Shineray Kougar 400R

Chinese bikes – credible or cack?

Posted: 8 October 2012
by Visordown News

Shineray Kougar 400R

DIG a little below the surface of the new Shineray Kougar 400R (no, we'd never heard of them either) and it turns out that the latest thing from China is a close relation to Honda's XR400.

As to whether it's a legitimate offspring or not we'll leave to Honda's lawyers, but the 397.2cc engine and the steel frame both bear uncanny similarities to the old air-cooled Honda enduro.

On the Shineray, which was shown at Intermot last week, it was all wrapped in surprisingly contemporary and palatable bodywork – even if it drew inspiration from every other GS-inspired on/off road bike in recent years, right down to the seemingly-unavoidable 'beak' at the front. |In fact, the firm showed a concept machine, the X5, last year with near-identical lines and technology.

Will it ever really go into production? Quite possibly. But while L-plate riders over here seem happy to spend a few hundred quid on unknown-brand Chinese scooters, there's a big step to actually persuading 'real' (ie licence-holding) motorcyclists to part with their cash. Would you ever be tempted?

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Shineray, Kougar, 400R, XR400 copy, X5

Discuss this story

There is no reason why The Chinese can't make bikes as good as anyone else, it isn't like the sixties when the Jap bikes were better than The British ones. The technology is there for everybody to use.

Posted: 08/10/2012 at 15:11

The sooner the better. Its the shake-up the industry needs to bring prices down. Hard to knock Chinese quality when you look at products like the iphone. How about you guys and gals at Visordown wrangle a few test bikes for a year? If you are not brave enough to ride feel free to pass on to me ;-)

Posted: 08/10/2012 at 16:00

There's a big difference in quality control, materials, etc, between a Honda made in China and a chinese copy of a Honda made in China. And resale value ? Forget it. Personally, I'll wait until I can test one after 3 years of use before I take a bet on one.

Posted: 08/10/2012 at 17:02

Yeah, time will tell.
If the bikes last and the dealer backup is there, why not?
Only thing wrong with Jap bikes is the price of spares. If the Chines could supply the same quality with a cost saving I'd switch tomorrow.

Posted: 08/10/2012 at 19:12

Carn't wait to take my Shineray Kougar to the Ace cafe to see all the envious looks ...

Posted: 08/10/2012 at 23:09

The Chinese companies need to work on after sale support. If I buy a Honda or a Suzuki, I know I will be able to get parts or service five years from now. The Golden Dragon bikes, not so much...

Posted: 09/10/2012 at 00:33

It's been said before but the likes of China and I guess India are coming, ok there will learning curve but don't rule stuff like this out.

If I was commuting on a motorbike this is the type of bike I'd be looking at, IMO it's what the market needs, people don't have the £££ for flash bikes.

Posted: 09/10/2012 at 07:32

Here in Australia we seem to get lots of Chinese things, don't know about you lot back in the UK, maybe it's because we are closer to China here. 5 or 6 years ago they were shocking, but the last 18 - 24 months they've improved lots, Shineray do a XY250Gy-2 (snappy eh) Endro bike, and there's a Motard version coming too, but XY is being bough by semi serious people, it's $4000 less than a Yamaha WR250 and has the same 12 month warranty and free servicing...
Same bike was on long term test with a magazine too, you have to be confident to do that.
Then check and look for the Megelli 250r which looks not bad at all.
They are coming up fast; which I think is good, it might wake up the J's to do things differently.

Posted: 09/10/2012 at 07:40

Hmm, maybe. I've owned two pretty decent Chinese branded bikes, a Huoniao - also sold as a Lexmoto and Haotian but actually made by Dihao - and a Lifan, branded as a Skygo.

And that's part of the problem, the crazy amount of brand names out there, the ball ache with getting insurance for them, and the importers who fold at the drop of a hat and who don't have the margins to offer warranty support.

Witness the "WK 650i", which is actually a CF Moto N650K. Who the heck are either "CF Moto" or "WK bikes", and how are they going to do nationwide warranty work and parts supply on a proper big boy bike?

Likewise Shineray, who have only been seen in the UK via bike-in-a-box 125 importers up to now. Parts are no problem, but you'll need them: they're not regarded as a quality marque, they're cheap and cheerful even by Chinese branded standards.

So, long story short: if this was branded and sold and supported by Lexmoto, with a 2 year warranty that was actually worth something, for a realistic price, say £2500 - £3000, and I could see ones that had survived through 2 or 3 UK winters, well... I'd likely still spend my money on a well used F or G650GS.

If Chinese brand importers want to really play with the big boys, I'd suggest that they look at their warranties, which tend to be the absolute minimum that they think they can get away with. Let's see them match or exceed Suzuki's 3 year warranty, and give us some expectation that the bike will make it to its first MOT.

Posted: 09/10/2012 at 09:04

Mark - I've heard a Megelli running round Hong Kong with a loud pipe - actually sounded good. It looked quite small - 125 size - even though it was the 250M. I've seen a few 250R's parked up. I read that they have a British designer but I haven't found out any more than that. The frame and swingarm look a lot like something Tigcraft would do, and up close, the quality looks reasonable - much like the CBR250R (made in Brazil).... some rough looking castings but nothing really nasty. But still, parts, resale value, long term reliability, etc... still a concern. Wait and see... I'd still rather get a 2yr old made in Japan than a newbie made in China.

Posted: 09/10/2012 at 09:06

Slight correction to my previous post, Suzuki have now reverted their warranty back to 2 years again. Gap in the market, chaps.

Posted: 10/10/2012 at 10:30

this argument drives me crazy.... Some folk want cheap bikes, how many times have you heard something along the lines of "well if honda made a 400cc air cooled........ for under £5k I would buy it!".

The Chinese obviously have been listening and have made what we have asked for, if its £4k less then a Honda how the FU** do you think it will be the same or better quality? Im 100% sure that if the Chinese companies wanted to make honda quality they could, but it will cost honda prices!

Im sure some of you lot think the Chinese are 3rd world poverty stricken idiots that need western help so that they can feed and water people, or little stupid yellow surfs... When in actual fact they create half the technology we use today and are on the leading edge of innovation in a lot of fields!

Think some people need to stop moaning and open a savings account!

Posted: 15/10/2012 at 11:41

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