Chinese Adventure Bike Could Rival Honda and KTM

Still Looks Like A BMW, Though!

LISTEN 02:28

The Excelle 525X might be from China, with all the copycat features that implies, but could this be a serious rival to the KTM 390 Adventure?

Chinese Excelle 525X Could Be a Viable Rival to the KTM 390 Adventure

Chinese Adventure Bike Could Rival Honda and KTM
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Excelle 525X Adventure Bike
Chinese, but still interesting

While it may not ever get to the US or even Europe, the latest adventure bike from China goes some way to demonstrating that, while they are still content to copy western manufacturers’ designs, they aren’t averse to pushing forward with interesting tech.

It’s easy to dismiss Chinese bikes as being just too derivative for their own good, especially in the styling department, but there can be no doubt that they’re slowly realising that ultimate specification is what will sell, especially to a market that is embracing ever more sophisticated machinery.

The Excelle 525X is built by Colove, under the brand name Kove, a name we featured a few days ago when a new 400cc, four-cylinder engine was revealed to be at the design stage.

Chinese Adventure Bike Could Rival Honda and KTM
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Did Someone Say BMW?
They’re still good at copying other designs

The chassis and running gear is nothing special: bottom of the range KYB suspension and Kailing brakes and a Loncin-built 471cc parallel twin engine developing 53bhp (pretty respectable actually) and 36.8lb.ft of torque won’t set the world alight, even if Bosch fuel injection and a slipper clutch are fitted. Wheels are spoked tubeless tyre-friendly with gold rims.

LED lighting is nothing spectacular but add in the fact that the headlights are adaptive and will dip from high beam automatically when an oncoming vehicle is detected is pretty nifty. A TFT dash with full connectivity is fitted along with two USB charging ports.

The best thing, however, which will only have any relevance if the bikes actually make it out of China, would be the price. If you take the Chinese price and convert it to dollars, it would come in at roughly $6500, which is the same price as the KTM 390 Adventure and cheaper than the Honda 500X but it comes with a complete luggage set - panniers and top box. OK, so the Excelle doesn’t have the same Cachet as the KTM or Honda and who knows how reliability would stack up against those two bikes but if it shows anything, it is that the Chinese products are getting better all the time: can we afford to keep on writing them off?

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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