The Zongshen RX3 - 250cc Adventure Bike

This is the Zongshen RX3, an entry-level 250cc adventure bike, which becomes maybe soon available in Thailand. The Zongshen RX3 has a 250cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC-valves, single-cylinder engine equipped with electronic fuel injection. The chassis uses upside-down forks and a shock with damping adjustment, and details include LED lights, digital dash and hard luggage.

The Zongshen RX3 will be a completely new motorcycle for Thailand. The controls feel good, pant and presentation are decent. The seat height of 795mm makes it easier to straddle than appearances suggest, it's simple to swing your leg over it and it only weighs 175 kilograms and the 250cc engine is keen to rev.

Unfortunately this engine also stalls pretty easy, then struggles to get back into the power curve. This could be an indication of an incorrect fuel map for the ECU. A sooty tailpipe indicates rich running, confirmed by a disappointing fuel consumption. Our contact at Zongshen motorcycles confirmed that the problem is likely the fuel-map, as Zongshen currently only sells this model in Russia – where much different environmental conditions (air temperatures, humidity, pressure, etc) are pretty normal. We tested the Zongshen RX3 while the temperature was nearly 40º Celsius with an air humidity of 89% - what is impossible in Russia.

We also found that the front brake lacks strength and the suspension is harsh. It steers as though the head bearings are too tight as well.

We need to express that the Zongshen RX3 we had was a prototype with an ECU which was loaded with an fuel-map used for a completely different enviroment. Production motorcycles should have a new ECU and an option that emulates manual choke. This will help, but it's hard to recommend the Zongshen RX3 when Honda's CRF250L has superior engine, brakes, ride quality and finish. We guess everything will depend on how much the Zongshen RX3 will cost in Thailand.

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