If i had a penny for the amount of people that have said "don't buy a chinese bike" i would be very rich indeed, the fact is that I wanted to start riding again after 20 years of not being on a bike but I didn't want to spend a fortune to rekindle my affection to two wheel travel, just incase it didn't suit me anymore.
So I got my eye on my now beloved Lifan Hongda Skygo Heritage Classic Cruiser, a 125cc learner legal Water cooled cruiser, 1 year old in excellent nick and cruises at 60mph returning 80 to 100mpg most people think it is a 400+cc bike, its a real beast and a definate headturner and it didn't break the bank, although I think I was lucky to get it for the price I paid for it.
Ok 10 years ago you really would'nt have wanted to consider a chinese bike as they were extremely unreliable, very poorly put together and trying to get parts was a real nightmare, but in an effort to take a bigger share of the small bike market many of these chinese manufacturers have teamed up with the Japanese and they are now building better quality models with engines under licence from the likes of Honda and Yamaha.
Don't be fooled though not all Chinese built bikes are working closely with the Japs, and there are still some out there where the quality of manufacture is still sadly lacking.
Anyway back to my Skygo, She is an amazing looking bike with a Honda cn 125 engine, the bike starts on the button and rides very nicely with great balance and a smooth ride. Although it's never going to burn up the tarmac as it does take time to get up to speed, she does cruise at around 60 to 65mph and has a top speed of 70 to 75mph (down hill with the wind behind) Mind you this is a real posing machine so you don't mind it not being so powerful. The gearbox is smooth and you always know what gear your in as it has a gear guage built into the tank next to the LED petrol guage. Changing gear is easy even with motorbike boots on as it is one down, and then there is a heel lever to kick it into the 4 upward gears so no messing around trying to get your size 9 boots under the front gear pedal.
This model is fitted with a Rev counter and Amp meter, it has a large front light and the seat and riding position is very comfortable.The only negative for me is that the bike is quite heavy and whilst it isn't an issue when I am riding it ( I am an 11 stone 6ft weakling ;-) ) I haven't managed to get it onto it's centre stand yet, it is heavy and apparantly theres an art to it. I will keep trying though and master it eventually.
I haven't had the bike too long but I am really pleased I bought it and am totally happy with her, the build quality is excellent (but then honda do own shares in the company) I will eventually take my test so that I can get a bigger bike and then I will be prepared to spend bigger to get a Suzuki Marauder or similar but until then My Skygo will do me just fine.
In Summary, if your new to biking don't discount a chinese bike especially if your on a budget and aren't sure if biking is for you, I can recommend this bike as they retail at £1499 new on the road.