Chinese motorcycle manufacturer Zongshen has recently stepped up its game in the premium segment. With intentions of bolstering its presence in the European market, it launched the Cyclone brand—under which the company’s premium offerings will be housed. First unveiled at the Chongqing International Motor Expo, the company teased seven models under the Cyclone brand, such as the Norton-derived RX6, as well as the RA9 concept.
With the boom of mid-size adventure bikes well and truly taking the world by storm, Zongshen has decided to join the party with a competitor against the likes of the KTM 890 Adventure, as well as the recently unveiled CFMoto 800 MT. The Cyclone RX850, which looks similar to the RX6, is the company’s premium middleweight adventure-tourer. It seeks to launch the RX850 in Italy, as well as other parts of Europe. Well, how does it stack up against the competition?
From a styling perspective, it’s clear that the RX850 isn’t as burly and off-road ready as the likes of the CFMoto 800 MT. Instead, it looks a lot more road-biased, thanks to its alloy wheels, sleek lines, and street tires. That said, it’s looking more like a competitor to the likes of the Versys 650. Given the trend in most, if not all, made-in-China bikes that claim to be in the premium segment, it’s a certainty that Zongshen has smothered this bike in tech. As such, expect to see full LED lighting, a large, full-color TFT instrument panel, and Bluetooth smartphone connectivity.
From a performance standpoint, the RX850 makes use of a bored-out version of the RX6’s Norton-derived motor. It makes use of a parallel-twin configuration, and now displaces 850 cubes, as opposed to the RX6’s 649. It now produces an output of 85 horsepower, making for a rather docile ride considering its engine size. The bike is underpinned by a tubular steel frame and aluminum swingarm, while KYB supplies suspension components front and rear. A set of dual discs up front and a single disc out back, from Nissin, serve as the anchors for this mid-sized adventure-tourer.