Are Chinese motorcycles as good as their Japanese originals?

In the Philippines you will come across copies of Honda and Yamaha motorcycles generally upto 125cc models (where most of the countries market is). They will get you from A to B and the build quality is reasonable but after about a year you start to notice the differences. Chinese bikes just don’t hold the quality and its sad to say that Japanese bikes are being assembled in China which can only lead to a decline in their quality. The big difference

though is cost a copy of a Honda Wave would set you back around P30,000 where an original would be at least P15,000 extra on the price if not more the differences though will be that the original will still be happily working away where as my Rusi which is a Yamaha copy has already got a faulty horn, poor battery performance and rust showing on various parts. Although I based the fact on the Rusi lasting me around 3 years before replacing again as the roads here don’t take any prisoners when heading up into the mountains for example its common to find the road has been washed away during heavy storms or that its riddled with pot holes as if its been shelled by artillery. Add to that the hot weather and the water content in the air I couldn’t see the point of spending too much on a vehicle. Better to replace regular while its still reliable than buy something expensive that will no doubt need overhauling to keep it running.

The only downside to the majority of bikes here though is most are 125cc or under which means most are also under powered. I think next time I will look for something around 250cc as I find the Rusi bottoms out around 70-80kph and it takes a while to reach it.

8 comments for “Are Chinese motorcycles as good as their Japanese originals?

  1. Andrew Swarbrick
    September 26, 2010 at 5:17 am

    We had bought two similar chinese bike for the office staff and again we had seen similar results after a year the wheels seem to fall off and things start to go wrogn and they dam things are in the garage more than they are on the road we have replaced one and will do the same with the other its just tricky getting rid of the second as nobody wants to buy it and to be fare neither would i haha! We will be steering well cleal of the chinese substandard bikes in the future if you want a bike that lasts 1 year they are fine but longer foget it!

  2. Philip Patrick
    September 26, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Thanks guys for the comments.. I was just getting ready to buy a china made bike, just because it was cheaper and the payments were really cheap.. But , if i will have trouble like that. In the long run its better for me to buy a branded name… Thanks a lot…

  3. Noel Greene
    September 26, 2010 at 5:19 am

    yes i was thinking of doing same but was told bad things also

  4. Tropicalpenpals
    September 26, 2010 at 5:20 am

    To be honest the one I have doesn’t get bashed around its also not doing heavy miles but still starting to show some signs of age which at around a year old is a bit severe. It will probably last three but at a push and purely because its not in daily use. I have got a Yamaha as well which is at least 5 years old and the only problems that has is a mechanic that didn’t know what he is doing once its rebuilt will be fine for another 5 years no doubt.

  5. Tropicalpenpals
    September 26, 2010 at 9:12 am

    thing is if your paying an extra 20% you might as well buy the Japanese one in the first place. The Chinese quality is still behind and likely to stay that way for another few years (longer than their bikes currently last). You also have to remember we are talking about the GENERAL bikes here which are copies of Yamaha and Honda which are as much as 50% cheaper than the originals but the build quality isnt anywhere near the same. When people start saying their Chinese ones are as good as the originals then its time to start looking at it until then not worth the hassle. On top of that the current Chinese trends are declining world quality on goods not only on things like motorcycles but Electronics. Toshiba used to manufacture in the Philippines but moved its operations to China I have been a regular buyer of Toshiba products for around a decade but now wouldn’t buy any of their products its gone from a world class known brand to something more in line with a budget product (although still expect to charge the same yet have removed quality from their product).

  6. Tropicalpenpals
    October 14, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Hi David,
    Japanese bike quality is actually reducing year on year as well as manufacturing is also carried out in China. The bikes will no doubt be on par with each other very soon as Japan has given up its technology on a plate to China and China is quick to copy. I still think it will be at least 2 years until people start swinging more towards Chinese products to see them seriously. Their quality may be as good but currently I can’t be convinced until I actually see owners of bikes for 2 – 3 years start saying so. I am still looking for a Chinese bike myself mind as I want a bike with more poke but at the same time don’t want to pay too much for it. On top of that the roads here as well as the weather conditions take their toll so don’t really want to invest too much into a bike. But I know what your talking about and its getting people to trust the Chinese which will be what holds them back short term.

  7. Anonymous
    May 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm

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