Shineray Kougar 400R

Chinese bikes – credible or cack?

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?