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Anonymous

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Phil West  says:

HMC Classic first ride

Now here’s a seemingly good idea: one so simple and obvious you wonder why no-one’s thought of it before. Your average Chinese learner 125 is, shall we say, a tad basic and budget, right? Invariably powered by an old school, Suzuki-clone, air-cooled, four-stroke single and with cycle parts and general quality more in keeping with the stereotypical image of the...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (08 April 2013 16:53)

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oldmanA

Joined:

Jul 12

Posts: 32

oldmanA says:

romford4

Can I correct you on Sinnis Apache and Pulse Adrenaline. Up to a couple of years ago they were made at the same factory. Pulse are now made elsewhere and Sinnis are made at a factory where Suzuki's are made. Needless to say the Sinnis is of much better quality hence the higher price and not just the plastics but engine as well, being made under licence from Suzuki. I don't own a Sinnis, so I'm not blowing their trumpet or I'm I saying that Pulse are not good. Just giving facts.

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romford4

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Oct 05

Posts: 135

romford4 says:

Hi Oldman

I've got a colleague in China who is bike-mad and who understands the manufacturers and market better than anyone else I've ever spoken to.  These bikes are good machines.  A number of the bigger Chinese manufacturers want to break into the UK and other foreign markets, but they want to do it properly with dedicated nationwide dealers.  They're still considering it too much of a risk at the moment as they're not sure how well their bikes will be received and don't want to risk the massive investment just yet, so their bikes are going out through small independent UK dealers.  They are becoming better known however, and gradually more and more mainstream bike dealers are taking on a few Chinese models and an increasing number of bike training businesses are using Chinese 50's and 125's for CBTs.  There will come a point in the next few years where these bikes become acceptable to the mainstream.  Then you'll start seeing Jap bikes in decline as the Chinese take over with larger more professional dealerships all over the country. 

If you've never been to China, I can thoroughly recommend a visit for a holiday or otherwise.  I've been out there for work and visited various factories (sadly not motorcycle ones) and it's really got to be seen to be believed!!!  You realise how lazy and feckless so many people in Britain really are, and realise that this country is totally a spent-force when it comes to manufacturing.

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romford4

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Oct 05

Posts: 135

romford4 says:

Hi Oldman

Welcome to the confusing world of Chinese motorcycles!  You're right in some ways... Jinan Qingqi are based in Jinan, have been working jointly with Suzuki for nearly 30 years now (as well as other mainstream manufacturers) and they produce the Sinnis Apache.  The Pulse Adrenaline is assembled by Shandong Pioneer Motorcycles who are based in Shandong (seeing a pattern here?).  Pioneer are a subsidiary of Qingqi, who are in turn owned largely by a commercial arm of the Chinese government... I did say it was confusing!  The bikes are identical in most respects - frames, engines, main cycle parts.  I know that Qingqi manufacture the engines themselves, probably the frames, and that other parts are either manufactured in-house or are bought in from the huge 'common parts-bin' that operates for many manufacturers/assemblers in China.  That Qingqi engine is THE SAME engine that goes into the Sinnis, the Pulse and the Suzuki... the K157FMi... all made in the same factory... Pulse don't do a copy of it or anything like that.  The only difference is the manufacturer logo on the engine case which is branded for whatever market the bike is going to e.g. Q-Link in the USA.  Jinan Qingqi and Shandong Pioneer have been ISO9001 accredited for at least a decade now and standards are high.  I certainly wouldn't say that Sinnis are of a much higher quality than Pulse... that's propaganda from the importers who also like to advertise that the Sinnis is a British designed bike with the assembly outsourced to China to keep costs low.  Complete BS on their part... the only thing about the Sinnis 'designed' in the UK is the name and some very minor spec details.  It' true that the Pulse isn't quite as good as certain parts like the bodywork are cheaper painted plastics whereas Sinnis use much more flexible and robust dyed plastics that are better at standing up to knocks and drops, however underneath it all, the bikes are basically the same.  If you don't usually drop your bike, perhaps you should get the bike with the cheaper bodywork and save £300.  Spare parts will never be a problem as very little changes in the world of low capacity Chinese machines, and once you know the name of this bike in other markets, you can buy parts from anywhere in the world in the event you ever had any issues getting parts in the UK.

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oldmanA

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Jul 12

Posts: 32

oldmanA says:

romford4 I salute you Sir!

I am not as enlightened as you when it comes to Chinese bikes. I currently ride a Taiwanese CPI SUV made in China, beat that! lol. I agree about the Bull Sinnis/HMC/AJS and others about being a British design/owned. I read an article on a online bike magazine about the UK people behind Sinnis and why they broke away from the UK people behind Pulse. The Sinnis people wanted more quality and the Pulse people were more cost driven. Hence two seemingly identical bikes, made at different factories and different prices. I have to admit that maybe I fell for the propaganda of Sinnis. My next bike will be Chinese (as I'll only be riding 125's) and that's because there are now 4 dealers near to choose from, price of bikes, long warranty, parts availability. I can't wait till they start on the car industry especially here in the UK with our over priced cars. Good luck to them!

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billysollocks

Joined:

Feb 09

Posts: 515

It can only be a matter of time before the Chinese catch up with quality and production to equal that of Europe (unless North Korea drop a sizeable fly into the ointment). They are an emerging industrial nation with ambitions to match their ability. At present, I'd steer clear of their bikes, but as for the future?  They may yet have the lords of the now defunct Britbike industry spinning in their graves.

 

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romford4

Joined:

Oct 05

Posts: 135

romford4 says:

Hey Oldman

I'm downsizing in capacity this year as well and currently debating whether to go for a Chinese 125 or something like the Honda CRF250L (or the 'moto version that's due out later this year).  Having a total career change and taking a big pay cut to retrain for something else for 2 years, so want to economise on the bike front.

Only got 1 Chinese dealer near me, although there's others that are a bit more of a trip away, but I was in there on Friday afternoon and saw the new Lexmoto ZSX 125 http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-news-new-bikes/lexmoto-launches-zsx-125/22615.html  (That 'thing' on the front fork is a Chinese licence plate holder that isn't on bikes here).

What can I say.... what a nifty looking little bike.  Really comfortable for me at 6'3" as well.  Looked very well built and has the latest 158FMi-B engine.  It's just out and that was the first one the dealership had in.  Mechanic had built it up that morning, wheeled it out to the showroom floor at lunchtime, and it was sold by early afternoon.  The mechanic in there is an honest guy and is quite happy to say what bikes are good and what aren't (when the owner's away!).  They're selling it at £1600 on the road.

Looking forward to seeing what the Chinese bring to the car game as well.  That 'Great Wall' 4X4 didn't fare too well when it was Thatcham crash tested, but mainly I think, due to things like a lack of airbags etc.  So it might be a few years behind the times, but funny how the motoring media were so quick to pounce on it as being cheap garbage when most people running 4X4s are in second-hand ones a few years old that are likely no better.  I'd have one.  Lots of people have an issue with Chinese vehicles, but where are black hackney taxis made these days???  You know... that vehicle that you rely on to get you to your destination safely, reliably, and which will go on to clock-up hundreds of thousands of miles over its lifetime?  Mmmm Geely and Shanghi LTI perhaps

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frozuki

Joined:

Apr 13

Posts: 1

frozuki says:

Fantastic Discussion

My compliments on what is a very civil discussion regarding Chinese bikes! I tried the Frame number of the standard HMC Classic which identified it as a Qingqi Machine http://www.whomademybike.com/ Sinnis is/was backed by the Qingqi factory I believe, which is why Pulse had to go through Pioneer. Not sure what is happening with Sinnis atm as they have 8 new models due out, with alternative factories featuring in their lineup? If HMC are getting Qingqi models now it does make it all a bit confusing.

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romford4

Joined:

Oct 05

Posts: 135

romford4 says:

Very interesting

what you're saying about the HMC Classic being a Qingqi bike.  I'm pretty certain the HMC Lightening supermoto is a Zongshen ZS125GY-10C bike.  The new Lexmoto ZSX commuter is also a Zongshen, so would appear that importers are pick 'n mixing from different manufacturers to make up their range.  Zongshen work in partnership with Piaggio/Vespa so again there are links with mainstream manufacturers.

Thanks for the WhoMadeMyBike web-link.  Very useful.  I might have to scribble down a few VINs next time I'm at the dealership to find out a bit more info about some bikes.

Here's the Zongshen (aka HMC) on Zongshen's site:  http://www.zongsheninternational.com/Product/ProductInfo.aspx?ID=57

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oldmanA

Joined:

Jul 12

Posts: 32

oldmanA says:

125 vrs 250

romford4, All depends on what you want to do with the bike. Local journeys, cheapness bike/tax/ins +100 mpg. 125 is the way to go and great fun. But can you live with the lack of performance? realistic 55 mph (real speed)cruising drops to 35 up hills, 45 with head on winds. I'm 6'2" 16st+ before I failed my test in Jan, I was looking at a Honda CBR250R Single cylinder so very economical high 70's mpg and very low maintenance schedule so cheap and just enough hp for motorway work. The down side being slightly higher tax and quite high insurance considering it's a 250. When I weighed everything up a 125 is really all I need.

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romford4

Joined:

Oct 05

Posts: 135

romford4 says:

125 v 250?

There's something perverse about enjoying riding a 125 but I like it for local journeys around cities and countryside roads.  There a bit of satisfaction about having to ride it to its limits, take bends at full speed and generally keep the momentum going in order to make progress.  I've had bigger bikes - Hornet, Fazer etc but TBH, they leave me a bit cold.  Everything is so easy on them, overtakes, handling, high speeds and so on.  I get enjoyment out of getting the most out of a bike's performance, and it is rare on public roads to be able to max out any 600cc+ bike ona regular basis.  Also need to keep a clean licence for my job.

I've had a few disappointing experiences with dealers when I've bought or had work done on my bigger bikes and I include incompetence & a bad attitude from a Honda main dealer who handed my bike back to me in a dangerous condition.  In contrast, the 2 nearest Chinese bike dealers near me seem fairly open and honest, and I've heard from a few people that any problems have been dealt with fairly and without issue.  I've been with supposedly the best manufacturer in the industry and had a very poor experience so I think what have I got to lose by going to a small local Chinese bike dealer?  Can't be any worse than my experience with the Honda one. 

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