Retro bikes are all the rage these days, and have been for a good number of years. While I, myself, tend to veer away from the whole neo-retro craze, I perfectly understand why this subsegment of naked bikes has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts across the globe. After all, vintage never goes out of style. Having said that, a good number of discount neo-retro machines from China have popped up recently.
What a lot of these bikes have in common is that they tend to borrow some styling cues from other, more established manufacturers. The latest of which would be the Zongshen Cyclone RE5, which seems to have taken some serious inspiration from the Triumph Trident, as well as some of the distinct lines of the BMW R nineT Scrambler. Whether or not Zongshen intended to create a clone of an existing bike is beyond the scope of this story, however it doesn’t really matter, as the similarities are uncanny. Heck, you can even find the Union Jack in the side of the fuel tank. I’m almost certain that this bike has zero origins from the U.K., too.
On the performance side, things look equally grim. Powering the Zongshen Cyclone RE5 is a 550cc parallel-twin motor rated at around 57 horsepower. It claims to be capable of achieving a top speed just north of 100 miles per hour, and tips the scales at a rather hefty 203 kilograms. As such, we can expect this bike to deliver power in a sluggishly similar manner as that of smaller bikes, say an old Kawasaki Ninja 300, perhaps. As far as dimensions are concerned, the Zongshen Cyclone RE5 is on the smaller side of the spectrum, with a 1,435 millimeter wheelbase, and a seat height of 795 millimeters—that’s a very approachable 31 inches.
Surely, if and when this bike makes it to neighboring Asian countries, it will be a hit among the young, fashion-conscious, crowd on a budget. As is the case with all made-in-China motorcycles, the Zongshen Cyclone RE5 will certainly present itself as a bargain option in the extremely lucrative retro-modern segment, especially when pitted against its closest competition that would come in the form of the Yamaha XSR700, Royal Enfield 650 Twins, and the upcoming Kawasaki Z650 RS.