5 Chinese Motorcycles We'd Buy (And 5 We Wouldn't) (2024)

It’s often a market that is marred with underwhelming ripoffs of the more popular global bikes. But it is no secret that the Chinese motorcycle industry has made significant strides in recent years, offering a wide range of models that cater to different riding preferences and budgets. However, with the sheer number of options available, it can be challenging to separate the gems from the duds. And mind you, there are more duds than gems. In this article, we list down five Chinese motorcycles that we would confidently back and five that we would steer clear of. From reliable off-road machines to stylish urban cruisers, let's explore the best and worst offerings from Chinese manufacturers.

Related: The Harley-Davidson Fat Bob Has A Chinese Clone You'd Likely Want

10 We’d Buy: CSC TT250

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The CSC TT250 is a dual-sport motorcycle that impresses with its versatility and reliability. Powered by a 230cc air-cooled engine, it delivers just the power suitable for both on and off-road adventures. Unlike other cheap Chinese models, the TT250 is built on a sturdy frame and comes with adjustable suspension and knobby tires, that help it excel in tackling various terrains, from dirt trails to city streets. You can get one for barely under $2,500, which means it is an excellent choice for riders on a budget who still crave a capable and fun ride. While it is in no way comparable to the more sophisticated dual sports by KTM, Husky and Has Gas, the motorcycle does strike a fine balance between performance, durability and value.

9 We Wouldn’t: Jonway Weifeng YY250-2

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Jonway is notorious for its head-to-toe ripoffs of famed motorcycles. The Weifeng YY250-2 is the company’s Fat Bob iteration that fails to impress with its lackluster performance and questionable build quality. Even the fuel-tank-placed analogue meter is a like-for-like copy. Tch, tch.

It is equipped with a 249cc engine compared to the famed Milwaukee-Eight 114 on HDs cruiser. And would be an understatement to say that the motorcycle feels inadequately powered, resulting in sluggish acceleration. But at least it must have some kind of torque to add substance to its cruiser charisma, right? Sadly, it makes barely 13 pound-feet of peak torque. Yeah, that is perhaps the most disheartening performance figure we have seen on a bike in a while. Additionally, its components and overall construction are prone to premature wear and tear, leading to reliability issues in the long run. The ill-named Weifeng YY250-2 is a no-no for us.

Related: 10 Of The Worst Chinese Copycat Motorcycles

8 We’d Buy: Benelli Leoncino Trail

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QJ Motors is one of the better-known Chinese manufacturers out there. Especially since they took over the reins from Italy-based Benelli, they have produced rather impressive offerings in our humble opinion.

The Leoncino Trail combines the nice aesthetic scrambler style, versatility, and performance into one attractive package. Its classic design features a retro-styled fuel tank and high-mounted exhaust, making heads turn wherever it goes. A 500cc parallel-twin mill delivers a healthy 47 horsepower and 33.2 pound-feet of torque. The motorcycle features advanced suspension, comfortable ergonomics, a host of modern features, and on top an impressive build quality, all of which make the Leoncino Trail a really attractive package.

7 We Wouldn’t: Kymco K-Pipe 125

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Kymco is a rather renowned Chinese scooter manufacturer, and if the K-Pipe 125 is anything to go by, the company should stick to scooters at best. One look at the motorcycle, and you will be plagued with doubts about substandard build quality.

Despite its lightweight and compact design (which is bland at best anyway), this motorcycle disappoints in terms of performance. With a meager 125cc engine, it lacks the necessary power. To add to that, its handling can feel unstable at higher speeds, compromising rider safety. The K-Pipe 125 also suffers from limited features, so we are not really sure why you should consider this bike in the first place. Undoubtedly, there are better options available in the Chinese motorcycle market.

6 We’d Buy: CF Moto Ibex 800 T

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Who said the Chinese are incapable of a purpose-built adventure motorcycle? For riders seeking a powerful and capable off-road machine, the CFMoto Ibex 800 T fits the bill perfectly. With its robust 799cc twin-cylinder engine, the Ibex 800 is equipped with almost all the top-notch components you can expect in a middleweight ADV. Adjustable suspension, knobby tires, an advanced electronics package, comfortable ergonomics, great ground clearance and so on. When you ride it, you’d hardly get the impression that you are riding a Chinese machine. We love the refined ride quality. It sure is an appealing option for adventure enthusiasts, but if you are more road-focused, go for the tarmac-oriented ‘S’ trim.

5 We Wouldn’t: Shineray Tiger XCR

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Oh, where do we start with this one? Triumph’s namesake and out-and-out knock-off of the BMW F 800 GS. Even their official website states the obvious! Well, expect to be blown away.

A 150cc single-cylinder Tiger XCR produces a grand total of 6 pound-feet of torque. We don’t know how adventure-worthy the bike really is. It seems most of the R&D went into making it look like the bigger bikes. Oh, and by the way, you get drum brakes on it if you were wondering. There’s not much to talk about it, except to say that you best stay away from it.

4 We’d Buy: Moto Morini Seiemmezzo SCR

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Moto Morini’s X-Cape has garnered a fair bit of interest, but we’re here to advocate for another off-road friendly offering from the brand, the Seiemmezzo scrambler. It comes with the 649cc inline two, a slightly underpowered mill in our opinion. But other than that, the rest of the motorcycle is pretty well put together. USD forks at the front and Kabaya mono shock at the back offer decent travel. They are adjustable too, so you can tinker around to adjust the motorcycle for your comfort. The spoke wheels and the aluminum swing arm further add meaning to its scrambler name, and for under $10,000 it’s a decent little bike you can consider.

Related: Moto Morini X-Cape 650 vs Yamaha Tenere 700 - The Asian ADV Battle!

3 We Wouldn’t: Jonway Weiba YY400-3

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Another Jonway makes into our ‘stay away’ list. That should give you a good idea about the Chinese brand. Like the Weifeng 250 we discussed earlier, the Weiba YY400-3 is a like-for-like ripoff of the Indian Scout Sixty. And a poor one too.

Just take a look at the poorly done exhaust pipes. Even the imitators gave up while designing this bike. As the name suggests, this is a 400cc offering that poses to be a cruiser but lacks the obvious power to be one. Heck, even the engine is designed to look like the classic V-shape as on Indian’s. It is belt drive though, and has a big 3.9-gallon fuel tank, and comes standard with ABS too. But don’t be swayed by any of this - the rest of the motorcycle is nothing but a failed attempt to be something it isn't.

2 We’d Buy: Harley-Davidson X 350

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The latest update to our ‘get me one of them Chinese beauties’. Harley-Davidson’s trio of entry-level motorcycles broke cover very recently. The X 350, built in conjunction with QJ Motors, borrows its heart from the Chinese manufacturer’s SRK350 model. It is a 353cc, liquid-cooled plant that is capable of 36 horsepower and 22.8 pound-feet of torque.

We don’t know if it works in the favor of Harley or goes against them to be mentioned in this article. But, the truth is that X 350 is indeed a Chinese product, whether the old-school HD fanboys like it or not. But it does seem like a motorcycle we’d like to get our hands on. Will that happen? Probably not.

1 We Wouldn’t: HJ Moto Dahaidao 500

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Another clone comes courtesy of the HJ Moto’s one Dahaidao 500. But let’s give credit where it’s due - basing your motorcycle on the Africa Twin is a gutsy move. But Honda’s big ADV is a mammoth of a motorcycle that needs substantial power from a heck of an engine. The Dahaido in comparison, fills that space with a 470cc unit.

But it's less to do with the hardware of this motorcycle, and more to do with its soul. And we’re not sure how far Dahaidao’s borrowed soul will get you. There’s only one case we can recommend this one to you. And that is if you’re an Africa Twin fan, but cannot afford it in this lifetime. For everyone else, we suggest you avoid this one.

5 Chinese Motorcycles We'd Buy (And 5 We Wouldn't) (2024)


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