I bought a Chinese Motorcycle :)

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vestureofblood
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I bought a Chinese Motorcycle :)

I bought a Chinese dual sport motorcycle. This is the best and worst of my experience after 1500+ miles of riding it. I think for the money you get a lot of bike ($1350 brand new), but there are definitely some things
you need to know about these before getting one. They are no Ultrafire, but they are not a Convoy either Big Smile

Please let me know what you think about these bikes. Share your experience a photos etc if you have them!

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
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Omega_17
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I was expecting a electric motorcycle! They are cool and you can use them in the city.

acab
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Thank you for this. You are a true pioneer – never heard of someone buy a motorcycle from a Chinese manufacturer.

- Did they ship it from China or from their local warehouse?
- I would be keen to understand the DOT or all technical/regulatory compliance? Are these bikes “built for the US” or are these actually Chinese bikes just sold to another market?
- I am only into cars, so I don’t know how it works for bikes – are there any crash tests they have do undergo before they can be sold/used in the US or EU?

What I am trying do understand is, if the bikes falls apart while a rider is using it due to material failure or wrong assembly at the plant, who is responsible for this and what does the insurance say about these aspects?

A long term review would be amazing after maybe a year or so.

THANKS – great video

vestureofblood
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acab wrote:
Thank you for this. You are a true pioneer – never heard of someone buy a motorcycle from a Chinese manufacturer.

- Did they ship it from China or from their local warehouse?
- I would be keen to understand the DOT or all technical/regulatory compliance? Are these bikes “built for the US” or are these actually Chinese bikes just sold to another market?
- I am only into cars, so I don’t know how it works for bikes – are there any crash tests they have do undergo before they can be sold/used in the US or EU?

What I am trying do understand is, if the bikes falls apart while a rider is using it due to material failure or wrong assembly at the plant, who is responsible for this and what does the insurance say about these aspects?

A long term review would be amazing after maybe a year or so.

THANKS – great video

1. It shipped from a US warehouse the dealer had.
2. Made for the US market. Supposedly street legal in all 50 states.
3. I would not bet on having any recourse against the company if things go wrong. In my state the maximum bodily insurance you can get for an off road capable bike is $1000. I’m not sure what testing or compliance etc they have.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

acab
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wow – you are braver then most men. I am blown away by the price point (a few hundred more than a smartphone gets you a new bike today), but also a bit worried about you.

The money a buyer saves on the bike would have to be invested in a better private health and accident insurance then.

Are you going to mod the headlight into something with more lumens? Big Smile

DB Custom
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Cool!

How does it run? Good mileage? Start easy? Stop easy? How many CC’s? Stroker?

What could go wrong? I mean, it’s not like it’s going to disintegrate and leave Matt sliding down the road or anything! Bikes break down, it happens, you roll to a stop on the side of the road and handle it. Push it to a safe place and make a call, only weighs what, 250 lbs? Could dang near shoulder it and walk it home… Wink (well, if the light weren’t so heavy… Silly )

Nice find!

Xandre
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Take a look in 3 years at your chinese bike
and make a comparison to a 10 years old “quality” bike

BTW :Great Video and thanks for it .

We have two Rollers 50ccm.

One Yamaha 18 years old 25.000
one chinese no name or I can not find it. 3years old and 3.000.

Both Rollers drive well, but some difference

The first thing is the seat.
More material and comfort at the Yamaha.

The knees are in the wind-Chinese
Knees are protected-Japan

The breaks are better-J.
shock absorber

The drive feeling is better.

better,better,better

At the chinese bike you really feel the budget at every meter .

Corrosion everywhere after a short time.

Water ,Fog goes inside the instruments and the bike.
The Lights are horrible

To take a long story short:
I would never buy a chinese bike anymore.

The “nice” price is just for the moment you buy it.
After the nice shopping the problems will follow…(retail,bad material,bad and rusty scews and so on.)

Regards Xandre

Rexlion
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With all the tinkering you had to do, I would classify the Tao as “not ready for prime time.” I’m glad you’re having fun, and had the ability & desire to tinker with it like that.

Not sure I’d trust myself on a motorized 2 wheeler. Controlling 4 wheel vehicles can be challenging sometimes as it is. If you want to hear the interesting tale of what happened when I hit a highway construction worker on the expressway, just say the word. Wink

sb56637
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Thanks a lot for the excellent review. Very interesting that you also had that rear wheel binding issue… A friend of mine almost got killed while riding his brand new Chinese motorcycle (different brand from yours, but similar proportions and design) for the first or second time on a paved road at normal road speed, and the rear wheel locked up on him and he wiped out hard.

I’d say that a Chinese motorcycle would be OK for slow speed off-road use like in your video, but I wouldn’t trust it on pavement.

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I don’t have any experience with the china bikes but I did buy my daughter a china 4-wheeler back in 2007 for $900 shipped.
It really is of decent quality for no more than we paid. It had quite a few flaws in design and reliability but nothing major, all minor fixes.
One major flaw was the main motor mount bolts broke within 6 months of use. I replaced the rear with a grade 8 bolt, then the front bolt broke replaced it and never had that problem again. Cheap low grade bolts were used and couldn’t with stand the stress. Simply fix.
The rubber adapter hose from the air box to carb was low grade rubber, it began to crack in about 3 years and I replaced it with a adapted silicone hose.
The lights were cheaply mounted and either broke off or fell of in a few years. I didnt replace them as she didnt need to ride the thing in the dark anyway.
If the battery isn’t kept on a trickle charger during the winter months it be dead come summer but that is kind of normal.
I kept the cables oiled and chain lubed at the start of each season followed by a carb cleaning. The chain kept popping off, figured out the flimsy chain guide was misaligned. Made a stronger chain guide out of some 1/8 flat steel and fixed that problem.
All and all the problems were minor and the motor and the way the 4-wheeler drove were fine.
For $900 I feel like my daughter definitely got my moneys worth out of it. But if your the type that doesn’t want to work on it at all, then stay far away from the china stuff.
You will have to work on it guaranteed. That’s just my advice, who knows you might get lucky and have no problems.
The funny thing is if they would raise the price by 50 to a 100 bucks they could have fixed every issue a had with the machine and still been affordable with better reliability.
Just my 2 cents. Wink

vestureofblood
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DB Custom wrote:
Cool!

How does it run? Good mileage? Start easy? Stop easy? How many CC’s? Stroker?

Very well, have not checked but I think 60+ mpg, starts easy even in the cold, Fine when the breaks are working, 250 officially but probly 230 in real life, 4 stroke.

sb56637 wrote:
Thanks a lot for the excellent review. Very interesting that you also had that rear wheel binding issue… A friend of mine almost got killed while riding his brand new Chinese motorcycle (different brand from yours, but similar proportions and design) for the first or second time on a paved road at normal road speed, and the rear wheel locked up on him and he wiped out hard.

Thank you for reporting that. I have not heard another person say anything about this,but was certainly wondering.

In Him (Jesus Christ) was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
http://asflashlights.com/ Everyday Carry Flashlights, plus Upgrades for Maglite.

BillyBobJoe
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Cool. If it works, I’d like to hear an update later about how its holding up. Thanks for trying it out and sharing what you found!

Icarus
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Thanks for the review. It just confirms my opinion on Chinese motorbikes. Although I like to thinker I will stay far away from any Chinese brand. Mostly  you get what you pay for. If you need a reliable bike it can't go wrong with buying a Japanese one.     

Tomogchi
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Think kia but for dirt bikes: cheap and works.
The engine is a Honda clone, and honestly the bikes aren’t half bad. I have a close buddy with a rickypowersports 250 and another with a hawk 250. They are in fact the same as your tao, a 230 Honda clone.

Parts are very cheap and plentiful, you just need to know what your getting into. They’re cheap! Cheap replacement parts, cheap aftermarket parts, and plenty of bolt on options to ensure no other dual sport looks like yours

If you bought the bike new, as in not ran, the carb needs to be take apart and cleaned from the shipping goo that comes in the carb and verify things like float height. New jet kit too, and a few spark plugs for plug chops. the factory in China is very different from here in ny. Drain the oil it comes shipped with and put some real oil back in, and adjust your valve lash to spec. (Edit: not a have to, just a suggestion from a wrencher)

Buying a real (stainless) bolt kit for the bike would be a worthwhile investment. Makes getting fastners out down the road easier, and based on that fact alone – I’d rather assemble the bike myself. You’ll find that will be 90% of the issues on these bikes.. unlike my Suzuki the ignition system in the Honda’s/Honda clone is bullet proof, and has been for 50ish years

I daily a 90 Suzuki dr350s and us three ride most every weekend.. they go everywhere I go. They have taken quite a bit of abuse, and we don’t go easy. The handle bars will bend, and you will replace bushings(find a polyurathane bushing kit)

65 mph is about it for them unless you mess with gearing, but they’re very driveable as is, plenty enough snot to move my 6’4 225 carcass up some steep hills. As I get older, I realize how shitty it is not having that easy push start. The high compression 350 can be a bear to restart if you dump it right. Based on that and ease of work on these Honda clones, My next one might be one of these.. they’re awesome for what you pay. If you can work on it, it’s for you. That simple.

It all started with just one flashlight.

SKV89
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Damn that price is unreal. Cost as much as a MS18 + R90TS but you get a full moving bike. Not sure how they can actually make a profit.

JakeDjanitor
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For the price it looks like a lot of bike,
I still like to get a name brand Japanese bike. Honda Yamaha.
I would worry about finding reliable parts.

Firelight2
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SKV89 wrote:
Damn that price is unreal. Cost as much as a MS18 + R90TS but you get a full moving bike. Not sure how they can actually make a profit.
The sign of a true flashaholic! … see a bike in terms of how many flashlights it would take to buy it. LOL
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Firelight2 wrote:
SKV89 wrote:
Damn that price is unreal. Cost as much as a MS18 + R90TS but you get a full moving bike. Not sure how they can actually make a profit.
The sign of a true flashaholic! … see a bike in terms of how many flashlights it would take to buy it. LOL

When in college, BOB was our reference-currency. Bottles of beer. We had the market cornered!

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

Muto
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Matt,

Great video as usual and glad you mentioned the part about risking your life.
You are dead on the money about needing to get to $2000-2400 to get quality and safety.
And then yes it will be for a used bike many years older, however that can be a blessing as any original faults will/should have have been dealt with by the time you get to 5000 miles.
20,000 miles on a dirt style bike to me is equal to 100,000 miles on a car.
You want to be under 10,000 miles for best results/experience with your used dual purpose bike.

Here is my experience.
The Japanese motorcycle will cost more, even used, and may lack some updated features (LED turn signals, etc) but the reliability and ease of getting the correct part in your home town at a dealer who knows that bike and it’s problems and strengths is invaluable.
Yes, they cost more, but they also care more about being sued for a back wheel locking up for instance. They are assembled by true professionals whose job it is to actually road test the final product.

One thing you did not mention which is very important is resale value.
A Quasimoto motorcycle/4 wheeler/scooter/moped etc. will never get close to the value of a bona fide Japanese product. Full Stop.
Optimally you want to be able to buy the bike, do some timely and routine maintenance and enjoy your time with the bike and when it is time to resell get a good portion of your money back.
That will not happen at the same ratio with the China bike, at the end of the day, it is still a China bike.

The good news is if you are patient and do your homework, the right Japanese bike will come along at the price point you need to be at.
Lots of good bikes are bought and never ridden much for a variety of reasons (Health/Divorce/Job Change/Moving. etc)

Personally, I got very lucky last October and went to look a minibike from a gentleman who I have bought another minibike from and he still had this 2007 Kawasaki KLX250 and I ended up buying that instead of the minibike. he upgraded to a larger dual purpose bike and did not trust the crazies coming from Craigslist so just held onto it.
He was original owner with only 7000 miles and new inspection and new tires which are opposite of your tires, they are just street enough to be not considered full knobby which works better for me but I get why you may need more street knobby.
Only thing I do not like is that it is not geared as low as yours, it goes 75mph but does not wheelie easy and is too fast in low gear for serious plonking.
I ended up paying less than $2000 but these bikes are available in good condition at $2200-2600 dollars if just wait.
And the title will be with the bike already (what a concept) LOL
032

Anyway sorry for the long winded reply.
Later,

Keith

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