Wednesday, January 21, 2009

non ass-ey chinese motorcycles

Foraging through the bountiful treasure trove known as the Global Interwebs, I found some chinese bikes that don't look like ass.
good looking chinese motorcyclesThis tough-looking beast from Hi Bird tops the list. A 250cc Dual Sport pumping out 30hp. A bit porky at 300 pounds, maybe due to the weight of an electric starter. But the 5 gallon plastic fuel tank is the deal breaker - that will never pass DOT regs.

(more bikes below)   --- Click the pix to see larger images ---

What's this? A blatant rip-off of the Sachs MadAss perhaps? Except with rims, handlebars and USD forks all pimped out in gold. It's a ghetto fantasy moped from some factory in China.

Everyone (as in every Japanese company) is fielding a 250cc Supermoto this year. Of course the Chinese will respond to any dominant trend. This particular one comes in a horny color scheme and a Space Age name to boot: the Apollo Orion Supermoto... available sometime, somewhere, somehow, or maybe not.

New sporting single... or vaporware? 500cc, 50 hp, 370 lb, EPA and CARB certified. The picture looks good. Yeah, i like the picture. Does it exist?

Motorcycle or Scooter? This stylish red thing appears to be a motorcycle. The shape is motorcycle-ey. A CVT automatic tranny, 300cc motor and 90 MPH top speed look promising. But WhatTHUHhellIZzit? It's sort of a mystery.

Side-valve boxer motors and drum brakes. What is old is new again.
I REALLY love these 45 inch (like that? I called 'em 45 inchers) knock offs of decades-old designs. Take your pick - with or without side hack.

Will these become available in the U.S.? Will dealer networks supporting chinese imports grow here? Will our current recession/depression kill, help or hurt the chinese bike market? Which brands (factories) will begin to gain a reputation for quality and reliability, if any?

Is China the Sleeping Giant of the motor vehicle industry as some claim?

I guess we wait and see.

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