ZONTES R 310 (2019 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£280|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Zontes R310 is a credible alternative to the naked A2 licence offerings from any of the major Japanese or European establishment.
It’s easy to ride, fun, nicely finished and generously equipped. Best of all is its sub four grand price tag, which makes it incredible value for money.
Of course, it carries the stigma of being Chinese-built, but the general ride and build quality has risen sharply over the years. Whether it proves to be durable over time is, of course, the only remaining question...
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
New riders will feel at home on the R 310. Bars are easy to reach, controls are light, mirrors are big and, weighing just 145kg and with a low 807mm seat, the Zontes is easy to handle around town.
A slightly canted forward riding position is on the sporty side of natural and it’s not too cramped for the larger rider.
Through the bends the Zontes doesn’t wallow, wobble weave or run wide. It doesn’t waft on a cushion of Öhlins magnificence, of course, but ride quality is more than acceptable and steering is on the slow side of neutral, which is a good thing for newer riders.
CST tyres grip in the dry and the ABS-assisted front and rear brakes have remarkable bite and power for budget kit.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Powered by a perky 34bhp, 312cc single cylinder, dry sump motor, the engine revs like a demented bumblebee all the way to its 9000rpm redline, making it livelier than your average, droning, generator of a single cylinder learner lump.
Tucked-in, laying on the tank with the devil on your shoulder the R 310 is good for over 90mph, but at the other end of the speed scale, power delivery is docile, the fuelling is perfect and fitted with a balance shaft the only vibes spilling from the engine are the good ones.
Just set a course and it’ll oblige with the composure of any mainstream A2-licence roadster, even at silly speeds.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
How well it will weather a UK winter remains to be seen, but the R310 isn’t built like Chinese bikes used to be built. Aluminium barrels are nickel silicon carbide-plated, wheels are diamond-cut aluminium, ABS is by Bosch and fuel injection from Delphi.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
A couple of months ago we tested Zontes’ adventure-styled T310 and came away pleasantly surprised. It was well-equipped and rode nicely, not just for a Chinese bike, but for any A2 licence-friendly machine; and all for just £3999.
This is its sister: the R310 roadster and it’s the best Zontes yet. Unburdened by swathes of bodywork it’s nippier, more fun and even cheaper, costing just £3849.
Today’s toys pic.twitter.com/1SnCxG1FU1— Michael Neeves (@Neevesy33) July 29, 2019
For the money it’s exceptional and honestly, if it had a BMW, Honda, KTM, Harley, or MV Agusta badge on the tank you wouldn’t bat an eyelid... and let’s not forget all those big-manufacturer small-capacity machines are, or soon will be, made in Asia, too.
Styling is Kawasaki Z1000-aggressive and there are too many nice detail touches to suggest the R310 is just another pile 'em high, sell ’em cheap Chinese run-around.
Whoever designed the R310 really cares. Adjustable levers are bronze-finished, it has the maddest back end this side of a spaceship and you get LED lights, a Ducati Diavel-style, swingarm-mounted numberplate- holder, electric flip-up fuel cap and keyless ignition all included in the affordable price.
|Engine type||4v single-cylinder|
|Frame type||Tubular steel spine|
|Fuel capacity||15 litres|
|Front suspension||37mm upside down forks. Non- adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Single shock. Non-adjustable|
|Front brake||260mm front discs with twin-piston caliper. ABS|
|Rear brake||210mm rear disc with single-piston caliper. ABS|
|Front tyre size||110/70x17|
|Rear tyre size||160/60x17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£45|
|Annual service cost||£280|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||34 bhp|
|Max torque||22 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
2019: Model introduced
- T 310 (adventure): Same basic chassis and engine spec as the naked R310, with adventure styling and riding position. Features rubber mounted bars and an electric screen.
- X 310 (sports tourer): Sports touring version of the 310, which is based on T310 adventure. Friendly, fast and comfortable, but rubber mounted bars are ‘bendy’ under hard braking.
Owners' reviews for the ZONTES R 310 (2019 - on)
3 owners have reviewed their ZONTES R 310 (2019 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£280|
Annual servicing cost: £200
first month was perfect, except for the petrol cap release and seat release being a bit twitchy, both electric, electrics got worse, when i took it to the dealer he said zontes were aware of the problem... changed the battery from lithium to gel, removed the remote charge point, told i had to spend on battery maintainers and adaptors, and every time it made the bike worse, the last time i saw my poor lil baby i had charged the battery, went to the shops (2 miles away) on the return trip the engine died and had to push her home, i checked the battery, and it was completely dead, shop picked her up, that was nearly 7 weeks ago, not seen her since
the mechanical side is amazing, but the battery will not keep a change so the engine dies
engine is good for the size, but cuts out if you rev to high when over taking, and of course dies when the battery drains, not good as it is keyless, so with no power you can not even bump start it or disengage the steering lock
battery drains within a couple of miles so the bike is useless, main supplier refuse to reply to emails, clemments,
spent 4 out of the past 10 months in the shop waiting to be fixed
the eco sport mode option is good, from what i remember, gv bikes have had it for the past 7 weeks,
Buying experience: bought from GV Bikes in Taunton, shop advertised one price, tried to charge me extra, bike is advertised as having a dry sump, but did not find out that its wet sump until after i had taken delivery, the main supplier, Clemments are refusing to even answer emails because of the constant ongoing electrical problems, yes its still under warranty, and i kept up with the services
Annual servicing cost: £200
worst feature is power drop off when you need to change gear, especially in eco mode, it does however help you to be more efficient in gear change tho, best feature .... where to start lol, ive had her for 900 miles and all is more than i hoped for , the screen covers me to my chin the fairing covers near all my knees, and im not small, reflectors on the forks are essential, and even the grab rail feels solid, all over she looks and feels quality, happy do cruise at 70mpg on the motorway, and to throw around country lanes, small 15 litre tank that in eco mode should do 250-300 miles
very comfy seat, i never had a car license so been riding bikes in all weathers for over 30 years in different country's, my piles love the seat lol, can do 200 miles before needing a stretch for 5 minutes i have ABS that can be turned off, and it works really well, at speed coming to a full stop when you get cut off you expect the back wheel to come of the ground, it does not, very impressed, well balanced
power drain at about 6500 rpm in eco mode and at times in sport mode at around 9000rpm, can be a pain if you are trying to over take, but then you have a lot of tech for the power management , fuel injection etc.
the last new bike i bought was a suzuki gs 500, it had pitting in a week, so far my zontes has done 900 miles mostly on somerset and devon coastal roads, no sign of and wear or damage, aside from dirt lol, as good as when bought
ish, only had for 5 week, but with the eco mode on for long trips the running costs are very low
key less ignition, immobilizer, these are things that cost a lot as extras on top range bikes, here its standard, eco mode means i have mpg of a 45cc moped , but the fun and quickness of a mid wieght ride
Buying experience: bought from a shop new, chck the main dealer for set prices, and shop ads, they tried to charge me more than they advertised, also the services are within 10%, so up to 700 miles for the first service is fine, unlike the 500 miles that the shop said
Annual servicing cost: £450
Really knocking the stigma off Chinese
Abs is a bit wooden,... Turn it off and its powerful considering it looks like a small disc up front
It's great for what it is but there are other 300cc that can do a bit quicker with more grunt. That being said you can flip between eco mode and sport... Sport is a tad faster and snatchy being a single cylinder. Low speeds will be clutch half in but overall it's not slow at all
Chain stretches quite easily otherwise 5 stars. Build quality is solid and I feel like it's a we'll put together bike. Some trims are flimsy but not on parts that need to be sturdy. The petrol cap can be rather annoying and temperamental and filling up can take time as the petrol comes to the top and then goes down slowly.
Standard intervals and pricing. For warranty of 2 years it can get costly if you're doing high mileage
All bells and whistles except traction control. Seriously the spec is really impressive. Imagine parking up next to a 2019 KTM super Duke and almost being like for like with keyless start and lock ect.
Buying experience: My dealer was crap .... But luckily I did enough research I basically sales pitches it to myself. Just paid for it n not gone back to the dealer.... That being said it was a private dealer that sells other stuff not a zontes shop ect.