Sport tourers aren’t quite dead yet, not even pining for the fjords of Norway, but the segment is far weaker than it once was. With that in mind, it’s interesting to see Chinese manufacturer cranking out a sporty touring bike, with decent-looking equipment, yet surprisingly low on muscle.
Zongshen mostly builds smaller machines, with its Cyclone adventure bike (as sold by California Scooter Company) probably its best-known products in North America. However, they’re a cut above the wimpy old air-cooled 200-class duallies that China used to enter the world moto markets. This sport tourer, officially known as the Zongshen Cyclone RG3, is a good example of that up-specced machinery.
Instead of a hacked-up, air-cooled vintage Honda single-cylinder design, this is a liquid-cooled parallel twin, just like all the cool kids in Europe are designing. However, it’s only a 400, supposedly putting out 42 horsepower at 9,500 rpm. Max torque is supposed to be 25 pound-feet at 8,000 rpm.
That’s very decent for the Chinese market, but far from the hairy-chested power that North American customers want in a touring bike. Even Euros are used to mo’ powah, despite their not-too-long-ago love for bikes like the Honda Deuville, which emphasized long-distance practicality over muscle.
Still, it should be enough to almost do the ton, certainly capable of cruising at legal speeds on most of the world’s highways, with room left over for passing.
Even though it’s got a small engine, the Cyclone RG3 has useful kit like ABS and hard bags. even coming with ABS and a built-in video camera for recording your rides. Cool, but remember that this tech is cheap as chips in China, so not that big a deal for them to build it into the bike. No word on baggage capacity yet, that we’ve seen, or the bike’s weight.
Would it come to North America? Maybe, but unless CSC has customers banging down their door asking for one, unlikely. But if it did, we already know the perfect customer: A long-distance rider with a burning desire to enter the Iron Butt Rally’s Hopeless class.