On the other hand, and I know I've brought this up before, 2 years ago, I bought an American Lifan LF200GY-5 dual sport motorcycle from an authorized American Lifan dealer online, and had it drop shipped to me in the original crate. It hadn't been touched since leaving China. I paid $1375.00 total, including shipping to my door, and liftgate service. The driver even rolled it right into my garage on a pallet dolley. A local stealer wanted $5500 OTD for a new Suzuki DR200SE, a bike of the same type and size as the Lifan.
I carefully uncrated and assembled the bike, found a couple of minor problems with parts that did not fit quite right, devised solutions to these problems that worked fine, drained out whatever that stuff was in the crankcase, put in some real American oil, adjusted everything, put gas in it, and it started right up. I heard just a hint of valve clatter, so I didn't bother checking the valves. This is an OHV pushrod engine, so there is no cam chain to break or get loose and take out the whole engine.
I broke it in properly, changed the oil several times, checked the screen and found nothing, made minor adjustments during break in, and at 1000 klms, started riding it in a normal manner, just like a Japanese bike. I even made a trip from Phoenix to San Diego and back on it, a distance of over 900 miles, on the freeway. It ran just fine, with no problems.
I currently have 28,000 klms on it (thats 17,000 miles), I'm on my second chain, second battery,( the Chinese battery only lasted 3 months, the Westco battery is still working fine) and third set of tires. I have read about people with 50,000 miles on these bikes, and they are still running. The only actual problem I had with it, was the Chinese bulbs all burned out very quickly, but replacing them with American bulbs solved the problem. I did have to replace the turn signal flasher with a $1.99 one from Pep Boys, the Chinese flasher would not work with the American bulbs. I would have to say that I am very satisfied with this bike, so much so, that I would buy another one, but it looks like this one will never wear out. All parts are available from the dealer I ordered it from, or any other authorized AL dealer, including engine parts, at a fraction of the cost of Japanese parts.
Now, there are several people selling Lifan bikes on the internet, especially on eBay, and even quite a few local dealers with real buildings and an inventory. But, these are not the same as the bikes as the one I bought. They are what are known as "grey market" bikes. There is no official importer for these bikes, and they are not designed or manufactured for the American market. Sometimes you can't even register or insure them, and there is no parts source for them. There is one such dealer that routinely advertises on the Phoenix, claiming to be an "official importer" for Lifan. American Lifan inc. is the only authorized American importer, and the bikes they import and sell are different from the "grey market" bikes.
This bike does not quite have the fit and finish quality of a Suzuki, but it is not bad, and has not broken down in 17,000 miles. And for 1/4 the price? I admit I did not know exactly what I was getting when I ordered it, but did a lot of research first, and have not been dissappointed.
But I still cannot recommend Chinese scooters. For some reason, they simply do not hold up as well. American Lifan also sells scooters, and I have read a LOT more complaints about them than I have about their motorcycles. The American Lifan LF200GY-5 seems to be somewhat of an oddity. It appears to be the only Chinese bike that does not have major problems. I guess there has to be an exception to almost everything. Jerry.
BTW, when I say Chinese scooter, I am not referring to the Kymco Agility 50 or 125, which are built in China, but in a Kymco factory. They have the same high quality as the rest of the Kymco line, and the same 2 year warranty. They are just not as fancy as the Taiwanese built Kymcos.
2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 750, 2013 Royal Enfield B5, 2001 Yamaha XT225, 2009 Genuine Stella, 2012 Yamaha Zuma 125, 1980 Puch Newport