The year 2016 in China saw the continuing trend of declining sales domestically and a slight downturn in exports to traditionally safe Chinese markets like Latin America and Africa. This is causing more Chinese manufacturers to turn their attention to the European and American markets.
Despite the expression ‘scrambler’ not meaning what it used to a cursory look around a Chinese motorcycle exhibition will reveal that it is this type of motorcycle that is ‘trending’ at the moment. At last year’s Canton fair I approached the exhibition stand for each different manufacturer and asked them which of their models had achieved the Euro 4 certificate of conformity. After the usual replies of ‘all of them’ I asked to see a copy of the certificates and eventually the truth was revealed that only one or two models actually had a Euro 4 certificate of conformity.
The relevance of this is that on most expo stands the models that had newly received the certificate were almost invariably scramblers and cafe racer models.
The Chinese motorcycle industry is not a leader by any means but it has begun to follow a lot quicker than before and is keeping an eye on trends by monitoring the types of motorcycles put out by BMW, Moto Guzzi, Benelli, Ducati and others resulting in a plethora of decent looking retro style scramblers and cafe racers ready for Europe and America this year.
The other side of the coin to these retro old timers are the modern ‘dual sport’ motorcycles which have been manufactured in China for a few years and sold mainly to Latin America, but are now starting to show a leg on western markets. Of course Thailand and the countries around it will also receiving more and more higher quality Chinese made motorcycles this year...