The motorcycle industry in China is transforming. Below are our topline takeaways from CIMA 2023, exploring industry trends, brands, products, releases, and technology across segments. 

Dive into the details below.

1. The four cylinder warfare​

Inline 4-cylinder engines dominated the engine formats across multiple brands and their displacement ranges from 400cc to 800cc.

Following the surge of these 4-cylinder bikes, an intense price fight is expected.

E.g., The price of the QJ SRK800RR is 52,999RMB (€6902.02) which is only 2,000RMB (€260.46) higher than its smaller sibling – the SRK600RR.  

2. Ride safer, ride smarter

We saw a wide adoption of high fidelity TFT screens providing a canvas for a wide range of functions (such as LCA – Lane Change Assistance).

Smartness reflected through self-balancing technologies and integrated cameras on the vehicle, as well as cross-brand multi-media solution for helmets and accessories that transform all motorcycles into smart connected models. 

3. Tributes & toys​

The Peugeot Django is a sought-after classic style scooter, with multiple Chinese brands following suit.

There’s a noticeable and growing popularity of fun & mini-bikes.

Design cues are drawn from the HONDA Monkey, RC166 race bike, and Motocompo. 

4. Motorcycle culture revival

Cruisers / sidecars/ 3-wheelers take centre stage with new brand launches like the X-WEDGE and new products from Benda, QJMotor, VOGE, and LONGJIA.

Brands are leveraging the popular outdoor culture and new riding culture in China. 

5. Electrification on the fast lane

There’s a noticeable shift to high-speed and performance two wheelers. Multiple electric brands display diverse offerings, spanning from off-road to high-performance naked bikes.

The FD9 and FD7 from VFLY, a premium brand from Yadea, aim to rival ICE bikes in performance and style.

Bicose and HORWIN offers highspeed e-scooters, maxi scooters, and off-road bikes at the show. 

6. Expanding brand portfolios

Many brands are developing more diversified brand portfolios to introduce more focused and/or more premium brands as part of their strategy to capture a larger market share.

QJMOTOR + BENELLI + KEEWAY + GENERIC + MOLINKS

ZONSEN + CYCLONE + CINECO

LONCIN + VOGE + BICOSE

LONGJIA + VICTORIA

HAOJIN + LETBE

JIAJUE + LING & CHEN 

Segment specifics

1. Naked segment

Fewer naked bikes this year.

Neo-retro and scrambler styles being the popular theme across brands. 

2. Sports segment

Sport bikes grab the spotlight, with brands continuing to focus on full fairing bikes due to their popularity among young riders.

Brands like CYCLONE, QJMOTOR, VINTO, YINGANG, JIAJUE are offering 4-cylinder bikes.

Aerodynamic design cues like wings are widely used among all the bikes.  

3. Adventure segment

Multiple newcomers in the ADV segment with high displacement engines.

GAOKIN launches their GK1000ADV which is the first ever 1000cc offering from a domestic brand.

The British brand PHELON & MOORE with its 700cc ADV bike caught some attention. Born in 1904 it made its debut in the Chinese market by joining forces with Xiaokang Holdings since September 2021. 

4. Mini-bike segment

A strong representation of mini-bikes, akin to CFMOTO’s PAPIO XO and Honda’s mini-bikes. Apart from the heritage, playfulness is a key theme across the bikes showcased.

ZETHS

AKMOTOR

ZONSEN

YINJIANG

BONJOUR 

5. Cruiser segment

As evident from the popular trend at this year’s show, brands are swiftly capitalising on China’s thriving outdoor and group riding culture, making bold moves into the cruiser segment market.

With X-WEDGE launching a full family line-up of cruisers with the engines up to 2000CC, this really unlocks a new field in the Chinese market.

CYCLONE, QJMOTOR, BENDA, VINTO, VICTORIA, YINGANG, PFMOTO, Shineray, X-WEDGE and HARLEY-DAVIDSON release their new cruiser bikes this year at CIMA. 

6. Maxi-scooter segment

The maxi-scooter market is getting more intense with the brands trying to differentiate by design or adding advanced tech into their product.

For example, the new brand LING & CHEN launched their liquid cooling 250/500cc maxi scooters. With several tech features like front camera, keyless, TFT screen, OTA, speaker, TCS, and ABS. All with a low-price tag of 19,800RMB (€2578.54) for the 250cc scooter. 

7. Electric segment

With the normalcy of electric vehicles, the exhibition showcased a diverse range of offerings, from high-speed electric motorcycles to off-road electric models.

An increasing number of motorcycle companies are embracing electrification, either establishing their own new electric brands or introducing electric vehicle products into their portfolios. 

8. Quality & detail

Manufacturing quality surpasses global standards, featuring top-tier materials, well-engineered parts, and part splits with impeccable finishes.

CTG/CMF is still maturing with efforts to infuse freshness and style.

Brands are adopting innovative headlight designs, demonstrating their creative prowess by going beyond the common logo integration. 

9. Atmosphere & experience

Brands are prioritising the differentiation of their identities and showroom layouts to boost awareness.

An increasing number of brands are showcasing vehicles and their accessories in outdoor and adventurous settings, aligning with the growing trend among the Chinese population.

Motorcyclist communities/clubs are often formed either based on regions, or according to specific motorcycle brands. 

Our key takeaways…

Chinese brands are seriously shaking things up. Performance, quality, and rider culture are of paramount importance across brands and segments. And with increasingly diverse brand portfolios, there are some power players on the horizon.

Who will be the next brand to make waves? 

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