Now, where have we seen this before?
Chinese manufacturers have, shall we say, borrowed liberally from other companies’ design language for years. Even established brands like CFMoto aren’t above “ “paying homage” to successful platforms like BMW’s R 1250 RT. With OEMs adopting specific looks in the modern era, it’s easier than ever to see which models influenced each Chinese knockoff. Such is the case with Honda’s Africa Twin 1100 and its mini-me, the Dahaidao 500 GS-ADV.
Built by Chongqing Hengjian Motorcycle Manufacturing, the 500 GS-ADV isn’t alone in the Honda copycat ranks. The brand also produces the Hengjian 500X, a Honda CB500X doppelgänger that uses the Loncin KE 500 parallel-twin. The eight-valve engine powers numerous Chinese clone bikes so it’s no surprise to find it wedged in the Dahaidao 500 chassis. Despite the generic application, the Loncin mill pumps out 48 horsepower and 32 lb-ft of torque.
The middleweight adventurer puts that performance to use with its 19/17 wire-spoked wheelset (18/21 is also available), long-travel suspension, and dual-disc J-Juan radial brakes. A radial master cylinder improves braking feel at the front even further and riders can deactivate ABS at the rear for off-road excursions. For those dirt miles, Chongqing Hengjian outfits the 500 GS-ADV with ample crash protection mimicking the Africa Twin’s skid plate and engine guards.
Gallery: Dahaidao 500 GS-ADV
The Dahaidao 500 can tour with the best of them as well. A 4.5-gallon petrol tank at the rear supplements the 6-gallon primary tank at the front. The 10.5-gallon fuel capacity and gas-sipping parallel-twin results in a claimed 621-mile range. The Africa Twin imitator doesn’t skimp on the rider accommodations either. The saddle is height adjustable and so is the windscreen. The 6.5-inch TFT dash features integrated connectivity and reports tire pressures to the rider.
The 500 GS-ADV is also a fraction of the Honda’s price, with its MSRP equating to roughly $4,250 USD (not available in America). Yes, China’s brazen infringements might be looked down upon, but if they give Honda any ideas for a downsized Africa Twin, we might just forgive them.