The Chinese Motorcycle industry is…erm…how would I describe this, let me think.. yep, that’s the one, “it’s like a ball of rubber bands,” when it comes to the companies that produce them. Often sharing various parts, rebranding other company’s bikes, or straight out copying the design of other motorcycle manufacturers like they don’t care. For most who buy a Chinese bike, it can be looked upon as a throw-away bike. The reality used to be that these bikes are ready for the scrapyard the moment a part is needed. Then we have the question of build quality which ranges from ‘Bad’ to your mate phoning you up after doing an oil change asking you why the sump bolt keeps spinning around in the thread…Oh dear. Yes some threads on the poorly designed bikes are made from mild cheese.
I will never forget as a young biker so innocent and uncorrupted looking on the internet and seeing a motorcycle for £799 from china. Yes, I bought one!! Yes, it arrived basically in a box and I had to assemble various parts myself. I remember my neighbour at the time asking me what I had bought and I swiftly replied “It’s a motorcycle” the reply was “what in a box”?!!...It lasted 6 months before the engine decided to start doing funny things…
Anyway, enough of that, are you finding it hard to sell your motorcycle? Why? Is it made in China? If the answer is yes then sadly you are not alone.
In recent years the quality of motorcycles being made in China has vastly improved. So much so that even looking at the prices of some of the 125cc models available on the market today they do not fall far short of the price of a Japanese 125cc made motorcycle. Japanese motorcycles have a superior reputation for longevity and build quality and it goes without saying that many a biker will rattle the same sentiment.
So why are Chinese produced motorcycles that bit harder to sell?
Well, it’s like everything, reputation really does matter and some of the negativity which has blighted these bikes does seem to stick around even though time and build quality has moved on. Then we have the small issue of residuals. Unfortunately, some makes can look very tired very quickly which does not help the cause when trying to sell on. Paint is often not as well finished as some of the more well-known makes and does not particularly hold up to the harsh UK winters. Even a coating of ACF50 does not seem to make much difference. Then we have the new price of the bikes. Chinese bikes are cheaper to buy new than other makes and manufacturers which means that resale values are low and you can take a pretty big hit when trying to sell a Chinese made bike after a year or so. I think if you are going to buy a Chinese made machine then you need to go in with the mindset of yes I am getting a shiny new motorcycle but when the time comes to sell this on I know I won’t get anywhere near what I paid for it so I might as well ride it to the death of it! After all, that’s why you bought it right?
But even my local dealer won’t touch it?
Yes, unfortunately, this does seem to be the case. Remember, as I have previously said reputation matters and so does reliability and over the years we have read many an issue on reliability with Chinese made motorcycles. Does a dealer with an outstanding reputation want to take the risk of a bike coming back to them? Some of the bikes made in China are a one-run production and after a year when production ceases then so do all the parts made for that bike which again can cause big problems for dealers and means the bike could be irreparable.
But my Chinese bike came with a two-year warranty?
Yes, most of the more well-known Chinese makes now do come with a 2-year warranty. This shows that the bikes have come a long way.
Chinese brands do represent an affordable alternative to the big names like Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha. The power is shifting though, as some Chinese makes now have a big foot in the market and a vast dealer network across the world. Just look how far brands like Lexmoto have come. The biking community would laugh at brands like Lexmoto in the past and their documented build quality in the early days was questionable and many people would say things such as, “you get what you pay for mate”. But people are not laughing so loudly anymore.
Lexmoto now has a firm foot in the UK and hold a respectable chunk of the lower 50cc and 125cc market and have spent a number of years now established in the UK.
Are we finally accepting Chinese made motorcycles?
We at anybikebought.com are!! as we buy Chinese made motorcycles. So if you are struggling to sell yours then give us a shout and let us make you a free no-obligation valuation of your motorcycle.
Holidays are coming so keep smiling.
Martin @ Anybikebought.com