Just curious if anyone had ridden any of these or heard anything about them. They say the engines are "honda-based". I'm asking more out of curiosity than anything, but I do wonder how they would compare to say a Ninja 250 as a starter bike. I know that if you are looking in the 250cc class, the Ninja is pretty much the safe bet.
Really, I'm considering an old 500 as a starter bike, but these little Lifans are so cheap it makes me think about starting out on something like these and then trying to sell it for what I paid for. This site has them listed at $1,299 shipped to your door. Lol. Too good to be true, I suppose. Reliability must be a factor, as I'm sure performance is.
My cousin has one of those. When he left it sitting over winter the front wheel was turned and the triple clamp pinched (and subsequently broke) the speedometer cable, and he had to go to an auto parts store to get a cable and jury rig it up because the motorcycle dealers around us (we tried a yamaha and a kawi dealer) didn't have any kind of universal cable... So that's one thing to worry about, limited availability of parts. Also, my 26 year old Honda twin is bigger and faster than his bike. We went for a leisurely cruise and the fastest we went was 65 or 70 and he said he could tell his bike was straining to do it. It was also a bit breezy that day and he mentioned how he wished it was heavier cuz he was getting pushed all over the road. I'd say the better bet for performance, reliability, and resale value would definitely be the Ninja 250.
Forgot to mention, his bike leaks gas and we have no idea where it's coming from.
^ i agree, parts will be hard to find and there prob. isn't any resale value in these bikes. I would stick with a ninja 250/500 you will more than likely only keep your first bike for a season and then upgrade, so don't worry about looks.
In the last couple years, chinese bikes have begun to gain a lot of popularity in here, mostly due to their very low prices compared to their JDM counterparts. Of course, this being a 3rd world country, people went for the cheapest they can find, because money is very tight around here, and the majority of people that buy a bike in here is because of necesity, as a cheap mean of transport, not as a toy as many people in the US buy bikes for.
The problem is, the manufacturing quality is very under par...many owners of chinese bikes and scooters have told me that after leaving the dealership, they need to retighten a lot of bolts and screws, sometimes re-check a lot of the systems in the bike (brakes, carbs, etc) because they were badly setup from the factory, etc.
In the end, it's not worth the trouble. It's best to buy a used JDM bike than to be on a gamble with a chinese bike. The reliability is TERRIBLE.
-Leo #Turnt krew 001
Is Booley here? *RIP Armando Flores Jr. "Coke in a Can" 5/11/2009*
Hello--just stumbled across this forum and thought I could give a little info that might be useful. Last summer I was looking for a smaller dual sport (200-250cc)or for riding mostly trails in the woods near home and street use on occasion, mostly to get to and from the trails. I do not ride hard, just basic pleasure riding. Due to the lack of popularity of dual sport bikes in my area in the last 20 years (everyone uses ATVs here in Minnesota), I was unable to find a used dual sport anywhere near home, and $4000. for a new one wasn't in the budget. In my search on the internet I learned about Lifan motorcycles (chinariders.net was helpful) and I learned that a new one could be had for about 1/3 the cost of a comparable Suzuki or Yamaha. So I decided to try one, and ordered a Lifan 200cc dual sport. I knew up front that the bike would not approach the quality of a Japanese model, and that it would not only require more maintenance, but would likely offer lower performance since the engine is of an older overhead valve design. I must say, however, that the bike runs very well and I have had no problems to speak of. I very much enjoy riding it. I would say the electral system is weak and some of the plastics are brittle, but don't really have any other complaints. I do take it down the highway at times, and it will do 55 just fine. Top speed is about 65. I would assume the Lifan sport bike is of similar quality to their dual sport. Don't expect it to perform like a Ninja 250--the Lifan is a 200cc single, and won't come close. It may be fine for putting around town but is not a bike you would ride much out on the highway. As for parts, you should be able to order them off the net (Lifan is popular among the Chinese made brands) but don't expect to find parts locally unless there is a Lifan dealer in town. Also, don't expect good resale value with these bikes unless you can find a buyer who doesn't know how inexpensive they are to buy new. If quality and performance are your top priorities, shell out the money and get a name brand bike. But if you are like me and would like to try something different without spending much and enjoy riding and tinkering on a fairly simple machine, maybe you would like the Lifan. I know I like mine.
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