Zontes steps into Indian market with its 350cc range of motorcycles
The sour relations between India and China reflect in the Indian automobile market as well, with Chinese brands unable to climb the high barriers to entry. Great Wall Motors (GWM) became the latest Chinese automobile manufacturer to abandon projects worth thousands of crores this year.
However, Guangdong-headquarteredis the latest Chinese brand that is trying its luck in the Indian automobile space. A subsidiary of Guangdong Tayo Motorcycle Technology, Zontes has set foot in India with five motorcycles from its 350cc range.
The 350cc range consists of bikes including 350R, 350X, GK350, 350T and 350T ADV—with prices ranging between Rs 3.15 lakh and Rs 3.67 lakh (both ex-showroom). Each bike flaunts a unique top hat and caters to a specific segment of riders depending on their riding preferences.
Zontes has joined hands with Hyderabad-based Aadishwar Auto Ride India Pvt Ltd, which will handle sales and manufacturing operations for the company in India. The latter already handles the business for brands such as Benelli, Keeway and Moto Morini in India. Despite their distinct styling, all bikes share the same underpinnings and feature the same heart.
Styling and features
The 350R is Zontes’ entry-level model in the 350cc range and carries the design of a typical naked streetfighter (road bike which doesn’t obscure the engine and frame).
On the other hand, 305X is a semi-faired sports tourer with identical underpinnings, whereas GK350 gets a café racer design (minimalist design to reduce wind resistance) with neo-retro styling. Both 350T and 350T ADV belong to the adventure touring category with the former being a road-biased tourer while the latter is suited for off-road trails.
Given their premium pricing, Zontes’ 350cc range offers many gizmos including all-LED lighting, keyless entry, a 5-inch LCD instrument console with Bluetooth connectivity, a tyre pressure monitoring system, backlit switchgear, two fast USB charging ports, a slipper clutch, and four riding modes.
In terms of equipment, the motorcycles are well-loaded and come with similar hardware components. The chassis on all these bikes are suspended on 43mm telescopic forks at the front and a mono-shock unit at the rear. All 350cc bikes roll on 17-inch aluminium wheels shod with 120/70 section at the front while the rear gets a stubbier 160/60 section of rubber.
All, barring 350T ADV, are offered with alloy wheels while the adventure bike comes with wire-spoke wheels wrapped around by tubeless tyres. Braking duties on the Zontes 350cc motorcycles are carried out by 320mm disc at the front and 265mm disc at the rear, complemented by a dual-channel ABS as standard.
Powering all these motorcycles is a common 348cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that dishes out 37.4 bhp at 9,500 rpm and 32 Nm of peak torque at 7,500 rpm. Transmission duties are handled by a six-speed gearbox. This motor has been designed for low emission and high fuel efficiency without compromising performance.
(Images courtesy: Zontes)
Edited by Kanishk Singh