In the US, these bikes are growing in popularity and quality (believe it or not!), but as far as touring on one, I wouldn't risk it, unless you have ready access to parts and are very knowlegeable about bikes, or can buy two examples of what I think might be worth a look (and as I state, are based on US situation/comparison to US available alternatives). I used to think these things would pass muster for such a use (short[er] tourist get around), and would make a good alternative to buying a used bike, but now I wouldn't really consider a used bike or many of these new Chinese bikes.
That being said, there have been a few high quality Chinese bikes lately, Skyteam has a nice enduro with some high quality bits, priced (new) far lower than equivalent Japanese brands (new). The bike one that I would recommend, and only if one was considering buying a new Japanese/Euro enduro/motard for short-term touring, and only if the price difference was similar to US circumstances, would be the Qingqi QM200 in motard or enduro guise. Qingqi is the OEM for Suzuki's DR200, and in the U.S., are priced near half what a new DR200 costs. Initial reviews on several US forum sites discussing Chinese brands are very positive and favorable (and comparing to other Chinese brands, very, very high quality), and the 200 engine/parts is interchangeable with the DR200's.
Keep in mind that both the Skyteam and Qingqi examples are based on US prices/comparisons to other US available bikes, and I am not sure how much an advantage either has in terms of price in Europe over similar bikes.
Last edited by yuma simon; 24 Apr 2008 at 21:53.