SINGAPORE - Certificate of entitlement premiums for motorcycles have been going north in the last few years and costing more than a small-capacity bike.
Small bikes, especially those that perform well and also look good, tend to be more expensive as well.
These bikes have thus become less attractive to price-sensitive buyers.
But Mutt Motorcycles hopes to buck the trend by giving its Razorback 125 an affordable on-the-road price tag of $17,500.
At a glance, the 125cc bike resembles those you see in the Mad Max movies. While modern in nature, it exudes plenty of old-school charm.
Its gold upside-down forks, chopped-up front and rear fenders, short exhaust silencer and ventilated bash plate (also called a sump guard) give it a custom appeal.
Atop its wide scrambler handlebars sits a small analogue speedometer with mph and kmh readings.
The Razorback is an easy-to-operate urban scrambler reminiscent of a time before fuel-injection became a motorcycle requirement.
Unlike other fatter bikes from the British brand, the Razorback has a narrow girth - perhaps the narrowest in its line-up - thanks to a slim 11-litre fuel tank.
Without a fuel gauge, the only way to tell if one has enough is to pop up the fuel cap. After riding for more than 100km, the fuel level has not even reached the half-tank mark.
Fuss-free features aside, it seems as if the bike's designer had been given the artistic licence to go wild.
Its rubber grips are "waffled", its steering stem nut is handsomely machined and perforated aluminium side panels under the seat are unusual and look more like artwork.
Most of the parts are painted black. The exposed fuel-injection unit, polished engine cylinder cooling fins and narrow LED indicators that race to the edges stand out.
The bike's dual-purpose trait is immediately felt, thanks to a taller seat height and semi-knobbly tyres that allow mild off-road adventures.
The five-speed Razorback produces 12bhp and 10Nm of torque. The only way to ride the air-cooled bike is to build up the engine revs.
You get a top speed of about 110kmh and century sprint time of over 10 seconds.
The wide tyres on 18-inch aluminium rims allow excellent handling on the road, especially when one is setting up for bends.
Lined with steel-braided hoses, the braking system offers steady and progressive braking power on the road.
The Razorback's dry weight of 112kg translates to effortless steering - whether you tip the handlebars into turns or lean with the motorcycle.
But if you plan to aggressively explore off-road, be warned. The unique short fenders will spray unwanted water onto your face and back, particularly when you speed over muddy spots.
The stubby exhaust silencer may also suffer deep scratches if you ride on rut-filled trails as the Razorback's basic suspension is designed more for street use.
Still, it is fun to ride the scrambler on open terrain as well as brake-slide into gravel turns.
Despite its minor flaws, the Razorback 125 is an efficient, everyday solo motorcycle that is a cool ride and is cheap to maintain.
Mutt Razorback 125
Price: $17,500 with COE
Engine: 125cc 2-valve air-cooled single-cylinder 4-stroke
Transmission: Five-speed manual, chain-driven
0-100kmh: Over 10 seconds (tested)
Top speed: 110kmh
Fuel consumption: 3 litres/100km (estimated)
Agent: Mutt Motorcycles Singapore