QJMotor SRK1000RR: Chinese sportsbike with Italian heart heads for production

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It’s only a matter of time before China’s rapidly advancing motorcycle industry creates a world-class superbike and QJMotor have put themselves into a prime position by teaming up with MV Agusta to create the SRK1000RR.

Although yet to be officially unveiled, the bike’s existence has been confirmed at QJMotor dealer meetings, with a planned debut towards the end of 2023 and production scheduled to get underway in the first quarter of 2024.

QJMotor – a sister company to Benelli as both are owned by the Qianjiang Group – has type-approved the SRK in China, with documents including specifications and an image of the finished bike.

QJMotor SRK1000RR front wheel

The bike’s origin can be traced back to September 2020 when Qianjiang teased plans for a four-cylinder Benelli superbike. It was clear that the engine was from MV Agusta, which simultaneously signed a distribution deal for China with Qianjiang.

The connection crystalised further in 2021 when MV showed the prototype for the planned 554cc Lucky Explorer 5.5 parallel twin adventure bike. Under the MV bodywork the Lucky Explorer carried a Qianjiang engine and chassis, shared with the Benelli TRK502 and QJMotor SRT550.

The new superbike is the counterpart to that – with QJ-designed bodywork sitting atop a frame and engine rooted in Varese rather than Zhejiang. Even a cursory glance reveals that the single-sided swingarm and the hybrid chassis – part alloy, part steel trellis – are directly borrowed from the MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RS.

MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RS front quarter on the road

But MV Agusta isn’t giving away its crown jewel in the form of the Brutale 1000’s 205bhp, 998cc four-cylinder. Instead, the SRK1000RR has a 921cc version of MV’s four, putting out substantially less power – the type-approval shows 125bhp, while QJMotor’s own dealer information claims 127bhp at 10,500rpm and 70lb.ft of torque at 8100rpm.

If that 921cc figure is familiar it’s because MV teased the same capacity engine on the retro 921 S concept shown last year, which should reach production in 2024 alongside a dual-seat 921 GT model.

It’s possible that QJMotor will be responsible for manufacturing the engines for the 921 S and GT and be allowed to use the engine in its own bike in return. CFMoto has a similar deal with KTM.

QJMotor SRK1000RR engine frame and swingarm

QJMotor SRK1000RR in detail

  • Quality clobber: The Marzocchi suspension is from the Brutale 1000 RS, but in 2022 QJMotor’s parent company, Qianjiang, took on responsibility for making Marzocchi parts, so they’re actually Chinese-made.
  • Portly performer: The type-approved specifications for the include a kerb weight of 215kg and a 1425mm wheelbase – 10mm longer than a Brutale 1000 RS. A 190-section rear and 120-section front tyre on 17in rims.
  • Chassis work: Frame and swingarm are instantly-recognisable as coming from the Brutale 1000 RS, but the QJMotor has its own styling and exhaust system.
  • Keep it in the family: The winglet-festooned bodywork is in keeping with QJMotor’s SRK-RR sportsbike range, which is expanding to include a 550cc twin, 650cc four and 800cc four next year as well as the 921cc ‘1000RR’ variant.
Ben Purvis

By Ben Purvis