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  1. #1 Initial review of the CoLove ZF500GYx 
    C-Moto Not-so-Noob GSR's Avatar
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    After owning the CoLove ZF-GY 500x for over a month Iím finally getting around to prepare an initial review.

    As a frame of reference my motorcycles in the US currently include a 2012 Ducati Multistrada and a 2009 KTM 530exc. The motorcycles I considered when buying a motorcycle here in China included the CF Moto 650MT and the Benelli TKR502x. Other motorcycles I looked at and ruled out included the Zontes 310 and the Zongshen RX3.

    As pointed out by members of The MyChinaMoto community, both the CF Moto and the Benelli come from more established manufacturers and have more dealerships. Given the fickly nature of my stay in China those otherwise important factors weighed less in this decision. What I liked about the CoLover ZF-GY 500x (ď500xĒ) was the lower weight (178Kg verses 213Kg verses 235Kg) more desired 19-17 spoked wheels (not available on the CF Moto) and the lower price 37800 for the 500x; 43700 for the CF Moto and a quoted out the door price of 48800 (with luggage cases?) for the Benelli.

    As for build quality my limited impression would put the CF Moto at that top. The materials and quality of the welds as well as fit and finish was top of the group. In terms of more rugged looks, still with good fit and finish I would put the Benelli second. The fit and finish of the 500x is on par with the Benelli but just lacked the more rugged look. But, given the Benelli makes less power and carries considerable extra weight those looks come a cost.

    The additional factors in favor of the 500x, in addition to the spoked tubeless wheels, included a KBY adjustable suspension and Nissin brakes.
    My impression of the 500x after riding it for around 800Km remains favorable. I have yet to really test the engine due to still being in the break in period. The 472cc engine is a copy of the Honda CB500 motor right down to ccís and horsepower. After the first service, and most importantly the first oil change Iíll start pushing the engine harder. For now I can say it has decent low end torque with a smooth even power delivery. It starts easily every time and I have noticed no flat spots or hick ups from the Bosch fuel injection. The power is adequate, particularly for slower speed Chinese roads.

    Like the motor I have no real complaint with the 6 speed transmission. While not the smoothest shifting transmission Iíve ever owned with some break in I expect it may get better. Given the shifts are solid and Iíve yet to miss a shift, have the bike pop out of a gear or find a false neutral I would rate the transmission on par with the better Japanese bikes Iíve owned and better than the Ducati Multistrada.

    As for the KYB suspension Iíve yet to have the time, tools and opportunity to make any adjustments. Not having found the time, etc. is due in good part to the set up from the dealer being fairly good. Doing only a quick parking lot test of sag, dampening and compression I can say the settings are close if not perhaps spot on. On the road the best I can say about the suspension is the lack of any noticeable issues. The bike handles rough roads with ease and remains solid while cornering, even with uneven surfaces. The real test will be at higher speeds and off-road.

    The Nissin brakes remain a question mark. While it could be they need break in time or perhaps they could be bled better they just donít feel that solid. It may be that compared to my two U.S. bikes, both having excellent Brembo brakes, the Nissin brakes are just not going to be at that level. Without a comparison to the standard brakes of the Colove non-x model, or to other Chinese bikes itís difficult to say where the Nissin brakes actually rank. My last issue with braking is more suspension related, and that is excessive dive. I expect that is the one area of suspension adjustment that does need attention and hopefully the dive can be reduced at least a little with some adjustments.

    Thankfully I have no major negative issues so far with the 500x. There are some minor issues but nothing that can be cured or lived with. The biggest issue is simply ergonomics, which is a personal issue. In an apparent compromise on seat height the manufacturer has kept the seat seemingly as low as possible. While that may please a shorter rider for me the seat feels too low for the overall height of the bike and makes the pegs feel too close. In addition the split seat feels and looks cheap. The material used is not up to the level of newer materials available today. The seat pan is a cheap plastic and the foam padding is just marginal. Trying to upgrade the seat may be where the less common CoLove brand becomes a liability. The next issue with the ergonomics is the handlebars. For my tastes they are too wide, tall and have too much sweep. Replacing the bars is on the top of my to do list.

    Other minor issues would include the adjustable windscreen. The adjustability is limited to two positions and requires a complete removal to adjust. Iíve yet to find a windscreen on an ADV bike that I thought was even decent so as a comparison I donít downgrade the 500x for this issue. Little nitpicks I have include the lack of any tool kit, or any place on the motorcycle to put even minimal tools. Iíd also prefer a bigger chain.

    Overall the build quality is good. The welds are considerably better than I have seen on most Chinese motorcycles while not as good as on Japanese or European brands, or the CF Moto. The quality of the plastics and fasteners is good. The only two exceptions I would note so far are the latch for the rear seat, which is crap, and the rear brake pedal, which looks rather flimsy.

    In short, while itís still early Iím happy with the CoLove 500x, particularly for 39,000Y out the door, including: tax, license, insurance and the aluminum top case. DSCN4673 (2).jpgDSCN4878.jpgDSCN4673 (2).jpgDSCN4878.jpgDSCN4681.jpgDSCN4678.jpgDSCN4873.jpg
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  2. #2 Re: Initial review of the CoLove ZF500GYx 
    Senior C-Moto Guru
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    Thanks for the initial review.
    It is a very interesting bike, very ugly but very interesting

    Its good to see that the manufacturers here have started to pay attention and actually want to make a decent "domestic" bike.
    I applaud colove and wait for more from them


    Safe riding mate!
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  3. #3  
    motor maniac ShuBen's Avatar
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    Thanks for the informative report. I saw in the shop the seat and also thought it needs to reshape 5cm higher to improve the knee angle.

    @modron: I have to say the bike looks better in reality :-)

    Now I am interested in the off road parts of the story....

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A5000 using Tapatalk
    SWM RS500R, R1200GS LC
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  4. #4 Re: Initial review of the CoLove ZF500GYx 
    C-Moto Not-so-Noob GSR's Avatar
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    After writing my initial review I found the time to take a longer ride on the Colove. Following that ride I would add a few thing to the initial review. Either the brakes have worn in or I've gotten us to them and they did not feel as soft as my initial impression. I pushed the bike considerably harder and the suspension and overall handling continue to impress me. The steering is a little light and I might try to find a stabilizer. It's not such an issue on pavement but I'm a little concerned it may be an issue off-road (assuming I find anything off-road).

    The only new issue was with the tires. The bike has Metzeler Tourance front and rear. While those tires are rated 85/15 for street I was able to slide the rear around corners way to easily in my opinion. THe first time it happened it was on fairly decent asphalt and without a whole lot of throttle. It broke loose so easily I stopped to check the tire pressure and expected it to be very low. It was not. Thankfully the rear slides predictably without snapping back, and more importantly the front doesn't break loose before the rear. I'm now open to suggestions on tires for mid-range ADV bikes. I do want some off-road capability so it may be a matter of having to learn to live with the compromise.

    Shuben, I like your thought of raising the seat. Any thoughts or suggestions on how that could be done? In the U.S. I know there is an aftermarket for seats and modifications. I have not seen that in China. If anyone has any ideas I'd like to hear them.

    Greg
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  5. #5  
    motor maniac ShuBen's Avatar
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    Reg. the tires: I think its not the tires. I assume it was the road condition. We have these situations here in BJ mountains too. The roads are like race tracks, but the repair tar stripes are even in dry condition slippery like soap and the while bike sometimes slip sidewards. Also we know after winter a lot of dust is driven into the surface and it needs several rain days to clear it up.
    A definetely good tire for ADV is the Tourance Next. I love them on the GS. Also very good is the Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR.
    For cheaper options look at the Kenda 761. I use them on my Speedy and before on the X5. But they have slight wet deficits.

    For the seat: in China i'd buy a second one and find a capable leather shop to make a new higher seat foam and a related cover.
    That is a suitable and cheap solution.
    Then you can get even your favourite seat color ;-)

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A5000 using Tapatalk
    SWM RS500R, R1200GS LC
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  6. #6 Re: Initial review of the CoLove ZF500GYx 
    Senior C-Moto Guru
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    I dont want to hijack the review but ive just visited the colove english website. Apparently in May we will have a scrambler from them. Now, this is interesting for me :)

    Looks great

    Last edited by modron; 03-20-2019 at 10:33 AM.
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