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  1. #1 2010 Indianapolis Dealer Expo - Chinese Motorcycle Report 
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    - MCM 2010 Dealer Expo Video Report -

    Photo/Video by Carl Parker and Skip Smith

    The motorcycle market is down and nearly every corner of the industry has been rocked by the recent financial slump. Magazines are giving away subscriptions, businesses are closing and many major manufacturers are bringing few, if any, new models to the US for 2010. Although generally scaled down from previous years, the North American Chinese motorcycle industry showed promise at this year's Dealer Expo with a few new models and a healthy mix of inspired riders literally producing their dreams through access to low-cost manufacturing

    Although many aspects of the Chinese motorcycle industry can be criticized, it's plain to see that the availability of inexpensive manufacturing to a wide range of inspired designers has given many folks an opportunity to play a game that would have otherwise been limited to the big boys only. Sometimes what a passionate individual needs to succeed is a dream and a means to make it happen....and some elbow grease.

    Perhaps the most evident proof of this is was found in the Chinese Pavillion under the QingQi-Rhon tent. QingQi and Rhon manufacture an internationally successful Suzuki DR200 derived enduro model. The Rhon group OEM's multiple models and is the source manufacturer for Scott Colosimo of Cleveland Cycle Works who, somewhat like Johnny Pag, has spec'd two models to be sold in the US. The first, called "The Misfit" a Cafe Racer inspired model reminiscent of an old Ducati. "The Heist" is a distinctive American chopper style with a long raked out fork and 250cc motor. With a hard tail and suspended seat, it certainly has the potential to be an interesting ride on many levels.

    - The Heist, a custom built chopper by Cleveland Cycles -






    The Chinese Pavillion featured mostly parts and plastics manufacturers but the floor was largely dominated by TaoTao from the ShanDong province. TaoTao claims to be one of the biggest manufacturers and distributors of Chinese ATV's and Electric bikes in the US. You would likely believe it too, considering the amount of money the company must have spent placing their name and logo everywhere from attendee badges to stairs. Their display featured a robust mixture of small ATV's, UTV's, and electric bicycles. Although their lines did not offer any particularly eye-catching models, the wide range of produce alone makes them worth investigating should you be searching for a manufacturer of general transport or electric utility vehicles



    - Tmec - Another manufacturer looking for importers -

    .


    - IceBear Trikes- The C-Moto trike masters -


    Ice Bear Trikes, one of the definitely more distinctive and querky importers, specializes in manufacturing a huge array of trikes (both motorcycle and scooter based), Monkey bikes and ATV's between 110 and 300cc. This year at Indy, they featured a heavily modified, super raked-out chopper with a springer front end called the PST250-I. Given the Virago 250 like engine, this aggressive looking trike claims to be custom built from the ground up and tops out at 80mph.

    - PST250-I : The extreme light trike -




    While the claimed top speed of 80mph seems a little iffy considering the extra weight and mechanical bits required to drive the two extra ATV based rear wheels, let there be no doubt that this bike will turn heads and cause more than a couple double takes. Complete with rear top box and chromed tubular grab and luggage rails, this is a bike set up for practical easy ridin'.



    Qlink displayed a mixture of ATV's, bikes and scooters but unfortunately no new products. We could, however, confirm they will not be ordering the QingQi 250's until they move the previous inventory of over 100 remaining XF/XP200 units. One interesting and worthwhile feature they have is financing built into their online purchasing. For some folks, financing on a two thousand dollar bike could go a long way between riding or not.

    - The venerable XF/XP 200 -


    Although images of the Megelli 250 M/R/S bikes can be found on the QLink web page, this is no longer accurate. Johnny Tai from Bennche used to manage QLink but separated and is now exclusively distributing Megelli bikes and a line of healthy line of UTV's out of Carrollton, Texas. The outstanding feature of the Megelli bikes is they claim to be of European design and quality control but are manufactured in China to save costs. While this looks like a promising combination up front, the bikes are almost entirely untested and we hope to remedy that in the near future. We got a chance to speak with Johnny and in the follow up video from MCM (which will come very soon) he will explain more about these claimed 27hp water cooled bikes.

    - Megelli's 250m/r/s models : likely the most promising new models this year -


    - 250r sports a full fairing and is aimed at the Ninja 250 market -


    - Trellis frames and swingarms give the Megelli's a quasi Ducati look -





    - A bomb is probably not the best logo for a shock but let's hope it works well -


    - Yamaha like analog/digital readouts are modern and well lit, if not a bit on the small side -



    - Above average finish on the Megelli's deserve a second look -


    - Some of Bennche's purdy sales reps! -


    Importers provide for a colorful variety of models but the lack of direct distribution has led the international Chinese motorcycle market to become filled with mind-rupturing amounts of different names and badges to follow. Still only a handful of Chinese companies are working direct distribution channels either through wholly owned entities or majority owned joint-ventureships. Of these, Lifan, CFMoto and Jonway look to the be most competent and ready to compete in North America.

    CFMoto introduced "Jetmax", a new 250cc 4 valve scooter with dual front disc brakes and a voluminous lift back trunk. While we will see a preview of the Jetmax in the MCM video coverage, is unfortunately not yet available for sale so we'll hope to get more definite news on this as it becomes available. Additionally, rumors of CFMoto brand standard motorcycles with over 250cc displacement were in the air but we have not as yet heard any release times.

    Luckily CFMoto's current and proven models still prove themselves in the industry. In talking with Glen Wakefield, regional sales manager at CFMoto, we discovered their V5 models are wonderfully fuel efficient. Glen rode a V5 in the 2009 Americade Fuel Economy Run and took first place in the solo Stock Touring Motorcycle class, yielding a solid 60.37 mpg - just edging out a contestant on the legendary Ninja 250 at 59.95 mpg. If their new range of models can maintain the same level of efficiency while adding more rider choices and features to their line, CFMoto could be a brand to watch.



    Although not commanding as much convention floor space as Jonway and CFMoto, Lifan has been a long time player in the North American market and had to survive a somewhat turbulent past. Despite earlier problems with unauthorized distribution and a sagging market, Lifan hasn't given up just yet. Those following the Lifan line of enduro bikes will be interested to hear about Lifan's new prototype 250 GY-7.

    Lifan's 250 GY-7, currently named the 250 "Saturn Storm" brings us many of the same feature of the GY-5 but with a water-cooled 17hp mill and a host of other upgrades. To be clear, the model depicted at the show and in these photographs is pre-production and will likely have some slight variations in color or equipment. While bike is currently awaiting final EPA certification, they hope to have the Lifan GY-7 available for sale by the end of Spring/Summer 2010. We'll definitely be watching out for more updates to this model.

    - Prototype Lifan 250 GY-7 -




    - Update plastics have a nicer look than the GY-5's Storm Trooper helmet style -





    - Both side of the new engine: Slightly newer milling styling, we'll have to wait and see about the performance -


    - Rear disk brake standard -


    Last but definitely not least, we paid a visit to the Highland Motorcycles exhibit and had a good chance to speak with Highland COO, Chase Bales,. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Highland Motorcycles produces a range of race inspired enduro and dirt bikes which, at one time, were fitted with a Chinese produced engine. We found out that Highland motorcycles no longer uses engines produced in China, but in Europe instead; thereby taking the company out of China as far as motorcycle engines are concerned.

    - Highland Motorcycles taking on the big boys -


    Coming from Tulsa, Oklahoma, the brand bares the Made in USA flag. Today their bikes feature 950cc v-twin mills, pumping out 120hp while bounding along on a stainless steel frame with world class suspension and tailored to the individual rider. Highland bikes price-out at over ten thousand dollars and this puts them in the ring with BMW, KTM and other premium class bikes.

    - COO, Chase Bales moving the bike out to be photographed -


    Despite the hard times, plenty of dedicated folks are still on the move trying to create affordable, reliable and better supported bikes for the North American market. We can only hope the economy rebounds and creates more activity for the entrepreneurs in all levels in the industry.

    That's a wrap from the 2010 Dealer Expo from MyChinaMoto!Thanks for visiting the 2010 Indianapolis Dealer Expo with MyChinaMoto.com and please be sure to check back soon for the Dealer Expo video report!
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  2. #2 Re: 2010 Indainapolis Dealer Expo - Chinese Moto Report 
    C-Moto Guru david3921's Avatar
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    Nice write up Carl, thanks. I, too, noticed that the Qlink web page shows a Megelli but doesn't sell them. Any information as to why? The weld and paint quality look top notch on the bikes.

    I had to laugh at the Chinglish from the Jonway banner, "There you want to Speed." Sounds like Yoda talking.
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  3. #3 Re: 2010 Indainapolis Dealer Expo - Chinese Moto Report 
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    Yeah the Jonway banner made me feel like I was back in China again.

    Regarding QLink and Megelli, I think we can say there were some differences in management philosophy. Johnny Tai separated and took some products with him. More info on the Megelli bikes in the up-coming video!

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  4. #4 Re: 2010 Indainapolis Dealer Expo - Chinese Moto Report 
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    Qlink has removed the Megelli bikes from their website, but Megelli still has them listed as a distributor on their site. That being they list them as the North American distributor.

    Very interesting Carl…

    I would like to see Qlink pick up more of the Jinan Qingqi products line, the 250 bikes in particular.
    Qlink could sell both the 200 and 250 Sport bikes in the US. Its just the looks of the 250 that I question its too odd looking for me, it would do better if it looked more like the 200 IMO.

    Once the market improves?
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  5. #5 Re: 2010 Indainapolis Dealer Expo - Chinese Moto Report 
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    Notice how Lifan does not have the new bike on its website? The Jonway site is not working….
    Why do these companies go to a show and then not align on that, who is doing the marketing? Not linked into operations are they?

    I would not buy any other than Qlink seriously…they are the only ones that are paying attention.

    I also believe it would be wise for QLINK to align on the confederation between the Jianshe, Jialing and Qinggi; the government has deep pockets.

    Somebody should let Jialing know that its Oracle portal is in not working?

    Qlink can and should be testing products and looking forward. They could sell the JH600, it just needs a face lift. But Qlink should never ever have their standards undermined or ignored.
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  6. #6 Re: 2010 Indainapolis Dealer Expo - Chinese Moto Report 
    Life Is Good! ChinaV's Avatar
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    Great report Carl thanks for sharing. Been over a decade since I last went to the show, but looks like there's still plenty of good things going on even with rough economic climate.

    Cheers!
    ChinaV
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  7. #7 Re: 2010 Indainapolis Dealer Expo - Chinese Moto Report 
    Senior C-Moto Guru Zorge's Avatar
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    Thanks Carl. Interesting story.

    Did you see some progress in terms of quality, regarding these motorcycles?
    Ask me nothing - I DO NOT speak english. Really...
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  8. #8 Re: 2010 Indainapolis Dealer Expo - Chinese Moto Report 
    Administrator-tron CrazyCarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oengus View Post
    .... Its just the looks of the 250 that I question its too odd looking for me, it would do better if it looked more like the 200 IMO.

    Once the market improves?
    Oengus, lets be clear which QingQi 250 we're talking about here. There's a street version which has a somewhat odd looking fairing and there a motard/enduro version like ChinaV has which looks almost identical to the 200. Either way, with so many left over units, QLink will have a hard time justifying placing a new order for a similar model with higher 250 specs when there's still so many 200 units left.

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  9. #9 Re: 2010 Indainapolis Dealer Expo - Chinese Moto Report 
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinaV View Post
    Great report Carl thanks for sharing. Been over a decade since I last went to the show, but looks like there's still plenty of good things going on even with rough economic climate.
    Yeah it wasn't as dead as I thought it could be. I think the low attendance was also impacted by the weather since the eastern half of the country has recieved a considerable amount of snow in the past 2-3 weeks. Heavy snow was forcasted for the monday after we left so I hope some folks didn't get stuck there for longer than expected. We drove a good 10 hours from VA to Indy and back in pretty much light snow and some fog. It was a considerable amount of driving considering we only spent one day at the show. We really needed to spend two days there so we'll have to give that a go next year.

    We also captured some video which I'm now working through but, as you know, highdef stuff takes some real procesing power and time to work with. I already have a good sense of things to improve any future videos but cash and time was a little short so we made due with what we had. We were so busy talking to people and trying to photo and video the whole show in one day I forgot to take the gum out of my mouth for most of the interview slots.

    That said, we got a good chance to video a couple products from Twisted Throttle who makes a new high output LED driving lamp system for the VStrom and a few other bikes. Also videoed your old buddy Eric from Wolfman as he explained one of their new hard mounted soft bag lines and Chase Bales from Highland motors. Oh and, an electric dual sport bike from Zero that weighs only 150 lbs but has the output of a 250cc! This will be another video project and I may make them individual shorts...not sure at the moment.

    I hope to have the MCM video posted by the middle of next week.


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  10. #10 Re: 2010 Indainapolis Dealer Expo - Chinese Moto Report 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorge View Post
    Thanks Carl. Interesting story. Did you see some progress in terms of quality, regarding these motorcycles?
    Generally, yes. But there are still so many manufacturers out there it's hard to tell. The Tmec bike looked okay but the kind folks managing the booth weren't extremely forthcoming with the info ... I think it was a language problem.

    Overall, the Megelli looks like the most promising in terms of better overall fit and finish. As far a unique/crazy designs, IceBear Trikes probably took the cake there.

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