You can look but you can’t touch.
Sometimes it seems like Europeans have all the fun. They’re not just leading worldwide motorcycle sales, they also have access to some of the coolest bikes that aren’t available in the US. Prior to this model year, Yamaha didn’t offer the MT-03 to us and the old world will get to enjoy the Ténéré 700 for a whole year before it reaches American shores. We’re hoping that Fantic Motors follows the same trend and eventually brings its newest lineup of scramblers—Caballero 125, 250, and 500—stateside.
In 1968, Fantic Motors started producing mini-bikes and enduros for the American market. Based in Barzago, Italy, the company introduced the Caballero at the Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan in 1969. Just in time for the scrambler craze in the States and Europe, the popularity of the 50cc model helped spawn a 100cc variant in 1971 with a 125cc following in 1974.
The 2020 edition leans into the heritage of the Caballero with a red tank, silver accents, and yellow number plate. The company not only updated the classic aesthetic with a refined tank shape, gold fork tubes, and sleek radiator shrouds but the modern silhouette resembles Ducati’s fashionable Scrambler. To properly equip the Caballero for today’s roadways, Fantic includes a traditional 125cc in the lineup along with the considerably larger 250cc and 500cc versions.
Gallery: 2020 Fantic Caballero
The 125cc Caballero features a 30mm Keihin carburetor feeding a single-overhead-cam, 4-valve engine. Fantic high-mounts an Arrow dual exhaust appropriate for off-road motorcycles. The proprietary suspension doesn’t include any adjustments on the forks but does offer damping for the linkage-assisted monoshock. Unlike many of the scramblers on the market, the Caballero can actually go off-road with a 17-inch rear wheel and 19-inch front wrapped in Mitas Enduro Trail tires. With the approachable seat height of 32.3 inches and 286-pound dry weight, the 125cc could be a great match for beginning riders.
While the 250cc version uses the same frame as the 125cc, a fuel-injected SOHC motor packs more punch with 25 horsepower and 16 ft-lb of torque. At 308 pounds dry, the heavier quarter-liter benefits from standard ABS, which can be turned off for off-road adventurers.
For the 500cc, Fantic bumps up the 34 mm throttle body found on the 250cc to a 40 mm unit. Paired with an Athena Get fuel injection system, the 449cc four-valve single-cylinder produces 40 horsepower and 32 ft-lb of torque. Like its smaller siblings, the 500cc benefits from a six-speed transmission.
Along with the standard scrambler range, Fantic offers flat track and rally spin-offs based on the Caballero platform. Though there’s no word on US availability or pricing, we’ll patiently wait for any news on Fantic’s Caballero—we’re used to it.