Now we’re playing in super inexpensive territory, where less than $2000 will get you a  new motorcycle. In this case, the Kymco K-Pipe 125. For those especially on the cheap looking for a bike with something resembling big bike dimensions, the K-Pipe is it. Its 17-inch wheels give it a taller seat height than others in its category with 12-inch wheels, but we were let down by the K-Pipe’s anemic 125cc air-cooled Single. Weak even for its class, the meager 7 hp and 5 lb-ft it puts down to the ground are less than awe-inspiring. That said, its semi-automatic transmission will keep the engine running while in gear even at a stop – making the clutch seemingly trivial. Experienced riders might scratch their heads at this, but new riders could find this a huge benefit.

  • allworld

    Well other than price the common thread here is China.
    Who will sell, service and stock parts for these up and coming bikes?

    • Jon Jones

      An important point to keep in mind, indeed.

      • c w

        Just about any small engine shop with a phone line or internet connection.


    Was that a KTM? Did I see a mini monster?

    • TroySiahaan

      It was KTM orange, at least! And yes, the SSR sure looks like a mini Monster. Probably not a coincidence.

  • BDan75

    I thought Kymco was Taiwanese?

    • TroySiahaan

      Yes, but the stamp on the K-Pipe says, clear as day, “Made In China.”

  • Old MOron

    Oh man, with half a dozen MOrons and a midnight parking lot, you’re got a race series!

  • TC

    You won’t be able to find a competent repair shop, dealer, or spare parts for these bikes. A low budget buyer is far better off buying a good used bike, which are plentiful. That doesn’t mean Chinese bikes will never make it to legitimacy, but it will take a big change in the status quo.

    • Jon Jones


  • black hole

    How about the CSC/Zongshen RX3 and TT250? 50 state legal, $3895 and $2195 respectively, and CSC keeps every single part for both bikes in stock in the USA.

    • TroySiahaan

      The RX3 costs more than the Grom, which currently sits at the number 10 spot as most expensive. But you’re right about the TT250. Good catch.

  • Justin Case

    There is a large cult following of Chinese bikes offering PLENTY of advice for where to find parts, repairs, etc. on Thousands of us keeping Chinese bikes rideable, and more importantly, racking up thousands of miles. Funny thing is, no one is reporting any catastrophic failures with their bike. However, if one feels insecure enough that they HAVE to have a shop, then SSR would be the answer because they have a dealership network. However, I have seen the XF250 offered via mail-order, but its engine is a Suzuki clone (an actual clone, not a similar Hondoid which is Honda-like) so one could probably convince a Suzuki shop to perform repairs.

  • Leonard New

    i recently got a 2005 200cc roketa practically free. i thought parts may be a problem but then again it’s almost free… and it has a low mileage lifan engine. parts were not a problem, i got everything it needed for under $100 and now it runs like new. don’t believe people who say you can’t get parts. as for repair shops… learn to fix it yourself, last time i checked there are no repair shops out on the trails.