So how are the chinese knock-off scoots?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Ken11, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Ken11

    Ken11 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    CA
    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-Touring-250cc-Deluxe-Liquid-Cooling-p-435.html
    #1
  2. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

    Joined:
    May 1, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,670
    Location:
    NW of Philly, Hoboken, Brooklyn, Jamaica NY.
    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.

    [​IMG]
    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.
    #2
  3. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Location:
    here, there, everywhere
    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
    #3
  4. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    593
    Location:
    Nevada
    Related topics.
    #4
  5. Ken11

    Ken11 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    CA
    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!
    #5
  6. Roose Hurro

    Roose Hurro Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    86
    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

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    #6
  7. btcn

    btcn Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,880
    Location:
    Morgan Hill CA
    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!
    #7
  8. sinned

    sinned Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    Kiwi in the middle kingdOOm aka China
    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!)
    #8
  9. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Location:
    here, there, everywhere
    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
    #9
  10. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

    Joined:
    May 1, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,670
    Location:
    NW of Philly, Hoboken, Brooklyn, Jamaica NY.
    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.
    #10
  11. Sportsman Matt

    Sportsman Matt Xtremely Bad Example

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Central New England
    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.
    #11
  12. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    593
    Location:
    Nevada
    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.
    #12
  13. techguy

    techguy Scooter Trash

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    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
    #13
  14. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    593
    Location:
    Nevada
    Is the part shown on this diagram.
    #14
  15. techguy

    techguy Scooter Trash

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    845
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    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?
    #15
  16. Warney

    Warney Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    568
    Location:
    Omaha, Ne
  17. btcn

    btcn Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,880
    Location:
    Morgan Hill CA

    This is a very good post. They just do that to make it look all cheap, while some of it are oblivious and unlegitimate, and the others should be expected.


    Now I am not going to bash all chinese scoots, I know that there are some real good chinese companies out there such as Lifan and CF Moto, but I am speaking of the crappy little no names.

    First of all, you can say you need no brakes, but when you are approaching an intersection at 50 MPH or more and a car makes a right turn on read without stopping and looking right in front of you and there is a car right next to you, the car in front of you suddenly slams on it's brakes, something happens, you WILL NEED brakes! I know this for a fact.

    Yes, there are actually many situations where looking for a way out is way safer, or dodging is safer, but I will tell you you really need strong brakes! If you use them or not, you should without a doubt have them there for your own safety, especially on a CVT bike where you can't even down shift and pop the clutch out! I will tell you, my brakes being well taken care of and serviced have saved my life or saved me from getting in a serious accident many times! I think that these brakes are really stupid, I can not believe that they would cut this big of a corner. They should be sued when someone dies because of this!

    And as for the BMW brake thing, I don't have any BMW bikes, but I do know how well designed they are. Sometimes there are problems like this, and I am sure When BMW finds out about this they will fix it and probably offer a free replacement, or do something like that. I actually personally don't really like having ABS on my bikes. It does have many benefits, but sometimes its better to have a little more power and slide! But thats just my opinion.

    But overall, most of these cheap no names are horrible overall bikes! I have only have one chinese 50 cc scooter. It sucked big time! It would do like 28 MPH, and it only lasted 300 miles before it randomly seized up! The cylinder was made of crap material. It had horrible cooling. It had no oil injection, and I had the exact right mix of oil, actually a tiny bit more oil because I new these china 2 strokes had the potential to seize! It was good high quality oil too! Everything went wrong with it. The carb was never right from day 1, the electrical system couldn't have been worse, and the frame gave out one day! It sucked. I also had a 2 stroke chinese $60 weed trimmer that seized after like 2 weeks.


    My friends also have had some real bad experiences with chinese bikes and scoots. I have seen some really good Honda quality chinese bikes, but I am speaking of crappy bikes.

    But personally, I have bad experiences with low quality products. Some guys just get some luck and their bikes just work, but not me! If the bike is crap, it is going to be crap for me!

    But you know what the chances are. Like. techguy's first post said. It may last a week, maybe two, but eventually you will end up with something sitting in your garage. You'll say its just a little thing, I can fix it! It will probably be a money pit!

    Just go for a good known chinese company, or a Kymco or SYM.

    BTW, anyone who has a chinese scoot that is still going great, or has had very little trouble with, good for you! Just ignore my little rant, this is just my opinion and experience, your may be different, and if it's good, good for you! I wish I could have one run good!
    #17
  18. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

    Joined:
    May 1, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,670
    Location:
    NW of Philly, Hoboken, Brooklyn, Jamaica NY.
    Sounds to me like you didn't know the limitations of your machines and expected them to operate them beyond their limits.
    #18
  19. Sportsman Matt

    Sportsman Matt Xtremely Bad Example

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Central New England
    +1 on that.

    I'm not one to say the Chinese stuff is better than anyone elses, but for the price, you get what you pay for.

    After rebuilding my latest scooter, I've seen the shortcuts, and don't think that an extra $1500-$2500 is going to make those shortcuts disappear. I was looking at a 2010 Honda Metropolitan just uncrated on the sales floor. The salesman said it needed work. Huh? 0 Miles and needed work? Then I looked underneath, the factory missed a weld on the frame and it still went. This was a Honda, not a chinese knock off. Reminds me of the day I saw a Caddliac being built during a tour of the local GM plant. Looked good, engine valve covers said Caddilac on one side, and Chevrolet on the other side. Even better was the two tone doors, white car, burgundy door.

    Can happen anywhere, depends on if the QC guy actually gives a ----.
    #19
  20. btcn

    btcn Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,880
    Location:
    Morgan Hill CA

    I know the limitations on my machines. I rode it easy, usually 1/4- 1/3 throttle to get going in general, and 1/2-3/4 throttle at cruise speed. This was kind of a fun camp ground throw in the back of the truck kind of scoot for me. I rarely even rode it. And I know how when 2 stroke gas+oil mix sit for a long time the oil sinks to the bottom. I always took that into account, and never kept a tank of fuel in it when I was going to let it sit. I drained the tank and used the old stuff in my weed eater every week and mixed fresh gas and oil in a small can when I was going to ride it.

    I took good care of it. I only rode it maybe once a month or so. But the cooling system wasn't real great, and it was a very poor quality engine. Then I was just riding around one day and the engine just hard seized. After already putting more money into the scoot than I had payed for it, I gave up. I had already finished re welding the frame after it cracked when I when over a bump. It looked like there were a couple of crappy welds, I re-welded all of them while I was at it.

    I don't expect anything but reliable transportation from my bikes, or at least reliable screwing around in the back yard and camp ground from this scoot!

    Now I am not saying all china scoots suck. But I am saying many of the cheapo brands do! In fact, that scoot I had was a complete no-name! I don't even remember the name of the company that sold it! It was some scooter warehouse and it was titled just "49 cc scooter".

    So maybe some are good, and some aren't. I think that there are some wonderful scoots coming out of china, don't get me wrong, but my point is you get what you pay for, if you buy a cheap cheap chinese scoot, then you will get cheap quality. If you get a brand name middle priced chinese scooter, you will get a nice scoot that will serve as reliable transportation. I mean just because it is made in china really means nothing to me. It is WHO makes it in china. Honda, Kymco, and many other companies are building their bikes in china. They are just as good as always. But they have much better quality control than some cheap scooter warehouse.


    Oh, and Sportsman Matt, I am not saying Honda never screws up. Sometimes they just let something go without looking at it closely or just mess something up. It happens. Just very rarely. And if someone had bought that without the dealer knowing, they could reliably take it back and exchange it for another one. If you buy from a good dealer, you can do the same with the chinese bikes.
    #20