By Wang’ombe Kibunja
There are some expectations one gets when you see a motorcycle even before you get to hear its engine. When I saw the Jincheng Jc200-2, I expected her to be fast, terribly fast and very nimble in cornering, well after spending a whole day with one I was able to test the bike for speed, agility and manoeuvrability.
The JC200-2 is a very beautiful bike to look at, it has majestic curves and contours that would have any socialite jealous and drooling for plastic surgery. Talking of plastic, the bike’s fairings are all made from very light plastic which is good for bike handling but in no time you will be at Otis’ under the tree garage having the fairings fixed for breakage after a slight drop or impact. The dang’ things can even break as you disassemble for service, so in this case you have to be extra careful as you handle it or Otis will be your favorite plastic surgeon.
The bike has a dry weight of 148kgs which feels too light for the bike, by its look it looks heavy but some guy would probably be bench pressing the bike at a gym somewhere were it not for social distancing. The bike has light weight hollow alloy wheels and a mono shock rear suspension that gives it a sporty look. The riding position has also been moved back and the steering lowered just like a true sport bike.
The bike has a modest power plant, it comes equipped with a 200cc single overhead cam engine mated with a six speed sequential gearbox. The bike is deficient in low end torque but compensates for it at high rpms which is expected for a timing chain engine. It can accelerate to 100kms in between 11-15 seconds in fourth gear which is a bit impressive for the bike. I tried maxing the bike out but each time I shifted to sixth gear at around 120kph I would run out of road. The top speed that is stated by the manufacturer is 140kph which I well think is attainable when on a long stretch of road. The bike is equipped with dual disk brakes in the front and a single disk at the back which work impressively well compared to the smaller bikes with the same configuration in the Jincheng line up.
The bike sadly has been tuned for least performance from factory for reasons that I couldn’t fathom but a few minutes with a screw driver and the basic understanding of how a carburetor works I was able to retune it to its best performance and with that tune the bike was able to achieve the top speed of 140kph although it was quite a hassle.
The bike is a bit capable for a budget Chinese bike, you can feel the bike wants to lean in corners and it takes those corners pretty well. The Disc brakes do help when it comes to stopping power and you can easily stop in case of an emergency without the risk of crashing if you get to understand the bike and how to balance the brakes. The bike is fast on account of its weight but without a pillion rider a slight mistake with the rear brakes has you on the ground in no time, you have to be very gentle on the rear brake as the bike will wobble if you hit it even as you balance with the front brakes. The bikes riding position is very comfortable and makes it easier for even beginners to ride.
The bike is easy to maintain, parts are somewhat easy to find and are relatively cheap. The bike doesn’t require rocket science to fix and your normal Bodaboda Mechanic can fix the bike. It is a good beginner bike for someone on a budget and the price tag of 200k is not badly of, but it is on the higher side. The bike has got amazing looks and it sure will have the all village girls swooning in admiration each time you go back to the village for a visit, don’t forget the myriad of questions you will get from bodaboda guys each time you park the bike. With a fuel mileage of around 35-40kms to the litre this is an ideal bike for city commutes and beating the city traffic.