Is a Zontes triple about to take on the Yamaha MT-09

The image shows an aggressively styled naked motorcycle built around a three-cylinder engine – sound familiar?

Zontes 800cc triple

IMAGES are circling the internet showing what is claimed to be a Zontes built 800 MT-09 contender.

The images have surfaced overseas from a company called JJ Design. While there is no official admission from the factory that this is indeed a legitimate design, it could be that they have been created with a bit of assistance from within the factory.

Zontes have been looking to move out of the budget 125cc pizza bike sector and into the mid-weight arena for some time now. They already have a range of cool looking bikes built around 312cc single-cylinder engine that look more appealing than most Chinese motorcycles.

Regardless of their aspirations in the big league, the move to the midweight naked sector is definitely a big step, with naked bikes pretty much outselling everything else in the 400 to 900cc segment. And with bikes like the MT-09 and Triumph’s all-conquering Street Triple seemingly ruling that particular roost, it makes you think how on earth the Zontes could compete.

The one thing Zontes has that I may wield in this battle is its price, with a wealth of mass production know-how and a ready-made supply chain, under-cutting the competition wouldn’t be hard. Their range of 312cc bikes is already around £1000 less than their European counterparts – such as the KTM Duke 125 and the Yamaha MT-03.

If there is one thing that money can’t do, it’s pulling a customer who is brand-focused away from a name they know and love. Pulling riders away from the Yamahas, Hondas, and KTMs of this world, and on to the relatively obscure Zontes nameplate is perhaps the biggest challenge of all.