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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 25 Oct 2004
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Location: Denmark
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Test! Zongshen cs 150 gy in Ethiopia

I promised to writhe back to two persons who are going to Ethiopia and to the manager for the General Mercantile where I bought a motorcycle.

I bought the Zongshen cs 150 gy off road motorcycle and drove approximately 3000 km. The bike costed 13 050 Birr. (1300 Euro) and 700 birr for insurance and some other expenses. The selection is very limited in Ethiopia. Yamaha sell the DT 175 for 28 000 Birr. And Suzuki sells a similar one.

An English guy who has travelled a lot in China said that the Chinese take good motorcycles and copy them with worst quality materials. I couldn’t say it better.

The following things broke:

1) Right mirror was lose from the beginning and was changed before driving.
2) The throttle/carburettor got stuck second day. The dealer picked it up, repaired it and delivered it back to my hotel.
3) After 800 Km the speedometer cable broke. Dealer changed it.
4) The fuel filter got blocked. Probably bad fuel.
5) The tank didn’t let the last fuel from the right side get to the left before running dry from petrol (dealer promised to change it, but didn’t have one in stock).
6) The electric starter had some problems with connection (dealer promise to change it, but didn’t have one in stock).
7) The plastic that protects the chain broke (dealer promise to chance it, but didn’t have one in stock).

The front fender is a bit wobbly, it would be nice if it was a bit more firm. Zongshen put the battery in the back upper side of the exhaust, and not under the saddle where it belongs.
The motorcycle doesn’t have all parts specially designed for it. It’s most obvious when you try to adjust the carburettor that is blocked off by the frame or the battery that is put in a plastic box in the back quite open for the elements.

Engine, wheels, tires and chain went without any problems. I believe it is the best buy in Ethiopia if you don’t need to drive a 2-stroke motorcycle;-). It does the difficult Ethiopian road very well. I didn’t have any problems driving down in any potholes (There is some big ones). I did some difficult parts west of Fuliya where I wouldn’t have been able to do it on a KTM adventure (simply because it is to big to lift).

I promised to see if there was a market for Enduro motorcycles in Ethiopia. I think you will be very lucky to find a big second-hand Enduro motorcycle in Ethiopia and I’m sure that there is not enough motorcycles for sell to call it a market. Almost all motorcycles in Ethiopia have a job in the state.

Minus and pluses of the motorcycle:

- Parts are made from bad material.
- Many parts broke.
- They don’t do a lot at the factory to deliver a motorcycle without mistakes.
- Only parts in Addis Ababa.
+ Low price.
+ God service.
+ God off road handling.

Remember this is a subjective test.

I hope this will help someone


Brian Ø.

NB: Dealer: www.genmerc.com
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Old 28 Oct 2004
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Deventer, The Netherlands
Posts: 68
Hi Brian,

Thanks for your info. It's very usefull. Seems like we don't have much choice in Ethiopia. ;-)

do you know if it's possible to buy these Zongshen bikes second hand?

Do you also have info about roads that are a must to drive?


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Old 1 Nov 2004
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Hi Roland

Most roads are an experience to drive in Ethiopia. Look out for animals and people on the road. They do things you never will think they will do.
There is also a small city-mc that is cheaper and will do fine with my driving style anyway.
I was offered some second-hand bikes, but most of the times they were the same price as a new one and always too expensive.


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