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ADV BikesChinese Built 250cc Adventure Bike Coming to the US

Chinese Built 250cc Adventure Bike Coming to the US

 CSC Cyclone RX-3 expected to pass 50-state US certification by year end.

Published on 09.03.2014
A long-range touring capable 250cc Adventure Bike will be on its way to America soon. But is America ready for a Chinese built Adventure Bike?

The Chinese built Zongshen RX3 250cc Adventure Bike is on its way to the U.S., now rebadged as a CSC (California Scooter Company) Cyclone RX-3. CSC is known for small custom styled motorcycles built in their factory in Azusa, California. Now the company plans to certify the Zongshen RX3 for the United States market and rebrand it as their own.

CSC felt there was strong demand for a small, inexpensive Adventure Bike in the US market and spent some time reviewing the prospect of bringing the Zongshen to America. “The big adventure bikes are nice, but they are huge,” said President of CSC Motorcycles Steve Seidner. “We think they weigh too much, and we think they are not a good solution for exploring the world when riding off-road.” Convinced that the Zongshen RX3 met their quality standards, the company made the decision to invest in certifying the bike for street use in the US.

CSC Cyclone RX-3
The Cyclone RX-3 is an inexpensive, low-seat height, relatively light Adventure bike with modern styling.

Earlier this year, another company took the same plunge and re-branded the Zongshen RX3 as the M1nsk TRX 300i for the European market. The reception to the bike on social media channels was very positive but the M1nsk company only expressed mild interest in bringing the bike to the US.


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It looks like CSC beat M1nsk to the punch and will likely be the first importer of the Zongshen RX3 to the US. “We’re proud to be the company taking it through the [US] certification process,” said Steve Seidner.

CSC has announced a very low price tag on the Cyclone RX-3 at $2,895 for pre-sale customers only. Once the first shipment of bikes has sailed from China, the price will increase to $3,495. That is still quite a bargain for a bike that offers fuel injection, water-cooling, 6-speed transmission, adjustable suspension, tall wind-screen, wire-spoked rims, electric start, panniers, top box, modern styling and a 1-year warranty, all as standard equipment. At that price, we expect many will overlook the “Made in China” badge on the bike and be willing to give the RX-3 a try.

CSC will not be taking orders until the bike passes the US certification process, but you can put your name on the waiting list and they’ll notify you when orders begin processing. CSC says the completion of US certification should happen before the end of the year and the bike will be street legal in all 50 states. Questions still remain about how the bikes will be serviced around the country, but CSC has confirmed they will be shipping a large amount of replacement parts for the bike to handle service orders.

Specs Comparison

Adventure Bike Models HP Torque
(lb.-ft.)
Dry Weight
(lbs.)
Top Speed
(mph)
Seat Height
(in.)
Price
(US $)
 Honda CRF250L20.014.2314*8434.7$4,699
 Yamaha XT25017.513.72777631.9$5,190
 CSC Cyclone RX324.816.53598431.3$3,495
 CCM GP45040.031.62879035.0$10,863**
 Kawasaki KLR65037.033.43869535.0$6,499
 BMW G650GS50.044.039210530.3$7,900
** Based on UK price before taxes

For more information about the CSC Cyclone RX3, check out the CSC Blog and the Cyclone RX-3 page. Also check out our Cyclone RX-3 visual inspection and test ride review.

Author: Rob Dabney
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Comments
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10 thoughts on “Chinese Built 250cc Adventure Bike Coming to the US

  1. Harbor Freight will be carrying this bike as soon as it gets US approval. With a 20% coupon and free flashlight, this bike will be a bargain!

    • Triumph, BSA, etc and Harley dealers said the same thing when Honda and Yamaha first entered the US motorcycle market. What ever happened to Matchless, Zundapp, DKW, Moto Parilla and a host of other European manufacturers?

  2. I say it’s about time for a good looking small displacement adventure bike. Styling looks great. And the price is good for those who can’t get into the bigger brands to start. Though I am a little hesitant based on all the comments online, one gentlemen is blogging about his trip from China to Turkey on one and he made it with only a few minor hiccups. There is also a guy in the states with a 200cc Zongshen pushing nearly 60,000 miles. Must be doing something right. If it gets more people riding, I’d say its a success.

    Got a good giggle out of the Harbor Freight comment though.

  3. If you’re not one of the people who pre-order, the price will be around $3500. I’m guessing that will not include shipping, because unlike the Big Three, there’s no established dealer network. So let’s say this will cost around $3800, shipped to your front door. You can buy a heck of a nice, used Japanese dual-sport for that kind of money, plus you are just about guaranteed good parts support and a reputable dealership within 50 miles of wherever you live with the Japanese brands. How about resale? I would guess that a 3 year-old Japanese bike will have a higher resale (as a percentage of new MSRP) than a 3 year-old Chinese bike. How about initial quality? I’m betting the quality of a 2-3 year Japanese dual-sport is better than that of this new Chinese bike. Better wheel bearings, better suspension, better switches and electrics, etc.
    If you just want to be a “first adopter”, or you’re someone who buys a bike solely on the basis of “Styling”, then this new China bike may be for you, but I’ll spend my dough on a proven product, which in this case is a slightly-used bike from Honda, Yamaha or Suzuki.

    • For those of you who don’t think that a Chinese bike could be any good, many of those companies are making many of the parts for all of the big four Japanese brands. Many of the small displacement motors , frames, switchgear an lighting parts are already made there. The Cyclone has been put though a number of long rides to test its durability an a two year unlimited miles warranty is better to me then buying used with no clue how it was taken care of.

  4. Pingback: Close-Up Look of the CSC Cyclone RX-3 250cc Adventure Bike » ADV Pulse