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The curious Zongshen Cyclone RA9 is Aprilia Shiver meets LEGO Technic set

The Zongshen Cyclone RA9 looks like it has arrived from the future... but solid Aprilia Shiver underpinnings suggests it is intended for today

Zongshen Cyclone RA9


What do you get when you take an Aprilia Shiver then cover it in a body that is part-squashedDucati Diavel, part-LEGO Technic construction model? Apparently you get the Zongshen Cyclone RA9.

This curious-looking concoction of shapes and panels is the latest model to emerge from one of China’s larger motorcycle brands, intended as a futuristic and striking take on (what we think is) a small cruiser (?)

OK, so maybe we can’t box this into a segment per se, but the Cyclone RA9 - revealed at the Chongqing International Motor Expo - does look like it came out of a box and began being assembled but, as with most well-intended presents, was left on the dining table unfinished.

Zongshen Cyclone RA9

We’ll give Zongshen benefit of the doubt and say it is certainly an eye-catching, head-turning creation with its low-slung profile and edgy stripped-back bodywork, while features like the grey and yellow rear wheel trim, bluff rear-end, ostentatious trellis frame and exhaust that reminds us of a certain part of a human’s anatomy are imaginative. Admittedly, some angles do look better than others...

Moreover, what looks like a concept might actually be something being primed for hitting the road in some form fairly soon because - unlike most wacky show models - this does have underpinnings that actually work.

Indeed, pick away at the skin and you’ll find the chassis and engine of the recently discontinued Aprilia Shiver, a donation courtesy of parent company Piaggio’s Chinese production alliance with Zongshen.

Zongshen Cyclone RA9

Zongshen have fettled the 90-degree V-twin to deliver increased performance with 113bhp (formerly 95bhp) coming from a larger 987cc engine (formerly 896cc), while it is actually lighter than its donor at 218kg.

Don’t expect to see Zongshen Cyclone RA9 appearing on European roads any time soon since it is stymied by the Euro5 related issues that led to the Shiver’s passing… whether that is a good thing or not is entirely up to you.