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Old 11-09-2014, 06:47 AM   #1
hugemoth OP
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Chinese Bikes, let's see yours

China sold 26.4 million motorcycles in 2012, comparatively, motorcycle sales in the United States totaled to 452,386 sold units in the same year. We don't see many Chinese bikes in the US yet, but they're coming. I currently own 2 plus an old Trail 90 with a Chinese engine.

This one is a 2005 Roketa, made by Zongshen, the 5th largest motorcycle manufacturer in China. It's 200cc engine is modeled after the Honda CG engine.



These are 2007 Lifan 200s, the 2nd largest producer in China. We bought these in 2007 and they're still going strong. Mine on the left has 52,000 miles on the clock. These engines are also modeled on the Honda CG engine.

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Old 11-09-2014, 01:36 PM   #2
sledrydr
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I've got a 06 200 Lifan. Other than being a bit buzzy it has been a great bike. My pics are to large to upload but mine looks identical the blue model pictured above.
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Old 11-09-2014, 01:47 PM   #3
AlpinaE24
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My question is why would you want one?
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Old 11-09-2014, 01:50 PM   #4
BvilleBud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
This one is a 2005 Roketa, made by Zongshen, the 5th largest motorcycle manufacturer in China. It's 200cc engine is modeled after the Honda CG engine.

These are 2007 Lifan 200s, the 2nd largest producer in China.
OK make me smarter, who is the #1 manufacturer in China? What brands are considered the best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinaE24 View Post
My question is why would you want one?
I'm sure this was said about Honda, Suzuki, etc. years ago; to answer your question, if they are of good quality and a good value people will want one. I don't know if they are ready for prime time, but just because somethign wasn't made here (or in Japan) doesn't mean it is garbage or not worth buying.
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Old 11-09-2014, 03:22 PM   #5
matty86suk
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Originally Posted by BvilleBud View Post
OK make me smarter, who is the #1 manufacturer in China? What brands are considered the best?



I'm sure this was said about Honda, Suzuki, etc. years ago; to answer your question, if they are of good quality and a good value people will want one. I don't know if they are ready for prime time, but just because somethign wasn't made here (or in Japan) doesn't mean it is garbage or not worth buying.
I prefer my bikes assembled by free men and women...not slave labour. I prefer my hard earned cash not ending up in Chinese state coffers. I prefer not to encourage corporate espionage by buying Chinese, because they don't develop anything original and bottom feed off of others ideas and profit because they have cheap labour, no environmental standards and don't care for patents or copyright infringement...rant off, I try to avoid buying Chinese as much as possible.
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Old 11-09-2014, 03:42 PM   #6
MATTY
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Wink

Not got a chinese 200cc bike but have the same engine in an ATV, the CG esque GY engine. Has been briliant has been thrashed to death merceylessly by my kids they have not killed it yet it uses no oil worth mentioning and starts first time everytime.
I will say the thing came with what looked like linseed oil in the sump, it was a brownish foul smelling stuff, i drained it out and put some proper oil in it and thats all it has needed so far in 5 years of pure abuse.
They have a 90cc PY90 clone marked up as a Kawasati I kid you not thats what is writen all over it.
That again has been a fantastic little thing it starts first time everytime and is about 7 years old now.
I think the chinese bikes are cheap good value for money and allthough most are strongly against them for some reason i dont think they are that bad at all.
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Old 11-09-2014, 04:37 PM   #7
miguelitro
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Mines the black one.



There is a brand here called Lamborbini btw

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I'd rather be riding a 200 in Ecuador than any dream bike here.
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:48 PM   #8
hugemoth OP
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The number one brand is one I've never heard of, something like Qinqi Chongking. They're not an export brand. Not sure what brand is considered the best in China but I know Zongshen has a good reputation.

Chinese bikes, at least the ones I'm familiar with are workhorses rather than thoroughbreds. Not particular fancy or fast but reliable and great for everyday transportation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BvilleBud View Post
OK make me smarter, who is the #1 manufacturer in China? What brands are considered the best?



I'm sure this was said about Honda, Suzuki, etc. years ago; to answer your question, if they are of good quality and a good value people will want one. I don't know if they are ready for prime time, but just because somethign wasn't made here (or in Japan) doesn't mean it is garbage or not worth buying.
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:48 PM   #9
BvilleBud
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Good for you.

Back to point #1 - Sounds like Qinqi Chongking is the #1 Chinese manufacturer, which are the most reliable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by matty86suk View Post
I prefer my bikes assembled by free men and women...not slave labour. I prefer my hard earned cash not ending up in Chinese state coffers. I prefer not to encourage corporate espionage by buying Chinese, because they don't develop anything original and bottom feed off of others ideas and profit because they have cheap labour, no environmental standards and don't care for patents or copyright infringement...rant off, I try to avoid buying Chinese as much as possible.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:06 PM   #10
hugemoth OP
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Can't speak for others but the reason I own them is because they're very inexpensive to buy and run, reliable and long lasting.

The blue Lifan in my original post cost $1375.00 delivered and has been one of the most reliable bikes I've ever owned in 45 years of riding. The black Roketa (Zongshen) sold for about $1000.00 new and I bought it last week for $125.00 with 525 total miles on it. Lots of people have the idea that they are throw away junk so you can sometimes pick them up very cheap.

A few weeks ago I replaced the clutch on the Lifan because the splines were slightly worn with 50,000 miles and it was making noise. A complete new clutch with cush gear, throw out bearing, all plates, etc., cost $38 on Ebay with free shipping. What would a Honda clutch cost?

I love my Hondas but when it comes to value for your dollar Chinese bikes can be great.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinaE24 View Post
My question is why would you want one?
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:20 PM   #11
hugemoth OP
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I don't know which brand is the most reliable because my experience has only been with Lifan. I'll have some idea of the Roketa (Zongshen) reliability in a few years.

Went for a ride today with my daughter who has claimed the Roketa.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BvilleBud View Post
Good for you.

Back to point #1 - Sounds like Qinqi Chongking is the #1 Chinese manufacturer, which are the most reliable?
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:49 AM   #12
hugemoth OP
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Standard Chinese motorcycle engine identification.

Example LF163FML-2M

First letter or two indicate the manufacturer. These may be omitted. LF = Lifan, ZS - Zongshen, etc..

First digit indicates the number of cylinders. 1 in the example above.

Next 2 digits indicate the bore in millimeters. 63 in the example above.

Next letter indicates cooling method. F=air cooled, M=water cooled.

Next letter indicates use. M=motorcycle

Next letter indicates displacement. J=150cc, K=175cc, L=200cc, M=250cc,

Any letters after the dash indicate model version. In the example above the 2M is the engine equipped with a balance shaft.

The 142cc engine in my little bike is 1P55FMJ-2E10 so it's a single cylinder, horizontal (P), 55mm bore, air cooled, motorcycle engine, 150cc class, model 2E10.

The 200cc engine is the Roketa is 167FML so it's a single cylinder, 67mm bore, air cooled, motorcycle engine, 200cc class.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:38 PM   #13
KirkN
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Just found this thread!

Here's mine: Picked this up nearly a year ago for pennies. Was missing the carb and exhaust, but otherwise was very complete and just suffered from sit-around-itis and a bit of early-stage parts-pirating. Fortunately, it did all it's sitting in a garage, so no real weather-related issues.

It's a 2008 or so Baja Motorsports Xmoto X250. 244cc, e-start, disk brakes, off-road only. Manufactured by Zhejiang Xmotos Co, Ltd.

Pretty sweet when you read the spec-sheet anyway: 244cc, 9.2:1 compression, e-start & kick-start, disk brakes F & R, inverted fork, fork separately adjustable for compression and rebound damping, 4-stroke, single rear shock w-rising rate linkage, rear shock adjustable for rebound damping, 213-lb, 9.84" ground cls., wide cleated footpegs, spring-loaded shifter and rear brake lever,

I went thru most of the whole bike - cleaned, repacked & reset the tapered steering stem bearings; disassembled, cleaned, flushed and bled both front and rear brake hydraulics (pads not needed); cleaned, regreased, reset rear shock linkage; cleaned up all wiring connections; new battery; got a carb & muffler from a donor bike, headpipe from ebay - cleaned carb, refurb'd muffler packing & spark arrestor screen, rejetted to 42 pilot and 115 main (up from 36/88 jets as found); cleaned & re-oiled air filter; changed motor oil; since virtually every chassis bolt got removed during disassembly, I used loctite on every chassis bolt as it went back together; eliminated the misc "emissions" plumbing on the motor; lubed all cables and controls pivot points;

The fake radiator cooling shrouds were pretty humble, and just plain too wide, causing my knees to splay, so I've left 'em off. Much cleaner looking and I don't really believe they did anything at all in the cooling department. We'll see.

All in, including original purchase price and the donor parts bikes purchased later, I've got about $400 in it. My labor, of course, is free...

So far, I've only got an hour or so run time on it, but it seems pretty solid. The motor doesn't make any odd noises, it starts right up and carburets cleanly, shifts cleanly up and down, the motor sounds nice from the exhaust, the brakes are fantastic from my vintage-drum-related point of view, and the chassis is solid enough. And I can even detect differences when playing around with the suspension damping adjustments.

So, it makes a great cheapie playbike so far. Long-term reliability is unknown of course, but since I've gone thru the thing so thoroughly already, my fingers are crossed...

YMMV, of course.

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Old 11-17-2014, 06:44 PM   #14
KirkN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugemoth View Post
Standard Chinese motorcycle engine identification.

Example LF163FML-2M

First letter or two indicate the manufacturer. These may be omitted. LF = Lifan, ZS - Zongshen, etc..

First digit indicates the number of cylinders. 1 in the example above.

Next 2 digits indicate the bore in millimeters. 63 in the example above.

Next letter indicates cooling method. F=air cooled, M=water cooled.

Next letter indicates use. M=motorcycle

Next letter indicates displacement. J=150cc, K=175cc, L=200cc, M=250cc,

Any letters after the dash indicate model version. In the example above the 2M is the engine equipped with a balance shaft.

The 142cc engine in my little bike is 1P55FMJ-2E10 so it's a single cylinder, horizontal (P), 55mm bore, air cooled, motorcycle engine, 150cc class, model 2E10.

The 200cc engine is the Roketa is 167FML so it's a single cylinder, 67mm bore, air cooled, motorcycle engine, 200cc class.


Very interesting, but my bike is all over the map here:

Frame: L98FOK1A97xxxxxxx, where the x's appear to be a sequential serial number beginning with 1000000

Engine (according to both the riveted frame tag and the engine stamp near the shifter shaft): 167FMM87800638

The only bits that seem to match are the L for Lifan, the F for air-cooled. The 98 doesn't match much, cause it ain't got no 98mm bore... the O might mean off-road, since that's what it is (not street legal). The K seems to imply 175cc, but that engine serial number of 167FMM seems to imply a single-cylinder, 67mm bore, air-cooled, motorcycle engine, 250cc class.

I'd say the engine was swapped sometime in its life except for the matching numbers on the motor and the frame tag.

Interesting, all around.

Kirk
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:24 PM   #15
XDragRacer
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Originally Posted by matty86suk View Post
I prefer my bikes assembled by free men and women...not slave labour. I prefer my hard earned cash not ending up in Chinese state coffers. I prefer not to encourage corporate espionage by buying Chinese, because they don't develop anything original and bottom feed off of others ideas and profit because they have cheap labour, no environmental standards and don't care for patents or copyright infringement...rant off, I try to avoid buying Chinese as much as possible.
Your principled stand may be both patriotic and laudable, maty86suk; however . . . "globalization" appears to be an undeniable fact-of-life, today.

Is it not true, some BMW and Harley engines, and/or components, may be made in China? How many electronic components in your TV set/computer/automobile are made in China? Where was your riding gear (including your helmet) made?

And, what about those "green" hybrid and electric cars? Where, one wonders, are their batteries manufactured? (Hint: Count fish kill on the Yangtze.)

DISCLAIMER: Exaggeration and hyperbole may exist in the above text; used only to illustrate the inevitability of globalization in our lives. BTW, the Chinese this year bought Smithfield Foods, a leading [former] US producer of pork products, including holiday hams!
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