Get the Flash Player to see this player.In a bid to attract beginners and those who might be a little intimidated by a manual transmission, QLink Motor of Grapevine, Tex. has come out with a fully automatic motorcycle—the Legacy 250.
“All you’ve got to do is crack the throttle and you go,” QLink service manager William Rosinski told Motorcycle.com. “We really have this bike for a beginning rider or women riders who don’t want to use the tough clutches on most of the bikes. This bike is really easy to use. This is perfect for first-time riders.”
QLink’s Legacy 250 is powered by a lightweight, 244cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled engine. Despite its entry-level price tag of US$3,250, this bike has many features of a much more expensive machine.
Let’s start with the liquid-cooled engine, which can aid reliability, is a feature not normally found on a bike in this price range. Comparable bikes such as the Honda Rebel, Honda Nighthawk, Yamaha VStar 250 and Suzuki GZ250 don’t have it.
Another feature of the Legacy is the front and rear disc brakes. Though disc brakes on a 244cc bike might not be mandatory, they will certainly give the newbie a little more confidence while stopping than drum brakes. The Rebel, VStar 250 and GZ250 have disc brakes up front and mechanical drums in the rear, while the Nighthawk uses drums up front and in the rear.
An array of creature comforts is also included on the Legacy, including a built-in audio system with FM radio and USB port. Located under the seat, the USB port allows the rider to play downloaded music on an iPod, MP3 player or memory stick. Controls for the audio system are located right below the handlebars.
A tool kit can be found in the same under-seat storage area as the USB port. The kit includes three open-end wrenches, two hex wrenches, socket wrench and double-end screwdriver. This is by no means a full toolbox, but it should be handy for minor repairs and adjustments on the road.
Another interesting option QLink included on the Legacy is adjustable brake levers. This is far from groundbreaking, but it’s nice that riders with smaller hands can make a quick adjustment and have an easier time gripping the levers and be a little more comfortable. Four settings are available on each lever.
In terms of performance, the Legacy 250 won’t be breaking any land-speed records, but seeing as this bike is meant for beginners, that’s probably not a bad thing. Motorcycle.com will be putting the Legacy through its paces for a full review in the coming weeks, but the folks at QLink tell us that the top-out speed, depending on the weight of the rider, is 55 mph and up.
Smaller riders can likely push it to about 65 mph, but this is probably not a bike you’d want to spend much time with on the freeway with cars and trucks flying along at higher speeds. It’s in the city and on lower speed country roads where the Legacy will feel more at home.
Upon first inspection, the Legacy looks like a bigger bike than it actually is. Though it is still a relative lightweight at 360 pounds, it is still nearly 60 pounds heavier than the VStar 250 and GZ250. Some of that weight, though, is due to the heavier automatic transmission.
To keep the weight and build costs down, much of the bodywork is plastic, including the chrome-looking footboards, headlight housing and mirror backing. The fenders and fairing are also plastic.
Even with the plastic, the Legacy has a unique look. It really doesn’t look like an entry-level motorcycle, thanks in part to features such as the chrome-looking footboards, which wouldn’t be found on most bikes in this price range.
Also interesting is that the motor is covered up by the lower fairing. It’s certainly a unique design and might not be for everybody, but it seems to fit with the general flow of the Legacy.
It should be noted that the Legacy is actually built by CF Moto, a Chinese manufacturer that is largely known for making scooters. QLink imports and distributes the vehicles in the United States.
Some consumers may have reservations about buying a bike made in China due to concerns about product support, but QLink is doing its best to quell those worries. With distribution facilities in Dallas and Edwardsville, Pa., QLink says it has 98% parts availability. QLink says parts will be shipped within 24 hours. Depending on where in the U.S. the consumer lives, the part should arrive within two to five days after the order is placed.
As for the 2% of parts not stocked in the US warehouses, QLink says it will have the parts shipped from China, which usually takes between one and two weeks.
QLink also covers the Legacy with a two-year limited warranty with unlimited miles. The motor, mechanical components, electrical system, brake calipers and exhaust are all covered under warranty for two years. The suspension is covered for one year, while the pulleys and clutch are covered for 90 days and the battery for 30 days.
QLink’s Legacy 250 may not be for everyone, and the traditionalists and purists among the motorcycling crowd may wince at the thought of an automatic transmission. However, this bike makes a lot of sense for those who want to get in to motorcycling but can’t get over the idea of a working a clutch while learning how to ride. At the very least, it’s an interesting idea that should get some more motorcycles—and more beginners—out on the road.
|2008 QLINK Legacy Specs|
|Engine Type||4-Stroke, Single Cylinder, Liquid Cooled|
|Bore x Stroke||72mm x 60mm|
|Max. Torque||17.6 lb/ft @ 5500 rpm|
|Compression Ratio||10 :1|
|Suspension/Rear||Twin Shock(Adjustable pre-load)|
|Dry Weight||360.8 lbs|
|Fuel Capacity||4.2 gallons|
|Warranty||2 Year Limited|