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Old 04-01-2014, 02:38 AM   #1
Tony T OP
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Chinese Bikes?

I can't believe I'm even considering this, but can anyone tell me if Chinese bikes (specifically the Skyteam V Retro 250) are really as bad as I hear?
I'd prefer to only hear for those with first-hand experience and I'm keen to hear both good and bad experiences.
I really enjoy building and working on bikes, but I'd also like to have something that won't leave me stranded every second ride.
With serious time and preparation is it possible to make one reliable for a 3 or 4 day trip at a time?

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Old 04-01-2014, 02:47 AM   #2
gordonmichaellee
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You can be sure.

You can be sure that a chineese bike won't leave you stranded once every second ride?!?!?!

On a posetive note if your kids ride a chineese bike and they go missing, at least you can find them by following the trail with a metal detector.

On a serious note, please do yourself a favour and DO NOT buy one, they are terrible, there is no way anyone would buy a second one after their first experience with one.

If you are serious about buying one I will make you a bet for $50 dollars that within six months you will regret the purchase, if after six months it has been a posetive experience then I owe you $50 if not then you owe me $50.

I am not a gambling man and I only bet on things where the odds are in my favour.

Shake hands on the bet, yes or no???

Cheers Gordo'
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:54 AM   #3
Tony T OP
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Thanks Gordo.
Deep down, I was sure that was what I would hear, but I couldn't help thinking about it cos I keep reading about people that have been happy with them.
I really do love the preparation side of riding but I guess no amount of time in the shed can make up for poor quality metal, eh?
If that's their main issue?
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:04 AM   #4
Lupine128
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We've had mixed results with the Chinese bikes.
Some have been pretty good (mostly the Lifan motors) and some have been REALLY bad.
The good ones based on the Lifan motors are a reasonable piece of kit for the price. The motors themselves aren't bad, it's mostly the electrics that let them down. The frames have welds that look like old toothpaste squirted from a tube and the plastics are really plastic, but generally not as awful as

The bad ones. Oh god, the bad ones. We had a Chinese road trail thing in the shop that was a farm bike. He'd had it for about 6 months and according to him it hadn't worked right for more than a day at a time. When we started on it it had wiring that was just dry twisted together and wrapped in tape. That was from the factory. It had swing arm bearings that were just drilled nylon. And not drilled square. The fuel line was a length non fuel rated rubber hose that was deteriorating and shedding rubber into the line. The forks had rusted inside and out. Every thing we found was rooted beyond easy fixes. It was going to cost more to get the thing running right than he'd paid for it. Eventually he gave it to his son and bought a second hand ctx200 instead.

So, if it's a reasonable motor, and you're happy to spend some of your time and a few bucks in solder and tape to check the harness, you could be doing ok for the price. You know what you're looking for, treat it like buying a second hand bike and see what you get for your money.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:11 AM   #5
tHEtREV
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All I know about the Skyteam is from this guys thread... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=902645
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:38 AM   #6
Tony T OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tHEtREV View Post
All I know about the Skyteam is from this guys thread... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=902645
Shit....... that actually gave me some encouragement.......
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:40 AM   #7
tHEtREV
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Yeah... Sorry about that.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:12 AM   #8
farqhuar
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Bought a brand new Haobon 125 in Qinzhou China (close to Vietnam border) in 2008 and rode it 8,000km all around China, including up to Mongolia, before selling it a month later in Shanghai. Apart from punctures (frequent) and a snapped rear rack (due to overloading and the very poor roads) the bike never failed me.

On the days I rode I averaged 500km so overall reliability was not an issue.

The only other weaknesses were minor - poor quality plastics and rear cush rubbers, seat padding which was insufficient for my weight - and yes, I'd most definitely by another Chinese bike.

It cost me $500 and I sold it for half that as I had to leave China (for Korea) quickly - best value motorcycling I've ever had.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:31 AM   #9
Tex_Aus
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Does it have to be a Skyteam TT? There are quite a few other Chinese brands out there, is there something in particular about that model?

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Old 04-01-2014, 03:00 PM   #10
Tony T OP
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No, I just liked the look of it and read some reasonable reports but I'm not really fussed about a particular brand.
Because of limited chances to get away, I'm getting my motorcycle 'fix' from time in the shed these days and although I do enjoy rebuilding old bikes, I'm getting a little tired of all the rust and dirt.
So I thought one of these might be a bit of fun that I can work on and develop quite cheaply.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:05 PM   #11
scrobs
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If you are a bit handy with the spanners do it.
I bought my 3 boys a pit bike with a Ducar motor. It has done 10years good service. 1 of the boys fell off and punched a hole in the alternator casing but we found one in Melb $8. The usual nuts and bolts come loose (loctite) The boys have not been easy on it and its still gone ok.
Its not the quality of the Suzuki DS80 we also have but it was less than half the price. The motor vibrates more than a Jap 125 I have ridden but has not exploded yet. I am talking about a 10year old m/c I would think even China has progressed with quality control.
I remember when people would not by Japanese , now held in high esteem
Maybe I have been lucky? but I would buy another if it fit my purpose.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:33 PM   #12
th00r
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my first 3 bikes before going big were chinese

started with harley clones 150cc and 300cc, good for learning cheap to fix and maintain. Complain: nuts getting loose, solution lactate

Never going back that way.


third bike a 125cc scooter, super cheap to maintain good for city riding with good cargo capacity, I may get another one in the future

Look for engine life span, I have read a lot of opinions but with proper maintenance should give good 50k miles
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:08 PM   #13
Neonasty
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I purchased a 250cc chinese dirt bike about 7 years ago, when they first started coming into the country. 250cc Lifan engine, 5 speed manual, small frame, 16 inch front wheel and 12? inch rear. It would do wheel stands in first gear and second. Awesome fun.

$1000 delivered to my door from QLD.

I was rough on it, and always had problems, forks leaking, battery snapped off on the 2nd day, kick starter made nasty noises, broke the fuel tank, ripped off all the knobs on the tyres (that was my fault), used to stall randomly when it would get too hot.

Top speed of about 80Kms, it was equal to a 90s XR100, with more acceleration.

Its been sitting in my shed for years now, and Ive given it to a mate. Now its filled with electrical problems.

Would I get another? Nope. Id get a second hand decent bike instead.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:27 PM   #14
gordonmichaellee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neonasty View Post
I purchased a 250cc chinese dirt bike about 7 years ago, when they first started coming into the country. 250cc Lifan engine, 5 speed manual, small frame, 16 inch front wheel and 12? inch rear. It would do wheel stands in first gear and second. Awesome fun.

$1000 delivered to my door from QLD.

I was rough on it, and always had problems, forks leaking, battery snapped off on the 2nd day, kick starter made nasty noises, broke the fuel tank, ripped off all the knobs on the tyres (that was my fault), used to stall randomly when it would get too hot.

Top speed of about 80Kms, it was equal to a 90s XR100, with more acceleration.

Its been sitting in my shed for years now, and Ive given it to a mate. Now its filled with electrical problems.

Would I get another? Nope. Id get a second hand decent bike instead.
Exactly so it devalued by $1000 in seven years and caused no end of problems, You can by a Yamaha XT250 or Honda XL 250 for around a thousand bucks ride it for seven years with minimul problems and after seven years it's still worth $1000.

The real problem is not fixing them but the lack of something to ride whilst it needs fixing, disappointed kids with no ride today even though dad promised, getting it home when it's broken down etc. etc.

Cheers Gordo'

Cheers Gordo'
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:13 PM   #15
kipo
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Not quite the same but I could just imagine this same conversation, albeit not on the internet between all the BSA, Norton, Triumph etc., etc., riders when these 'rice burners' from Japan started to hit the market
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