Another Chinese Scooter Blog - Italika GTS175

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Süsser Tod, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    Basically, I just want to share my "experience" with my latest chinese bike, which is actually a scooter, 175cc GY6 scooter.

    [​IMG]

    I got it with 500 miles on the clock, just 2 months "old". Already without a warranty, because the PO missed the first service, due at 250 miles, whatever. I really couldn't care less about the warranty, because I'd trust more a monkey with a wrench than the mechanics at the service centers for these bikes.

    I've had prior experience with chinese bikes, so I knew what to expect...

    And it didn't dissapoint.

    First thing that went wrong, the clutch bell. It's quite common for GY6 scooters to have the clutch pads glaze, that causes a bit of judder when starting from stop (centrifugal clutch). Well, on mine it got really bad, so I thought about sanding the clutch pads and inside of the bell, that's pretty easy and shouldn't take more than 1 hour to do. So I get to it, remove the CVT cover and I take a look at the clutch bell...

    Here, picture of a clutch bell:

    [​IMG]

    Something was really wrong. It's not true, it's actually out of round! You can even see it on the machining marks on it. I was speechless! They took a clutch bell that was not true, visible in plain sight, and then they balanced it! It doesn't vibrate, because it's balanced, and if I sand down the inside of the clutch bell and the clutch pads, it does engage smoothly for... 50 miles? That's good enough just to get it out of the factory!

    Amazing. I can get a new one for $25, just hope it's actually round.


    Yesterday another thing broke (it's getting too much miles on it, 1000 miles!). I was going down hill, braking and then I feel something weird on the front end, and it was definitely on the front brake, I could feel something intermitently hitting the whole front end and the brake lever pulsating.

    Long story short: The front brake rotor/disk broke! OMFG! Seriously, had never seen something like that happen. I still have to take a picture of that, will do later today. The OEM rotor is a "waved" one that doesn't look like it had too much R&D into it, they just cut it to look cool. Will replace it with a regular, round one, for $15.

    Seriously, these chinese crappy bikes are not for the faint of heart. You must be a DIY'er or they will nickel and dime you to dead... Well, and you won't be doing much riding as it will spend most of it's time on the mechanic's shop.


    Why did I end up with a cheap crappy Chinese scoot? My commute is now 3 miles each way, and I live in a very congested area. Not enough for any of the big bikes to "warm up", charge the batteries and the clutch on the big bikes would take a beating because of too much stop-go and slipping. The Chinese scoot is an experiment, if it works, I'll get rid of it and get a better scooter, and I already think the experiment was a success.

    Yeah, I already tried this commute on the XT and CBR, I ended up stalling the CBR like 3 times and never shifted past 1st gear, on the XT it was 2nd gear tops, but she does have respectable low end torque.
    #1
  2. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

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    Three miles? Sounds like walking would be less work than maintaining this thing....
    #2
  3. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    Commute involves crossing two interstates, you can do it walking, if you're feeling suicidal.
    #3
  4. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

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    Ooog. Well that rules out "on foot" and "by bicycle" for sure.
    #4
  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    My Kymco Super 8 150 also has a GY6 engine. So far after nearly 7000 miles I haven't had to replace any parts unless you count oil, a spark plug and air filter. The GY6 engine can be reliable, it all depends on who made it. Oh, and since It's less than 2 years old it's still under warrantee:D It cost me more than a Chinese scooter would have but I depend on it to get me to and from work every day. Maintenance cost has been next to nothing since I service it myself although I will be replacing the belt before too long.
    #5
  6. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

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    I think if you put wheels on that box sitting on the floorboard you'd be better off. :rofl

    No but seriously, good luck. And it sounds like you know what you are doing, so hopefully it turns out well enough and becomes a halfway decent commuter
    #6
  7. deezildennis

    deezildennis Its a what?

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    Over 4k on My Crappy China scoot but I did have a issue with the spark plug that was over tightened by the factory. I have a outstanding warranty and dealer so everything was taken care of in One day.. Only Nickle and dime-ing it has done is the fuel going into the tank and my over zealous oil changes. You cannot just pick bottom of the barrel and hope for the best especially with a generic china scoot. If you do....Be prepared to wrench.


    I Hope the OP has Better luck with his Crappy China scoot.
    #7
  8. Dabears

    Dabears --------------------

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    Well at least you're lucky enough to have a back up bike to ride on the many days the Chinese thing is out of service. :rofl
    #8
  9. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Well, the hammer dropped for my crappy clone china scooter.

    With 2700 miles on it, with Mobil 1 oil changes, with proper break in...AND with delightful performance and riding characteristics (that's what pisses me OFF) I started getting a rod knocking.

    NO MISTAKE. It didn't let go; but I don't want to make it break. It supposedly is under warranty for a year...I guess the China Scoot marketers don't think many of them will see 3000 miles in a year. This one did.

    We'll see how that plays.
    #9
  10. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    Kymco is Taiwanese, they are in a different league that is leaps and bounds better than generic Chinese scooters. Taiwanese and Korean scooters are close to Japanese scooters in terms of reliability, and only the cheaper ones might be a bit lacking in fit and finish. Really grinds my gears that people don't make a distinction between China and Taiwan, yes, both are China, but they are not the same. People in Taiwan won't buy Chinse scooters because they know how crappy they are, they do buy their own scooters and also Japanese scoots.
    #10
  11. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    Italika aint "bottom of the barrel", it's one of the biggest scooter brands in Mexico and one of the few that has some post-sale support. I actually went with one of the better Chinese scooter brands, but I'm not delusional and I won't try to fool myself, I know that even the best of them are crappy compared to Japanese, Taiwanese and European scooters.

    "Over 4K"? Is that a joke? Seriously, 4,000 miles is nothing. I really find it funny that Chinese bike supporters always come out to defend their bikes claiming they have been trouble free for ridiculous low milleages. I know they are not meant to go on epic rides or touring for months, but I did feel kinda stupid parking my 2012 scooter besides a 30 year old Honda 50cc scooter outside of the parts store. The guy riding the Honda was looking to buy shock absorbers for it...

    Come on, these things cost less than $500 F.O.B. somewhere in China. Yes, you can get a container full of 250cc scooters for $500 each. What do you expect to get for that kind of money?
    #11
  12. deezildennis

    deezildennis Its a what?

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    Yeah its a joke. Good luck your generic crappy Scoot.
    #12
  13. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    Back on topic. Today I replaced the front rotor, here are the old and new rotors side by side:

    [​IMG]

    The OEM rotor looks much cooler than the plain generic 150cc scooter rotor, I'll give them that. BUT, they just drilled holes on it to make it look cool. The rotors on these scooters are already too small, removing mass just makes them heat up faster and those holes and weaving do little to help cooling it. Well, that and the fact that they didn't account for the stress on the metal, which caused this:

    [​IMG]

    It had cracked all the way through:

    [​IMG]

    And it was cracking in other places too...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    There is "logic" to their madness, we usually confuse the concept of "quality" with a product being good, reliable and all sort of positive attributes, when in fact, that isn't what quality is. The costumer buying these things, the branding company that imports them to your country, wants them to be as cheap as possible. They do allow for a certain amount of failures to happen within warranty, they factor that into the cost. They also know that a lot of these scoots will be toys, and once their owners get past the "new toy" stage, they will be parked under a tree and forgotten forever.

    So, they expect them just to be reliable enough to get past the warranty period with a certain failure rate. The factories in China must supply thousands of these things that meet those requirements. That's where quality kicks in, meet the customer expectations...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_%28business%29

    Thing is, we are not their customers. Their customers are the branding companies. The factories in China couldn't care less about us, they do care about the branding companies, who are the ones giving them the money.

    Back on topic.

    I also replaced the clutch bell, but found that this particular 175cc GY6 uses a slightly larger clutch and bell than the generic 150cc GY6. Happily I had got a complete clutch and clutch bell for $30, so I replaced the entire thing. Now it's uber smooth!

    Here, the old clutch bell:

    [​IMG]

    Can barely be seen, but the machine marks are missing near where the reflection of the lamp is. Stupid blackberry... It seems that after welding the belt around the bell, they put it on a lathe, and as it is not round, there are parts with deep machining marks and others with no machining marks at all.

    What can be seen clearly is on the inside, the pads were not making complete contact with the clutch bell as it wasn't round:

    [​IMG]

    And notice how many holes they made into the thing to balance it out!

    [​IMG]

    Well, it's fixed up... For now. I know it will break again, I owned 4 Chinese bikes before, this is the fifth. I'm very familiar with them and I know better than to expect it to be dead nuts reliable. I know something else will break, it's not a matter of if but when. I'm also curious as to what will break next.
    #13
  14. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    Thanks for the good wishes, but I don't need luck, I'm perfectly aware of what I bought and what I got into.
    #14
  15. deezildennis

    deezildennis Its a what?

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    All of these issues are with a little over 500 miles on it?

    I Think you need more luck than you think. :)
    #15
  16. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

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    What are the first 3 characters of the VIN?


    What is the engine model number?
    #16
  17. Dabears

    Dabears --------------------

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    Just trying to understand- you say this is your 5th Chinese scooter and you purchased them knowing that they will break. Can I ask why you do this? It sounds like these scooters provide legitimate transporation for you, not just amusement as a toy.

    I appreciate that Mexico may not have the same brands or models that are available elsewhere, but rather than replace something over and over, wouldn't it make sense to just buy a reputable Taiwan or Japanese made scooter and be able to put many years of trouble free miles on it? Over time the value and peace of mind of owning a reliable brand that you can count on seems to more than offset the initial higher expense to purchase a good scooter?

    Or do you just enjoy working on scooters so that you don't mind the repairs?

    I hope you know I'm not asking to be critical- just trying to understand your motives for continuing to buy Chinese scooters after the experiences you have had.
    #17
  18. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    It's my fifth Chinese motorcycle, my thirth scooter and my second Chinese scooter. I had two Chinese bikes, one standard and one "cruiser" with the 162FMJ engine, one 250cc "cruiser" with the 253FMM engine and a 150cc scooter with the 157QMJ. The last one of them I got rid off was the scooter, and back then I swore never to own another Chinese bike...

    Why a scooter?

    I'm bike only, don't own a car, just 4 motorcycles and the scooter. I didn't want to use any of my bikes for my commute, as it is too short and at very low speeds, the clutch would take a beating and the engines wouldn't even fully warm up, not to mention that I'd wreck the batteries, small distances at low speeds are just the what scooters were made for. Also, at my old place I had a small supermarket within walking distance, I'd get most of my groceries there and I'd go to a big supermarket maybe once or twice a month for some other stuff, but my backpack was enough for those trips. Here I don't have a supermarket withing walking distance, so I have to ride to the closest one, and a scooter is just better for that, built in trunk, a topcase, flat floor, some stuff strapped to the seat, etc.

    Why a Chinese scooter?

    The area has a lot of hills, I live in the mountains in the outskirts of the city, and I didn't want to buy a more expensive scooter just to find out that I'd have to push it up on the very steep hills. This already happened with a Yamaha Grand Axis 100, a 2 stroke scooter with a 100cc Minareli engine, and it couldn't make it up a hill to get to my office. I was about to buy a brand new Yamaha Cignus 125, but I came to my senses and realized, maybe a scooter wouldn't work for my commute... The only 200+ scooters available here are Vespas, and I really don't fell like spending $7,500 on a scooter just to ride 3 miles to work and get groceries.

    So I got the Chinese scoot and that's also why I got a used one. If it doesn't work out as expected I can sell it for maybe $100 than what I got it for, heck, lose $200 to get rid of it quickly (it would sell in less than 72 hours). If it does work out, as it has, then it will serve me well for a while until I figure out exactly what scooter I want and I'll also have a chance to save money. Right now I'm thinking LX150, but here they sell for $5,400! I'm not ready to plunge that kind of money on a scooter...

    Maybe I'll save and buy a used one? I saw a nice used GTS 300 for $5,000.

    We don't get the same brands and models as you do...

    And some of the importers really have their heads deep in their asses. Honda Elite 125 for $2200... OK, I guess. Kymco Top Boy 125.... $2500. WTF?

    There is a lot of that too. I enjoy working on my bikes, and the scooter is really easy to work on. I replaced the clcutch and clutch bell in about the same time that it takes to change the oil on my XJR 1300. Don't trust me on that, I might be exagerating a bit, but you get the point. The other thing is, I know it is a cheap scooter, I know stupid things breaking is part of the ownership experience of these things. For the time being it's my commuter bike, but if it breaks, I know I can ride any of the other 4 until I fix it... Which doesn't take very long because of how simple it is.
    #18
  19. Süsser Tod

    Süsser Tod Long timer

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    3sc


    lc-161qmk
    #19
  20. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    With brake rotors cracking, and machining off on critical parts, hopefully YOU make it the next few thousand miles.

    That bike seems to have not just reliability issues, but serious safety issues.

    One can only imagine the longevity of their tires, wheels, suspension, etc, all critical safety parts, where failure could be lethal.

    The old "if 'ya got a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet" would seem to apply here. I'd personally spend a few more pesos and buy something that wasn't going to fall apart under me while I was riding it.
    #20