Just before Christmas, the second Zontes arrived at Bike SA HQ. This was the 310V and we found ourselves gazing with disbelief yet again at a product from this Chinese manufacturer. Completely different in looks and purpose it may be from the ZT, but no less striking for all that.
At the heart of the 310V is the same single-cylinder, DOHC, four valve, 30bhp motor that gives performance way above what you might expect. True, it does lack the torquey grunt that you would want from a cruiser-style machine but in every other respect, it performs well, down to being able to hold highway speeds of well over 145km/h endlessly, with a bit of speed in hand - up to 20km/h more, in the right conditions.
About the only disappointment revolves around the noise the exhaust makes; it is, in fact, the only thing that lets you know you are riding a 300cc bike, being flat and uninspiring, but if that is all you have to complain about, then I think we can let that one slide.
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KTM 890 DUKE
You can’t say that KTM isn’t prolific but, when motorcycles are as good as they generally always are from the Austrian manufacturer, who are we to complain?
A while back, we covered the Zontes ZT310-X1 as part of the small bike feature. There was no way we could not help but be impressed by nearly every aspect of the bike, be it equipment, performance, frugality, price, comfort, looks or quality. It was clearly a bike that was punching way above its weight.
27/08/1939 – 20/12/2020 PETER WILLIAMS Obituary
Britain’s Peter Williams, often acclaimed as the finest GP racer/engineer of modern times, passed away quietly on December 20 in his sleep, after a long illness. He was 81 years old.
Peter Williams Engineer
Williams and the magnesium alloy wheeled ‘Arter’ Matchless. Note the front and rear disc brakes that Williams also helped develop for motorcycles. Despite the front one being tiny by today’s standards, it was still an improvement over drum brakes.
Great Bikes? Yamaha V-Max
Some bikes earn reputations, be it for speed, looks, wayward handling, whatever. Some bikes are spoken about in hushed tones, generally tones of awe or fear. Some bikes achieve greatness, some have it thrust upon them! Some we forget.
The Franskraal Tour
Much selling and buying of motorbikes happened in the Yell household over Christmas. It was with great sadness that I finally decided to sell Sir Galahad (my 30-year old Honda Africa Twin XRV750) and buy a half share in a bike more suitable for Annette to ride as well. We’d been talking to her ex editor’s husband, De Wet, about the possibility of buying his tricked-out 2008 Suzuki DR650 for some time, and struck the deal as soon as Sir Galahad was sold.
MV Agusta's Timur Sardarov Russian Relaunch
Exclusive interview with MV Agusta’s russian owner, its president/ceo timur sardarov, who purchased 100% of MV Agusta equity in december 2019
Think Bike Giving Back To Biking
[I’m always ready to acknowledge those among us who give of their time freely to help others. I’ve been aware of the ThinkBike initiative for many years but never really understood how it worked. So, when Quinton van Eeden reached out to me and asked if I would like an article explaining ThinkBike, the work they do and the volunteers who do it, it was the perfect opportunity to learn more about this body of men and women who do so much to make motorcycling safer for all of us. Ed]
The Custom Builders - Part 3: Reconstructed
I first became aware of Theunis from Reconstructed custom workshop a few years ago, when he arrived at a Triumph Day in Modderfontein with his radical Rocket 3 custom. It drew a lot of attention and comment, which was exactly what Theunis was aiming for from his first build.
Magni MV Italia Yesterday Once More
There’s certainly no company more entitled to produce a retro model using current MV Agusta hardware than Moto Magni, whose founder the late Arturo Magni was the architect of the historic Italian marque’s remarkable haul of 75 road racing World Championships in 26 years.