This is a common question asked by newcomers to the scooter world. Many tend to get lost between price and quality when looking to buy a scooter. There are those who will buy a scooter based on how cheap they are. On the other hand, there are those who buy a scooter based on how durable it is. The trick is to find a scooter somewhere in the middle. Finding that middle ground will be different for every consumer.
Why you should buy a scooter made in China
They are mechanically inclined
The budget is an issue
They like to add performance upgrades
Some scooters made in China are really good
It’s easy for people to be cautious about buying a Chinese scooter… and with good reason. But there are actually several Chinese scooters worth considering. The Linhai-Yamaha company makes some of the best scooters in China currently sold in the US under the Aeolus brand name. Through this partnership, Linhai uses the technology and knowledge acquired from Yamaha to produce its own line of high-quality scooters. Actually, Linhai has been producing scooters for Yamaha for years. The fact that China has relatively low manufacturing costs compared to the US shows how these Chinese scooters can be sold at a fraction of the cost of a branded scooter.
CFMoto also produces a clone of the Honda Helix, which is sold under the CFMoto Fashion name. The Honda Helix is also known as the Fusion in Japan. The CFMoto Fashion is not a copy but a CLONE of the Honda Helix. But due to the fact that its parts are interchangeable, any kind of repair work will never be a problem. You can buy all the necessary parts from a Honda dealer and attach them to the Chinese scooters.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to Chinese scooters, but for some people this is exactly what they want. For someone mechanically inclined, being able to buy a clone of a brand name scooter at a bargain price is a dream come true. And for someone on a budget, it’s a no-brainer. There is definitely a market where buying these China scooters makes perfect sense.
Many scooter drivers buy a Chinese scooter and the first thing they do is exchange important components for higher-quality parts. Even for extreme riders, buying a cheaper Chinese machine and adding high-performance upgrades would be worth less than buying a branded scooter with similar features.
Why you should buy an American made scooter
Quality is the best – build assemblies and components
Parts are readily available
The budget is not an issue
You can’t tell a “nut” from a “bolt” (aka – Not Mechanically Inclined)
The #1 reason you should buy a USA made scooter is the quality. The last thing you would expect (or want) when buying a brand new scooter is to have to repair it. One horror story told about a Chinese scooter involved someone taking their brand new scooter for their first ride. Half a block later they would see nuts and bolts and engine components falling onto the street.
This is one of the main complaints of Chinese scooters. The vibrations of the engine loosen the nuts and bolts. A simple fix is to tighten all the screws and apply Loc-Tite. But is that something you would expect from a brand new scooter?
There have also been situations where you bought a Chinese scooter for $500…but paid another $500 to fix it. Wouldn’t it be better to buy an American made scooter for $1000 right away? And you don’t have to worry about build quality issues at all.
Another big problem when buying Chinese scooters is parts supply. This is a big deal! How readily available are they? You need to make sure that parts for any Chinese scooter you buy are easily accessible in the future so you can repair it. It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve saved by buying a Chinese scooter if you can’t make a simple repair because parts aren’t available.
For those where money is not an issue, buying American made scooters is the right choice for you. Quality scooter + parts that are readily available equates to a headache-free scooter that scooter riders can just take out for a ride and enjoy the open roads. And for those who don’t know the difference between a Phillips screwdriver and a flat head, buy a US-made scooter. TRUST ME!
Chinese scooters have come a long way since entering the US market. In the beginning, many complained and the manufacturers listened. Are they where they need to be? Not quite yet. You still have to deal with quality control issues; However, they are on track to close the gap with their US counterparts.
But until then, it might be better to spend more money on an American-made scooter than invest in a cheap Chinese scooter with no guarantees. The Chinese are masters at copying and so many of these bikes basically look the same. So what may look like a branded scooter for a fraction of the cost is actually a Chinese-made clone.