebars.

It has a lightweight, scrambler feel. There’s huge clearance over the back wheel, making the low-profile, curved seat stand out and giving this an off-road aesthetic.

We’re not as in love with the raw frame and visible shock look as we are with the more traditional models. But there’s the same solid Euro 4, fuel injected engine and combined braking system underpinning the whole thing.


250 Two-Fifty

250 Two-Fifty

This dirt track/flat tracker-inspired machine may only get you 20bhp, but with its lightweight frame and low seat, it feels great to throw around.

The knobby tyres, upside down forks, blacked out headlight and rims, and flat, black seat work together to give this a utilitarian, almost military look – and we dig it.

This is one of the more subtle models on the range. The metallic grey, tasteful decals, clean lines, and retro muffler all have an understated appeal.

Built to the same standard as the other bikes in the range, the Two Fifty feels like one of Mash’s 125s with a slightly longer wheelbase and a ton of extra grunt bolted on.


Dirt Track 250/650

Dirt Track 250/650

With its numberplate headlight, and aggressive styling, the Dirt Track won’t be for everyone.

Many of the classic Mash features are present here – shortened mudguards, bump seat, wide bars, etc. But this is also another for the retro-futuristic camp.

Like the rest of the range, the Dirt Track is easy on fuel, reliable, and gets decent punch for its size on account of its light frame. Definitely a head-turner and sure to be someone’s cup of tea.

The 650 is a lot more motorcycle than its smaller counterpart, coming in heavier with a longer wheelbase and a lot more grunt from that big, thumping 650 single cylinder.

Can be bought with an optional, classic, round headlight instead of the number plate one.


Five Hundred 400

Five Hundred 400

This is another machine wearing its inspiration on its sleeve.

The Five Hundred is a twin exhaust, timeless looking showpiece with enough power to take you on tour.

Its vintage-inspired outline is so classic that it almost looks archetypal. There’s definitely some Triumph in there, some late 60s scrambler, and maybe even some cafe racer.

Either way, it works. Its single-cylinder, 4-stroke engine sounds great too – lots of thump.


Scrambler 400

Scrambler 400

Directly inspired by late 60s scrambler designs, this one goes for skinny, knobby tyres, and shortened mudguards to achieve its look.

We could take or leave the headlight numberplate. Its plastic look doesn’t do the rest of the bike justice. Luckily, like most of the components on these bikes, it’s removable.

A tried-and-true single-cylinder, 4 stroke engine gives reliable performance and excellent fuel economy.

We think it’s noteworthy that Mash are producing these larger displacement bikes successfully – something many import brands have struggled with in the past.


Cafe Racer TT40

Cafe Racer TT40

Easily the most direct throwback, the TT40 is simply pretty.

The bubble fairing wraps around the headlight which lines up with the tank and slim, flat seat to create that clean cafe look.

We’ve seen these with the front fairing off too. They look equally good. Losing the weight up front makes the tank and frame look more muscular.

This uses the same 400cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine as the Five Hundred, with dual discs and combined braking.

This is the first bike from Mash that caught our eye. It’s rare (or at least was until recently) for import bikes to get things looking this good right off the factory floor).

These are fun to ride, reliable, economical, and genuinely beautiful.


Family Side 400

Family Side 400

This is a pretty unusual one. From what we can tell, it seems to be a similar core design to the Five Hundred model with a sidecar.

Not just a bolted on, afterthought sidecar, mind you.

This has been carefully thought out by someone who’s obviously spent a lot of time riding this way (Seriously – who is this person? So many questions!).

The Family Side uses three hydraulic brakes and a steering damper to give the rider better control. A mechanical reverse gear is also included (that was one of our questions!).

It uses a 400cc, single-cylinder, DELPHI fuel-injected engine that’s as reliable (though maybe not quite as economical) as the rest of the Mash range.


X-Ride 650

X-Ride 650

Modelled on the classic Honda Dominator engine with some aesthetic inspiration from classic Yamahas, the X-Ride is a trail throwback with some pretty solid features.

LED lights, adjustable levers, and radial brakes are premium touches that are nice to see on a bike in this price range.

The simple, miniature dials look right on a bike mimicking this era and the high, twin exhausts and fairing also hit the mark.

Its DELPHI injected 650 single-cylinder engine won’t quite wake your dead neighbours but it sounds good screaming along a country lane.

The X-Ride is not for everyone. It’s not an aesthetic we’re particularly nostalgic for but it’s a solid machine. There’s clearly a market for this kind of throwback too.

If you want a sub 5k retro trail-style bike, this might be your only option (and it’s a good one).


More Information

Check out the full range on Mash motorcycles website.