400 replies to this topic
Posted 2012-04-30 16:48:27
I was putting my Nouvo 135 in for it's pre-sale service before ordering a D-Tracker when I saw a couple of new Keeway RKV 200's in the shop.
At a thrid of the cost of a D-Tracker it may be worth considering? What's your thoughts?
My concerns about the D-Tracker are the seat and the small gas tank. The low power of the Kawasaki is not really an issue for me (main use will be in the city or easy/slow touring), but the Keeway has even less power than the D-Tracker, but a bigger tank and better seat.
I've also seen the Keeway TX 200, which seems to have the same old Honda motor and a 'supermoto' style, but the RKV 200 seems to be a (marginally) more modern design.
Resale value of a Chinese bike is not a concern, as the initial cost is low anyway and life in Bangkok traffic will be hard on any bike.
Posted 2012-04-30 17:00:34
i like the design/looks but would never buy another "chinese" bike after the tiger boxer experience
could be a nightmare if it breaks ..........
Posted 2012-04-30 18:52:50
Yes .... I like the classic streetbike style, and some of the details look decent, but I've no idea about reliability, materials etc. My local Yamaha dealer will be the supplier and the person doing the servicing, so perhaps that will help?
Anyone know much about the motor ..... I guess it's the old SOHC Honda unit? If so, it used to have a reputation for being tough and long lived?
Posted 2012-04-30 22:13:40
Can not say much about the quality, but i made some photos i can share
Sure this bike is only 50-55k Baht? For this price maybe worth a look. But not much power, just 8.2kw if the information in first picture is right.
Posted 2012-04-30 22:24:19
it looks too good to be true if this bike really only costs around 50k ......
Posted 2012-05-01 07:02:04
125cc for a 200 Bike?
They are even too incompetent, to put the right specs to the right bike..
But hey, TiT
Posted 2012-05-01 11:49:59
Yes, its a pity. But on their website it seems OK (197cc): http://www.keeway-th...oducts/rkv-200/
And the power on the website given is 9.5kw. Still less then the information given here: http://www.keeway.pe/rkv-200.html
Maybe the bike in Thailand is sold restricted
Posted 2012-05-01 20:46:16
it reminds me of those ryuka 125cc choppers in the big c for 36k
and those 250cc scramblers from china that were 48k (made by ???)
scooters from reliable manufacturers have surpassed this price bracket already
so its hard to imagine getting a decent quality 200-250cc road bike for circa 50 k
even the new yamaha is around 60k and its "only a 125 this time "
Posted 2012-05-01 22:47:01
A cheap bike is a cheap bike. But this is sure one of the better ones in this price range. I was impressed by looking at it. Its just the low power that makes me worry. But maybe there is a chance to tune it up a bit. A real GPS speed of 120kmh and i would be happy
Posted 2012-05-01 23:05:42
Keep the Nouvo, you'll be using it a lot in the future.
Posted 2012-05-02 08:47:07
Just be sure you know you can't rely on the bike, and know that it will be less dependable then a Japanese bike from the big 4. I broke a friends Chinese bike the day he bought, by just standing on the pegs.
Are wear items obtainable, and in stock for the Keeway? Simple things, like the nylon lock washer on the rear axle are a concern if you can trust them after several loosing and tightening cycles. Great price for a new bike, but believe it should be stripped down before any riding; upgrade nuts and bolts, grease bearings and pivot points, learn where the faster wearing parts may be such as (maybe) unsealed wheel bearings, in 2 continents most Chinese bikes I've seen have carburetors that leak, using good quality sealing washers with the oil cooler and brake line, etc. Nothing against Chinese bikes, but feel this is a requirement for safe riding on the current models available in Thailand.
Posted 2012-05-02 13:26:16
Thanks for the replies .... very useful.
I decided to buy one .... my thinking was that it (appears) to be good value and I don't need to rely on it for everyday transport so if there's a problem with spares of reliability I have the time to sort it out.
I found many positive reviews for the RKV 125 in the UK where it's used as a learner/commuter bike, but no reviews for the RKV 200, but I hope the same positive comments on reliability and quality will apply to the 200.
Total price including first class insurance is 59,000 THB. Preparation by the dealer was good. Only ridden it around Bangkok for a day, but here's my first impressions .....
It looks good, especially considering the price. Fit and finish is good.
Comfortable riding position - classic, slightly forward street bike position with little weight on wrists, nice seat, relaxed footpeg postion.
Good for pillion passenger - low footpegs, big grab handles. Handling with passenger nice and stable, unlike two-up on a scooter.
Discs front and rear, upside-down forks.
Very good ride - rolls over the big cracks in Rama IV without the scary tramlining I get with the Nouvo.
3 Year Warranty
Digital fuel guage with low fuel warning.
Digital speedo, analogue tacho, gear indicator, neutral light
Some nice details - front mud guard extension, hugger, alloy wheels, stone guard over oil cooler, LED rear light, nice blue backlighting to instruments.
Good bright headlight.
Centre and side stands.
Tight tirning circle - able to thread through traffic easily ... and as a long time biker I feel more comfortable riding very slow on a proper bike rather than I did on a lightweight scooter.
Nice low-down torque - pulls strongly from low revs with no judder.
Large fuel tank (580 THB to fill it ... that was a surprise compared to my scooter)
Light clutch with good feel for use in traffic.
Owners Manual in English.
Not exactly a road burner. Not yet run in, but easily enough power for use in the city and able to get ahead of cars at the lights. Quicker than my Nouvo and my Indian Bullet 350, but no comparison to my old Spint RS in the UK. Compared to the D-tracker (only test riden one a couple of times) it does not have anything like the same power in the top half of the RPM range, but at lower revs it feels about the same, so real-world city riding is much like a 250 Kawasaki or Honda. I guess that on open roads I'll really notice the lower power, but we'll see.
Brakes need a good squeeze .... but they may just need more use.
Side stand retracts with a loud clang ... no rubber stop.
A couple of the plastic panels (inboard of the foot pegs) feel flimsy ... but the other panels feels solid enough.
No real storage space under seat or behind panels.
Neutral can be tricky to find. I've found this with most fully-manual bikes, and to find neutral on my Indian Enfield Bullet you needed to learn special Zen Yoga techniques from a Himalayan Guru. Knocking it into neutral before you stop is a good idea, but forget this and you can get wrist cramp at the never ending Sukhumvit 'fai daeng'.
Early signs are good. For me, I prefer the stability, space, ride, brakes and handling of a 'proper' motorbike, and the RKV 200 is the same price as many scooters, and less than some. I will miss the under-seat storage, helmet locks and bag hooks of my Nouvo, and the clutch could be a pain (literally) in traffic, but I never rode the Nouvo for fun and never considered a tour. I'm now planning a weekend ride to khao Lak and making up reasons to nip out on the bike.
If anyone is interested, I can post an update after I've given it some real use?
Posted 2012-05-02 15:18:45
Cool, looking forward to hear more about the bike
This bike (and Keeway in general) seem to be popular in south america also.
Can you tell us which dealer? Thanks.
Yep, interested, please tell us the GPS speed after running the bike in.
Have fun with your new bike
Posted 2012-05-02 19:00:47
The dealer is the Yamaha showroom on Rama IV (right side when going out of Bangkok about 3 Km from Big C/Tesco). The main importer and parts supplier is M-Bike, but to be honest I don't know where they are and all their info is in Thai, but I happened to see the RKV when I was getting my Nouvo serviced and I prefer to buy from a local dealer to keep servicing simple.
As soon as it's run in I'll use the GPS for some flat-on-the tank 'dec-wen' riding to see what it can do .... but from the way it pulls up to 100 K/mH, even when running in, I'm sure it will be able to top 120 K/mH. The gearing also seems reasonably tall in 5th (top) so I think it will cruise OK. The 125 can manage 70 MPH in the UK (just!), so the 200 should be able to beat that.
My main focus will be the brakes, if they don't improve with use I may need to swap the pads, but I'm not planning to change anything else (except maybe the tyres). It's already surprisingly loud for a stock bike with a small motor, so no plans to swap the pipe.
Posted 2012-05-03 08:46:43
Congrats. A compact naked bike that's not a heavy small cruiser, carbed, aircooled, big tank with tubeless tires; get the brakes to your liking and it sounds like a perfect city runner. Look forward to updates on this model - and good thing my son can't ride anything over 110cc till he's 18 because this is the style of bike he likes. And to be honest I can't see it giving you any more headaches than a 15 plus year old CB 400 Honda.
Posted 2012-05-03 16:25:19
Nice bike ... look forward to the updates.
Is there any kind of rack at the back or is it just a handgrip?
Posted 2012-05-03 18:30:57
It's just a handgrip - though large enough to strap a small bag to it. I've seen a rack as an accessory on a European website, but not available in Thailand.
Did the commute to the office today .... started first press and settled to a nice idle. Brakes have improved with use. The plastic panel inside the left footpeg looks like it will get badly scratched due to 'gear change boot rash'. May get to test the tyres in the wet on the way home tonight.
Posted 2012-05-08 17:20:40
Update on the RKV 200 so far .....
The pre-delivery prep by Yamaha Square on Rama IV was not as good as I'd thought. Tyre pressures were 5 PSI front and 10 PSI rear (should be 28/30) and the allen screws on the front fork clamps were lose. The bike will have been delivered with the front wheel removed, so I guess the wheel was fitted by the local dealer.
I was surprised about the low tyre pressure .... I gave the tyres a 'squeeze and a tap' before I rode away from the shop and they felt OK, and the handling seemed fine. Tyre pressures so low on my Triumph RS in the UK would have had me off on the first bend, but I assume the RKV is so light the pressures are not so critical? The front fork clamp screws was a concern, but they were 'finger tight', so I don't think the wheel was going to fall off any time soon, but a good reminder to check the bike thoroughly. Other nuts and bolts seemed good and tight, chain tension was correct and all lights worked, but the tool kit was missing. After a call to the shop they found the missing tool roll and I picked it up on the way out for my first proper ride to Samut Sakorn.
It's a very pleasant bike to ride. Neutral handling without that slight 'falling into a corner' feeling you get with a cruiser. The classic street bike seating position is also easy on the wrists and makes threading through traffic a breeze. The mirrors are small, but well spaced, so rear view is decent, but getting the wide bars and mirrors between cars can be tricky. The riding position is very comfortable, so during the 120 second red light sequences in Bangkok I found myself sitting with both hands still on the bars, whereas on more 'sporting' bikes I would use red lights as a chance to sit back and take the weight off my wrists.
If you are long in the leg (like me) the raised ridges in the tank, which would go above the knees if this was a Benelli sports bike (a brand recently acquired by the owners of Keeway) actually align with your knees creating a slight pressure point on long rides. This is a compact bike which is very popular as a 125 learner bike in the UK - and this makes it good in traffic, but if you are over 6' tall it may be physically too small for longer rides.
The brakes have improved, thought they still feel 'learner friendly' and need a good squeeze. The handling is neutral and feels like it could cope with much more power and the ride is excellent even on bangkok roads. The power is modest, but it has good low-down torque so it copes well in traffic and on back roads.
I had a chance to ride on wet and flooded roads this weekend, and the tyres seem OK. The gearbox is my main concern after the weekend ride. Neutral is hard to find when stationary and impossible to avoid when moving. Going from 1 to 2 you hit neutral 50% of the time. Giving an extra big push to the gear lever by moving your foot forward and up will get into 2 without a hitting N, but this is a nuisance. I hope this is a running-in issue, as none of the reports I've seen from the UK and Latin America mention a gearbox problem. I've found a supplier of a rack and box for the RKV in the UK but the cost is steep (£81 for the rack not inc shipping), and some throw-over panniers from Paddocks may be the answer, or I could get something made locally.
Still early days, and after the longer ride and the rain I'll be able to see what starts to rust or fall off, but with the possible exception of the gear change I'm pleased with the bike, especially considering the price. I'll post an update after more use.
Posted 2012-05-09 11:06:19
Thanks for the info, I really like the look of the bike, so i'm really interested in how you get on with it. Please keep posting those updates.....
I need to get a new bike in the next few months. I was simply looking at getting another Honda Wave, the old one has proved reliable for many years. I've also looked at the cbr250, but to be truthful, I only need the bike for a short commute to work (less than 3km) and I think it would be overkill. I'm also not so keen on the sports riding position.
Posted 2012-06-04 22:27:19
Posted 2012-06-04 22:45:27
Nice pictures and nice bike
Any problems so far? Got used to the gearbox or is it easier now to "get into 2 without a hitting N"?
Please keep us updated. I am thinking about buying a Keeway too. But not sure if RKV200 or TX200
Posted 2012-06-04 23:17:18
I visited the Sym dealership (Mbike) in January I think this is the correct address
(ran the Sym site through Google translate)
I've also attached a KMZ file for Google earth (which is how I found it) Just in case you wanted to go there.
14/13-16 Soi Rong Muang Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok Hrasemืag .10330.
TEL:. 02-613-9727. FAX : 02-216-4459 . 99/99 Mo
Thank's for posting all this info, a friend just emailed me a picture of this bike and
I was looking for some review's on it, your's has been really helpful.
Guy at the Sym dealership was really helpful and not bothered if you bought that day or not.
I've been looking for a cheap real bike and looked at the Sym and Lifan versions of their trail
bikes. Haven't ridden the Sym but rented a Lifan for three week's I was actually pleased with it
niggles were the seat (dam uncomfortable) and although you never kept hitting neutral it was
hard to find once you had stopped. I just wished the lifan had a little more speed it topped out at 100 kph
I'd like something that would be just a bit quicker your bike look's like it might fit the bill.
I'd like to hear more about this bike also.
Posted 2012-06-05 01:22:53
Picture and location of that Sym dealership
Just remembered Google maps now has street view for Bangkok
Posted 2012-06-05 13:14:47
Update on the RKV 200 after a short weekend tour:
The trip: Bangkok lower Sukhumvit area to Chonburi, Bang Saen, Si Racha and Pattaya via Highway 3 (recommended) and then after an overnight stop in Pattaya, back via Highway 3 then 34 (Bang na Trad) with one coffee stop in Bang Na (not recommended).
I took 6 hours with several stops and detours to get to Pattaya and took 3 hours including the short coffee stop to get back .... so more safe and steady than quick! Weather was light rain but with just enough sun to burn my nose.
What was good about the RKV 200:
Nothing broke, fell off or went wrong - and after hitting a couple of those huge pot holes on the Frontage Road of Highway 34 at 80+ Km/h this is quite an achievement.
A very pleasant motor for riding in Thailand - low down torque makes for easy touring. Pulls suprisinging strongly up to 90 Km/h and in top (5th) it accelerates well in that handy touring range of 50 Km/H to 90 Km/h. Feels able to run all day at up to 80 Km/H, above that it's starting to feel busy and above 100 Km/H it's feeling strained but if mechanically unsypathetic it should be OK. No weaving or sensitivity to side winds and wash from the tucks, so it would be relaxing if the motor was not sounding so frantic.
Comfortable seating position (but see comment below re. long legs). The slight forward lean is ideal for touring at 80 Km/h as that's where the wind balances your weight. Good for three hours in the saddle before 'jeb doot' forces a coffe break.
Good ride, even over poor road surfaces. Stable, easy handling that's never troubled by the modest power. Feels like it could handle much more power - fun in the few bends I could find and good for the pot-hole slaloms and dodging taxis.
Decent brakes - just needs a firm squeeze on the lever.
Nice exhaust sound - loud enough to warn car users you are there .... more racing lawnomover than a Ducati, but still nice.
Handy 'side lights/running lights' in the corners of the main headlight - good for visibility. LED tail light is a nice feature.
Very clear dash - bright blue lighting, effective digital gear indicator and fuel gauge, nice analogue rev counter and digital speedo can show KPH and MPH. Trip and clock.
Seriously loud horn.
Huge range .... more than 400 Km on one 17 litre tank full. Runs well on 91 Red as motor is low compression.
What's not so good.
Gear change is agricultural, needing a postive tug on the lever. On some upchanges from 1 to 2 it hits a hard stop in neutral and will not change up. You need to go back into 1 and then up again, which is a nuisance and causes a slow down that confuses other bikes and following cars and could be dangerous (I will ask the dealer to look at this at the service). Seems to happen when trying to make a quick get-away from the lights and chaging up at higher revs ... which is when you least want a gear change problem.
Indicator lens covers are not waterproof - so they steam up in heavy rain, but clear as soon as the rain stops.
Headlight main bean is bright, but points too low and I've not yet found a way to adjust it.
No bungee hooks, but the large grab rail can be used to strap luggage to the seat.
If you have long legs, the raised ridges on the tank and the RKV badges align with your knees which is a bit uncomfortable after a couple of hours. If you ride with your toes on the pegs, almost sportsbike style, then your knees tuck under the ridge like on a Yamahah Fazer and it feels right .... but sit 'commuter-bike' style with your arches on the pegs and your knees are too high. I noticed that when the security guys at my apartment took the bike for a spin, it seemed to fit them perfectly - so seems to be designed for the short of leg. It was designed in Italy, so this may explain the short leg, long arm layout .... just like classic Alfa cars.
Limited useful rev range - it has nice low down torque but revving it does not really produce much more power, so you find yourself short-shifting at low revs. It feels almost like a diesel engine compared to a modern twin cam four valve motor. I'm still running it in, but I don't think it will free up much more, it is after all a (cheap) 2 valve push-rod motor. I think it has hydraulic tappets, so very low maintenance, but's it's not easy to find much detail on the spec.
It's not fast. Sitting upright I got a GPS verified 110 Km/h. Lying on the tank I saw 125 Km/h, but this was not GPS checked. I didn't get passed by any girls on Fino's, but a couple of Waves gave me a run for my money on the Highway.
My current view is that the bike is great value for money and a pleasant tourer, but it should not be compared to a D-Tracker or CBR 250 which cost 3 times the price and have twice as many valves. It's more like a Phatom motor in a decent street bike chassis.
I enjoyed the trip and it seems to be well built and handles well. I don't yet know what servcing or spares parts availability is like.
A couple of side notes ....
- on the way back through Chonburi I had three traffic-light side-by-side sprints with a two-up CBR 250. The two Thai lads wanted a friendly race at each set of lights. The RKV 200 with one ferang and light luggage pulled ahead up to around 40 Km/h (the low down torque plus weight advantage over a two-up CBR?), then the Honda pulled away and got well ahead of me 'till we met again at the front row of the next set of lights.
- I did a similar trip a couple of years ago on my Nouvo 135 and vowed to never do it again as it felt unsafe and exhausting. On the RKV it was fine and I'd do it again (though proabably go North next time). On paper it may not have much more power than a PCX or Nouvo, but out of the city it feels so much more secure and stable.
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