If you are thinking of buying one of these cheap Chinese scooters that are flooding the market at the moment and seem to be a great deal, why not read about my experiences with one before you part with your hard earned cash.
In november 2004 I bought a cheap Chinese 125cc scooter new as a winter runabout to save my "proper" bike from the salt/higher risk of dropping. I used it daily on my 12 mile commute to work from mid november to mid march totalling about 1600 miles.
In that time the scooter practically disintegrated before my eyes. Pretty much all the metal started rusting, whether it was painted or not. The exhaust tried to fall off many times, no matter how tight or often I put it on.The throttle cable snapped and the instrument binnacle stopped working altogether. The engine started out pathetic and got worse over time.There were a few other things that went wrong but they were unremarkable by comparison.
All this happened even though it was regularly washed and serviced according to the manufacturers recommendations.
However, it cost less than a grand to buy, insure and run over that time, and it could be thrown about very easily (once literally!)
If I were to buy another Chinese motorcycle, I would definately choose one with gears as opposed to a twist'n'go as it was fairly pathetic and I really wanted to be able to drop a couple of gears on the hills.
I'm sure there are some quality motorcycles coming out of China at the moment, and the quality will undoubtedly go up in the future, but for now the moral of the tale is you get what you pay for and buyer beware!