Never thought I'd post here but here goes...
I'm looking to buy a 48, 100 or 125 scooter / maybe motorcycle to ride here in China. Problem is, I know absolutely nothing about motorcycles or any motor vehicle for that matter having never passed my driving test.
So, here's the situation: In China you can legally ride any battery vehicle on the roads with no licence, tax or insurance, which is all well for going to work and back. This legal status is pretty much accepted to stretch to 48cc bikes too and anyone you ask will tell you this, however a google tells me that's not the case but It seems the police don't even know this, nor do they seem to have the ability to tell the difference between a 48 or 125cc bike. Out on my bycycle last week I counted 40 scooters on the road, only 3 of them had a licence plate.
With the possibility of getting mobile and having much more range to explore here, I am chomping at the bit to get a motor scooter and get out into the hills, battery bikes only stretch to about 30km at best, so I need to go gas if I wanna get into any real adventures.
But, after a trip to the shops, it became painfully obvious its almost impossible to find a reliable Chinese brand here (Chinese made 48/100cc bikes come in at 400-500 quid), with so many copy cat brands with the usual intentionally mis-spelt big brand clones every where you look. To be honest some are obvious, HDNDA for example and endless Yamaha JOG clones with JOC etc on them, or bikes with legit looking badges which are just stickers on close inspection.
There are some legit brands here (Dayang, Jin..something etc), but with negligible price difference to the obviously ropey bikes, there's no price induced reassurance.
If i speak to any Chinese person they use the typical Chinese mindset of 'everyone else is riding those bikes, they must be ok', but speak to a foreigner and they say 'buy a Japanese bike', which I would but at a 300 to 400% price hike, it puts it out of my wallet for a good while.
The biggest issue that I've heard with Chinese bikes is that the brakes aren't great, and/or soon deteriorate and according to one person, are sometimes un-repairable.
When going to the bike markets the sellers are more than happy to let me take any bike for a spin, which I did a couple of times last month but with my zero knowledge, I have no idea what I should be looking for in a bike, or which part of the tyres to kick to pretend I do.
So, is there anything I can look out for if I go back and take them up on the offer of a test drive?