A 650cc V-twin sounds like a good place to start.
European riders are showing more and more interest in Chinese-made bikes and scooters every year. From Brixton’s lineup of Chinese-built, small-displacement retro bikes to new electric mini motos, Chinese exports cater to Western tastes while retaining bargain-basement prices. With China’s new emissions regulations nearly aligning with Euro 5 standards, homologation isn’t as much of a deterrent for manufacturers either.
When our colleagues at Bennetts uncovered a 650cc V-twin cruiser design from China's intellectual property office, it got us wondering if it would ship West as well. Filed by Longjia, the mid-size cruiser would join the brand’s existing 250cc V-Twins. Longjia’s V-Bob 250i and Buccaneer 250i are already in the UK market as the Bullit V-Bob 250 and Bullit BluRoc 250 V2. If the company moves ahead with the V-Bob 650, one could reason that it would join its expats in Europe as well.
Looking like the love child of a Suzuki SV650 and Hyongsung’s GT/GV650, many anticipate the bulked-up V-Bob would put down 70 horsepower. The drawings show the ubiquitous mill wedged into a cradle frame. Dual shocks at the rear and USD forks at the front complete the chassis while the styling takes cues from the smaller V-Bob 250.
The short rear fender and low, sweptback handlebars lend to the bobber aesthetic. However, the 650cc cruiser gains gills and additional detail on the large gas tank. A small speed screen also alters the big V-Bob's silhouette and the exhaust features more aggressive bends than the one found on its 250cc counterpart. Overall, the V-Bob 650’s design is a more modern turn for Longjia and could hint at the platform’s future direction.
A look at the opposite side reveals a belt final drive and a dual-disc front braking system. It also appears that an instrument panel will tuck under the flyscreen and the gas tank will house an additional readout. Of course, it will be some time before the V-Bob 650 hits the production line, but it could be a huge step for Longjia. If the midsize cruiser does make it to European shores, it will have to contend with the Honda Rebel 500 and Kawasaki Vulcan S, but we don’t doubt that it will bring a price tag to undercut the competition.