Can this bike stack up against the other entry-level ADVs?
With mid-sized adventure bikes becoming more and more popular in recent years, consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to the options available in the market. An impressive repertoire of beginner-friendly, affordable, and capable adventure bikes exists among mainstream manufacturers, however, one can't ignore the extremely enticing offerings brought about by the Chinese market.
We've seen a massive influx of Chinese-made motorcycles all across Asia and Europe. Now, like them or hate them, there's no denying that affordable Chinese-made bikes have made the two-wheeled lifestyle a lot more accessible to newbies, especially those on a budget. And while these bikes aren't exactly hallmarks of top notch quality control, the overall reliability and fit and finish of made-in-China bikes has advanced leaps and bounds. There are a few Chinese brands which are beginning to make their presence felt on the international stage. Companies like Benelli-owner QJ Motor, CFMoto, and Loncin have made some pretty impressive bikes.
We've talked about Loncin quite a bit lately, with this Chinese company having seen relative success with its Voge line of bikes particularly in Asia and Europe. The 500cc entry-level street bike is now on offer with three different iterations—The Voge 500R, 500 AC, and now, the new, adventurous 500 DS. I can only assume that the DS in the name stands for Dual-Sport, as this bike has clearly been designed to put some light off-road capability on the table. From a styling perspective, it's clear to see that this bike is, for the most part, an original design, not having blatantly copied any other existing ADV in the market.
Loncin has gone for the whole pointy, angular aesthetic with this bike, however. So it does slightly resemble the likes of the Honda CB500X and Suzuki V-Strom 650. Where it does bear striking similarity with the Honda CB500X is in its engine. It does, after all, come equipped with a similarly engineered 471cc parallel-twin engine. Equipped with the usual fuel-injection and liquid-cooling, the Voge 500 DS pumps out an adequate 46 horsepower and 42.5 Nm of torque—very similar to that of the Honda.
Initially launched in the European market, this bike has been pegged at €5,995, or the equivalent of $7,205 USD—a rather premium price tag, considering the stiff competition from Japanese and European manufacturers. This tidy sum gets you premium features consisting of inverted forks, a full-color TFT screen, and ABS-equipped Nissin brakes.