Chinese tales – a brief overview

Traditional biker-style layout and low price = one of the most attractive options among Chinese bikes

As a result of the sanctions imposed by the governments of Western countries and Japan, Russia is faced with the withdrawal of most Western companies from our market, including motorcycle manufacturers. Of course, if we consider the issue strictly formally, then there was no direct refusal to supply. The conditions for the export of bikes to the Russian Federation have simply changed significantly, depending on the engine size and selling price, which were set in such a way that the shipment of motorcycles to our country became impossible. In order not to be unfounded, I will give examples.

The Americans resolved the situation head-on: they said bluntly that bikes with engines larger than 50 cubic centimeters would not be released into our country. And this, by the way, is all Harley-Davidson models. So the new Harley models of 2023 and later will come to us in the form of Chinese replicas, or through the so-called “parallel import”, which is essentially legalized smuggling. Therefore, there will be no guarantees for such American motorcycles.

The Europeans and Japanese closed the supplies in a smarter way. Europe refused to send bikes more expensive than 5,000 euros to Russia (this is 275-280 thousand rubles at the end of June 2023), and the Japanese – 600,000 yen (about 255 thousand rubles at the end of June 2023). In such an elegant way, deliveries of our popular bikes from BMW, as well as Japanese Suzuki and Honda, were closed.

It is clear that Russian bikers will not be left without motorcycles from the word “completely”. Most likely, China will take advantage of the situation in order to increase the export of bikes to us. Actually, about what Chinese models are already sold in Russia, I will tell further.

Chinese made choppers

The best option

The Lifan LF 250 Cruiser model was released a few years ago, but it has not yet been beaten by other competitors from China in terms of price / quality + good design.

The answer to the question why the Chinese were able to achieve an acceptable level of quality is quite simple: Lifan is a good replica of the Yamaha Virago XV 250 motorcycle. Moreover, the word “replica” must be taken literally, since many parts from Virago fit the LF 250 without any problems cruiser . This is an important point in the context of sanctions and problems with the search for imported motorcycle parts, since some parts for Lifan can be found at motor disassembly inside the Russian Federation.

I guess some bikers will like the motorcycle for its “biker” design, all these chrome parts, black color, elongated fork a la Harley, a dashboard on the gas tank.

The device is quite reliable and will last for a long time, during its operation serious problems occur extremely rarely. And the bike eats a little gasoline, only 2.4 liters per 100 km. So with a tank of 14 liters, you can safely drive up to 600 km. without refueling.

And yes, it costs only 150 thousand rubles.

Replica Harley-Davidson

The Chinese wouldn’t be Chinese if their raking little hands didn’t get to the biker legend, Harley Davidson. Next, we will talk about one specific replica – the Harley Davidson SPORTSTER Light model .

Of course, they charged a considerable price tag on it, they ask as much as 200 thousand rubles. In principle, this is understandable: they parasitize on the name of a great brand. At the same time, the motorcycle does not differ in exceptional quality. Simply put, it is no better than the same Lifan LF 250 Cruiser , which I wrote about above.

Although there are some points in which the Chinese Harley is better than its Chinese competitors:

  1. Lightweight at 142 kg.

  2. Excellent acceleration dynamics and playfulness.

Chinese king of speed among choppers

It is capable of accelerating to a hundred kilometers in 6 seconds, however, the Chinese either forgot, or, out of economy, did not put good hydraulic brakes on it, which significantly reduced the rider’s safety. It is good in turns, but walks in a straight line due to narrow wheels. It looks like a chopper on the outside, but at heart it’s more of a motorcycle designed for racing and speed. This is the Stels 400 Cruiser.

Beautiful, polished, sparkling mother-of-pearl and chrome Stels 400 Cruiser
Beautiful, polished, sparkling mother-of-pearl and chrome Stels 400 Cruiser

Like most Chinese counterparts, it is copied from foreign motorcycles. The prototype of Stealth was the Virago XV 400 from Yamaha. So, as in the case of the bike from Lifan, Stealth can be repaired using parts from Virago.

Also, I must say that there is one stumbling block in this motorcycle that can turn true bikers away from it to the bone. It’s about the location of the footrests. On the Stealth, they are made so that the biker sits closer to the “legs under him” position, and not like in a chopper, when the legs are extended far forward.

If the above does not become an obstacle to considering the option of buying a Stels 400 Cruiser , then its advantages include durability, reliability on long trips and, of course, unpretentiousness. Just keep in mind that when traveling long distances it is better to take consumables with you, for example, turn signal lamps and a spare cable. With large nodes, for example, with the engine and transmission, problems occur much less frequently.

And, of course, the current price of Stealth is 135 thousand rubles. In the future, it can grow to 160 – 170 thousand rubles.

Tourist models

Choppers are motorcycles designed primarily for urban or short distance travel. For long trips, motorcycle manufacturers have developed special touring bikes, the main purpose of which is to provide the rider with maximum comfort during many hours of travel on roads of any type.

Without a doubt, the best Chinese touring motorcycle model in 2023 is the CFMOTO 800 MT Touring .

Compared to Chinese choppers, this bike is way ahead in terms of rider comfort technology. It also has a heated seat and handlebars, wind protection, pads to protect your hands from pebbles, cruise control for a long monotonous trip and just huge wardrobe trunks of 99 liters. If we add to this a cool hawk-style design, you get a beautiful and comfortable motorcycle for traveling for only 1 million 345 thousand rubles.


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