One of two big Motorcycle exhibitions every year, the Chongqing Motorcycle show is a must for anyone interested in the Chinese motorcycle industry and a great opportunity to see some of the best China has to offer.
Chongqing, described as the Hong Kong of the mainland, is a massive city and with 35 million people by some standards its actually the biggest in the world. This figure is skewed by the land area the city occupies, however by any mearsure it sure is big place. Famous for its Sichuan hot pot, 365-day fog, motorcycle factories and to our pleasant surprise the most beautiful women in china (more to come here) what a great place to come visit
The flight from shanghai to Chongqing is a comfortable 2hrs, and there are some great bargains on five star hotels - a night at the five star Sofitel coming in at less than 80 US dollars. The motorcycle exhibition is located about an hour out of the center town in the enormous Chongqing international expo center. We are up early and get there ready for a whole day of action.
To those who have been to any exhibition/trade show in in China, the Chinese do like to put on a show. Dance music blaring, speed jumps, pretty girls scantly clad and predator wandering freely, the whole thing make for an exciting day.
Although the exhibition center is massive the motorcycle section was much smaller. Most of the big players were there including CF Moto, Loncin, Shineray, Hao Jue et al as well as some of the traditional Japanese brands thrown in for good measure. With a particular interest in a medium displacement single I was keen to see what was on offer.
The Shineray Honda CB 400 clone was interesting and actually rode reasonably well. Having driven a number of Chinese bikes you soon start to realize that a 400cc Chinese bike somehow feels more like a 300 and traditionally the clutches seem to clunk around a bit too much. One good piece of new is that they are putting this single in their off-road bikes and even have a bigger off-road 600cc version (pictured), which gave us a good kick. For some reason the 3-wheel sidecar bikes are also being pushed here and this same engine was being put in those. This particular 400 seemed ok however the generally lack of refinement, chunky exterior, cheap looking metal frame and plastically feel, I definitely you didn’t get the feel of wow I must have this bike.
Particularly interested in the custom scene having a look at some Chinese pioneers was something we wanted to do. The regal raptor i.e. the 250cc viagro copy has been mentioned to be a half decent bobber/cruiser, in this new regal they look like they have upgraded/changed to a 350 and non-v twin engine.
Not impressed we got the idea someone has taken a lot of photos of the Internet, ‘control e’ merged all the photos in Photoshop and out pops the bobber 350. There was a few more Harley like bobber imitations but ultimately with the displacement size limited to 350cc one wonders how well these bikes will do on the international market especially with international tastes moving away from this style.
It was good to check out all the parts manufactures and chat to people but other than that we found ourselves finished in half a day. With half a day to kill, my canon camera in hand, lots of pretty Chinese models wanting to pose I decided to combine some business with pleasure.