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zongshen cyclone 450 rally bike

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by mikledog, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. Kona11

    Kona11 Been here awhile

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    This just posted in racing thread.

    #085 Thierry Bethys
    his Chinese motorbike burned ... he fall down, and fuel touch hot engine... and too late.

    He stayed close to the bike and helped other motorbiker to find way... short interview on France 4
    #41
  2. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

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    Damn. Hope he's OK.

    There were a LOT of lost folks on this stage. Price had lost some time too due to navigation error, and then crashed out of the lead.

    just found this:
    [​IMG]

    Thierry Béthys from Dakar 2017 | David Fernández / (EPA) EFE / Newscom / MaxPPP

    By Xavier Richard


    He had decided not to put the boots back on the Dakar. He left earlier than expected. Thierry Béthys lived a nightmarish rally with the Chinese brand Zongshen. And he was the last survivor of a team of five official drivers including singer Jen Richie and Frenchman Willy Jobard. The others had all abandoned after two stages. The Challandais held four days.
    It is a phone call from Willy Jobard who has plunged Thierry Béthys, triple winner of Le Touquet (2000, 2001, 2003). Two months before the departure of the Dakar in Asuncion, his friend offers him a strange adventure with a great Chinese manufacturer but unknown in the mechanical sport: Zongshen. "The bike was built around an engine, told Ouest-France to the driver who was taking part in his sixth Dakar . Since there is no retreat, there is no obligation of result. This year, the goal is to discover the team and get to the end ... »

    5 DROPS IN FOUR DAYS
    A challenge dared because Bethys has no opportunity to become familiar with the bike before arriving in Paraguay. "Certainly, I'm going to run out, but I'm leaving and it's pure happiness. If I do in the 40s, I would be happy, "he said before encountering repeated problems. His teammates were paid first. The team was called Cyclone but it vanished in a flash and its motorcycles with. Bethys resisted somehow before seeing his ZX 450 go in smoke between San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina and Tupiza in Bolivia. Not sure that the Vendéen return in these conditions on the Dakar.
    #42
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  3. ki_ote

    ki_ote Cindi Jo Admirer

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    Not a big fan of French seasoning.
    Chinese food good-motorcycle bad.
    #43
  4. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    Hope all the Dakar racers (riders) are fine and well ~ speedy recovery, our personal favourite (TP87) broke his leg yesterday.

    There go all the high hopes for a cheap as chips MIC = Made In China high performance, super lightweight, reliable factory rally replica bike. Good luck to them next time performing on an international level with a full on real 100% developed and build by Zongshen race bike, we might see Zongshen racing again during the Silk Way Rally 2017 - Dakar 2018 but time will tell ~ Zongshen 450RR Cyclone 2017 Dakar Rally dream up in smoke so to speak..'nuff said....
    #44
  5. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    So basically it is a complete flop
    #45
  6. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

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    first four riders abandoned, says nothing about machine failure
    Bethys seems to be fine after his bike caught fire after a crash. Fuel ignited on the fallen bike. Found a few pics
    Bethys right after crash/fire
    http://www.epa.eu/sports-photos/motor-rallying-photos/rally-dakar-2017-fourth-stage-photos-53206324

    His Zongshen still burning
    http://www.epa.eu/sports-photos/motor-rallying-photos/rally-dakar-2017-fourth-stage-photos-53206319

    the picture above of Bethys at the starting area seems to show that they adapted a Rally multi-pc gas tank and changed the fairing. The "stock" Zongshen was fitted with an internal gas cell that ran the length of the bike under the seat and as part of the subframe. Bethys even said in early testing how light and narrow the bike felt as a result.
    Wonder if the leak and resultant fire was due to the hastily adapted gas tank from some other machine? Also....wonder why they changed from the original design? Perhaps the originals were failing/leaking during late testing?
    Am hoping the factory shows some transparency concerning these details.
    #46
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  7. tHEtREV

    tHEtREV Encouragement award recipient. tEAM iDIOT.

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    Then can you explain why all the bikes except #127 all have aluminum frames instead of the Zongshen rallys Steel?

    Three of them are wearing full Jvo fairing kits built for the WR450f, it would be a huge job to modify the entire kit to fit the 450 Cyclone Rally frame, The other is an early Jvo or Jolly Rodger fairing, and then #127 has the Zongshen fairing.

    Only one of those bikes is a Zongshen.
    #47
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  8. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

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    You know, I looked closer and you're right. I really didn't want to believe it and just figured they swapped in more conventional fuel cells onto their chassis.
    I can see not only the aluminum frame area near the swingarm you refer to, but the front hub flange gives it away as well upon closer look.
    Does this really mean that only 1 of the 5 were even able to start??
    Hopefully they are open withthe info on what failed, are truly commited to improving their product and get something out of the $$ invested.
    #48
  9. tHEtREV

    tHEtREV Encouragement award recipient. tEAM iDIOT.

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    They may have used there engine in the Yamaha frames as a way to test the engines. I did see a vid from the Eco Race in 2014 where the Zongshen featured had a 660 Rallye fairing, Meca system tanks and a KTM EXC frame, but there own engine.

    But they have still done more than any other Chinese manufacturer by bringing at least one full bike.
    #49
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  10. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    With my self admitted "limited knowledge" of China and the PRC (People's Republic of Changes) motorcycle industry really looking forward to all them full ZS failure details made available to the general public. Would be very surprised they spill the real news on the mishaps concerning the actual five bikes incl. the design and problems during the short Dakar 2017 participation. Well - as mention earlier, Zongshen Dakar '17 dreams went up in smoke and wish them best of luck for future international competitions.
    #50
  11. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    Got to give them props, at least they are out there "Walking the Walk" so to speak.
    #51
  12. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    Wishing them success after they gone through the steep and long learning curve ($$$$'s) ahead.
    MIC = Made In China bike manufacturers might get it right in the long run and they need to find a solid customer base willing to pay high prices for a premium reliable MIC product.
    As long customer looking for the "cheap as fried dumplings at a street vendor" bikes out of China, the quality will not improve in my personal opinion but what do I know...

    Well ~ over and out on the ZS Dakar 2017 Rally Replica 450 Cyclone from my side of the world (Shanghai), lets talk after the next international competition Zongshen might show up at and participate with ZS bikes.
    #52
  13. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    There is no surprise that the bikes failed, what is disappointing they failed so quickly. Or maybe some riders gave up quickly due to heat and finding themselves on non-competitive bike? Was it a case of bike simply not ready and they decided to start regardless? Or were they delusional thinking they had the sh!t?
    #53
  14. zedro

    zedro Dirt Nerfer

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    Make up your mind which imaginary outcome you want already lol.
    #54
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  15. inroads

    inroads Go West old man

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    ^^^ still not have heard of mechanical gremlins outside of the fuel tank.

    As far as the real world goes the Cyclone 250 is showing itself to be very robust and durable.

    And they do have a loyal fan base with only minor nit picks reported.

    The 250 Cyclone is a very good motorcycle for $4k not great but very good.I mean do you expect a great motorcycle for $4k ?

    And as far as marketing goes it looks like everyone else is playing catch up in the mini adventure category.
    #55
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  16. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Given no information I assume this is all the bike and would stay away from it until all gremlins worked out; simple as that. This is the safest approach.
    #56
  17. buckthedog

    buckthedog Eastbound and down

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    Well, I made a pretty big ass out of myself over on ChinaRiders about calling the riders quitters, etc. My wife and some others were quick to point out that I didn't have all the facts. Hmmm, maybe those are important. I'd only heard the weather was hot, and the course was tough. Well, no shit, it's supposed to be both.

    Now, it seems like these riders, while not the best, may not have been given the tools needed to succeed. For that, I look to Mr. Zongshen for accountability. I understand there is a prototype, testing phase, etc, and this was a new effort. But they made it seem like the bike was complete, ready, and this was it...they were going for it. If they just wanted to see if they could compete, they should have done it more humbly, and not have people expect the riders or the bikes to be viable contenders. Now they look like failures. It's all about perception.
    #57
  18. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Well they are almost here G310GS is under 5k in Mexico, Versys-X 300 is 5.4k for non-ABS us pricing. More but how much less do you wanna pay for unreliable bike? And both bimmer and Kwak have 40℅ more power enough to push bike uphill on interstates.

    I am not trying to highjack this thread but this is something what CSC should be asking ZS. You cannot complete on price alone if your product inferior. This is a long term use product and the price difference isn't that big, especially considering repair potential costs.
    #58
  19. inroads

    inroads Go West old man

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    ^^^ Zongshen makes a reliable product( not sure where you're getting your info)

    As far As more power to push up those interstate hills well...I think your missing the point of mini adventure.

    It's all about secondary roads.
    #59
  20. inroads

    inroads Go West old man

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    As far as reliability goes I would trust the RX3 more than the BMW 310.

    Sounds like the mentality of you're Grandpa's Chinese bike.

    The RX3 ain't your Grandpa's Chinese bike.
    #60
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