As we end 2020 and welcome 2021, we were privileged to end the year with a test ride of the newest addition to the growing motorcycle portfolio of Bristol Motorcycles, the 2021 Veloce 500.
Just unveiled to the public through a virtual launch earlier this month, our friends from Bristol generously lent a zero mileage unit to test.
To put it through its paces, we needed a particularly challenging ride and itinerary. Luckily, one of my friends forgot his vacuum flask during our recent charity thanksgiving up in the mountains of Pangasinan. With proper travel documents, we went back to retrieve it. That said, this was one riding opportunity (or alibi) that we didn't want to miss.
If this is your first time reading about the Bristol brand, a short introduction is needed. Bristol Motorcycles, the same brand behind the Classic 400i and the very capable Venturi 500 adventure bike, have recently taken the wraps off their newest motorcycle, the Veloce 500.
Unlike Bristol's more classically-styled on-road models, the new Veloce 500 falls within the scrambler category. The bike itself is well-suited for both on-road and light off-road adventure travel.
The Veloce 500’s looks pay tribute to the classic scramblers of old. Of course, it has a lot of modern touches such as full-LED lighting, and a fully-digital panel. It also gets conveniences like ABS. Another modern touch is the single-sided swingarm which you typically see on much more expensive, top-of-the-line motorcycles.
The heart of the new Veloce 500 is the same potent parallel-twin engine from the Venturi adventure bike, another brand Bristol distributes. It’s a liquid-cooled 471cc DOHC that produces 47.5 Ps at 8,500 rpm with a torque output of 43 Nm at 6,500 rpm.
Naturally, the first thing that I noticed was the power. Although the engine is the same as the Venturi 500, the acceleration felt faster due to the Veloce’s much lighter overall build, tipping the scale at only 173 kilograms.
During our ride, the Veloce’s 471cc parallel-twin had no issues following the much bigger BMW adventure bikes in our group. It also had no problem cruising at their usual TPLEX "cruising” speeds.
As for the gas consumption, it fared little better than the Venturi 500, only consuming about 10 liters of gasoline after 212 kilometers of riding. That adds up to about 21 kilometers per liter. On the way back, the Veloce 500 consumed far less fuel since we rode mostly on national roads, running mostly at 60 kph. This resulted in 27 kilometers per liter.
Built for light adventure
Though many might see the Veloce 500 as a “Starbucks motorcycle,” meaning it is only reserved for morning or late night coffee runs, the Veloce 500 is actually a capable scrambler built for light adventure.
It has many features that tell you it's designed for some off-roading. ABS can be turned off for both front and rear wheels, or for just the rear (see instrument panel above). Its gearing is also just right to get the bike up steep off-road inclines. The KYB suspension also performed well in terms of chewing bumps over rough terrain. Best of all, the new Veloce 500’s lightweight and low seat height give its rider the extra boost of confidence and eliminates any hesitation in managing the road-less mountain trails.
Personally, the single-sided swingarm already got me in love with the Veloce 500. I also love the set of Pirelli MT 60 RS tires (the same ones installed on Ducati Scramblers). With a price of only PhP348,000, this is probably the best bang-for-the-buck motorcycle in the market today.
This is definitely an all-rounder motorcycle that you can ride to and from the office (even with expressways) during weekdays and take it on the mountains during weekends.
Be sure to check the gallery below for more photos.