Dual-Sport 200cc Lifan-Powered Bike from Day-One.....

This is a summary of my experiences, good and bad, from day-one of ownership (purchased in 7/2005) of my Lifan-powered 200CC Dual Sport bike.

Contributions are welcome, but please try to keep at a minimum your comments (good or bad) unless they are from 1st-hand experience.


The first 10 posts are key diary entries over the last 12 months of ownership.

July 30, 2005

At this point I have about $800 in bike delivered to my door. Not alot....at the worst it will be an $800 lesson as to why to buy Japanese.

The bike took 10 days to get here. The bike came delivered in a metal frame/pallet that was enclosed in a box.

Small-parts box with battery and screws taped to inside.

It was well packaged IMO.

Documentation included assembly instructions, parts book w/exploded diagrams, and a users manual.

Instructions pretty much sucked, so I tossed them asside and relied mostly on my experience.

Bike was delivered with a 3 inch crack in the plastic, and 2 wires pulled out of the clutch-release switch.

I went over every nut and bolt. I noticed that externally attached smaller items were often bolted up loosely and needed to be locked-tited. The big items (such as forks, frame, and other bults-nuts 13mm and larger were fine. I also noted that the motor was tightly assembled except for the header pipe.

The handlebars came fully assemble with all switches, levers, knobs installed. The bars were taped sideways to the front fork.

Unfortunately when you invert a hydrolic brake lever/cylinder air gets into the system. Brakes had to be bled. I just went ahead changed it all in favor of some fresh quality DOT3. I also drained the oil and put in my favorite 10w40 no-MOLY Valvoline.

The battery and electolite came seperate.

The chain was WAY too tight...I had to back it down several full turns.

Bike cranked right-over, and all lights/assessories worked.

No MSO shipped with the bike. This gets sent later and must not accompany bike in shippment.

I cant imagine a newby being able to safely/successfully assemble it without experienced help.













Update #2: First ride

All my riding today was around my home in suburban VA. Paved roads and some good hills.

I gassed up this morning, put on my gear. The bike started right up. It took about a minute to warm up. I put it in 1st and road off as if I had done it a thousand times before.

I rode for about an hour (25 miles) or so and came back home. I'll change the oil before I ride again.

The bike is geared really low. I was prepared for this in that I had read 200GYs work well with a 40 or 46T (vs th 54/56 it has?). I will do this for sure, and post details on which Honda sprockets will work. Anyway, I just kept it below 40 (it wont go much faster) on this ride.

It has a very comfortable ride. Off road should not be a problem, but I'll keep it off the jumps. I like the road feel of the bike and was pleasantly surprised.

It is a big bike....not heavy though....I'm 6'2" and when I stradle the seat and plant my feet flat I dont bend at the knees until I put most of my weight in the seat. This was a welcome surprise as well. I was expecting something smaller.

"fit-and-feel" of the switches, controls, knobs is not very good. I have to jiggle the key to get the ignition to turn, and I have to jiggle the key to get the gas cap off. The mirrors that came with the bike are adaquate.

Turn signals worked great for the 1st 2 or three times I used them, then they cut out...would not work anymore. I expect it is something simple. Will update later.

The odometer is not accurate at all. For every 2 miles I travel, the bike odemeter reads 2.5.

The speedo is off as well. It reads 30 when I'm going about 40MPH.

Brakes were firm and had good feel. No problems to report here.

The engine seems tight right now. Lots of engine-brake. Torque curve of engine is flat throughout most of the RPM range. No knock-your-socks off powerband. It is what you'd expect from a 4-stroke 200cc bike.

The gears shift well. It is a little tight when I double-shift up from 2nd to 4th or 3rd to 5th. I expect as the bike breaks in that shifting will be smoother. Down shifts no problems. No gear pop-outs at all while riding.

The bike seems to be running a little on the lean side under load on the upper-RPMs. I did add an in-line fuel filter when I put the bike together. I'm going to take it off and see how it works.

If this were a dealer-purchased bike, I would have taken it back to the dealer for service:

1) Fix the key-jiggle problem

2) Adjust the carb (although this problem may be self-inflicted)

3) Fix the turn signals

4) Fix the speedo and odometer


So far so good. No major gatchas or disapointments. Runs well, looks great, and is a nice ride overall.

Looking forward to putting on a few more hours locally, and then taking it for some light trail riding.




Upate #3

I took off the after-market fuel filter that I added.

Bike runs fine now throughout the RPM range.


I changed the oil after about 30 miles. No metal flakes, filings, or paste in the oil or filter screen. I replaced it with Valvoline white-bottle stuff (no-molly) 10w40.


I rode another 11 miles or so and parked it for the weekend. I'll be calling the seller today for my MSO and bill-of-sale. Hope to have it soon. Next headache will be getting it titled/licenced in VA.


I went over the bike really good (after almost 45 miles and 1.5 hours of running). No loose parts or screws.


The bike is only good for about 45mph, maybe 50mph or so. So I bought a 44T rear sprocket to replace the stock 56T one. The front sprocket is 15T, and there is not much room for anything bigger. It may take a 16T, but nothing more. I got a new rear sprocket for only $9.95 plus $5.00 shipping. It is a honda SL/XL/XR standard bolt-pattern.





Nothing really to add. All is OK so far.

Rain is in the forcast, so I dont expect to ride for a spell.

I did follow up with the importer/seller on the problems that I had (turn signals, and shipping-rash) today. I'll post back if they do anything at all (not holding my breath though. )

The next big problem I need to address is getting it registered in VIRGINIA. I'm not optimistic on this, and I think my chances are slim.



*17-digit VIN....does anybody know a way of validating it as not being grey-market?

*Obviously the bike is not a dirt-conversion....it is intended for street use. The DMV inspector may not scrutenize it too closely.

*I have 3 DMVs close to me....hopefully one will slip it through.


*No EPA rating. I dont know of any Chinese scooters/bikes that have it.

*No DOT rating (I dont think). No safety-specs plate next to VIN-plate.

*New federal regulation (hearsay mostly...cant seem to get a handle on it) which requires that the 1st-three-digits of VIN be in some sort of database.





Close to 100 miles now.....

No trail time yet. Lots of speed bumps and a few road medians.

Even tried a lame wheelie (these 4-strokes have some wicked engine break.)

Maybe by October I'll have some trail time to report back.


I never got a reply from the seller on my list of issues. I got the runnaround and just didnt feel like pushing it. I fixed the blinkers....took seat off on plugged connector back in. The key works fine now.

The nipples on the tires are gone and the "new" bike smell/feel/look is going away.


Bike does not lean out anymore. Quit doing that shortly after 1st oil change. I suppose it was normal break-in stuff.


Replace 56T sprocket (honda SL/XL 43-tooth) and a chain to go with it (keep the other one for quick sprocket changes without cutting new chain) if I ever want to. Sprocket cost $9.00 and the 428 chain cost $9.00. Both new. Bike is MUCH MUCH more streetable now. 65Mph tops (vs 50) now. Seems like it even has better acceleration also (less messing around with gears?). Weird.


Got it inspected yesterday. Hope to go fight DMV next week or two.


Overall not a single new issue. Not even a loose bolt/nut. The 2-hour build/pre-check is paying off here I'm sure. The engine has loosened up some and it seems to run cooler. I'm happy for the time being.





Got some NICE dirt time in today!....and only 1 mile from home at that!

One portion of the trail has a 200" climbout of at least 20-degree grade. I managed to bury the bike to the footpegs twice climbing out of it! No problem...just reposition and ease the slip the clutch up the hill. Very smooth and predictable clutch was a plesure to work. Keeping the front wheel down also proved difficult at first. It's been years (20!) since I have riden like this. I found the Yamoto's suspension handled random terrain nicely. Full tavel came easily (some would say too soft in the front?) and a very comfortable to ride. The engine ran cool (I was going fairly slow) and did not hesitate or stall a single time. I could'nt be happier with the smooth delievery of power to the wheel, and the shifting is great also. It's pattern is exactly the same as the honda's I have owned. One-down, five up. I'm not sure why other people would be reporting different. No jumps. I dont want to get chased off too soon (it's just a matter of time though) so I kept the noise and hotdogging to a minimum. When I got home my wife was blown away! My new looking bike was all brown and my pants/shirt/face/arms where as brown as the bike!

Other stuff:

One of the screws holding a side cover worked loose about a week ago. Need to replace it....it was stripped at the factory I suppose. Also, Last Tuesday I went to ride and the rear tire was flat. The stem ripped off the tube on the inside of tire. The wheel must have spun on the rim. I was really suprised to see that the wheel DID NOT have wheel lock(s)! Oh well, suppose I'll be keeping the tires inflated above 15PSI.





Parts needed so far for my bike:

Front tube....picked up at local Honda shop

Rear tube.....local Honda shop

Chain..........local Honda shop

Rear sprocket...local Honda shop

Oil, spare spark plug...Track Auto

Dirt spot I was riding at was posted and fenced.

No more riding for me there.




Update #8

I've had it for almost 3 months now. I like it and have zero regrets.

The bike has broken in nicely, without any loss of power (actually gained a bit). The engine is smooth (for a thumper) and has no hesitation or bad habits. NEVER ONCE has it flooded or not started. I have only used the kick-start once....just to see what it was like (It's a bitch compared to my other two-strokes though....is this normal for a thumper?). No smoke since the initial paint-smoke from the header/pipe for the first few trips. Oil is clear....due for a second change.

The two tubes both failed. No other parts failed or fell off bike. No adjustments other than messing with the chain tension and lever adjustments and handle-bars as I learned the bike. Have not touched the carb or any other engine component.

I have a little extra to report that I had not planned on though.....I laid the bike down, actually it fell down quite hard, while cruising at 35-40MPH on a paved road. Dumb. Anyway, the bike survived un-scathed. The knob on the end of the clutch lever lever ground down about to a half-ball, my left foot-peg bent in, the shifter got bent, and the left grip got scuffed up pretty bad. All body panels survived whole and intact. I got some scrapage on the left headlight cowling, left side cover, and left gas tank.


Read first few posts for fit/finish problems. Going over the bike initially has paid dividends big-time.

Problems so far that I can attribute to cheap parts:

*)Stripped threads on a side-panel screw, Also I stripped heads on two other same-kind large body screws.

*)Tubes suck. Both blew out within days of each other (the front one almost killed me!!!). I replaced with some good ones from Honda dealership.

*)Connectors? Had to re-seat my blinker-connector under the seat. Maybe this is an assembly problem that I did not initially discover. So far so good.

Modifications so far:

Replaced rear sprocket and chain. This is a must-do in my opinion. You will be dissapointed and "owned" by your riding freinds if you dont.

Looking for a good low-restriction fuel filter....cant hurt.

Added a tach. I never had a bike without one...why start now?

I rubbed the cheap non-yamoto importer stickers off using rubbing alcohol...."Terminator" in big 5-inch letters? Hehehe. That just had to go.




Plates Success Update!

Got plates!

1st off, VA is tough! Recent EPA rules and grey-market searches were enough to stop the process dead in it's tracks. I was not optimistic at all. It was a long shot.

This all took place today:

Took me all day and a trip back home and to a notary, but I got it!

The 1st DMV lady (rude) would not help me because I did not have an official bill-of-sale. EBAY/PAYPAL reciepts and MSO not good enough.

OK, fine, so I researched and called DMV headquarters and found out that I could submit a notarized VA DMV form SUT-1A declaring the price paid.

I got it, and returned to DMV. Dump DMV lady still said no go. Went back to the DMV lady...still no go. Idiot said I must have BoS.

Went to manager. DMV-man said notarized form OK, but new issue was that in order for MSO to be good, the seller (who is just an importer dumping the bikes) must be on the MSO as a previous owner. MSO listed me as the 1st owner.

OK I started to play stupid here, not being argumentative (important part of plan), and asked the DMV-dude what I had to do to make it all good. He proceeded to explain. We went around for about 10 minutes. I said it was an MSO and never titled (played stupid again) and asked again what I needed to do. He explained again why I could not get a title, but this time WITH A SMALL CHANGE.

Ahhhhhh.....a window of oportunity....he flinched!

I said the old "well you said xxxx before" which one is it?

I had him!

He gave a frustrated sigh and called one of his more senior helpers telling him to take care of me and get this bike titled!:

Now it was looking REALLY good.....not only was I to get titled, but the other guy pretty much went strait into making a title and failed to validate any of the other stuff (like EPA, and grey-market VIN). $73 later I have a title and plate!




Update #9

Not much to add....still thumping along. Zero new problems or anoyances. Did some heartier trail riding with some nasty rutts. Even took to the air breifly once or twice.

Ditto on the reliability claims, especially when comparing these to tried-and-true japanese bikes. Data is limited, and often not that great for some of the "no-name" no-name (...yes, i repeated it on purpose) chinese makes. Too early to say.

Having said that, after owning it for almost 5 months and reading about others here and other places, I think it is safe to say that the engines on these are pretty good, no, make that excellent.

The chassis seem to be holding up well for street use and conservative trails. Jumping and your asking for problems with this, or any of the older dual-sport Japanese steel-wheeled light bikes under 250cc.




Update #10

Well I've been riding it for a spell and thought it prudent to go over the bike front to back. I'm on my 3rd tank gas now. Still under 300 miles. The inspection paid dividends IMO.

1st off, my chain needed tightening...no big deal, cracked it up a turn on each side. I then noticed that my wheel has been rubbing on the inside of the muffler. I've been riding a little bit on the hard side this month....I need to tone it down a bit before I break something. Anyway, the muffler mount was bent-in a bit. I did not notice this back in the summer when I put it together. The bent mount was caused by the shipping-rash I documented in my 1st post. Easy fix...just bent it back straight.

Since day one I felt that the clutch was stiff. I figured it would work loose over time, but no, it didnt. I went ahead and re-routed it in a straighter path to the lever. The cable was clumped in with all the other cables and stuff at the factory and was not done with any thought. I also put about 10-15 drops of machine oil into the sleeve and worked it end-to-end. Bingo! The clutch feels great, is easy to work, and no (!!!) more hunting for neutral. It must not have been disengaging 100% at full stop.

Suggest that all of you look into this. At a miniumum oil the cable up a bit.

I tightened the back brake a bit.

Nothing else. All was tight. Mostly just adjustments. I should have done this sooner.

I also noticed that I have been riding for who knows how long with the petock on reserve.....good thing I never ran out of gas.

I'm looking to replace my clutch lever. There is a crack in it from when I rolled my bike in September. Any ideas? I want the stock one. I bet the JetMoto guys got it?

I'll be winterizing it probably this month. A oil change and remove battery comes to mind. Some people store their bikes wet (full tank), others run the bike dry.



I blew a fuse yesterday farting around with adding some electronics to my bike. I had to pull the seat to get to the fuse. It is a sandard 15-amp bus fuse. I was pleasantly suprised to find a spare inside the fuse housing. Nice .15c touch.

Anyway, while I had the seat off I noticed that the forward portion of the rear fendor had a hole cut in it for header pipe to fit through. The hole was substancial enough (about 3x8 inches) to allow alot of road grime into the space under the seat, which houses a good bit of the electrical stuff for the bike like the selenoid, regulator, blinker, and harness connectors that fork out to the rest of the bike.




Verified I have a Speedo-error.....

I finally got an idea of what the actual error MPH in the speedo-reading using a radar-gun. It is over almost 10%.

When the needle is on top of 30MPH the actual speed is closer to 34MPH.

I had a feeling this was the case (and posted several months back).




End-of-year update (#11)

I took the day off yesterday to take care of some business. It was nice out, so I decided to use the bike. When I got done I thought I'd venture out a little farther this time. Total trip milage was 60 miles, mostly on back roads. No problems to report. The ride was long by my standards, and the bike performed flawlessly. I went ahead and got the bike ready for winter. I filled the tank up, and put in some fuel-stablizer. I also changed the oil. Not a single metal chip/flake in the screen. I used Valvoline white-bottle 10w40.

I rodeto Colman Powersport (Huge in-house inventory of dirt and dual-sport bikes) and did some window shopping. I was supprised to see that the Japanese DS 200cc thumpers were much smaller (shorter and not as tall) than the GY200. Almost like a kids bike. I dont think I could ride one of them to be honest about it.

The larger 450 and 650 DS bikes that Honda makes are beasts (in a positive sense)! There is no doubt in my mind that they are superior designs and will hold up to much more abuse. The feature-rich instrumentation and engineering is a big plus also IMO. That being said I have zero second thoughts on my purchase though. Given my budget and riding needs I still am very happy with the GY200.

While I was there I got two master-links and had a spare key made (all honda parts). The dude at the counter asks me the make and model of my bike and I tell him "I have no idea" Then I tell him it is a chinese clone. From the look on his face I think that this is the first time he has ever heard of them. I had to tell him to use a honda blank.




***Update #12***

Getting cold out.....I've noticed that anything below 35 degrees or so that starting is tempermental. I live on a hill, so I dont even bother kicking it or using the easy-button when it is really cold.

I decided to wash all the grime off because it was making a mess of my garrage as it dried and dropped off the bike. Looks great. No rust or paint chipping, even on the welds. Very suprised about that. I took the time to go over the bike closely looking for problems. This would be the 1st time I really went over it since I bought it in June 05. I have put 400 miles on it.


*)One of the srews that holds the pipe heat-shield on is gone.

*)The kickstarter needed to be tightened.....I think it has been loose since day one, I just thought it was gear slop before. I locktighted it.

*)Paint on headlight-plastic has some tiny stress cracks. When I laid it down last year the paint did not flex with the plastic. Anyway, no chips.

*)Filled the front tire up with air.

*)Chain could use a little bit of tightening and oil.

*)Rear brake needed tightening

*)The little light (parking light) that is on even when the headlight is turned off is burnt out. May replace it, might not.

Looked over all the engine/cylinder/head case seams for leaks. Not a single one found.




Updata #13

I've had it for almost 8 months now. I like it and have zero regrets.

The bike is broken in, without any loss of power (actually gained a bit). The engine runs smooth and has not developed any hesitation or other bad habits. NEVER ONCE has it flooded or not started. I use the kick-start more and more as time goes by. I never used it at all when I first got it. No engine smoke since the initial paint-smoke from the header/pipe for the first few trips. Oil is clear and clean. I've gone through two oil changes now. Due for a third. No adjustments other than messing with the chain tension and lever adjustments and handle-bars as I learned the bike. Have not touched the carb or any other engine component. Ive seen hot-weather riding, cold (30-degrees), mud, a few light jumps (no more than 10-feet of air), a nice snow-ride, and some trails. Mostly street riding though. I got a jack hitch-carrier for it (UMH) and am planning to do a light DS ride this year.


Read first few posts for fit/finish problems. Going over the bike initially has paid dividends big-time.

Problems so far that I can attribute to cheap parts:

*)Stripped threads on a side-panel screw, Also I stripped heads on two other same-kind large body screws.

*)Tubes suck. Both blew out within days of each other (the front one almost killed me!!!). I replaced with some good ones from Honda dealership.

*)Connectors? Had to re-seat my blinker-connector under the seat. Maybe this is an assembly problem that I did not initially discover. So far so good.

*)Battery? Still works ok, but for cold starting it is not adaquate. I did run it down to zero-volts though. That can ruin a battery.

*)Clutch cable routing was way off...moved it around and bike shifts much better.

Modifications so far:

Replaced rear sprocket and chain. This is a must-do in my opinion. You will be dissapointed if you dont.

Looking for a good low-restriction fuel filter....cant hurt.

I rubbed the cheap brand importer stickers off using rubbing alcohol...."Terminator" in big 5-inch letters? Hehehe. That just had to go.




Spring Update #13

All is well w/no problems to report.

Currently I have 600 miles on the motorcyle. It is time for a 3rd Oil change soon. I recently began taking the Metro (subway) to work due to the increase commuting time and gas$$ I was spending in my car. Daily commutes could be as much as an hour on a bad day and cost a total of $12/day ($10 park, $2 gas) in the car. With the bike, it is only about $4.50 total (2-way subway and gas...parking at Metro is free for motorcycles) per day. I'm finding that the bike is a great local errand-runner also and dont use the car unless I need the space.

Given my ever increasing riding needs I still am very happy with the GY200. I uprgaded my riding gear to include a nicer helmet and a warm-weather mesh jacket w/armor/pads.

Notes since last Update:

* The speedo-cable came unscrewed from the wheel hub while I was cruising at 50mph. I immediately saw the speed go to zero and stopped. I screwed it back in and all was fine. I noticed that now it screwed in much further than I had remembered before. Evidently it was cross-threaded before and was an accident waiting to happen.

Check those screws and connector guys....I missed this one when I built the bike.

* I need a new battery. I ran it down to zero-volts a few months back and it never realy recovered since then. It will still start the engie, but if the engine does'nt hit right away I have to kick-start it. Ideas? The local dealer wants like $50 for one. They are probably worth $15 tops IMO. Ideas?

*) I pulled the plug from the engine and measured the stroke (it is ~65mm) and validated the 200cc displacement. I think that there are a lot of sellers mis-representing their products and are selling 125cc, 150cc, and 175cc bikes as 200cc models. Anyway when I had the plug out it showed signs of a lean-running engine. So when I get a chance I will be moving the throttle-needle "C" clip down a knotch.

*) I think the front brake pads may be dragging a little. It doesnt slow the bike and the wheel spins freely, however it squeels when slowing to a stop (without front break being applied). It hasnt done it recently, so maybe it is just one of those break-in neuances?

*) Rear shock could use an upgrade I think before I do any better trail riding. It seems kind of bouncy. Ideas?




700 mile "going-over" update #14....

I spent almost 4 hours going over the bike today.

*) I took all plastic off and checked bolts. Found 2 loose, and locktighted them and a few others that I missed when I first got the bike.

*) I checked the chain, oiled it, and tighted it a bit.

*) I re-oiled all cables. Suggest you guys do this. The factory lube dries up.

*) I moved the "c"-clip on the throttle slider needle down a notch. It was running just a hair lean, so I expect that should do the trick. Started right up and held idle while cold without a hint of hesitation...the real test will be at speed where I could feel it bog at times.

*) I changed the oil. 350 miles since last change. Oil was brownish and no metal.


*) Install new battery

*) Adust Valves. I neglected ever doing this. Hopefully all is OK.




Update #15

Finally adusted my valves for the 1st time this evening.

Only took about 1/16th turn out on exaust and intake to bring it back in to spec. I was expecting it to be down to zero, given I have over 700 miles on it now.

I replaced to battery also.

This was a major pain in the butt to do. The actual adustment took a few minutes. Getting to the head took over 30 minutes to remove all the crap. I had to remove side plastics, seat, and gas-tank cover. I even had to partially remove the fuel tank also!

...and getting a feeler guage in the head port was tight. I had to permanently bend my metel feeler guage to 45 degrees before I could get a flush reading.

I went ahead and fixed the difficult-to-put-back-on fuel cap. The plastic shroud around the metal fuel tank sat too high up off the tank. When I put her back together I just installed it a little lower. Works like a charm now.



Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now