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Test Ride: XY200GY-10 Shineray Dual Sport

I have been a fan of Shineray dual sport motorcycles ever since I bought my first Chinese mototrcycle; the Shineray XY200GY-7 ‘Long March’. With such a distinctive design and feel, it was like nothing else on the road, so I was looking forward to driving their newest model.

The latest model from Shineray Dual Sport GY series is the XY200GY-10. Following Shineray’s focus on off-road capable bikes, and inspired by Jialing dirt-bike designs, it is designed to tackle riding in all environments.

The Shineray engineering team had riders from countries such as Peru, Tanzania and Kenya in mind when designing this bike. Knowing that these countries have challenging terrain they wanted to create a bike that could combine street riding with off-road durability and practicality, playing upon the strengths they have shown with previous bikes, and paying special attention to the frame and overall structure.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to check out the GY-10 and have a quick Saturday test ride at Shineray’s Chongqing factory.

The GY-10’s exterior design is nothing revolutionary; it is basic and simple and reminiscent of an old Honda XL185 design. It comes with the same charming, boxy analogue meter unit that graces so many of its predecessors, although the display faces up vertically, making it hard to read the dials at a glance. I like the distinctive look of the circular light fitting of the headlight that appears on some of the GYs.

Since this new bike has just come off the production line, its headlight is not pointing to the road as it should be. But there is no doubt that it can be adjusted to the right position. Both the engine guard and the front wheel guard are a nice touch and would come in handy in the rough stuff. Despite the simplistic design, Shineray has committed itself to the look by registering a patent for its exterior modeling.

I couldn’t test the electric starter as the bike has not been installed with battery yet. It took more than a few kicks and a lot of energy to get the engine turning over, but this could well have just been an ad hoc problem with the battery. The engine finally roared to life, with a healthy dual-sport muffled dirt-bike sound.

As with Shineray’s previous dual-sports, the GY-10 has good ground clearance and its handlebars are high up enough to maintain control while up on the pegs, which allows for excellent elevation to see where in traffic. It stands high. At 178cm tall, the seat height didn’t allow me to stand flat footed when stopped and I had to use the balls of my feet to stay balanced. Both the foot pegs and handlebars are well positioned for a comfortable riding position.

As for power, the 197cc single cylinder OHV engine is a bit sluggish down low. The throttle is a little unresponsive at low revs, but getting up to 2nd gear is where this bike really starts to move. More of a get-you-from-A-to-B workhorse than a race winner, it puts out a maximum of 10.2 kilowatts at 7500 revs, and its maximum torque is 14NM at 6000 revs. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to drive it out on to the public road because the bike didn’t have any registration, and I couldn’t manage to push the bike up to the top speed of 95 km/h, but it’s not hard to imagine that it could make it over 100 km/h as I found myself easily going too fast for the factory track.

The engine is smooth enough and cruising is comfortable. There’s certainly a lot less vibration through the frame than with the Long-March.

I was surprised at how well it handled. It is zippy and highly responsive when following turns and popping up easily for plenty of corner fun. With a thin profile and at 116 kilograms it’s light enough to keep upright when having trouble with problematic terrain. The standard front suspension and twinshock rear suspension seemed slightly stiff over the bumps, giving my legs a bit of a workout up on the pegs, but the braking was sensitive and effective.

The 13.5 litre fuel tank and declared 2.9 litres per 100 kilometres mean that on a full tank, the GY-10 has plenty of range; over 450 kilometres on a full tank before having the need of finding the next petrol station.

The bike is stock fitted with a small front rack, and a rear load rack. There is no centre stand, but the side stand is long enough to keep a fully loaded bike vertical.

Thin, nimble and light, the GY-10 is fun to ride, and overall it is a capable, practical and solidly built bike for commuting on all roads. Despite some small idiosyncrasies, it is designed well to have no problem taking a rider from the gridlock of city roads to the corrugated trails of wilder countryside.