Sour relations between India and China are also reflected in the Indian auto market, with Chinese brands unable to overcome the high barriers to entry. Great Wall Motors (GWM) has become the latest Chinese automaker to scrap projects worth thousands of crores this year.
However, headquartered in Guangdong Areas is the latest Chinese brand trying its luck in the Indian automotive space. A subsidiary of Guangdong Tayo Motorcycle Technology, Zontes has set foot in India with five motorcycles from its 350cc range.
The 350cc range consists of bikes including 350R, 350X, GK350, 350T and 350T ADV, with prices ranging from Rs 3.15 lakh and Rs 3.67 lakh (both ex-showroom). Each bike flaunts a unique top hat and caters to a specific segment of riders based on their riding preferences.
Zontes has partnered with Hyderabad-based Aadishwar Auto Ride India Pvt Ltd, which will manage the company’s sales and manufacturing operations in India. The latter already manages the business of brands such as Benelli, Keeway and Moto Morini in India. Despite their distinct styling, all bikes share the same underpinnings and feature the same heart.
Style and features
The 350R is Zontes’ entry level model in the 350cc range and carries the design of a typical naked streetfighter (road bike that does not obscure the engine and frame).
On the other hand, 305X is a semi-faired sports tourer with identical underpinnings, while GK350 gets a cafe racer design (minimalist design to reduce wind resistance) with neo-retro styling. Both 350T and 350T ADV belong to the category of adventure tourism, the former being a road-oriented hiker while the latter is suitable for off-road trails.
Considering their premium price, Zontes’ 350cc range packs plenty of goodies including full LED lighting, keyless entry, 5-inch LCD instrument console with Bluetooth connectivity, tire pressure monitoring system , a backlit switchgear, two fast USB charging ports, a slipper clutch, and four riding modes.
In terms of equipment, the motorcycles are well loaded and come with similar hardware components. The frame of all these bikes is suspended from 43 mm telescopic forks at the front and a monoshock at the rear. All 350cc bikes roll on 17-inch aluminum wheels shod with a 120/70 section up front while the rear gets a chunkier 160/60 rubber section.
All except the 350T ADV come with alloy rims while the adventure bike comes with wire-spoke wheels wrapped around tubeless tires. Braking duties on the Zontes 350cc motorcycles are provided by a 320mm disc at the front and a 265mm disc at the rear, complemented by dual channel ABS as standard.
All of these bikes are powered by a common 348cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine that develops 37.4hp at 9,500rpm and 32Nm of peak torque at 7,500rpm. Transmission functions are handled by a six-speed gearbox. This engine was designed for low emissions and high fuel efficiency without compromising performance.
(Images courtesy of Zontes)