About the Lifan...
I had one mechanical problem with it, but it was my fault, really. Before I left, the bike had 10,000 km on it. I was having to adjust the chain about once every two weeks. Everyone told me to change the chain and sprocket before I left....but I didn't listen!
I should have. The chain popped off the first time in Hua Hin, as I was coming down the steep hill from the mountain lookout. I put the chain back on and went to a shop to get the chain tightened. I made to Chumpon the next day. I left for Surat Thani the next day. The chain popped off again. When I got to Surat Thani, I had the chain and sprocket changed for 950 Baht.
After that, which was my fault, really--caused by a lack of proper maintenance--the bike ran perfectly!
KZ25, should that change your mind about Chinese bikes? Not really, at least not totally. I'm going to do a full write-up about the Lifan Cross 200 as soon as I finish the trip Write-ups. The bottom line,though, is that the Cross 200 is a pretty low-quality machine.
In the first 6 months of owning it....
- I had to replace the front brake caliper
- I had to replace the frayed and snapped clutch cable--twice
- I had to replace the clutch (under warranty)
- I had to replace the tires after about 5000K
- I had to take apart the throttle, because it had become so tight that twisting it was giving me arm cramps! (bit of chain lube did the trick)
- I had to have the main jet in the carburetor cleaned out (was clogged up and only the idle jet had fuel going through it)
All that being said, I love this bike for what it is.
- I only paid 45,000 baht for it.
- It's so simple that even I can work on it.
- I've abused it off-road lots of times (and had a blast)
- I rode it to Pang Si Da national park--and then to the end (and back) of the 30 km dirt road through the park (from Buriram)
- I rode it from Buriram all the way down to the Trat / Cambodia border (3 days) Here' s a trip report with pics (beautiful ride) http://www.liveinasiablog.com/2012/08/buriram-to-khlong-yai-my-3-day-1200-km-motorcycle-ride/
And the kicker is that when I bought this bike I had already made my mind up--I was there to purchase a Honda Wave! But when I saw the much bigger Lifan, I went for it! ...and look at all the fun I've had! I would not have taken any of these trips had I bough the Honda Wave!
Is it comparable to a KLX or the Honda equivalent? No, not even close, but if your budget is 45,000 Baht (not 145,000) then the Lifan is, in my opinion, worth buying!