It’s often said that imitation is the best form of flattery. While this may be true in many cases, where it isn’t is definitely when it comes to design. Now, we all know it. Chinese brands are always thrown flack for stealing designs from well-established brands. Be it in fashion, electronics, and yes, motorcycles, the Chinese indeed have a reputation for not having the most original designs.
In fairness, though, we must admit that there have been a few notable Chinese motorcycle manufacturers that have stepped up their game, and come up with original designs—both in terms of styling and the mechanical innards of the bikes themselves. While this is indeed a big step in the right direction for Chinese manufacturers as a whole, the occasional copycat still manages to make its way to the surface. This is exactly the case with Shengshi and its “Sports Cafe” naked bike called the GK350. At first glance—and after several, too—it can be easy to mistake this bike as a Honda CB300R.
Its neo-retro styling makes it look like somebody just bolted on some accessories and fitted wire-spoke wheels onto Honda’s entry-level naked bike. Everything from the tank covers, tail section, and round LED headlight seem to have been “inspired” by the Japanese naked roadster. It does, however, have some differentiating factors in terms of styling. Apart from the wire-spoke wheels, it gets enduro-style front brake covers. On top of all that, Shengshi has decided to load this bike with premium features such as keyless ignition, backlit switches, a tire pressure monitoring system, and Bluetooth connectivity.
As for performance, the GK350 one-ups the CB300R in terms of displacement. Sporting a 350cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine, it pumps out 39 horsepower. Not too bad, all things considered. All that being said, chances are great that the Shengshi GK350 will go on sale exclusively in the Chinese market, and not anywhere else.