Why Buy A Cheap Chinese Dual-Sport Motorcycles?

I’ve had difficulty finding a local used cheap dual-sport motorcycle in good enough condition to ride right away. I plan to spend some wrench time on any bike I buy, but I do want a bike I can initially ride as soon as possible. So I found a solution, Cheap Chinese Dual-Sport Motorcycles.

Now hear me out, and maybe if you are looking for a Cheap Dual-sport motorcycle, this could meet your needs too. This list is not shared with you, but to help me evaluate, looking at cheap Chinese dual-sport motorcycles is a solution to finding a new beginner bike for me. I compiled information here from those websites also for your input. 

There are several importers of these Chinese Dual-sports, and they come either assembled or unassembled. Oh, did I fail to mention these are motorcycles that are delivered to your door?

Sorry. So these motorcycles are ordered online, and you chose whether you want them arriving assembled or unassembled(I guess as they are exported from china in a crate). I’m sure you are getting the picture, and to help me better decide if this should be my first-time beginner motorcycle, here are the Pros and Cons.

Cheap Chinese Dual-Sport Motorcycles Pros
Cheap Chinese Dual Sport Motorcycle Pros.

Pros For Cheap Chinese Dual-Sport Motorcycles:

  1. The Dual-sport motorcycles arrive new! That’s right, the bike( TBR7 Dual-Sport Motorcycle ) is new, packaged up, leaving the factory in China, and sent to the US. This packing as new bikes means no hidden damage(we’ll talk about known problems later) that the used motorcycle seller might omit or forget.
  2. The Chinese Dual-sport motorcycles are cheap!!!! You got it; even with shipping and handling, they are usually under $2k!!! Depending on the features you want, the motorcycle can be under $1500! This lower price can be achieved by selecting what assembly services, make/model motorcycle, and delivery times.
  3. If you are not mechanically inclined, some sellers offer assembly before delivery for a low price. This way, you can ensure you have a motorcycle ready to ride on day one. This pro comes at a cost, but you might not even notice due to the low price of the motorcycle.
  4. Even if you have to assemble the motorcycle, it comes completed “mostly.” The front end seems to be the bulk of unassembled parts, the wheel, handlebars, headlight, instrument cluster, etc.
  5. Assembling the motorcycle gives you the best understanding of how a motorcycle’s parts and components work. Motorcycling isn’t just about riding but becoming attached to your bike. Haven’t you noticed people name their motorcycles and use that name to refer to the bike? Well, maintenance can help you bond with your motorcycle too.  
  6. There is a sub-culture of Chinese Motorcycle fans who will help you in every way. I found forums, YouTube videos, and blog posts that walk you through steps to assembling, repairing, and modifying these motorcycles.
  7. The engine is a modified proven design. The standard engine is 229cc’s, which is a weird dimension. I read this is because the engine was an original Honda CG125 engine that has been bored out to increase the dimensions to 229cc’s. Now the same size engine can put out more horsepower but remain the same reliable overall design.
  8. Easy to find parts. Replacement parts seem very generic, so there are many sources for finding the part you need.
  9. Parts are cheap. One of the most significant sources for parts of these imported Chinese motorcycles, repair, and modifications, is China. China is pumping out parts alongside these motorcycles. A quick eBay or Amazon search will reveal this. Some owners talked about ordering items directly from AliExpress and Wish.
  10. You chose your emotional investment. The financial investment is low, so that’s easy enough to keep your emotional investment low. You can use the bike as is, learn to ride, beat up the bike, and sell it cheap to the next new rider. Or you can modify it, work on your mechanical skills fixing the motorcycle and invest more time into keeping around your beginner bike.
  11. Well, Price! Yes. Hard to find a used dual-sport for the prices these new cheap Chinese Dual-Sport motorcycles are selling for.
Cheap Chinese Dual-Sport Motorcycles Cons
Cheap Chinese Dual Sport Motorcycle Cons

Cons For Cheap Chinese Dual-Sport Motorcycles:

  1.  To get the most affordable price, you will have to assemble part of the bike. Some people are not mechanically inclined, so they are scared by the concept that they will have to put together a motorcycle and later ride the same motorcycle. Having to assemble the bike can be scary to some.  
  2. “China-Quality” assembly. Face it; this will not be the famed “Japanese-Quality” motorcycles we hear about. These are mass-produced motorcycles for the lowest price. It’s recommended to check the ‘tightness’ of every bolt, and if paranoid like me, thread-locker all threads.
  3. “China-Quality” materials. Again, these are low-priced alternatives to new/used motorcycles you see elsewhere. The steel is soft, and the plastics are brittle. Be gentle torquing bolts, and don’t expect all plastic parts to survive a good drop.
  4. It might not come with assembly instructions. Yes, you heard that. Some importers have created YouTube videos for their bikes, but often they are out-of-date and incomplete. This drawback is where joining a Chinese Motorcycle Owner group will help you get access to experienced owners who will guide you with the assembly process.
  5. You will need hand tools. These are essential tools, like combination wrenches in metric. Pliers, screwdrivers, and Allen wrenches. I’m sure you can benefit from a good ratchet set and work light too. Most motorcycle tools can be bought at local Walmart or, better yet, my favorite, Harbor Freight store.
  6. Risk factor. As I mentioned above, this motorcycle will rely on you checking the manufacturer’s work, any shipping damage, and if you finish building it, your work. These steps can result in some scary outcomes.  
  7. Shipping and handling charges. It’s not included in the original price; if you can’t pick up the motorcycle, they will ship it to you. These charges, looking at several importer websites, are about 2-3 hundred dollars. A new motorcycle bought at a local dealer might have shipping and dealer charges that are also not included in the original motorcycle price. So this might be an expected con with buying a new motorcycle.
  8. Shipping time requirements. If you have the motorcycle shipped to you, there is a delay in delivery from when you purchased it. This delay is expected, shipping requires time, and from advertisements, 5-7 days isn’t unusual. FYI: 2nd Chinese Motorcycle, A Grom-Clone, Ordered. (My Timeline).
  9. The motorcycle might not be serviceable at your local mechanic. I am finding out; local mechanics are not interested in working on these types of motorcycles. It goes back to their quality, and no mechanic wants the responsibility of fixing these motorcycles. 
  10. Registration. In some advertisements, I noticed many motorcycles are not 50 states ‘legal’. In some of the ‘legal’ states, I’m told that a special inspection is necessary to get the motorcycle registered. Pouring over the Chinese Motorcycle Owner Forums, this seems to be hit or miss. I am told about a Vermont way of registering a motorcycle, but will have to do further research into this and share it later. Vermont Motorcycle Registration Related Post: What Is The Vermont Motorcycle Registration Loophole?

Would You Buy A Cheap Chinese Dual-Sport Motorcycle?

You can add up the pros and cons and come to your conclusion. Is buying an imported cheap Chinese dual-sport motorcycle a good idea? I recommend if you are interested in a cheap dual-sport motorcycle, a Chinese import might meet your needs at a significantly reduced price.

I’ve heard people use these motorcycles and, when tired of them recouping most of their expenses, reselling the motorcycle. Technically it’s tried and tested, so depending on who you buy it from, buying it used might make it safer than buying it new in a crate.

This last statement was meant as a joke but now makes too much sense after writing it out. I might look for a used one too.

Will I Buy A Cheap Chinese Dual-Sport Motorcycle?

My feelings. For less than two thousand dollars, I can have a new motorcycle. I get involved in its assembly and learn motorcycle maintenance while I also learn how to the motorcycle. I get to be part of a sub-culture of Chinese Motorcycle Owners.

These motorcycles have almost a cult following. Many people who were once lost and now want to help new owners. I recommend you find the Chinese Motorcycle Forums, like China Riders, and read along and find out if you’re going to be a part of this particular club.

All that seems to be expected is to have fun and help each other.

Note: I live in Pennsylvania, and registering a Cheap Chinese Dual Sport has been ‘iffy’ by some forum posts I read. I am unsure about the process, but there have been more positive posts about the registration versus negative posts. FYI: Why I Register Motorcycles In Vermont.

It seems that assembly is an issue, like who does it. The end-user or the seller? I Will look into this more, but this doesn’t have me too afraid.

Worse case, states DMV might require a first-time ‘enhanced’ inspection for the motorcycle to get it registered and titled for riding on the road. I will cross that bridge as I come to it.

Update: I bought my first motorcycle – TaoTao TBR7 Review & Specs: Out Of The Box

Update 2: Bought my second motorcycle – My 2nd Chinese Motorcycle, A Grom Clone, Ordered. (My Timeline)

Picture of me, as a New Motorcyclist.
Just Me…Newly Licensed.

Hi I’m Tom, A New Motorcycle Rider and Blog Author.

I am a new rider(Pa Learners Permit at the end of 2020, and I received a Pa Motorcycle License in 2021 after passing a Motorcycle Safety Course).

I bought my first motorcycle, a TaoTao TBR7, at the beginning of 2021 and have been doing upgrades on that motorcycle since.

I added to my motorcycle collection by buying a Boom Vader Gen 2 in 2022, and that Grom-Clone motorcycle has been upgraded by me as well.

I continue to ride my Boom Vader Gen 2 motorcycle as well as my TaoTao TBR7 dual-sport bike.

Read more on my About Me page.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been on one group ride.

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