Another East meets West affair.
We’ve seen a slew of European and Japanese-developed motors make their way into Chinese motorcycles lately. From the KTM LC8c powering the new CFMoto 800MT to the Honda CB650-derived engine at the heart of Benda’s LF-01 cruiser, there’s no shortage of cross-pollination in the market today.
In 2017, Norton formalized a similar agreement with Zongshen, sharing rights to manufacture the brand’s 650cc twin with the Chinese OEM. We last saw the fruits of that deal at the 17th China International Motorcycle Trade Exhibition, when Zongshen introduced the Cyclone RX6 prototype. Now, the adventure tourer is ready to hit the road after the Chinese brand unveiled the production model at the 2021 Shanghai Motor Show.
As suspected, the Cyclone RX6’s twin-cam, 650cc parallel-twin musters 70 horsepower and 45.7 lb-ft of torque. While that’s considerably lower than the 84 horsepower generated by Norton’s mill, it puts the Cyclone in direct competition with the Yamaha Tracer 700 and Kawasaki Versys 650.
The RX6 will feature a Nissin braking system, Kayaba suspension, Bosch ABS, and Pirelli tires alongside the Norton-derived mill. Quite the international affair, if we do say so. Zongshen will also equip the platform in two trims. The touring variant will sport cast rims and touring-oriented suspension while the off-road-friendly model touts spoked wheels and extra suspension travel.
Creature comforts come by way of the electronically adjustable windscreen, keyless ignition, and full-color TFT dash with Bluetooth connectivity. A 5.5-gallon tank will keep the RX6 on the road and the trail for hours and the available saddlebag system suits far-flung adventures.
Zongshen hasn’t unveiled the Cyclone’s sticker price yet, but it is currently only slated for the Asian markets. Many anticipate that the RX6 will make its way to Europe, and possibly a homecoming to the U.K. in due time.