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Author Topic: Lifan motorcycles  (Read 29496 times)
panthercat
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« on: May 13, 2006, 09:26:46 PM »

The posts I,ve seen on the Lifan board seem to indicate that the majority of owners are very pleased with their bikes. Some are reporting 90 to 100mpg after making gear change on final drive. Maybe someone near CBXman could check out his opinion of how they hold up.
This page on cbxman shows several different alternative cruisers. Both the Lifan and the Vento V Thunder look pretty cool but totally different from each other. Since he has so many different brands, it may be a good place to do some research.
 http://www.cbxmanmotorcycles.com/Cruiser-Motorcycles.aspx
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red_cell472
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2006, 06:45:52 AM »

Here is a reply that I got when I asked a reviewer about his experience with Lifan (which was not good in the review):


You might have noticed I was a bid frustrated with Lifan.  I will say that things have gotten much better.  I have almost 800 miles on it now and have not had any more trouble.  I am getting about 97 mpg which is great!  I drive it in town almost exclusively.

I think that most of the troubles I had were related to a new bike.  In other words, when the initial problems are all resolved, the bike runs fine.  Of course, I only have 800 miles on mine.   We shall see how things are after 8,000 miles.

 I think that the Lifan is a great buy IF you have a good dealer that will work with you to resolve any problems.  I did, so everything eventually worked out for me.  I?m not really sorry for my purchase.  I got it for a great price, especially compared to similar bikes from other brands.  It is a great starter bike and works good for commuting.  I ride it to work everyday it doesn?t rain (about 5 miles each way).

Original review:

I am a novice bike owner. So I don't have any experience to relate this bike to. Overall, I am less than satisfied, but I am willing to attribute a lot of it to being new to motorcycles. I won't ever buy a Lifan again, though. I think that if I were knowledgeable about motors and motorcycles, it wouldn't be so bad, but I need a bike that is more reliable.
I wanted a bike to take to my office job and save a little on gas. This bike seemed the perfect option because it was not a big bike and was so inexpensive. For me, the PRO's are: Low cost, looks, fairly comfortable, good gas mileage. CON's: mechanical nightmare.

Here's my story: I bought the bike in November 2005. It was a 2004 model, with about 60 miles on it. The engine ran great and I didn't notice any problems until I went out one night and couldn't get the headlight to come on. Then I started experiencing problems with the starter not working on occasion. I would jiggle the wires and then it would start. Then, the turn signal beep would work only sporadically. (I didn't really care for the extremely loud beeping sound anyway, so I put some electrical tape over the beeping device, and it makes it much more tolerable). I also had a problem with the handlebar lock so decided to take the bike back to the dealer to look at it and the electrical problems. Attempting to get the lock to work, he accidentally broke the key off in the lock. (A trick I accidentally duplicated myself about a week later. The lock is in a bad spot). The mechanic fiddled with the bike but couldn't locate the electrical problems. So, I took the bike back home and the next weekend went about 45 miles on a camping trip to the lake. About 30 minutes into the trip, the engine just quit. I could gear down to third and went another 1/2 mile or so, and then the whole thing died. I pulled over and waited about 2 minutes, the bike restarted and took me the rest of the way. Coming home two days later, the bike did the exact same thing about 30 minutes into the trip. The next weekend I went out with an experienced bike rider friend to help me trouble shoot this latest problem. We took the exact same route to the lake and again the bike died at almost the same spot. Since we were making the round trip in one afternoon, the bike didn't have time to "rest" so I would only go about another 3 miles before it would die again; I would wait about 2 minutes, restart and go another 3 or 4 miles and it died again.
Frustrated, I took it back to the dealer. Ever since buying the bike the dealer had problems getting the proper paperwork from the distributor in Dallas to get the title transferred to my name. In fact, the dealer had to issue me another temporary license plate card because the first one expired. When I took the bike in this time to explain this latest problem he said that the distributor in Dallas wanted to trade out this bike all together. So, I was glad to get a new bike (the new one would be a 2005 model), at no extra charge, and get rid of the electrical and mechanical problems.

A week later, I got the new bike. It was a 2005 model with only 16 miles on it. I checked the oil, filled the gas tank, and rode it home. Next morning it wouldn't start! I had to restart about 15 times. Finally, it would hold and keep running. I could slowly close the choke and after about 7 to 8 minutes, I could get it down the driveway, but often would have problems getting into second gear without it dying. I argued with the dealer about whether this was normal behavior (he told me that often some bikes are just harder to start than others are), but this was just ridiculous. I didn't have a hint of this problem with the 2004 model.
One morning, as I was going through the 15-20 minute ordeal of getting my bike "warmed up" it suddenly died. I took the seat off to get to the fuses and found a blown fuse. I tried replacing it, but it immediately blew again. The dealer wanted to charge me to come get it, so I just loaded it up in my truck myself and took it to him. He quickly found that the cable from the starter had melted up against the engine and shorted out. He was able to fix it and I finally convinced him to look at the starting problem as well. A few days later, I had to call to find out what he found. He said that there was a broken jet in the carburetor. He had a new one on order. 7 days later, I finally got my bike back with a completely new carburetor (February 13).

The engine starts fine now and no electrical problems. With all the rain and other family activities I haven't had a chance to drive back to the lake just see if the bike will make it without dying after 30 minutes. I am supposing it will do fine, but I won't feel totally comfortable until I actually try it.
For now, everything appears to be operating properly. I have about 350 miles on it now. If it will continue to operate problem free then I will be more satisfied with my purchase, but my first 600 miles on the two bikes has left me with a very sour taste towards the Lifan.

There are many good reviews of this bike (that's why I bought it), but my own experience has not been good. I am hoping things will not fall apart again. Oh, speaking of falling apart, I forgot to mention, about two weeks ago, I pulled into my parking spot at the office and found that the bolt holding the kickstand had lost its nut and the stand was not stable enough to hold the bike. I had to ride to a hardware store and have someone hold the bike up for me while I located another nut and bolt that would fit. Considering all the other problems I've had with the bikes, this one wasn't that major, just a major annoyance.
So, if you don't mind frustration and you have a good dealer who will help you with any potential problems, then this cheap bike may be just right for you. But, if you are a less experienced biker, or don't care for the potential frustration, you might want to spend the extra money for a "real" bike. I got this bike for a pretty good deal. And considering I eventually got a 2005 model at no extra cost, it was a really good deal.



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ACD_Bill
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2006, 05:38:13 PM »

Mike, this is one of those threads I managed to miss. Grin

So many threads, I tend to lose some.
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panthercat
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2006, 04:18:57 PM »

I wonder how he would of reviewed a GV250 with the CDI problem coupled with kickstand safety switch and possibly one or two other electrical faults.
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red_cell472
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2006, 07:39:02 PM »

After EXTENSIVE (4 hours last night ) research on the Lifan Yahoo group I can say that there are a few things that are common with these bikes that should be checked over when you first get them but they appear to be a decent ride. 

Adjusting from a 46 tooth to a 38 tooth rear sprocket and going to a 17 tooth front sprocket seem to be the first upgrade as far as highway useage goes.  It appears to reduce the RPM at highway speed and also provide a little more top end.  The RPM claim isn't proven but it does make sense.

In reading the board there though I have to take a few of the posts with a grain of salt (and pepper if you please).  It appears that one of the posters there tends to over hype the bike quite a bit and also tends to exaggerate claims.  A bit of an attitude issue too.

If you can weed through the murky posts and get to the meat of the issue then there is a lot of information to be had there.

All in all for the price these bikes are looking more and more appealing.
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panthercat
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2006, 08:44:45 PM »

They actually have a program posted for determining how gearing changes would affect bikes on another forum(have to find the right forum).
You are right, I have been lurking on Lifan board for several months and there is quite a bit of chaff, but on the whole it appears to be a decent little bike.
It is the bike that got me interested in the 250 class bike, which got me looking at the GV250. I like the look of the Lifan, but the Gv has more power and the wife fell in love with the fat fender look, in fact I got lucky the bike was the exact color scheme she drooled over on line. Very pleasant surprise when seller opened his shed. You may not know that I'm the nut who bought a non-op 2003 GV250 a long way over in another state.
Mike
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red_cell472
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2006, 02:15:23 AM »

You've seen the 250 now check out the 400:

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ACD_Bill
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 05:46:27 AM »

There is a reason I called Lifan one of the Big Three Chinese bike manufacturers in another thread here. They have the best western marketing savvy of all the Chinese companies that I've seen. And with the "quality" reforms the Chinese government is imposing on the motorcycle manufacturers over there, I only see them getting better.

The thread I mentioned above:
http://www.alternativecruisers.com/index.php?topic=302.0
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panthercat
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2006, 06:22:10 AM »

  It appears that one of the posters there tends to over hype the bike quite a bit and also tends to exaggerate claims.  A bit of an attitude issue too.

All in all for the price these bikes are looking more and more appealing.

I think you are referring to the group owner. Yes he is very aggressive dealer  marketing  the bike and aftermarket parts.
He has actually gotten free info then put it up for sale.  Why he is even willing to sell you the gears that you can get from the same place he does. The theads was quite humorous to follow as he begs for info from the people who did the research or innovations, then offers it for sale a while latter on his posts. Grin Grin
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red_cell472
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2006, 10:20:31 AM »

Yeah I saw part of that..    There were a few times I got caught calling him the south side of a Clydesdale going north.  

I wish Lifan would make the 400cc version available in the US though.  They could have a heck of a mid-weight bike on their hands if it was durable and reasonably priced.

I'd also like to see one with the passenger seat removed to see what it looks like as a solo because I am surely not hauling me and my wife on the 250.


* lifbob.jpg (40.02 KB, 400x368 - viewed 729 times.)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2006, 10:37:23 AM by red_cell472 » Logged
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