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Old 12-12-2010, 09:45 AM   #1
Ken11 OP
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So how are the chinese knock-off scoots?

I am not a scooter or motorcycle expert, and I was wandering the quality of the new chinese scooters. A friend of mine was considering a new 250 cc chinese scooter. I told him that there are a lot of shitty chinese scoots, and I was wandering the general quality of them.

I was viewing Sportsman Matt's thread on the look alike Ruckus, and I have seen some very cheap scooters on that site. I mean for $1600 shipped to your door for a 250, they can't be that great of scoots, can they? He does not want anything for serious transportation, just a little scoot for zipping around town on. He, like me also rides a Harley, but just was looking for perhaps a smaller bike for around town, a 10 mile commute, and shorter distance while keeping the Harley for trips and such. He does not have much of a budget.

So I was wandering the general quality on these. Are they crappy bikes, or are they OK? I certainly don't expect anything near Japanese quality, but would they get the job done for this? Or should he look into saving for something better? And what have your general experiences been with them?

Here is the kind I am talking about:

http://www.scooterdepot.us/Moped-Tou...ing-p-435.html
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:07 AM   #2
Cat0020
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I have a 2008 Chinese cloned (Honda Helix engine) MC54-250 scoot that currently have littleover 11,000 mi. I bought it back in March 2008 and put over 6000 mi. on it the first year.
Other than oil change, valve check/adjsut, burned fuses, flat tire and tires change, I havn't really done anything else to the scooter. Even the OEM CVT belt is still in decent shape.


I weight about 150 lb., I operate my Chinese scoot mostly between 4500-5500 rpm (speed below 50 mph), very rarely do I ride it wide open.

I have ridden two-up on my scooter for approx. 90 mi., carrying my wife on local roads.
The longest single day ride I've put on my scooter is little over 240 mi. mostly under 50 mph on two-lane roads.
The lifetime fuel econ of my scooter is above 70 mpg. Cost $35 to insure for liability.

This year I have not ridden my Chinese scooter as much, put only 1200 mi. on it in 2010, I spent more time on other vehicles.


If you realize the limitations of these Chinese scooters and know to avoid operating them beyong their limits, these vehicles can be reliable and cheap to operate.
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:20 AM   #3
DudeClone
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i would consider a china scoot of 250cc as the value is good for the money, but not below 250cc. too many good used scoots, and even nearly new, from taiwan for at around or under 2k in the under 250cc market

that said, i do believe some 250cc scoots from china might be a little better then others. i wouldn't order from scooterdepot, though. they are a crappy seller, and sometimes where you buy from is as important as what you buy

superior powersports is most likely a better bet in a drop shipper, and all the scoots arrive fully assembled. 250cc selection

http://www.superiorpowersports.com/category_s/55.htm

and as you can see they have the exact same scoot there for hundreds less. i might suggest a different model, too

also give Valley Scooters a look

http://www.scootersus.com/index.html

and scooter dynasty

http://www.scooterdynasty.com/250ccmopedscooters.aspx

you can call Valley and Dynasty and ask for a price match, too. superior already beats any of them, however. but Dynasty and Valley offer better after sale support some consider worth paying a bit more for. and as said, they will bargain over the phone. just say "well can you sell it for this much"

you can get a deal
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken11 View Post
A friend of mine was considering a new 250 cc chinese scooter.
Related topics.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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Cat0020, thats a nice scoot! I actually know a guy with one just like it! Sounds like they aren't that bad at all! That looks kind of like my Reflex!

DudeClone, thanks for the info on the dealers. I will show my friend these, he is seriously considering one.

tortoise2, nice link!

I will research a bit more and show him these. Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat0020 View Post
I have a 2008 Chinese cloned (Honda Helix engine) MC54-250 scoot that currently have littleover 11,000 mi. I bought it back in March 2008 and put over 6000 mi. on it the first year.
Other than oil change, valve check/adjsut, burned fuses, flat tire and tires change, I havn't really done anything else to the scooter. Even the OEM CVT belt is still in decent shape.


I weight about 150 lb., I operate my Chinese scoot mostly between 4500-5500 rpm (speed below 50 mph), very rarely do I ride it wide open.

I have ridden two-up on my scooter for approx. 90 mi., carrying my wife on local roads.
The longest single day ride I've put on my scooter is little over 240 mi. mostly under 50 mph on two-lane roads.
The lifetime fuel econ of my scooter is above 70 mpg. Cost $35 to insure for liability.

This year I have not ridden my Chinese scooter as much, put only 1200 mi. on it in 2010, I spent more time on other vehicles.


If you realize the limitations of these Chinese scooters and know to avoid operating them beyong their limits, these vehicles can be reliable and cheap to operate.
I note your scoot has the fake ABS... I hope you had that dangerous "feature" removed!

http://2strokebuzz.com/2008/06/09/abs-scooter-brakes

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Old 12-12-2010, 10:17 PM   #7
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Oh, that sounds like a big problem! Damn, that has got to be one of the stupidest things I have seen in a while! Why the hell would they do that? We all know how important braking is on bikes! It sounds like they really cut a corner.

Cat0020, I really suggest that you remove that feature! Fake ABS, that is ridiculous. It seems like those brakes won't work when you hit em hard.

I knew that there had to be a reason that these things were so damn cheap! They can't be that cheap and be a Honda quality product! I am sure that they are decent bikes, but I would recommend a Higher end chinese bikes or a Taiwanese bike. But any other known problems on these 250 cc scoots? I am interested in hearing about these!
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:52 PM   #8
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I'm a kiwi based in China and have had quite a few bikes including some scooters... check out this thread
Don't go too cheap with Chinese scoots, as you will get exactly what you pay for. As someone else posted, the dealer that you buy your scoot through is just as important as the manufacturer since it is the dealer you will go back to for any issues that might need sorting... and they inturn need to have a good working relationship with the manufacturer, and not many dealers do. If you can try and source a ride from CFmoto as they have a direct link with the Chinese side there in the USA. I've been to their manufacturing plant here in Hangzhou (pronounced as hung-joe) China and was fairly impressed. They are making some good rides, including ATV's, UTV's, scooters and motorcycles, and will be manufacturing a 650 twin cylinder road sport similar to a naked Kwaka in lots of ways and a 800cc cruiser. Both available here in China early in 2011. I saw the 650 and was impressed. The best thing is I saw the 4 assembly lines at CFMoto Hangzhou, and can tell you they are using good equipment and the welding is way better than Geely who manufacture both cars and motorcycles in different locations (Warren Buffet has a stake in Geely - poor bugger!)

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Old 12-13-2010, 02:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btcn View Post
Oh, that sounds like a big problem! Damn, that has got to be one of the stupidest things I have seen in a while! Why the hell would they do that? We all know how important braking is on bikes! It sounds like they really cut a corner.

Cat0020, I really suggest that you remove that feature! Fake ABS, that is ridiculous. It seems like those brakes won't work when you hit em hard.

I knew that there had to be a reason that these things were so damn cheap! They can't be that cheap and be a Honda quality product! I am sure that they are decent bikes, but I would recommend a Higher end chinese bikes or a Taiwanese bike. But any other known problems on these 250 cc scoots? I am interested in hearing about these!
yeah that ABS is an absolute joke. i can't figure why they even bother marketing it. an inexperienced buyer doesn't expect it on a bike, and those already familiar with motorcycles / scooters will smell something rotten a mile away

fake ABS, auto start systems, battery draining alarms, cell phone indicators.....just more stuff that can go wrong

i would also recommend looking for something used in a 250cc from Taiwan, but they can be few and far between, and some have had good luck with the 250cc china scoots. the thing that strikes a chord with me is, if it costs $1800 delivered (or less), a person puts a couple hundred $'s into it replacing cheap rubber parts, hoses, bulbs, etc....and it runs for say...15,000+ fairly trouble free miles and is still going strong...that could be quite a deal

some are better then others, however. i read on scootdawg the "VOG" (very common and popular 250cc china scoot) can be a real, well, DOG lol. and the same scoot pictured above (the "Ranger") has been real hit or miss. yet others have put 20,000m or more of trouble free touring on these scooters.

myself, already owning a 125 and wanting a little more power, for $1500 - $2000 or so, getting one of these 250cc china scoots would be a pretty good crap shoot for me. i was on a group ride over the weekend and two china scoots were there. one was a Shenke 150cc, two years old, and the thing was crumbling and looked bad. another was a 3 year old Honda Reflex clone, around 16,000m on the odo, the owner had it all spruced up for the ride, and in the dark at least....it was looking shiny and sharp

BUT, i can also get a low mileage SYM HD200 that will run with 250's all day long for just over or around 2K. so....thats something to consider. and this thing has been for sale forever in my neck of the woods. i could probably get it for $1000 - $1200 if i wanted it

http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/mcy/2066522846.html

IF i were buying today i would get that or something like it, put a few hundred bucks into it, give or take, and run it forever before i looked at a "new" 250 China scoot

but, thats just me

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Old 12-13-2010, 03:34 AM   #10
Cat0020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btcn View Post

Cat0020, I really suggest that you remove that feature! Fake ABS, that is ridiculous. It seems like those brakes won't work when you hit em hard.
!
I rarely use brakes on any of my vehicle, seems to me they only slow you down. For all the efforts that people look for performance mods, or bigger engines, they should just use less brakes.
My first reaction to situation is never to use brakes (though it might be secondary) but to look for ways around or out. It's the long time cyclist in me, always looking to preserve forward moving momentum.
I have never had any problem with the fake ABS. Like I said before, one need to know these Chinese scooters limitations and operate within those limits, and they might serve you long and well.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:13 AM   #11
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Being the second owner of a chinese scooter, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one for puttering around. Yes the fit and finish isn't the same as a bike that costs two to three times more, but if you are concerned with fit and finish, then you aren't going to be looking at anything other than the big names in the industry. If you want something that you can beat on and not concerned about looks, then the chinese scooters are a good deal.

I looked at Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Vespa, Genuine. I'm not impressed with their scooters based on the deciding factor, price. $2500 for a Honda Ruckus, but a knock off chinese model is only $859-$867. For $1700 I could buy 2 more for parts or replacement. Plus all the chinese scooters use the GY6 engine platform, which tends to be standardized parts wise.

So here's the thing. how deep is the wallet and how much is the need? That's really what dictates what you buy.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Cat0020 View Post
I have never had any problem with the fake ABS. Like I said before, one need to know these Chinese scooters limitations and operate within those limits
I agree . . it is what it is. There are definitely pros and cons to the simplistic brake fluid flow restrictor design, but more complex ABS systems have also had issues . . BMW motorcycle brake failures.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:43 AM   #13
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I am not going to comment on the quality of the no brand mainland china-scoots. I am going to highly recommend any new or used Kymco Scooter for reliable and cost effective transportation. I know many riders have have good results with this Chinese scooters... but many others have not. Many others have ended up with a money pit in their side yard... and no transportation.

What I CAN say without reservation is that EVERY person I read about that has bought either a new or used KYMCO scooter has purchased a reliable machine for what ends up be known amount of money. YES, it is more that the cheap scooter. In my experience it can be 0% to 15% more to purchase a lightly used Kymco. Assuming it it is in good condition, you should not need to get any more than service parts for several years. If you do need parts, you know there are dealers where you will be able to get replacement parts. No-brand scooters do not have this level of support.

Sample Question for the collected masses: I need the abs valve to fix my brakes. The ABS valve broke in a fall over, I have no front or rear brakes as the valve combines the front and rear brakes. Where can fine this part? It is for a MC54-250
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:28 AM   #14
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The ABS valve broke in a fall over, I have no front or rear brakes as the valve combines the front and rear brakes. Where can fine this part? It is for a MC54-250
Is the part shown on this diagram.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:02 PM   #15
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I went to the website for the OP's question and they advertise these are benefits for using them...

FREE Freight Protection Insurance ($49 Value) -- A real value.
FREE 24 Hours Delivery Notice ($15 Value)-- The trucker calls you to arrange delivery is a $15 value?
FREE Residential Delivery ($45 Value)-- The trucker delivers to where you ordered it? big surprise.
FREE Lift Gate Service ($45 Value) -- The truck uses a lift gate? like every other lift gate truck for non-freight dock delivery?
FREE Owner's Manual and Tool Kit ($29 Value) You mean the book that comes with every thing you buy...is free? Every scooter comes with tools.
FREE MSO/MCO and Bill of Sale Paper Work ($35 Value) The legally required paperwork?
FREE One Year Engine and Frame Warranty ($99 Value) OK... a legitimate value
FREE Lifetime Technical Support Will they be there to answer the phone. What will they do for you when they answer the phone? Will it solve YOUR problem? What will they do you if talking on the phone is not going to solve you problem? You need apart or it is beyond talking... fried wires.. defective battery ... poor quality part?
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