CHINESE firm Haojue has just unveiled its latest bike at the China International Motorcycle Expo, and while the bike itself isn’t that interesting, what it could become is.
Haojue is the Chinese manufacturing partner for Japanese motorcycle giant Suzuki, and the rumour from the show is that the XCR300 could for the basis of a new bike from the Hamamatsu manufacturer in years to come.
The fairly funky looking naked has more than a dollop of the Yamaha MT range about it, with muscular styling, and an eye-catching headlight arrangement. Beneath the skin, it’s all fairly mid-spec stuff, with Nissin calipers and USD forks. The engine is a 298cc twin-pot producing an unintimidating 28bhp and 19lb-ft of torque.
It’s important to mention that should Suzuki want to export this model to new markets under its own name, a little work would have to take place with regards to emissions. The XCR in standard trim for the Chinese market is not Euro5 compliant, meaning if it were to land in markets other than China in the future, its engine performance may vary depending on how they go about getting through the regulations.
It’s not the first time Suzuki has been talked about in the same breath as Haojue and adopting one of its 300cc machines. Earlier this year the rumblings were that the DR300 was the bike for the job, although the XCR now supersedes that machine, making it bookies favourite for the task if they go ahead with it.
How viable is a Suzuki branded Haojue XCR300?
It’s a fairly sound idea in theory for Suzuki to pick the XCR up and turn it into one of its own models. The bike is already built, with much of the groundwork and tooling done. All the Japanese firm would really need to do was sort the emissions certification out and re-work the styling so it fits with the rest of the Suzuki range.
It’s also worth mentioning that Suzuki does have a fairly sizable hole in its naked bike range, with no real stepping stone naked bike to join up GSX-S125 and the much more powerful SV650. Having a gap in a range like that means you run the risk of a Suzuki rider dropping out of the ownership loop and moving off to another manufacturer.