Ride and Review of NEW Zongshen RX3 and RX4 motorcycles.

 

Hi there. Let me explain who I am to give you an idea of how this video came about. I’m a Brit and I’ve lived in China for about SEVEN YEARS in different places and I currently live in Shanghai.

LAST year I took my driving license test here in China and immediately went on a trip to the mountains on a 400cc motorcycle. I’ve bought a dirt bike here for adventures and usually I can be found riding sidecars here in Shanghai.

In November, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to join a test ride of two unreleased bikes made by Chinese manufacturer Zongshen motorcycles. The RX3s twin cylinder 380cc and the RX4 single 450cc. These are two middle weight adventure bikes.

The test ride was  about 42 days and made a huge loop in Southern China with eight bikes to test for faults and gain marketing material for the launch.

I joined the ride for ten days getting to ride both bikes.The camaraderie with the other riders was great and Zongshen really looked after me during the trip.

There were two bikes being tested, the new 450cc single cyclinder- the rX4.on the right here, and the

The test ride focused on the new RX3s which is a double cylinder 380cc bike putting out 27 horsepower. Both bikes have adventure styling, including essentials like a large screen, which worked fairly well, crash bars, and a large 20 litre tank for long distances between refuelling. In China, ABS and the aluminium panniers and top box can also be added.

They Apart from test riding a 20 year old klx250, I have only ever ridden Chinese bikes. I took a another Chinese bike- a 400cc hineray for a six day jaunt in the hills of Yunnan.

REVIEW

The RX3s

The marketing guy said that the RX3s is aimed at people getting into off road and Adventure riding or touring, people moving from normal road bikes here in the domestic market. It has a low seat- great for the Chinese market compared this to the X5 and X2 which I’ve ridden more accessible for Chinese riders we even had a female rider along who could put her feet down…

The RX3s is probably more road oriented, but the low seat means you are sat “in” the bike rather than on top so much. If you do some off-road on a trip, the lower centre of gravity is quite confidence inspiring. We took the bikes along the beach and into the surf also into the hills on some-  albeit limited -stretches of rocky and steep unpaved sections.

Standing up is pretty comfortable and the bike is quite easy to control in this position, although my fellow French rider said he bottomed out the suspension..again more road biased.

I’ve found that, in China, long trips involve A LOT of road and a LITTLE dirt, so it’s well suited for adventures in China where going into the wild is not the basis of your ride.

I’ve got to say though comfort on the RX3s was pretty good, wide squishy and set back seat (I’ve had a numb bum more than once riding more offload biased Chinese bikes long distance in China …whereas the Rx3s didn’t give me this once in 6-7 days)… I only found on a couple of days after 1-2 hours in the saddle pretty bad pain in my knees. I’m 178-180 and maybe because of the lower seat, the pegs have come up if compared with the higher more off-road bikes.

The RX3s cruises at highway speeds comfortably. 120-130 is really comfortable- 120 miles per hour is 74 miles per hour. good enough for the highway. The acceleration is okay on the RX3s and the best thing is the long fifth gear and the fact it has six gears– always more on top for overtaking and maneauvres on the highway. Very little vibration in bars etc. It’s a counterbalanced engine (correct me if I’m wrong).

Seating…well standing was easy on both bikes and we did this frequently on long rides to strecth and to avoid the massive pot holes in some of the road sufaces..plus the off- road bits that we did. I came off   on the sand) I think it was really nice having a heavier bike  compared to my 250 dual sport .. it made mevv feel planted on the road and somehow gives confidence off road. I remember U.S. reviews of the RX3 250cc saying that it’s clearly not intended for hard beating offroad. This may be true here, but I enjoyed the extra comfort on the road.

 

I can’t really comment on quality, as I didn’t ride for a really extended time, but I did see rust on the frame which the top box was attached to..weird for a bike that was four weeks old..

I found it difficult to find second gear. That was a pain.

On the plus side,  I had no electrical problems with the bike, which I’ve had before with Chinese bikes whereby the fuel gage didn’t work, there was nothing present like this in the RX3s  I rode.

My French riding partner told me that suspension and breaks do not match Japanese adventure bike quality. To be honest, I’ve only ridden Chinese bikes, so it’s not. a comparison I can make, but , yes I’ve mentioned that this is a more road oriented bike so suspension is not massive.

The  RX4

I rode the rx4 for one of the days. At first, I was disappointed as it’s not as nippy and flickable as the rx3s.

Plus acceleration and deceleration both seemed slower (the latter with engine But, after a while, I found it not to be sluggish on the road(it’s heavier by 20kg) but it felt more planted .. The extra power became quite reassuring. Still, at first felt I had to anticipate stuff ahead of time, cos, unlike the smaller bike, it didn’t quickly pull into empty spaces.. And unlike the smaller bike often had no more to give at the top of the rev range.

Actually, and maybe it’s just the specific bike I was using, I found it maxed out at 6k in sixth gear with the throttle wide open. I managed a top speed of about 148Nice chugging power though. perhaps the top end power runs out.. the Rx3s seemed to always have more available (just in comparison with the RX4) and was slightly less vibey at speed. Another rider said that might be because the screen is bigger so less wind, dunno, I although inexpert would put it down to the fact it’s a single not twin cylinder.