Epic Adventure Starts Here

Motorcycles from China gaining traction in the US market

  • boe4fun

    Member
    August 17, 2022 at 7:41 am

    Don’t remember the brand, but the first bike on the list mentioned Jiangmen City in the Guangdong province. That’s where my brother was teaching English. It was about a two hour boat ride (on a very fast large catamaran hull powered taxi) upriver from Hong Kong/Macau. His supervisor James (his English name – most everybody over there at the time wanted to learn English and have English names. Some of the names were quite creative, James’s wife was named Smiley, their son was named Cowboy, and Cowboy’s best friend was named Superman. James is an ankle disarticulation (Syme) amputee who was wearing a homemade prosthesis. My brother described his artificial leg as a “coffee can with plumbing parts attached” and emailed me pictures. So my brother and I decided to make James what I called a “transpacific leg“. I sent my brother supplies to measure and take a mold of James’s amputated leg along with a video of how to do it. Since my brother was a retired industrial arts teacher he had a good handle on fabrication. He reviewed the tape, took measurements along with a tracing of his amputated side, the mold, and then returned it to me where we made his prosthesis in our laboratory and sent it back to my brother along with another videotape on how to properly fit and align the prosthesis. The project worked out really well and James was able to utilize the new leg and even began playing ping-pong again. Later on, the school district sent James over to the United States to La Vern university in California and order that he could learn to teach English as a second language in his school district. It was then when we made James a second more technologically advanced prosthesis.

    When me and my wife visited mainland China, James and his family made sure that we were well taken care of. We even had a several day road trip further into mainland China to see some of the things the average tourist would never get to see. All in all it was a wonderful trip and an eye opening experience.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  boe4fun.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  boe4fun.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  BajaGringo.
    • screeski

      Member
      August 17, 2022 at 9:37 am

      Wow – sounds like an epic trip. I really want to be able to get to see China but have figured out that everything I want to see won’t fit in a 7 or 10 day vacation. I am fascinated with both their history as well as want to see for myself some of the dramatic social and economic changes that have taken place there over the last few decades. Maybe when I get older or hit the lottery! 😁😁😁

    • sawdogger

      Member
      August 23, 2022 at 8:24 pm

      Sounds like an incredible trip.

    • mikel

      Member
      August 24, 2022 at 6:19 am

      After all my travels I have found what makes my visits to foreign places most memorable are the connections I have made with those living there. What a wonderful story.

  • enchirito

    Member
    August 17, 2022 at 8:17 am

    A coworker bought one off Craigslist to save on gas and he’s been riding it to work every day now for several months. He says it’s pretty decent and hasn’t given him any issues so far. I think the brand of the bike is Herald?

  • DB-Baja

    Member
    August 17, 2022 at 10:26 am

    Check out this 1500 dollar electric motorcycle kit from China

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rLezJ3fyGQ

    • MikeyD

      Member
      August 17, 2022 at 2:24 pm

      I’m speechless.

    • guacamole

      Member
      August 19, 2022 at 8:04 am

      Electric motorcycles? We can only pray they start making electric quads and UTV’s as well. I would welcome the relief from all that noise on weekends.

      • mikel

        Member
        August 24, 2022 at 6:21 am

        Yes, that would definitely be an improvement but I sense that the noise is a significant part of the draw for some of them and they would stick with the ICE driven vehicles no matter what.

  • MikeyD

    Member
    August 17, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    And I want one.

  • JuanSoler

    Member
    August 17, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Some of those bikes actually look pretty hot. The real question is how well they hold up but my guess is that they will get it right eventually. So it only remains to be seen if they have the financial backing to make it until then like the top Japanese manufacturers did decades before?

  • amandae

    Member
    August 17, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    How can they build these motorcycles and sell them so cheap? Are they selling these at zero profit margins to get their name out into the market?

    • guacamole

      Member
      August 17, 2022 at 6:15 pm

      I read a few years ago that factory workers in China only make a few dollars a day. Not sure if that has changed but my guess is not much. Compare that with a factory worker in Japan where they earn on average well over 10 dollars per hour. The savings in labor costs is HUGE.

  • blitzer

    Member
    August 18, 2022 at 5:54 am

    While I could see some small improvements they could make to the frames/suspensions on those dirt bike models, that low rider cruiser model just looks too cool.

    • JuanSoler

      Member
      August 18, 2022 at 8:29 pm

      I’ve hear their dirt bikes hold up well as long as you don’t run them hard. The harder you run them the sooner they start having mechanical issues.

    • JuanSoler

      Member
      August 18, 2022 at 8:33 pm

      And yes, that frame under the motor on the dirt bikes does look a bit light.

  • BajaBundo

    Member
    August 19, 2022 at 8:49 am

    My knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss them but with China now spending more on their QC/TQM processes, enticing American QC engineers with good 6 figure salaries, benefits and bonuses, we’ll likely see their products continue to improve as well.

    Watch out Japan.

  • offroadrage

    Member
    August 19, 2022 at 9:04 am

    Before any of you go online and start figuring out how to order one of those Chinese bikes, remember all the crap we saw come and go fifty years ago when Americans fell all over themselves to buy the weird looking cheaper vehicles arriving from japan. My guess is maybe one or two Chinese brands may figure it out but until then, save your money or buy a used Yamaha, Honda or Kawazaki.

    • bajabill

      Member
      August 20, 2022 at 8:03 am

      I don’t know, that $1500 electric bike looks like a lot of fun just to play around with.

  • CRF450R

    Member
    August 20, 2022 at 8:43 am

    I simply am not seeing any of the Chinese bikes in any of the off-road racing events, north or south of the border – yet. However I do hear talk about them and people are giving them a look so we’ll just have to wait and see if any of these brands can rise to the top.

    They certainly can make them cheaper than anybody else right now so if they’d just reinvest that margin back into materials and QC they very likely could produce a competitive machine for off road use and racing.

  • shark

    Member
    August 22, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    before you start crumbing on China remember the big KTM’s (Duke and Adventurer) are built in China and you can bet more and more of the orange models will follow suit….

    • CRF450R

      Member
      August 22, 2022 at 6:02 pm

      Good point. I know a guy eyeballing the KTM 390 Adventure but haven’t seen one (a Chinese built KTM) compete in any serious off-road events where I have participated. Notice in my reply above I said “yet”, as I fully expect for them to become competitive as they have all the market advantages and more that Japan had over a half century ago.

      Competition is always a good thing and the Chinese really have a lot to bring to the table if they can get their QC programs down tight. Didn’t mean to sound like I was bashing them, just recognizing that many to most of the current Chinese manufacturers are at the same point of the learning curve as were the Japanese in the 60’s and 70’s.

      They can and likely will improve from there which is good news for consumers.

      • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  CRF450R. Reason: clarify
  • shark

    Member
    August 22, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    imagine roger decoster speaking chinese! oh wait he’s been here for 60 years and can barely speak english😆

  • BajaBundo

    Member
    August 23, 2022 at 11:24 am

    Chinese manufacturers really seem to be diving into two camps; those making cheap products to be exported to discount stores around the planet and others who appear very focused on improving their quality and competing with leading brands. And if you look how far China has come in just the past 2 decades, I suspect they will be a major competitor to several well established U.S. manufacturers before the end of this decade.

    https://wsafety-news.com/safety/made-by-china-a-new-leader-in-quality/

    • BajaGringo

      Organizer
      August 23, 2022 at 11:51 am

      I think you are right on target and can remember how everybody used to laugh at the Japanese cars and motorcycles when they hit the U.S. market when I was just a kid. Having spent some time in the Orient, my impression was that the Chinese are are even more patient and persistent then the Japanese in general and will work through any flaws and manufacturing hurdles to get it right. Back when I had testing labs in the states I watched how Chinese laboratory instruments really raised the bar in terms of design and automation. I have no doubt they will figure out cars, motorcycles and whatever other products they try to manufacture.

      If the Colonet port project does indeed take off, Chinese auto factories in Mexico could grab a lot of market share in the U.S. This could get really interesting…

      • sawdogger

        Member
        August 23, 2022 at 8:26 pm

        Chinese cars and motorcycles? You’ll find them on aisle 19 at your local Wal-Mart.

        • mikel

          Member
          August 24, 2022 at 6:22 am

          Wouldn’t that be wonderful.

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