Adventure bikes are great (ones that can actually go on dirt that is), yet so often they feature large displacement engines which makes them expensive to buy (and repair). So what about a smaller, practical adventure bike that has all the off road abilities of bigger bikes but costs less than $3,000? Such a thing exists and it’s called the CSC RX-3 Cyclone.
The Chinese built (but American imported) bike features a liquid cooled 250cc engine. That may sound small, but think about it – some of the most popular dirt bikes have a similar displacement. Adventure bikes aren’t about top speed, they’re about versatility. And while I’m sure that 250cc will never be enough for some, it certainly means this bike is more accessible due to it’s cost.
On their blog, CSC goes further into why they chose a 250cc engine for their first foray into adventure bikes:
It’s light, it’s fast enough, it’s small enough that you can pick it up when it falls, you can change tires on it easily, you can take it off road, you can get across streams, and it gets good gas mileage.
It does’t appear to be an anemic power plant either. It pumps out a respectable 24.8hp and 16.5lb ft of torque. That compares very favorably to Honda’s stalwart CRF250 (20hp and 14.2lb ft) and Yamaha’s XT250 (17.5hp and 13.7lb ft). The CSC RX-3 Cyclone does weigh more, coming in at 359lb (dry), which is still a heck of a lot lighter than most high end adventure bikes, though perhaps not ideal given it’s power. Top speed is estimated at a reasonable 84mph. Other specifications are a six-speed transmission, inverted front forks and fuel capacity of 4.6 gallons.
The bike is fairly generic looking. It’s not overly offensive but it’s hard to describe as attractive either. Question marks will also be raised about the durability of the bike and seeing as it’s squarely targeted at riders who want to go rough off road, that’s a big issue. The manufacturer, Zongshen, has been in business for 20 years in China and has plenty of experience in manufacturing motorcycles and motorcycle engines. Anecdotal evidence from various blogs and forums on the internet suggest that Zhonghen’s quality isn’t too bad so fingers crossed that they can deliver. But perhaps the fact that CSC is only offering a 1 year warranty is telling…
But for an introductory price of $2,835 (the price will rise to a still very attractive $3,495 after the first shipment of bikes is sold), it almost seems worth the risk. And that price includes a luggage rack, case and saddlebags! The CSC RX-3 Cyclone is still awaiting certification for highway use. In the meantime if you want to go on the waiting list to purchase at the introductory price, visit CSC’s website.