If I were to ask you what your go-to adventure bike for long-distance rides with a lot of off-road terrain would be, I'm pretty sure a good number of you would turn to the tried and tested Honda Africa Twin. Having ridden the Africa Twin in both standard and Adventure Sports iterations, I'm welll acquianted with the bike's confidence-inspiring power and go-anywhere capability.
That said, as I was daydreaming of adding the CRF1100L to my collection of two-wheelers, I stumbled upon this Chinese copycat of Honda's flagship adventurer. As you're well aware, there's no shortage of weird and wonderful copycat bikes in China, owing to their virtually non-existent intellectual property laws. Indeed, we've talked quite a bit about atrocious clones from the East, and today's bike is no different. Introducing the Hengjian HJMoto HJ500-8.
Yes, that name is quite a mouthful, and sounds like a generic name given to some random bike in China. On paper, however, it's built atop a rather familiar platform, and one that we've seen roll out of a variety of Chinese manufacturers' assembly lines in recent years. It's powered by a 471cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine. Now, if that sounds familiar to you, that's because it probably is. Loncin, another Chinese manufacturer, makes this engine, and it's essentially a reverse-engineered Honda CB500 engine – displacement and 180-degree crankshaft configuration included.
Style-wise, we get rally-inspired bodywork and a front facia that looks to have been copied from the Africa Twin but tweaked slightly for the sake of differentiation. It rolls on 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels in true adventure-enduro fashion, and gets a rather impressive 220 millimeters of ground clearance. Suspension travel is set at 170 millimeters front and rear, which isn't all that impressive, but should be more than enough to cover some rough gravel roads.
On the tech side, the Hengjian HJMoto HJ500-8 isn't too shabby, as it flaunts a seven-inch, full-color TFT display. It even has built-in front and rear cameras that let you record your adventures. On top of it all, Hengjian goes big on long-distance capability with a dual-fuel tank setup. Just like the new Ducati DesertX, this bike gets front and rear tanks, each with 20 liters of capacity, making for a total of 40 liters of fuel capacity. Let's just hope the engine and electronics are reliable enough to let you cover all that ground.
Sources: BikeDekho, Motorrad Online