ATV Knock Offs
Many people are discovering the incredible benefits of using Honda clone type engines. These are available for much less than the original. Generally made in China, the Honda clone engines out there are basically copying the atv motors of yesterday. Do you remember the old 110cc atv three wheelers that were around in the early 80's? Well, that's the standard for the Honda clone industry. What does all this mean? Are parts really interchangeable? Let's take a quick look.
How it's possible:
From all I've read over the last several years, Honda, along with some other major atv manufacturers allowed their patents to expire on their classic engines, like the 110cc model. This opened the door for the knock off companies. They are now copying the engines, all in a perfectly legal manner. While this explains how Honda clone engines came to be, it doesn't explain what to consider when you make a purchase of one of these cheap motors or get knock off four wheeler parts. Many of the knock offs are copying the Honda ATC parts.
Many makers of Honda clone type motors claim that they have interchangeable parts with the original. This may or may not be the case, depending on the one you select. Many of the makers of the Honda clone engines use the same specifications, at least for the most part, with a much cheaper metal. The metal sort of resembles that used in a frying pan. This may or may not be suitable for your needs, but it helps to keep the price down. Interchangeable parts shouldn't be assumed, even if stated by the manufacturer. Make no assumptions in this area, do some researching on your own to make sure you get the best Honda clone to fit your individual needs. Off brand four wheeler parts may work.
This can be tricky if you purchase a Honda clone, but there are some options out there. The parts may or may not be replaceable with the original, as noted, but in some cases they are. If not, you will need to make sure you can find the parts for the engine you select. If you cannot replace the parts on your Honda clone, it's a far cry from being a bargain. Just like any other motor, there are some lemons. If you get one, you want to be able to do the repairs needed by getting the parts.
Finding replacement parts has become easier in the last couple of years. As the Honda clone industry has taken off, more and more people are taking advantage of parts sales. These days, you can buy most parts on eBay. Simply logon to the site, type in Chinese atv parts, and you're sure to get plenty of results. In addition, there are more local dealers selling the four wheelers now, making parts a little easier to come by locally. Most local dealers, it seems, don't keep the parts on hand, they have to order them. This isn't convenient, but it's still a viable option.
Obviously, a Honda clone is much less expensive than the original. As noted above, the metal is not nearly as sturdy, at least from what I can tell. In addition, the quality of work seems to be a little less. Still, for many the cost is the most attractive feature. You are sure to find complete atv engines under $100 if you just keep your eyes open. I'm not talking used, I'm talking about a brand spanking new Honda clone. Cost will be a very key thing to consider. Just like any other product you consider, the cost is key when making decisions you can afford. If used is your thing, you may be able to find some Honda clone engines on online auction sites, like eBay.
Generally speaking, there is no comparison in this department. You will typically not get the same level of reliability with a Honda clone. Of course, I'm painting with a really broad brush here, so that's not to say some manufacturers stack up well with the original. You will need to do a little research to make sure you get the best one for the money. A cheap Honda clone is only a good deal if you can count on it. If you aren't going to be able to fix one of these on your own, Honda clones may not be the best choice for you.
You will want to do some basic research before you buy any Honda clones on the market. Visit atv forums and search through the past discussions. You may find out some great information about the motors you are considering. Keep in mind that not everyone is in love with these Honda clones. You'll have plenty of bad comments about them. Just use some good judgment. Be sure to research by brand name for best results so you can make your purchase with confidence. Read about people's experience with Chinese four wheelers.
Who sells them:
Lots of places sell Honda clone motors and all terrain vehicles these days. You can try eBay, Craigslist, local shops, just about anywhere. Just keep your eyes open. The internet, like most other products, will give you the best selection and price competition on cheap Honda clones. There are many sites out there dedicated to these types of motors.
Who makes these things?:
Just like many products here in the states, there are tons of makers. Some manufacturers make Honda clones under several different names. Some are surprised to hear that the exact same engine can be sold under many different product names. This is nothing new. It has been done in this country, and all over the world for years.
Are they worth it?:
Is an off brand quad worth the money? Maybe they are, maybe they are not. It really depends on the individual here. For some, the idea of having to hunt for parts makes it less appealing. For others, the cost savings of a Honda clone or too much to refuse. It's really up to the individual. If you are considering price first and foremost, then they are most certainly worth it. If you are more concerned with part replacement, you may not wish to purchase a Honda clone. There's really not a perfect answer.