I say this, because the strength of Chinese-brand bikes lies in their niche – suiting new, casual, or budget-conscious riders especially well. As you’ve taken the time to look into the alternatives, you probably fit into at least one of these categories.
This post will hopefully clear up some common misconceptions about Chinese-brand bikes, and show you why (and how!) to use them.
It might be obvious that the crew at Eastern ATV fall into the latter category, but the purpose of this post is to explain why, for those who need more information before deciding to buy or ride a Chinese quad or motorbike. To make the information simpler, let’s start with a list of pros and cons.
Cost – Widely considered one of the key reasons to buy Chinese, off-brand bikes are sometimes thousands of dollars cheaper than their big-brand equivalents.
Performance – Contrary to popular belief, the performance of Chinese bikes is very decent. Though not quite equal to more expensive bikes in terms of sheer horsepower and ability to withstand hard riding, they manage to put out more than enough power for most uses, and are more durable than you might expect.
Parts – Replacement parts for Chinese bikes are considerably cheaper and easier to source than more prestigious brands, if you know where to look and what to look for. This makes repairs far more affordable for the average recreational rider.
Size – Where many Japanese and American brand bikes are sold for agricultural use, racing, or intense off-roading, most Chinese brands have a stronger recreational focus. The sizes available therefore tend to be smaller and more handleable – great for children, inexperienced riders, and casual environments.
Assembly – When buying a Chinese quad or dirtbike directly from the manufacturer, they usually arrive only partially assembled. Bolt-on parts such as handlebars and wheels will need to be attached, and all connections and nuts should be thoroughly checked and tightened. This extra step can be daunting to anyone unfamiliar with the process – but luckily, it can be avoided by buying pre-assembled machines.
Maintenance – Chinese bikes can be cheaper because they lack additional extras that make the rider’s life easier – for example, oil filters - therefore requiring more regular and thorough maintenance to keep them running their best. For riders with little mechanical knowledge or experience, this might mean finding a mechanic to do servicing for you.
Finding a Mechanic – At least in Victoria, motorbike mechanics specialising in off-brand quads and bikes are hard to find. In fact, most name-brand motorbike shops will refuse point-blank to work with Chinese brands – which could be a definite downside, having just said how important regular servicing is. Luckily, that’s exactly why new businesses like Eastern ATV exist, with specialists in off-brand repair becoming easier to find as Chinese vehicles become more popular.
Performance – Though their very decent ride quality is definitely a benefit for Chinese bikes, it must be admitted that they simply don’t quite reach the same levels as Japanese or American bikes. This isn’t a problem for most riders, but it is important to know in case you plan on squeezing every possible ounce of power out of your machine.
Chinese bikes are situationally excellent. The affordable alternative to buying name-brand vehicles, they are perfect options for those who don’t ride hard or long enough to justify a huge investment. They take a little more effort to get going and provide their best performance, but it is yet again cheaper to find parts and repair expertise. In regards to performance, they tend to be slightly weaker than Japanese or American brands, but still provide plenty of guts and durability for most riders.
The key take-away here is value for money: unless you need race-level performance, and can afford the initial outlay and maintenance cost, then a Chinese-brand vehicle will most likely be your best bet for great quality and fun without the price tag.