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Chinese 'dual sport' build report...

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Chinese 'enduro' style motorcycles - what a trip!?

Zongshen ZS125GY- it's biking for beginners

The kid is 14 and all exicited about learning to ride a motorcycle, but my KLR is just too honkin big - especially for a beginner. I wanted something that wouldn't scare him, wouldn't hurt him, but could still go on trails and stuff with me on the big bike. I had in my thought bubble the Honda XL175 that I learned on when I was a teenager. Reliable, top speed about 50 mph, fun as hell and easy to maintain and fix if need be.

After a lot of looking - I had just about given up - hell even used dual sport or 'enduro' bikes in the 200cc range were $2500. Then I came across these chinese things. They go on ebay for anywhere from about $800 to $1500 - there are little strip mall stores popping up all over town with a slew of them in the parking lot (for about $2000 each) and I read some discussion here at Thumpertalk.com and even one on ADVRider.com about the "new" things from China.

I did some more poking around and research - seems there are literally hundreds of millions of these things putting along in third world countries - basically providing family transportaion for the LBSM's (little brown soccer moms) of the world. :banghead:

I found an 'importer' here in Vegas (heh - there's always a 'guy' in Vegas doncha know) who would sell me one for a hundred over cost - in the box - I get to put it together myself. Yum. My kinda deal eh?

Here it is just out of the box. The kid can't wait for dad to do his thing....

brentsexcited.jpg

Took me about 6 hours of head scratching and assembly - A LOT more head scratching time than actual assembly time I think. There were no instructions - there WAS a CD in the box - but I couldn't read any of the files - :lol

Here it is with the tires on and up on the lift:

onthelift.jpg

Once it was all together (minus the cheesy plastic overlays on the gas tank)

readytoroll.jpg

I just dumped in some gas & oil - and viola! The Kid and I were happily putting around the neighborhood last night! Tomorrow we head out to the desert and stretch it's legs!

advrider salute:

fyyff.jpg

8)

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what a guy, buys himself a KLR, and buys the kid a.... whatever it is.

couldn't even spring for the used XR250.

i hope he doesn't wonder why the kid never comes home from college.

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i hope he cleaned out the plastic shavings from the gas tank. or did he not read the other chinese bike report?

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ha-ha - yeah i read the other reports - checked for shavings (none!) - loosened chain (way too tight) and loctited all the nuts and bolts...

🤣🤣

it does look like a toy standing next to the KLR though:

new_moto_060.sized.jpg

I'll buy him a real bike as soon as he demonstrates the skills to handle it... :banghead::banghead:

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what is the recommended amount of movement in a properly fitted chain on that thing? 1 1/2" to 2"? or is did you just adjust it so it looked/felt right?

did you install those tank shrouds after all or just leave them off?

hope the kid as a blast on it. safely, of course.

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tank shrouds are still off - might put 'em back on when the desert heats up again -

as regards the chain, it started out tight at 'rest' - I compressed the rear spring fully and loosened it so it felt snug but not tight at full compression.

No manual/direcions - so I have to go with what I know.... :banghead:

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Cool. Takes some skill to put something like a bike together w/o instructions.

:banghead:

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You should compress the suspension so the swing arm pivot, countershaft and rear axle are all in a straight plane and adjust the chain to about a .25 inch of play at that point.

When all three are lined up, the chain is in its tightest place.

You gotta put a front fender on that thing. Ive seen the stockers and I wouldnt blame you for not putting that abortion on. But without the front fender it looks like some MadMax movie reject...

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i know these things aren't meant for any serious moto action, but those forks look scary! like they might flex on rain grooves.

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Well the Kid learned to ride today, I'm pretty happy with the thing - we did some sand - some moguls, some potholes, in the desert:

He even ditched it once -

woops.jpg

We had zero problems with the bike - it started right up every time he dropped it or killed it popping the clutch - and he had a big grin on his face when all was said and done...

brent_rides_008.sized.jpg

it's definatley a keeper in my book....

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fyyff.jpg

Glad you had fun, and taught him a little about riding. Now you need to work on his bird technique. :banghead:

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C'mon, Dad - step up and get him the right safety gear, and if he already has the right gear don't let him ride without it.

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oh no - the AGATT nazi's strike again!

(and where do you see him riding w/o the 'right' gear exactly?)

the helmet is as good as anything else on the market - did you even read the info page I posted?

:banghead::banghead:🤣🤣

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You never did say what $100 over cost actually translates into for a P.O.S., hopefully under a grand ?

Main thing is to instill a sense of responsibility and safety while having fun in our new generation of RIDERS and based on the kids grin he sure is having fun.

Kudos to you for giving us a report on your experiment...better than the editorialized and politically driven reports we get from the Rags. Hope it works out and you can resell it at a fair price when he's ready for a real bike, next weekend ;-)

Keep up the great reporting...for better or worse

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oh yeah - just under 1k out the door for the bike....I figure if it's still running in a couple years I got my money's worth - and if I can sell it used to some new kid who wants to learn for $3-500 It's all good...

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oh yeah - just under 1k out the door for the bike....I figure if it's still running in a couple years I got my money's worth - and if I can sell it used to some new kid who wants to learn for $3-500 It's all good...

:banghead: Maybe not a bad deal at that price but no more...I recently bought my daughters 2003 TTR125L for $1,400. It was virtually new with just a couple of hours on it and I know it will be reliable and retain good value.

The true test will be how the China Bike holds up for you and if your son remains content :banghead: with it...Good Luck and let us know down the road.

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oh no - the AGATT nazi's strike again!

(and where do you see him riding w/o the 'right' gear exactly?)

the helmet is as good as anything else on the market - did you even read the info page I posted?

:banghead::banghead:🤣🤣

Sorry to get you riled up, I tried to phrase that in a nice way. This picture is what I was referring to ...

http://www.friendshuh.com/albums/album16/brent_rides_008.sized.jpg

BTW, That riding area looks perfect for beginners but ...

I did look at the info page and that helmet is not up to snuff for OFF-ROAD riding. It's might be fine for street cruising. If he goes down face first (it happens all the time) it might not be pretty. Why wouldn't you just get something that gives maximum protection? Knee guards and riding boots will make all the difference in the world when he falls. That kid's having a blast and I salute you for it - just suggestions to keep him safer.

I will bow out of this thread. Carry on!

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I have one of these bikes. It's a great deal for the money. Thanks for the post! It's cool to see someone else enjoying these bikes as well. Mike

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