Loncin’s 500 twin

Chinese CB500F clone revealed

Loncin’s 500 twin

A WHILE ago we revealed that Chinese firm Loncin was plotting a range of twin-cylinder 500cc models and now the first of them has been officially revealed.

The HR7 uses a Loncin-made 500cc twin that appears to be virtually identical to Honda’s CB500F motor. The Loncin engine has already appeared in the Motrac MG500 adventure bike, and now it’s in Loncin’s own machine.

In terms of spec, the sheet accompanying the bike at its launch at the CIMA show in China reveals that it makes an A2-licence-legal 47hp at 8,500rpm and 32lbft of torque at 7,000rpm. Those numbers precisely match the claims for Honda’s CB500F. So does the capacity at 471cc, and the external castings of the engine appear to be almost indistinguishable from the Honda. Whether Loncin has a licencing deal in place to make Honda engines, or if this is simply a copy, isn’t clear.

Motor aside, the bike’s frame also closely mimics the CB500’s design. A tubular steel chassis, it shares similar shapes with the Honda, but the parts bolted to it are designed to be more alluring. There’s a cast aluminium swingarm, for instance, instead of the Honda’s simple, rectangular-section design, and the Chinese bike’s forks are chunky-looking upside-downers. In terms of size and weight, it’s again close to the CB500, with a curb weight of 195kg (190kg for the Honda) and a wheelbase of 1,450mm (1,410mm for the CB500F).

The Loncin HR7’s styling could easily pass for a Japanese bike’s too. The days of lumpen, ill-proportioned Chinese machines seem to be becoming a thing of the past.

As usual with Chinese bike unveils, there’s currently no detail on when the HR7 will be available and whether it’s going to be sold in Europe, although the clear addition of the ABS brakes and side reflectors needed to pass the latest Euro regulations suggest that we’re in the company’s sights.

Pictures: newmotor.com.cn