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Cheap Chinese dirt bikes?

Discussion in 'Adventure/Enduro' started by boingk, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Hey there guys, I'm thinking of getting a dirt bike to hoon around with my mates on, and I'm leaning towards getting a new Chinese dirt bike. Basically the one I'm looking at is a clone of a Honda CRF250, even down to exchange of many parts.

    Here it is:


    Water cooled, SOHC, 2 valves, 250cc, about 25hp if the marketing is to be believed.

    All for $1500.

    I know it'd probably have a few things go wrong but even figuring in a few hundred bucks for a bad shock and a couple more bucks for new fuel hosing surely that's not a terrible deal?

    I'm thinking its not bad at all, especially for someone with some mechanical nouse and a tight budget.

    What do you guys reckon?

    Cheers - boingk
  2. ha ha Menstor energie lol
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  3. So how much of a non-Chinese dirt bike can you get for $1.5k? Not much, I'm guessing, so if it's what you want to play with, go for it.
  4. So long as u don't have extraordinary expectations of it you should be fine.
    Most no name cheap stuff is quite alright if u insert the effort required to mod/look after it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. UG - I laughed too, wouldn't be hard to remedy though... cut out the O's and E's and swap 'em if you were that keen.

    PatB, its actually one of the *better* models on the market. Apparently the Zongshen motor isn't all that bad and its things like the shocks, fuel hosing and switchgear that are a bit average... going by forum reviews.

    Jerryx4 - Exactly what I was thinking.

    Essentially my thinking goes along the line of it being better than a 10 year old 250xyz that's seen a few comp rounds and then been thrashed to buggery by rabid teenagers before being thrown in the shed for a couple years. Its not a matter of 'if' something goes wrong, more 'when'... and I'd much rather something go wrong with a 1.5k bike than a 3 or 4k bike, frankly.

    Has anyone actually ridden or owned one of these?

    ebay link here: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/350852106454?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

    - boingk
  6. I don't know if I agree with your thinking there. I'd rather have the old jap bike and spend a couple of bucks on it. There's plenty of 90s model bikes kicking around just fine.
  7. When you say something's going to go wrong with it, what are you picturing? Singles are easy to work on especially 2 strokes. I did the piston in my 125, kit cost $150, was nothing to fit.

    Just do a comp test on any bike you intend to buy and that'll help you know how the ring(s) are.

    @AznCruiser bought a 95 model 125 for like $1,500, rebuilt engine, new brakes all round, new chain and sprockets all round. It runs like a dream and would stomp that Chinese bike into the ground, in the suspension department.

    But for what it's worth I think those Zongshen engines are ok, a mate had a Chinese mini bike with a 250 zong, and the motor itself was alright (actually dangerously powerful for the frame) but everything else was crap. He actually sold it and went to a 1988 XR250
  8. Dunno your riding level but if you are more than a putt putt dirtbiker I wouldn't touch that thing with a 10 foot pole.
  9. 30 day parts only "warranty". Don't waste too much time admiring it in the shed; make sure you get out and about.
    • Agree Agree x 1

  10. Things might be different in the East but over here anything with any dirt pedigree is either (a) expensive, (b) shagged or (most likely) (c) both. You certainly won't get anything Japanese which runs worth a damn for 1500 notes.
  11. Ive got a Chinese atomik 140 pit bike. Probably put about 10 hours hooning around on it. The engine is awesome. No issues so far. Its easy to kick start. It also absolutely hammers! Pulls 2nd gear wheelies easier than my gixxer thou no sh!t. Suspension is rather terrible, feels like there is no dampening or oil in the shocks whatsover (there may not be!), but it goes ok over small jumps with my 80kgs aboard.
  12. Your mates wont lose you they can just follow the bits that fall off it :D
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  13. Cheers guys and, yeah, PatB everything over here seems to be both thrashed and exxy.

    I think I might pull the trigger on this, but don't think I'll get the watercooled version because after a bit more digging people are saying that the radiators are quite prone to leaks and damage... all for minimal (1~1.5hp) horsepower gain. I wouldn't be surprised if its the exact same engine but with added watercooling jacket.

    This is the model I'm thinking of (same chassis):


    Bit cheaper, too.

    - boingk
  14. To be honest, the quality is unlikely to be any worse than some of the utter rubbish that Honda (amongst others) have turned out over the years. For instance, if the ally was any softer than that in use by the Big H c1980 the engine would collapse under its own weight.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Exactly my thinking, Pat.

    The Zongshen motor is ADR approved in several roadgoing models, too.

    - boingk
  16. I had a friend buy a 250 chinese ripoff, did a small jump on it (literally a very small jump) and buckled the rims... lol...

    Personally i wouldn't be going for one unless its just to putt around the backyard in...
  17. Rode a Chinese pit bike with approx zero damping left in the rear shock. Which was entertaining, and an education in what shocks are *for*. Not a hard fix, though, and if you can do the work yourself...
  18. C'mon you're taking the piss now.
  19. Nope. The worst aluminium I have ever seen has been in Hondas from the late 70s and early 80s. The rest of the Big Four were marginally better but not by much. The recent Chinese stuff I've seen is definitely no worse and some appears to be rather better.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Bollocks. Posted too soon and the edit function seems to be playing up.

    Anyway, alloy quality aside, many Japanese bikes, particularly commuters and utilities but including a few of their more...erm...prestigious offerings, once you've looked beyong the shiny, glittery bling have screamed "CHEAP AND HORRIBLE". Chrome that went brown in the first winter. Frames made from shitty thin steel and finished with a quick blow over of black paint (no primer) when already rusty. Exhausts which disintegrated inside a couple of years. Rec-regs that repeatedly failed. Shocks with inadequate damping which lost what little they had in less than ten thousand miles. Monoshock linkages assembled with no grease and no facility for greasing apart from dismantling the back end of the bike. I could go on.

    So yes, the Japanese have built plenty of badly engineered cheap shit. They've just sold it better.
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