The Ryuka Zongshen RX3 - Pretty Appealing Machine

We've grown accustomed to adventure bikes with big engines, hefty curb weights, and high price tags, so it's refreshing to see a versatile adventure bike that's less than extravagantly priced. The Ryuka Zongshen RX3 Adventure Bike is a 250cc, 175 kilograms dual-sport with an astonishing 100,000 THB price tag. It's by far the most affordable option for a full-featured Adventure Bike, and after spending a full day on the motorcycle we feel confident recommending it to anyone looking for an economical adventure.

Designed and built by Zongshen – once of China's biggest manufacturers – the Ryuka Zongshen RX3 is distributed in Thailand as the Ryuka RX3. Ryuka is a brand-name used by Zongshen Thailand.

At first glance we were sure the Ryuka Zongshen RX3 parked had received all sorts of additional option accessories . Outfitted with a tapered-aluminum handlebar, crash cages front and rear, LED turn signals and taillight, cleated footpegs, and locking luggage, the Ryuka Zongshen RX3 is impressively equipped. It even has two 12-volt pigtails (cigarette) charger point under the seat for accessories. But besides the hand guards (that are optional), the motorcycle we rode is entirely stock.

The motorcycle bears a certain resemblance to BMW's F800GS and has a similar upright and relaxed riding position, but the Ryuka Zongshen RX3 is not derivative. The SOHC, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected single is Zongshen's own design and idles with a gentle patter. Power is modest but consistent all the way to the 9,000rpm redline, and the transmission and clutch are light and smooth acting. Open-road travel is doable with an 125km/h top speed, but the engine is wheezing. Bring the speedo back to 115km/h and the engine is much more relaxed.

The brakes, while plumbed with stainless lines, are feeble. The rear is more powerful than the front, but both must be used in tandem to slow the motorcycle with any kind of aggression. Suspension action is surprisingly good giving the price point, and handling is light and neutral. The springs are soft, but damping is adequate so the ride quality is comfortable on bumpy roads and composed in corners. The Zongshen RX3 was actually quite fun in the twisties. Even when provoked during a short off-road jaunt, the suspension didn't bottom.

At this point the Ryuka Zongshen RX3 likely looks like a pretty appealing machine, and it should. There are some downsides, however. The brakes are the biggest issue, and the luggage doesn't appear too sturdy.

Based solely on its function and features, the Zongshen RX3 Adventure Bike is a remarkable good motorcycle for the money. There's not much else one the market for that price and nothing that comes close to the Zongshen RX3's level of amenities.

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