Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, they say… but an imitated dubious accent is just insulting.
In fact, for every tribute to good taste, there is a facsimile of a machine that needs more toner.
The same goes for motorcycles, where a steady stream of familiar, if not exactly faithful, interpretations of popular models have taken to the streets, especially in China, where the concept of intellectual property seems to be an afterthought at best. in the worst case.
No manufacturer is immune to the dubious tribute band effect. We’ve already published a long list of copycat motorcycles from China that mimic models from the likes of Honda, Ducati, Kawasaki and Yamaha, and yet in 2021 there’s even more material for second name and embarrassment.
Of course, more and more original-thinking brands are coming out of China, but no matter how big the inflated coffins of the lawyers who represent the big brands are, more and more scams are emerging, faster than they can be stopped.
Some are pretty convincing when you squint…and drunk…while others are just plain rude.
Chinese Copycat Motorcycles: It may be the Chinese Year of the Ox, but for some,
Motrac Unicon – MV Agusta Superspeed 800
How cheeky? 9/10 How faithful? 3/10 – The two-wheeled equivalent of ill-advised glamor shots for a Lonely Hearts ad
The MV Agusta Superveloce 800. Atmospheric, elegant, full of nostalgia
The Motec Unicon. All those things except the opposite. It is also named after a horny fantasy horse. Horse with horn. Whatever, it’s bullshit.
We actually like the ironic name more, intentional or not, like Motec’s cheerful description of the signature funnel-shaped porthole that may just copy the (formerly) unique Superveloce 800, but “one try” is like How Far Would We Go To faithfully describe it?
The version is unusually similar to the MV Agusta’s 800cc engine… except it only produces 60 bup (unicorn braking power – fnar), so we’re not quite sure what half of the engine is doing there. , except overloading the parts that serve a purpose.
Admirable idea, pathetic execution.
Tairong T400 – Ducati Panigale V4
How cheeky? 6/10 What an insult 2/10 – You have to admit, it reminded you of a world where a Ducati scooter exists.
This is a bit of a wildcard entry here for quite obvious reasons, but we’re heavily compromised by the fact that there’s a scooter with the face of a Ducati Panigale V4. I mean, really, we couldn’t have two such separate models in ethos.
But since it’s a scooter, we have to say that Tairong has done a great job teaming it up with their T400, which seems to have started out as a Yamaha T-MAX, to make us think about what a Ducati scooter would look like. can see if one would ever (shudder) exist.
So now you know what a crossed/paired Yamaha T-MAX looks like with a Panigale V4. I’m glad we finally fixed that head scratcher. Let’s go…
We should point out that this is a Taiwanese model and we don’t want to fan geopolitical flames here, so we classify this as 9 Chinese imitation modes, plus 1 Taiwanese imitation.
Dragon – Ducati Monster
How cheeky? 7/10 What an insult 5/10 – How can you stay mad at this?
One of three Ducati knock-offs on this list, the Ducati Monster has a distinctive silhouette that will probably never change, so this Chinese version would take about 25 years to make.
Let’s just say time was not well spent here. But at least they have access to a washing machine with a molded temperature setting or they thought it looked bigger on the box…
Anyway, this is the ‘Dragon’… that’s right, it’s called Dragon. as a prince. Oh Cher.
We’ll thaw our frozen hearts for a moment to call the Dragon quite “cute,” something you wouldn’t call a dragon yourself. Or Cher for that matter.
The Monster’s signatures are all there, including the bison hump, but they seem to be misplaced, whereas that trellis frame, we suspect/hope, is not an integral part of the dragon’s structural integrity.
It’s also ironic that something so small is lifted so high that you’re likely to get a nasty injury if you fall while standing…
Motorcycle S450RR – BMW S 1000RR
How cheeky? 9/10 How offensive 6/10 – Pretty convincing… but only if it was really so fast that your brain doesn’t correct itself right away.
Compared to many of the bikes on display here, the evocative ‘Moto’ company has shown quite a bit of attention to detail in creating the S450RR, which most will realize is a copy of the S1000RR even before they are released. see him. .
That means the rakish lines are quite convincing, red-white and blue graphics are present and there’s even a big can.
It’s just for effect though, as the 450cc engine means it could only compete with a Kawasaki Ninja 400, which is handy because the rear copied that model too.
However, the best? The decal that mimics the BMW propeller, except it’s been (unintentionally) modified to look like a desk fan.
Moxaio 500 RR – Ducati Panigale 959
How cheeky? 8/10 How offensive 9/10 – Even the imitators have to change their tactics to stand out from the imitators.
Ducati is really only responsible for creating its image and models in such a seductive way that they become attractive at a price that few can afford. What should a soul in love do…? Open the market and you will get the imitation.
Since the Ducati V4 copy is sooooo from last year, Moxaio decided to go for a better option in the Ducati Panigale 959 inspired Moxaio 500 RR.
The result is a loose cross between the 959 and that full version of the V4 made from LEGO. Basically, it’s the thick version of what a soup should be. They did their best to copy the font and graphic details, but it seems they got a little dishonest with the final details by dragging Ferrari into the mess with a yellow logo.
However, you are still faced with the same dilemma as the Europeans here with the 959. Why a Ducati 959/Moxaio 500 RR when you could make a Panigale V4/One of the many copies go slower than you should in China?
Yayama R6 – Yamaha R6
How cheeky? 10/10 How offensive? 9/10 – I can only assume that Yayama, sorry Yamaha, sees the funny side because come on, it’s the so called Yayama R6!
In what must be the most subtle (latest) attempt at distinguishing one product from another since Dread Zeppelin, the Yayama R6 will bring your iPhone’s autocorrect to a halt as they compete over which one is right. That said, I personally prefer my original Yayaya misspelling. Or Yayamaha.
No prizes for guessing which model this monkey is, the Yayama R6 is to be admired for its astonishingly poor copy-and-paste efforts, which comes down to its distinctive colors and graphics, not to mention some similar, if somewhat failed body features.
We also have questions about that ride height, which is a pretty big drop for anyone under six feet
Too many to mention – Vespa Primavera
How cheeky? 10/10 How offensive? 8/10 – The scooter equivalent of Dawn of the Dead
While most manufacturers are angry to see their efforts and product being copied in a cynical attempt to capitalize on their original ideas, most won’t worry about the time-consuming legal route to stop them, because it really is a brand. harms. scheme. of things?
Except, there is one exception to this rule. Piaggio has taken on legal challenges left, right and center to prevent the swarm of models from showing up under various names that have copied the iconic and protected design of his retro-infused Primavera.
It has also been fairly successful in preventing these models from reaching Europe, although at least it probably wasn’t in the five-year plan.
Primavera is an obvious target as it evokes the romance and culture of a European capital in a more economical, streamlined and distinctive package. But as always, those are the traits that are lost in such interpretations, so you can understand why Piaggio went to court, not for financial reasons, but because it’s an insult, a virgin an insult, to his being. .
Hanway G30 – Royal Enfield Himalayan
How cheeky? 8/10 How offensive? 4/10 – The only example of a manufacturer who has reason to copy its own copy
This is one of our favorites here due to the simple fact that Hanway started out with a simple, affordable (let’s face it, budget) and fairly basic motorcycle in the Royal Enfield Himalayan… then traded the knock-off premise for ( sort of ) try to update the original donor. Hello?
Here, in what is a fairly faithful attempt at copying the Himalaya’s signature understated, retro styling, the G30 treats us to a TFT dashboard, LED lighting, inverted forks and a 26-hp single-cylinder engine. ostentatious!
We love the Himalaya not necessarily because we’d prefer it to something faster, more comfortable and better equipped, but because it’s a humble workhorse with lots of charm.
The Hanway G30 doesn’t have that advantage, but of all the clones here, it’s probably the most capable of making us think twice (briefly) on whether we should go with the original or grab the knock-off and cash that £3,000 is cheaper than what it is already only €4,599.
Yiben YB250 – Piaggio MP3
How cheeky? 9/10 How offensive? 7/10 – Get out of my pub!
The popularity and ubiquity of scooters around the world is so great that it is sometimes difficult to know which one is which. But don’t confuse the Piaggio MP3 with three wheels on his tricycle.
Since then, there have been a few rival models inspired by a bike that once brought people back, but is now a big seller, but in China some just grabbed an MP3 and swapped the badges.
As we mentioned before, Piaggio takes nothing when it comes to encroaching on its designs, so when a company called Yiben tried to bring its YB250 tricycle to EICMA in 2019, it was kicked out of the aisle. on the orders of a judge as a drunken underage teenager in a nightclub.
Embarrassing. But you can bet that teen will be back next weekend, with fake mustache and all.
Xinshiji Finja 500 – Kawasaki ZX-10R
How cheeky? 8/10 How offensive? 5/10 – A ninja… with a rainbow coat and heels.
Another one that will confuse Google if you look it up, the Finja 500 needs little introduction to imagine where the inspiration for this came from, although you may not be guessing the model.
This is a version of the Kawasaki ZX-10R, but with a punch closer to a Ninja 400, which itself is styled after the ZX-10R. I’ve got it? it is well.
With respect, the Finja 500 is coming just as Kawasaki is replacing the generation its Chinese doppelganger is based on, so you could say there’s room for both models to sell without hindering each other. Not that a decision between the two seems likely, but who are we to judge.
At 50 horsepower, it’s punchy even though it’s not a ZX, but the look is a pretty decent take on those signatures by rearranging the green and black to give it a more low-key look. If anything, this is the only model here that really tones down the original.
Dahaidao 500 GS ADV – Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
How cheeky? 7/10 How offensive? 5/10 – If the Honda is an African safari, the Dahaidao is the not-so-hyped game in the Midlands that you experience in a Volvo with the windows open
Using the Honda Africa Twin as…