While most bicycle companies are drooling over the projected growth of eBikes in China Specialized Bicycles Director of Design Robert Egger is looking to internal combustion. The bike pictured above was on display at Eurobike 2010. No word on whether an ICE powered Specialized bicycle will ever grace the streets but it is nice to look at and dream about.
United Motors quietly closed their doors February 1, 2010. They had what seemed to be a solid business importing Jincheng motorcycles from China after input on specs and quality and rebadging them as UM. A few years ago they began a deal with Hyosung (S&T Motors) to rebadged the 650c and 250cc models as UM. The multi-phase deal would eventually lead to Hyosung engined bikes designed by UM. The deal did not sit well with Hyosung US and rightfully so. The UM bikes began to sell better than the Hyosung brand in the states and dealer locations were not spaced far enough apart to protect Hyosung USA dealer territory.
All the details are not available about how UM met its fate. GE Money, the firm that loans money to dealers to stock the showroom, took possession of all United Motors inventory. A United Motors Group member in China called UM Global is still in business. Although this is strange it might offer hope for UM powersports owners who have warranty claims. If you have more information about UM’s fate and its possible future in UM Global please leave a comment or email admin [at] othermakes.net.
Zhejiang Yongkang Easy Vehicle Company took the Bombardier Spyder reverse road trike concept and brought it to the dirt with the TF110. Being familiar with the Spyder I’m not sure why this reverse trike atv caught me off guard. It seems part of the benefit of having two wheels in the back when off road would be additional contact patch with loose dirt and rough terrain. Maybe in deep ruts the centered rear wheel would hook up on high, dry ground? The rider would be in a rather uncomfortable forward leaning position with the front wheels in ruts and rear wheel not.
The concept is interesting and there must be some situations where this 3 wheeled ATV shines. Anyone have any experience riding this Chinese creation? Have any thoughts on terrain it might handle well? Please leave a comment and let me know.
|mini ground clearance||110mm|
|reated loading capacity||80kgs|
|Front brake||Disc brake|
|Rear brake||Disc brake|
|engine type||110cc air cooled,single cylinder,four-stroke|
|start mode||electric start|
Source: Yongkang Easy Vehicle Co.
If you have a child who wants to get into motorcycles an Oset Electric Dirt Bike is worth looking into. They are comparably priced compared to a Honda CRF50 and don’t make any noise or have a hot engine and exhaust. Less noise means less intimidation. If the kids are riding more, so are you. Yes, it is OK to be selfish. You can ride the bike too as it can carry up to 300 lbs. Check them out at OsetBikes.com
Italjet is about to enter the big bike market with the Grifon 650. The Italian mark is catching a second wind after it’s banruptcy in 2003. The Grifon’s blacked out Italian styling is accented with spoked rims, Giannelli exhaust and Brembo brakes. The Pre-production Grifon looks to be a combination of the Grifon and Bazooka prototypes introduced in late 2005. MCN posted the following video of a test ride…
Italjet is the latest company to outsource the chassis and 650 vTwin engine to South Korean Motorcycle manufacturer Hyosung. This most likely will allow them to hit a lower price point than previous prototypes with outsourced engines. Diamo USA is set to import the Grifon to the United States under the name Italjet USA. Let’s hope we see it spice up the bike meet parking lots some time in the near future.
UM issued a press release stating wholesale sales were up 30% and retail up 20%. This is a year after filling out thier motorcycle line up with rebadged Hyosungs in 250cc and 650cc displacements, rebadged scooters in 125cc and 250cc displacemnts and a rebadged 450cc sport quad. UM has a strong history of improving on other companies designs and making them thier own. This is exactly what they plan to do with the Hyosung machines. Should be interesting to see where this company is in 2 years.
Tank Sports recently announced they are testing two motorcycles (150cc and 250cc) that run on E85 EthanolTank Motors E85 Ethanol Motorcycle fuel. The motorcycle is expected to be released to the US in August 2007. This would be the first production motorcycle in the states to use the alternative fuel source.
As Asian motorcycle manufacturers fight for market share against the big 4 and other unknown companies it is critical that they differentiate themselves and provide a unique product that solves a problem for perspective buyers. With high gas prices and eco-minded Americans, this may be a big success in places were E85 Ethanol is available. Would you buy one?