QJ Motor, the Chinese motorcycle maker that happens to be Benelli’s parent company, has been patient when it comes to rolling out new models for multiple markets. In recent months, QJ Motor has released the SRT700 adventure bike and the QJ7000D electric sports bike, which are almost certainly destined for the international market under the Benelli badge.
To add to the company’s ever-growing list of models, two retro-styled motorcycles were recently unveiled at the Chongqing Motor Show from September 17 to 20, 2021. The latest models from QJ Motor reach us under the shape of a midweight nude neo-retro. bike dubbed the Yi 550, and a low-displacement 300cc cruiser dubbed the Flash 300S. Granted, these names sound a lot like your discount online shopping cart bikes, but hey, we don’t offer the names – or designs – of these machines.
For starters, the QJ Motor Flash 300S, which is supposed to be the Chinese company’s interpretation of a “real American cruiser”, appears to fall short, both in terms of scale and performance. Its tiny 296cc V-twin pumps out a meager 31 ponies, and the bike is obviously a scaled-down cruiser, presumably to suit the smaller, svelte builds of the Asian population. Overall, the Flash 300S features classic cruiser lines, albeit shifting towards a more modern design approach, as evidenced by its inverted front fork and full LED headlight. As for pricing, QJ pegged the Flash 300S at roughly $ 3,500 equivalent.
Going up the food chain, the Yi 550 is QJ Motor’s interpretation of a neo-retro roadster. I don’t know if it’s just me, but the fuel tank, seat and tail of this bike remind me a lot of the BMW R nineT. Performance-wise, however, it doesn’t even come close to the hipster Bavarian roadster. Although it performs better than the Flash 300S, the $ 5,300 equivalent of the Yi 550 is powered by a 549cc parallel twin-cylinder engine, a jump of 50cc from the current generation Leoncino 500. at 7,500 rpm. This inevitably raises the question: could this be the next generation of Lion Cub of Pesaro?