Is A Cheap Chinese Dual-Sport Any Good?
Some say their quality is questionable, but can you argue with a brand new motorcycle that's cheaper than its used competition?
When you think of a dual-sport motorcycle, you typically think of heavy hitters like the Honda Africa Twin or the Royal Enfield Himalayan. Maybe you think of more common bikes like the Suzuki DR-Z 400, or the Kawasaki KLR 650 (rest in pieces). One name you never hear in the mix is the RPS Hawk 250, yet this is another viable contender in the dual-sport world. Better yet, for just $1,399, a brand new Hawk costs less than most other dual-sports cost on the used market.
YouTuber MotoCheez has made a number of videos about his own Hawk, including the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of this cheap dual-sport. He's also made a number of upgrades that improve the bike's performance and reliability. Watching his videos have shown me that the bike may not be nearly as bad as its low price and Chinese origins would have you believe.
I wouldn't mind picking up a Hawk of my own someday. I'd prefer it as a second bike, a project bike if you will, despite the fact that I'd buy it brand new. I wouldn't want to rely on it to get to work every day, but southwest New Hampshire, where I'm moving, has a seemingly endless supply of gravel and unmaintained roads that a dual-sport would be perfect for exploring. I will also admit that dirt is my giant blind spot when it comes to motorcycling. I have almost no experience on dirt, and what little I do have mainly involves crashing from using too much front brake. I wouldn't want to learn the ropes of the dirt on a nice Africa Twin, but a cheap Hawk 250 would be a bike I wouldn't cry about accidentally chucking down a trail, breaking, and then fixing up again. I may have to explore this option more closely at some point.