New name on the block: China’s fastest-growing bike firm are heading to the west with low, low prices

It was only in early 2020 that the first spy pictures of some surprisingly well-designed, mid-capacity bikes with western-style design started to emerge from China. 

At the time, it was suggested that they’d become new Benelli models, but they turned out to be destined for a completely new brand called QJMotor, launched by Chinese firm Qianjiang Group in May of that year.  

Initially sharing Benelli engines and chassis parts, just two years on there are now an astounding 37 models in the range – including singles, twins, fours, electric bikes, and more.  

Engines range from 50cc mopeds to 800cc adventure bikes, and QJMotor has now confirmed the first bikes will be reaching the European market before the end of 2022. 

QJMotor SRK 700 Close up of display

Several models have just been awarded European type-approval, meaning they pass safety and emissions regulations, and the first dealers are being signed up in Germany. With the type-approval hurdle passed, getting the bikes on sale in the UK should be a relatively easy task. 

The first trio of bikes reaching Europe are the parallel twin naked SRK700 and SRK400, plus the retro-styled SRV550, which shares its chassis with Benelli’s Leoncino 500. This gains the larger 554cc engine that MV Agusta is set to use in their Qianjiang-made Lucky Explorer 5.5. 

The SRK700 is the most intriguing model of the three, as it has no Benelli equivalent, and features a 698cc parallel twin that’s remarkably similar to the unit in CFMoto’s 700CL-X. With 72bhp, the Euro5-certified engine’s peak power exactly matches that of Yamaha’s MT-07, as does the claimed 49.4lb.ft of torque, although QJMotor claim to hit both peaks at lower RPM than Yamaha can manage.  

QJMotor SRK 700 stood up

With a full 15-litre tank of fuel, the SRK700 rolls in at 196kg and will come with a German RRP equivalent to £5900 – that’s £1300 less than an MT-07 and £700 less than a CFMoto 700CL-X Heritage. 

Step down to the SRK400 and you have a clear rival to the Yamaha MT-03. Powered by a 400cc parallel twin it makes 41bhp – around half a bhp less than an MT-03 – but offers 5.5lb.ft more torque than the Yamaha at 37.3lb.ft and doesn’t need to rev as hard. Its weight penalty over the Japanese bike is more substantial at 18kg, for a total of 186kg wet.  

QJMotor SRK 400 stood up

Finally, there’s the SRV550. A 47hp A2 licence-friendly machine that shares much with the Benelli Leoncino 500 and gets an extra 54cc but no more power thanks to the A2 licence limit. At 206kg wet it’s the heaviest of the initial trio. Costing the equivalent of £5350 in Germany before on-the-road charges, it’s within £50 of the Leoncino 500’s RRP, too. 

QJMotor SRV 550 stood up

Next, the company are promising to bring a cruiser, a faired sports bike and a scooter to Europe, with an adventure bike and an electric offering in 2023. 

Ben Purvis

By Ben Purvis