Sunday, January 20, 2008

Buying options

American Lifan seems to have a better warranty and only (with one exception at the moment) sells through dealers that prepare your bike for you. They also seem to have the best track record for delivering you MSO and other paperwork to obtain you plates for street use. You play a little more but some people find it well worth the extra to have a bike ready to ride and hopefully a dealer to do warranty work.

That being said, the DEALER has everything to do with whither or not all this is worth the extra money. The LF200GY-5 from American Lifan does have some changes (good or bad, you decide) from the bike sold under the Lifan name on the internet and e-bay. The drum brake vs. disc brake is the most obvious to see.

Even if you buy an American Lifan set up ready to ride, I would still go through the bike and

loctite every bolt.

If you order off the internet or e-bay, you are pretty much on your own. Any parts missing when you start to assembly you bike and who knows where you will find them. Most do not have too many problems right out of the box but do you really want to take the chance. The proper paper work might or might not come in a few days.

When you receive the paperwork, will your DMV accept it and issue a title and will an insurance company insure (liability is a must for street use) it. American Lifan seems to have the issues worked out.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Why buy Chinese?

If you want a dual-purpose motorcycle, you can pay from $3500 to about $6000 for a small enduro motorcycle from the big four (Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawaski) or about $1000 to $1600 for a Chinese bike.

In my state I have to pay 8.5% sales tax to license a new bike. That adds over $200 to the total price difference of the Japaneses and Chinese bikes.

Buying an inexpensive bike means not needing full coverage insurance on it. Insurance saving, lower personal property taxes, and lack of larger depreciation on a pricier bike means the saving in one year will be enough to pay for a Chinese bike compared to buying a Japanese bike.

Are they as well built as a Japanese bike? NO, but how many people really wear out a motorcycle. These are great starter bikes or just for basic transportation.

I will be using mine for basic transportation and even though my S-10 pickup get 25-29mpg, the fuel saving alone will help offset the purchase price.