Need a little rig you can get silly with your buddies on? Sunday Motors might have just the ticket in the S147.
Photography by Jean Turner
Remember when the world went bonkers for pit bikes? Those Chinese-built mini bikes that some people went to extreme lengths with in their quest for power numbers the little motors simply weren’t designed to make? We might be on the cusp of the next era with bikes like those that come from Sunday Motors.
The rise and rise of flat track, coupled with motorcycle riders’ love of little bikes, has seen companies like Sunday Motors (and on the road racing side, companies like Ohvale) thrive beyond what even the owners could have imagined.
The great thing about bikes like this Sunday Motors S147 is absolutely anyone, of any age, can ride them. They’re small, light, simple to work on, and provide enormous bang for the buck.
The brainchild of co-founders Yannick Coquard and Dimitri Bera, both Frenchman who now call Florida home, Sunday Motors was front and center during the pit-bike revolution of the mid-2000s but now focuses on two flat-track models in the S147 (150cc) and S187 (190cc), which are designed as competition-spec motorcycles that can be ridden by anyone of any skill level.
We got our hands on a S147 for a quick morning spin at the incredible Blackmore Ranch in Southern California, a motorcycle paradise if ever there was one.
VIDEO | Sunday Motors S147 Flat Track Review
The S147 looks like it’s come straight off the mile at Springfield and been ridden into a shrinking machine. Aesthetically and proportionately it’s bang-on for a little bike, and runs a single-cylinder, four-speed 150cc motor matched to a Mikuni carburetor (remember those?) and a rather chunky exhaust that exits out the right side. Wheels are both 14 inchers, both shod with chunky 130/70-14 tires.
The motor comes from Coquard and Bera’s own company YCF. YCF has been making bikes and engines out of its own factory in China since 2009, primarily focusing on 50cc motors but later branching out into 125cc, 150cc and 190cc engines, and electric bikes for kids.
The S147 has non-adjustable conventional forks up front and a monoshock for the rear, with braking taken care of by a single 200mm disc and single-piston caliper.
It’s funny how when you look at the S147, you think there’s absolutely no way you’re going to fit on it. At 6’1” I was amazed to find that I could not only fit it, but the ride wasn’t that cramped considering its size.
Given it is so small, minute changes in body position have a great effect on how the chassis will tackle corners. Move your weight just that little bit too far forward or back and the S147 will either understeer or overload the admittedly very soft front end. However, if your body position is correct, the S147 will rail through corners with a stability that belies its size.
The engine will not pull the skin off a rice pudding, but that’s okay. It’s all about maintaining corner speed with the S147, especially so if you weigh north of 185 like I do. If you’re under that weight, the motor will definitely feel more powerful, and you’ll doubtless get more drive out of it than I could.
This is for sure one of the most fun bikes I’ve ridden in 2020, and I can’t be alone in saying that because Sunday Motors cannot make these bikes fast enough. They are selling the heck out of these things, as guys like Travis Pastrana to the common man find enjoyment from the little things in motorcycles. Blackmore Ranch owner, Jeff Blackmore, rode our test bike for a few laps and immediately went and bought four bikes for the ranch that day, which is a solid endorsement of the product.
I think the S187 will be more my speed but the S147 will teach you plenty about the sport of flat track in a controlled and safe way. This is a sweet little ride. CN
Sunday Motors S147 Specifications
||Conventional fork, non-adjustable
||200mm disc, 1-piston caliper
||2.15 x 14 in.
||130/70-14 14 in.
||3.00 x 14 in.