When KTM introduced its small-displacement Dukes in 2013, a large chunk of the motorcycling community developed an appreciation for the bike’s approachability and ease-of-use. To the surprise of many back then, excitement needn’t always be associated with three-digit horsepower figures. To this day, KTM’s small capacity Duke range consisting of 125cc, 200cc, 250cc, and 390cc machines continues selling like hotcakes all over the world.
It can be said that the Duke was largely responsible for the crop of fun, small-displacement bikes we have today. As such, it really isn’t so surprising that many motorcycle manufacturers have come up with their own interpretations of what a fun, small-capacity motorcycle ought to be. We’ve seen companies like Honda do a rather decent job with the CB300R, while Kawasaki and Yamaha took the parallel-twin approach with the Z250 SL and MT-03. Even Chinese motorcycle makers like CFMoto and its 300NK have joined the party. More recently, another Chinese motorbike maker unveiled its own interpretation of a fun, lightweight, naked streetfighter.
Zongshen, a brand which folks in North America have never heard of, is a Chinese motorcycle manufacturer known for small-displacement scooters and motorbikes sold across Asia and parts of Europe. It’s also a strategic partner of the Piaggio Group, for which the Italian company outsources manufacturing to in the region. You see, Zongshen has taken the recipe of the baby KTM Duke, and released its own interpretation dubbed the G250R. From a styling perspective, the resemblance is uncanny. The G250R sports sharp, aggressive bodywork, with a chiseled fuel tank, tail, and headlight akin to the alien-like styling of KTM.
Zongshen has employed a vibrant and playful color palette for the G250R, a move that makes it clear that this bike is trying to emulate the playful, rowdy nature of its Austrian inspiration. In the performance side of things, the G250R gets a punchy 249cc single-cylinder motor. With around 25 ponies on tap, its performance is comparable to the 250 Duke, as well. As is the case with all modern-day machines, Zongshen has outfitted the G250R with a full-color TFT display, and full-LED lighting.
The Zongshen G250R is expected to roll out in the Chinese domestic market very soon. Likewise, we can expect to see this bike make its way to neighboring Asian markets, perhaps sporting different branding. It could even make its way to the European market, and serve as a budget-friendly alternative in the A2-license segment.