Monday, May 13, 2013

Spares and maintenance for Chinese bikes

The growing popularity of Chinese motorcycles around the world shows the power of China’s manufacturing and export industries; the country is now producing the largest number of bikes in the world by some stretch. They are renowned for being particularly good value for money, and build standards have improved considerably in recent years. However, they do still take some maintaining and making sure you’ve got the motorbike spares that you need to hand is important. With that in mind, what are the parts and maintenance procedures you should pay particular attention to?

Chains/drive mechanisms
The chains and drive mechanisms of some Chinese bikes can be a little precious; there is a reasonable likelihood you might need to spend some extra time on them given that production methods in the east haven’t yet caught up with the west. The shaft drive should ideally have its oil changed when the main oil is changed, if possible. On a similar note the belt drive’s tension should be examined and the belt drive itself should be cleaned on a regular basis.

Wiring Looms
The wiring loom on some Sinnis bikes has been flagged as potentially not being as waterproof, compact or generally durable as that of a Honda or Yamaha, as a result it may need to be replaced more often. If you’re able to check it fairly regularly you should hopefully be able to avoid this.

In terms of electrics, shorts can occur on Rocket/Qingqi bikes as a result of problems with insulation or wiring in which case a talented local mechanic will probably be your best bet, although if you’re careful and know what you’re doing you can always give fixing it a go yourself, assuming you earth yourself and insulate yourself from the electrics-you might need to strip off quite a lot of the casing to ensure you can see and get to all you need to.

Fuel and petrol tanks
Occasionally a problem - both the fuel tank and the sump of the Lexmoto Street have been reported to leak. To reduce the chances of this happening if you own one, check the filter and fuel lines regularly to make sure that there’s no weakness there or anything that might give you reason to suspect the tank might be having difficulties. If the tank has had the same fuel in it for several months it might be worth bleeding off the excess and refilling it with fresh fuel to reduce the chances of decomposition. Lastly, turning the fuel tap off when you park should help to seal off the tank and stop leaks elsewhere as well.
Chinese bikes are great fun, and make a very good introduction to biking for those who might find the financing of a higher-end bike difficult. They do need to be looked after a bit more than other bikes though, so brushing up on basic mechanical knowledge is a good idea before investing in this growing market.



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