Are Chinese motorcycles any good?

Will'smotobikes19

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Apr 9, 2018
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Looking at a DongFang motorcycle called the rtg-250 there seems to be little to no info on it. The only videos or anything I could find were on the sportbike style bike. It looks pretty cool I'm just worried about stuff breaking when it's going 60mph down the road. Now this is a street legal bike to my knowledge. I figured motorized bike engines and Chinese motorcycles are pretty much the same so I thought I'd ask. Price tag is $1,700 and of course crappy parts could be replaced. Better chain, grips ect. I like how it looks but wouldn't want to buy something that is ruined in a month. In the description it says something about "economical oil exhaust 4L/100km" does this mean they designed the engine to burn oil? strange. If anything I could keep the frame and tank and upgrade most of the parts and even the engine. I'm almost certain it's a copy engine since the Chinese love doing that. It is 223cc all I could think of is a TTR-230 clone possibly. Top speed is reported at 62mph. The other bike I'm interested in is the Kymco Spade 150. I have heard good about Kymco and that they make engines for Honda. It is more expensive though at $2,999. Imagine a Grom and a cafe racer combined with a more powerful engine that's pretty much the Spade. I am looking for something I can ride around and have fun on that doesn't go 30mph all the time. Looking for a bike I can take the safety course on.
http://www.df-motor.com/product_show.asp?id=750
https://www.kymcousa.com/showroom/spade-150/
 


mark20

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Sep 26, 2018
Messages
443
Looking at a DongFang motorcycle called the rtg-250 there seems to be little to no info on it. The only videos or anything I could find were on the sportbike style bike. It looks pretty cool I'm just worried about stuff breaking when it's going 60mph down the road. Now this is a street legal bike to my knowledge. I figured motorized bike engines and Chinese motorcycles are pretty much the same so I thought I'd ask. Price tag is $1,700 and of course crappy parts could be replaced. Better chain, grips ect. I like how it looks but wouldn't want to buy something that is ruined in a month. In the description it says something about "economical oil exhaust 4L/100km" does this mean they designed the engine to burn oil? strange. If anything I could keep the frame and tank and upgrade most of the parts and even the engine. I'm almost certain it's a copy engine since the Chinese love doing that. It is 223cc all I could think of is a TTR-230 clone possibly. Top speed is reported at 62mph. The other bike I'm interested in is the Kymco Spade 150. I have heard good about Kymco and that they make engines for Honda. It is more expensive though at $2,999. Imagine a Grom and a cafe racer combined with a more powerful engine that's pretty much the Spade. I am looking for something I can ride around and have fun on that doesn't go 30mph all the time. Looking for a bike I can take the safety course on.
http://www.df-motor.com/product_show.asp?id=750
https://www.kymcousa.com/showroom/spade-150/
personally, i would get a used bike that is a big brand (honda, kawasaki, yamaha etc.)
since you can get parts for them fairly easily. but if your set on buying new i would go for the dongfang one.
main reason is because its cheaper and if it breaks you have a bigger budget to upgrade the part.
but keep in mind your budget. i would start off by test driving one if you have a dealer near you.
then i would run ONLY full synthetic oil (not Walmart stuff, i mean like royal purple)
and ONLY premium gas, (91 octane NO ETHINAL)
since these are crappy engines you want the best stuff for it.
its also a 4 stroke engine. most likely a lifan 200cc clone.
i would also go on a motorcycle forums and ask people there.
they many have more knowledge & tips than i do.
 

junglepig

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Oct 30, 2018
Messages
218
Personally, I'd second mark20 on the idea of buying a used big name Japanese bike.
If it needs a little work, so be it. Once you've worked out any minor issues, you'll have a bike that will be a pleasure to ride, be dependable, go much faster than you ever need, etc.
 

Timbone

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Apr 20, 2014
Messages
1,103
I’m looking at motorcycles, hoping to buy one next year. Damn, you can get a lotta bike for a little bit of money!

I want something small and economical, but also capable of a long trip.

Kawasaki is producing a Z400 with an MSRP of $4700. Yamaha R3 priced at $5000 also catches my eye. KTM offers a cool 390cc for $5500.

At less than $3500 the Grom and the Kawa Z125 are great values.

Just a few years ago I was racing bicycles and training with guys whose whips cost much more than any of these Motos!

I’d avoid the cheap Chinese knockoffs at all costs.
 

Will'smotobikes19

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Apr 9, 2018
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Spade it is I guess. It is a 4 valve 150cc 5 speed with almost 12hp. Similar to the grom but I like the styling more over the Grom. Or I could get a Chinese bike to modify and ride around and put some money into it. I like that first bike (the dongfang). I don’t like too much chrome that was on the older cafe racers. If there was a bike that looks like the rtg 250 that’s well built I’d probably consider it.
76021952-C273-45E0-95F9-1FDB1985BAD8.jpeg
 

FNTPuck

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Jul 2, 2018
Messages
432
Neighbor had one and basically it was absolute trash. While the motor ran fine, almost everything attached to the bike needed replacing within the first two months and dealer had to service it twice for electrical issues - once for the lights, once for the starter.

Throttle grip slipped, throttle cable adjuster broke, screws would vibrate loose and cause the plastics to shake, the chain stretched like crazy, etc. Basically the same issues we have on these bicycles but everything is bigger and more expensive and you are generally moving a lot faster.

I have been riding motorcycles for 20+ years and the best advice I can give is to get a used name brand motorcycle vs a chinese generic. If you are just starting and don't need anything crazy high end you can find great reliable used bikes of every category in the 2k range all day. Cruisers like Shadows, Vulcans, and Vstars, sport touring bikes like Concours' and older BMWs, and sportsbikes like Ninja 500s and SV650s are all dirt cheap bikes. Supersports like ZX6s and CBR600s are under 3k as well once you get older than around 2006, although I don't recommend starting on a 600+cc Supersport since the 250-400s are much more forgiving for a new or smaller rider.

Any of those bikes will be WAAYYYYY better than any chinese motorcycle. If you need help picking a starter bike I would be happy to give you some suggestions to try based on your wants(cruiser, sport, touring, etc) and body type.

I have owned Supersports, Hyperbikes, Sport tourers, and cruisers and there are pros and cons to all of them.
 

Will'smotobikes19

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Street- yes that dongfang is dot approved and it said it was street legal. Ships to your house for $1,698 and $75 shipping. I saw it on saferwholesale.com. Which has a lot of ruckus clones and cheap mopeds. FNT did you mean your neighbor had a kymco or a Chinese bike?
E77E97F7-0DB9-4005-86D5-D5798E6968E4.jpeg
 
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FNTPuck

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Jul 2, 2018
Messages
432
Street- yes that dongfang is dot approved and it said it was street legal. Ships to your house for $1,698 and $75 shipping. I saw it on saferwholesale.com. Which has a lot of ruckus clones and cheap mopeds. FNT did you mean your neighbor had a kymco or a Chinese bike?View attachment 84388
A Chinese bike, dont remember brand but it was purchased at a motorcycle dealership and looked a more like an Enduro than that picture. It was fully street legal with lights/mirrors/etc and was 125cc if I remember correctly. I rode it home for him from ~20 minutes away when he was stopped without a license and they wouldn't let him bring it home so I got to experience it first hand. The motor was actually not that bad - just a bit low on power - but everything else was terrible. The brakes sucked, the suspension sucked, shifter was notchy, etc.

The bike had around 500 miles on it at the time and had just got its first service so it wasn't beat to hell. I would happily spend an extra $500-$1000 on a used name brand bike and get something that can last for many years with better parts availability. Even a very basic entry level one like an early 2000s Ninja 250 is superior in every way and since they make the much better looking 300s and 400s now the older 250s have gotten dirt cheap...you can get one in good shape for under $2k now which is a killer deal for a super reliable and fun starter bike with a MASSIVE aftermarket and dirt cheap parts.
 

LewieBike

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May 21, 2014
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I know an owner of a Skyway CG200 Honda XR200 clone that has over 70,000 miles on it. Ridden mostly trail and backroads in Central Oregon and it's not given a lick of trouble. Similarly I have a Honda C50 fitted with a 125cc Pitster Pro engine with over 17K. Can almost do 60 mph, and gets about 90 to 110 mpg, Best little bike engine I've ever owned.

I would have died and gone to heaven if this engine was available for my old CT200 trail 90 back in 1970s. 12 volt electrics, bright lights, and really loud horn, no need for a charged battery if it runs flat, I can run present day LED lighting. I don't understand when someone bashes something they're never owned. The present day China made Honda clone CG200/250 are all dead simple pushrod OHV engines and have a good record of staying together. The horizontal Honda Clones are equally as good with a plus of being somewhat more powerful than a vintage Honda horizontal of equal displacement. Everything from 70 cc's, on up are going to be much more perky, quieter, cleaner running and more reliable than any China Girl or HS bike engine made.
 
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