Unsurprisingly, China is home to dozens if not hundreds of motorcycle manufacturers big and small. From obscure copycats to brands that are actually contributing to the global industry, there’s no denying that Chinese-made motorcycles are here to stay, and some of them have the global market in their crosshairs.
One such brand is Zontes, a manufacturer known for its small to mid-sized motorcycles of varying style. The Chinese manufacturer has previously set up shop in neighboring Asian countries, as well as parts of Europe. This time around, the company has bold plans of infiltrating one of the world’s biggest motorcycle markets by sheer volume alone: India. You see, Zontes’ motorcycles seem like a perfect fit for the Indian market. They’re cheap—but not necessarily cheaply made; small and lightweight, making them ideal for heavy traffic; and pretty stylish—something that’s taken account of regardless of the market.
In an article published by Indian motoring publication BikeDekho, Zontes has plans of releasing a total of five models in India. The bikes are expected to range in displacement from 125cc to 310cc—a series of motorcycles I have personal experience with, as they were previously available here in the Philippines. That said, five of a total of eight models could soon make their way to India. I’m almost certain that at least a couple of which would be retro-style naked bies such as the 125G or 310R2. Surely, naked bikes and tourers like the 310X2 GP and 310T2 will also have a place in the Indian market.
When it comes to performance, Zontes’ bikes are fairly decent. Those equipped with a 125cc engine produce around 15 horsepower, making them perfectly adequate for puttering about the bustling metropolis. The bigger 310-powered machines, meanwhile, pack a bit more punch, and bring their A-game against the likes of the KTM 390 series. With 35 horsepower on tap, the 312cc single-cylinder engine from these models looks to be a reverse-engineered BMW G 310 engine, which was jointly developed with Indian manufacturer TVS.
As of the moment, that’s all we know about Zontes’ entry into the Indian market. What’s certain, too, is that if Zontes wants to cover any ground in a market that’s already rife with affordable high-tech models, it’ll surely have to play its cards right in terms of pricing, availability, and dealer support.