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Chinese bikes & the Great Japanese Brainwash

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spetom
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PostPosted: 21:19 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Chinese bikes & the Great Japanese Brainwash Reply with quote

I feel a sense of irony and some bemusement when I read the fanaticism with which British motorcyclists talk about & defend 'Japanese' motorcycles, and as a point of moral high ground and motorcycle snobbery slander the evil 'chinese' motorcycle.

Please take it from someone who knows, does business with China and likewise has owned 5 125cc motorcycles both Japanese and Chinese (and ridden many others):

There is not one, not one Japanese motorcycle today that isn't made up from at least some parts "made in China" and most "Japanese bikes" are made up of a majority of "made in China" parts, while only a small percentage could be truly called "made in Japan".

Let me give you an example, the latest Honda CG 125 that people rave about as being so much better than the evil chinese "copies" is actually fully made in China, yes thats right it is 100% made in China. Moreover it is not even made by Honda it is made by a subsidiary chinese company called "Wuyang" and then branded and sold as Honda, and yes Wuyang also make their own motorcycles which also make their way to the UK.

The plot thickens:
Wuyang is also part of the Guangzhou Automobile Group, which are part owned by the Chinese governement and which are affiliated with other Chinese motorcycle producers of the so called "Chinese crap" as moto snobs put it, the truth being (with 125cc's at least) that Japanese & Chinese motorcycles are actually much closer than cousins or copies.

I hear and read about people complaining about the rust on their Chinese motorcycles? My question is this = have you ever left a Honda CG 125 outside the garage over winter? Yes, it rusts the same as a Chinese, thats right identical. People naturally take less care of a "Chinese" as they are inclined to think its crap anyway, that still doesn't mean the brainwash "Japanese" would do better in the same conditions. Hence why every year Japanese bikes have more and more plastic fairings, ever noticed that?

That is not to say theren't aren't misgivings with Chinese motorcycles.

Here are some general guidelines and ways of testing a good vs bad Chinese bike if you are considering buying one (this is more specific to 125s):

1) Wheel spokes: Stay away from Chinese bikes if they have wire spokes. I can't explain to you why but these models in general are real trash. Can't explain why just take it as sound advice, it is probably a golden rule.

2) Rear drive chain (axle) adjuster: the bit that adjusts the drive chain and holds the rear axle in place. This should not be made of non-hardened steel if it is a simple arrangement like on the Honda CG 125, this is sometimes difficult to tell but the steel appears more dull with age if it is do not buy (it's ok on models that have more complex adjuster arrangements).

3) If the bike comes in box, ask yourself do I really know what I'm doing? Are you really qualified to correctly build this bike? Most peope build the bikes on their own badly and then complain when things go wrong.

4) If the bike comes already built ask the question? Who built this? Did they know what they were doing? Maybe I should check? Go over the bike yourself, perhaps rebuild it, change oil etc. The major difference between Chinese and "Pseudo Jap" is quality control, they build the bike correctly thats all.

5) Yes the engines are exactly the same, copies is an understatement. Most chinese 125s use the 156 or 157 FMI yes the exact same one Honda use. So don't worry too much about the engine, ask yourself who built this? Did he use the right oil? Maybe I should go over the engine? Who set the valves? etc.

6) Make sure it's on the DSA list if you are due to taking an A2 restricted exam.

7) Restricted engine design is what makes Honda 125s last nothing else not rocket science, if your Chinese is not restricted pushing it means you will knacker it.

Here is how I rank the following Chinese and Japanese bikes I've owned, they are all 125s and I rate them as such:

Winner- 2005 X-Stream BT 125-5 made in China: Top speed (dyno tested) 72mph (the bike is resitricted although from the graph without restriction should be able to reach around 90mph although I wouldn't recommend it). Engine does not struggle to reach 60mph. Very stable heavier bike on dual carriageways and motorways, great handling for a 125, engine is positioned quite low so good centre of gravity around corners. Although several parts are not the best chrome (like the mud guards) no rust trouble, good seating for myself and passanger. 15000 miles on clock starts first time cold, handles well in bad weather. Negatives: Parts hard to come by but a very underrated bike. Not on the DSA list.

2nd place- 1980s Honda CG 125: Don't be fooled by this being in 2nd place, it really wasn' t that great and rust prone. Plus points were the engine was still in fairly good nick for its age, good seating position, easy for passanger or luggage. Handling was good as these models had lower engines. Struggled to get to 60mph. On the DSA A2 list.

3rd place- 2006 Chituma CTM125 made in China: Probably the shoddiest of all the bikes I've owned, literally fell to bits (and yes it had wire spokes). So why is it in 3rd place? Well despite it rusting fast and falling apart (mainly due to the previous owners lack of mechanical savvy) it was a stable and sound ride although it could not go faster than 50mph resistricted (it is A1 on the DSA list). It is practically exactly the same as a old Honda CG and I'm sure if I wanted and could have been bothered to I could have upgraded it so that it had the same speed and reliability.

4th place 2008- Honda CG 125 and Wuyang WY125-16C made in China: Last and least these two bikes are ranked the same as they are in fact exactly the same bike + or - some fairing here and there and are made by the same producer. Although mechanically sound, with disc brakes more plastic fairings and brand new these are terrible rides let me tell you why. They have high engine positions and their rear wheel is closer to the rear of the rider and the engine, these combined with being just over 115kg result in a less than favourable ride. For starters as soon as you go faster than 40mph the bike becomes extremely light at the front, the reason is simple the rear driving wheel has less opposing force as it is right next to the opposing weight the rider and the engine (imagine a rear wheel that is further to the rear of the rider and engine, it has more opposing weight to lift the front end of a motorcyle), what is the result? At higher speeds the front becomes very light and if you are not travelling directly straight out of control, these bikes are not safe above 50mph. Cornering is terrible again a higher engine position makes the bike literally top heavy and for a light 116 kg motorcycle this is bad news, try to lean over just slightly in bad weather or winds on these bikes and feel the skid instantly develop -this does not happen on my BT125-5. The new seating arrangement is terrible and I can only say designed for chinese/japanese men with small endowements, the pillion rider has it even worse and no where to strap luggage. Only pluses are they are brand new and on the A2 DSA list.

So there you have it the low down no BS study on chinese vs japanese bikes and the Japanese brainwashing that has occured in the UK. Thats not to say that bigger japanese bikes are not better but there are practically no big "Chinese" bikes I can think of.

My advice to people having passed their exam, leave japanese and chinese bikes. Get your wrench out, grab yourself by the balls and buy a british classic like triumph, norton, bsa, vincent. Don't moan that they leak oil they don't, only the 60s models did so don't buy the 60s models, simple! Grow the balls, grab the balls, grab the wrench and stop whining like a bunch of Japanese school girls.

(And if you must buy a superbike obviously a Triumph!)


Last edited by spetom on 21:37 - 30 Aug 2010; edited 1 time in total
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neatbik
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PostPosted: 21:21 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pass the popcorn
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Teflon-Mike
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PostPosted: 21:28 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello... welcome to the forum, tom!
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Ariel Badger
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PostPosted: 21:32 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Winner- 2005 X-Stream BT 125-5 made in China: Top speed (dyno tested) 72mph. Engine does not struggle to reach 60mph

Speed on a dyno means nothing Thumbs Down
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spetom
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PostPosted: 21:36 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Speed on a dyno means nothing Thumbs Down


It does when you're doing 65-70mph on a motorway, thanks for reminding me I might add the bike is restricted. Give me a moment I will change it on the original thread. Very Happy
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Frost
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PostPosted: 21:36 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

We know that they are all made in china, but Honda and the other big manufacturers have quality control, standards and design the bikes in japan. The chinese manufacturers for the most part design crap bikes, make them out of very poor quality materials and use sub standard labour. A lot of the bikes are sold part assembled in crates and are made to such a cheap price by using horrible materials. The few bikes i've known people own have rusted within a few weeks and break down on a daily basis. Isn't the CG made in brazil anyway?

http://world.honda.com/history/challenge/1975cg125/text/05.html
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Frost
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PostPosted: 21:38 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ariel Badger wrote:
Speed on a dyno means nothing Thumbs Down


Agreed. With the correct gearing it's probably possible to get a 125 to over 100mph on a dyno as there is no air resistance.

Also if the bike is a CG copy, its not restricted, but designed to be under the legal power limit.
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27cows
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PostPosted: 21:39 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting read. My brother has had a number of Chinese bikes. He had a Chituma, which is without question the most appallingly made piece of old shite I've ever seen in my life. The wheels didn't even have rim tape Shocked The whole thing was a bucket of rust and went to the scrappers after less than 18 months (and it was kept in a garage and mostly ridden in the dry).

He also had a Sanya 125 which was superbly built, extremely reliable and even looked nice. 899 OTR and it was still running nicely at 20K+ when some muppet back ended him.

He's currently got an Arrow 125, which cost about 850 and has been no bother at all during the year he's had it. As ever, getting spares is the biggest problem, but they're very cheap if you can find a source.

In my experience, small Hondas are absolutely dreadful so far as build quality goes.
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spetom
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PostPosted: 21:39 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaFrostyOne wrote:
Isn't the CG made in brazil anyway?



The old model was made in Brazil before, I'm not sure about the 90s however.
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Ariel Badger
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PostPosted: 21:45 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what British antique do you ride?
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27cows
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PostPosted: 21:46 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

The CG125 is a pile of substandard old cock that only has frugal fuel consumption in its favour. IMHO Wink Even the old Japanese ones of the 70s and 80s weren't all that. The RXS100 runs rings round the CG in every area but mpg.
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G
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PostPosted: 21:53 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Re: Chinese bikes & the Great Japanese Brainwash Reply with quote

There was already a thread about this. You posted the same post in there. Tut Tut Please try and keep to one only posting a post once Thumbs Up.

Quote:
(And if you must buy a superbike obviously a Triumph!)

Triumph don't make a superbike. When they did, it wasn't very super.
Reading this - both from the 'patrotic' and the 'lack of knowledge' side is going to make me a bit suspicious.
For the record, Triumph do make a supersport bike - it's 'ok' and quite nice for what it is, but I wouldn't say amazing and can't see any massive reason to buy one over a Japanese bike.

Yes, I have left a CG outside over winter. It rusted a lot less than quite a few chinese motorcycles I've seen left out over winter - hell it rusted less than chinese motorcycles I've seen left outside in summer!
Seeing that I never cleaned or did any 'anti-rust' stuff to my cg, can't see that it could be the people owning the chinese bikes were any worse.


Quote:
5) Yes the engines are exactly the same, copies is an understatement. Most chinese 125s use the 156 or 157 FMI yes the exact same one Honda use. So don't worry too much about the engine, ask yourself who built this? Did he use the right oil? Maybe I should go over the engine? Who set the valves? etc.

Are you saying that the engine is identical, or the design is identical?
My Honda-copy generator dropped a valve after not many hours.
It might have been the setup as you suggest, but I suspect it was poor quality control on the materials of the pushrod - though as I believe the clearances were set at the factor, either way it's a 'Chinese quality' issue.

I haven't ridden a really recent CG, but I don't believe they have changed their configuration massively in regards to weight distribution since I have.
I didn't find any problems with the bike being light at the front. A GSXR1000 at Snetterton with stock suspension and steering damper, yes, but never any CG I've ridden! Smile
If there really was often a skid 'instantly developing', then it sounds like a problem with the bike - or possibly, I would suggest, an incorrect interpretation of the 'feel', presuming nothing silly was being done by the rider Smile.

Nice to see some real opinions of a variety of bikes Thumbs Up.
Out of interest, why do you recommend old British bikes?

Quote:
It does when you're doing 65-70mph on a motorway, thanks for reminding me I might add the bike is restricted. Give me a moment I will change it on the original thread. Very Happy

How is the bike restricted, out of interest? And why - for 14.6hp laws Confused.
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CarlosCBR
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PostPosted: 22:09 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any comparison between the CBR125 and Skyjet replica? No comparison imo, the Skyjet was total crap and made out of cheese.
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spetom
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PostPosted: 22:10 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So what British antique do you ride?

Not mine but in the family. 1948 Triumph Tiger 350 ex-military repainted to civilain. I'm still on the BT125-5 until I can afford to buy it from a relative.
Quote:
Are you saying that the engine is identical, or the design is identical?

Inner design is almost identical, even if there are some slight version variation. If you have the same engine number you can use the same parts despite variations.
Quote:
How is the bike restricted, out of interest? And why - for 14.6hp laws

I have no idea why it is restricted but it was tested twice, both times the bike reached a point where it would not allow anymore speed without loss of power. A dyno graph should be a horizontal elliptic curve as the engine loses power. As the ellipse levels and starts to come down there is a sudden cut off. This is confirmed by other people's reviews of the speed:

http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews96539.html
Quote:
Out of interest, why do you recommend old British bikes?

There are other bikes I recommend of different nationalities however old British bikes are pure understated elegance and the mark of a true gentleman.
Quote:

I haven't ridden a really recent CG, but I don't believe they have changed their configuration massively in regards to weight distribution since I have.
I didn't find any problems with the bike being light at the front.

I've owned both old and new CG 125, if you don't believe me look at a side photo of both old and new CGs you will instantly see what I am talking about.

Quote:
(alleged) chinese ones

I've owned both, look at a side photo of Wuyang WY125-16C then look at at side photo of a new Honda CG 125. Then read the following on the Honda website which is only the start of the maze of knowledge.

http://world.honda.com/news/2006/c060228WuyangNewMotorcyclePlant/


Last edited by spetom on 22:16 - 30 Aug 2010; edited 1 time in total
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spetom
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PostPosted: 22:14 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teflon-Mike wrote:
Hello... welcome to the forum, tom!


Hello Mike!
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MarJay
But it's British!



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PostPosted: 22:15 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

The height of forum rudeness:

To come on to a random forum which you have not posted on before and immediately attempt to stamp your 'authorit-ah' without trying to contribute to the forum.

Please leave, Mr Troll.
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spetom
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PostPosted: 22:20 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarJay wrote:
The height of forum rudeness:

To come on to a random forum which you have not posted on before and immediately attempt to stamp your 'authorit-ah' without trying to contribute to the forum.

Please leave, Mr Troll.


No one's ever called me a troll yet, a first time for everything! Very Happy
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G
The Voice of Reason



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PostPosted: 22:30 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

spetom wrote:

I have no idea why it is restricted but it was tested twice, both times the bike reached a point where it would not allow anymore speed without loss of power. A dyno graph should be a horizontal elliptic curve as the engine loses power. As the ellipse levels and starts to come down there is a sudden cut off. This is confirmed by other people's reviews of the speed:

Unfortunately that site is down. Is it in every gear? Sounds like a general rev limiter, but I've seen plenty of dyno graphs showing that sort of result as the engine reaches it's limit. 2 strokes often show a not too dissimilar result as they suddenly go past their working range.

By new, I'm talking that I've ridden a 'noughties' model cg with a disc brake.

Quote:
Inner design is almost identical, even if there are some slight version variation. If you have the same engine number you can use the same parts despite variations.

Yes and I don't think anyone denies this.
It is very useful in some cases - I've read up on Chinese minimotos that can be 'made good' with just a few Italian bits (though that concept it's self is quite scary Razz).
However, the point is that it's far more than the engine design - it's everything from the metal to the person doing up the bolts that makes or breaks that design.
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MarJay
But it's British!



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PostPosted: 22:37 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not wanting particularly to add to the pointless argument but...

Materials is everything with regard to this. The Japanese import good steel and aluminium to factories controlled by them. The chinese use poorly prepared poor quality materials in 'their' bikes which is why frames crack and pistons shatter.
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Ariel Badger
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PostPosted: 22:46 - 30 Aug 2010    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two British bikes are in your face agro and I aint no gentleman.
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