My experience with Chinese atv's has been very good to say the least. You won't find a whole lot of complaining from me, but some others may have a gripe or two. As you may already know there are many Honda clone companies out there. Some have been around for a number of years, and others are fairly new. Most of them popped up several years ago when Honda failed to renew their patents, opening the door for the knock off atv market. They have copied many of the old engines, including the popular 110. Remember those old 110 three wheelers? I do, and I still see few of them on the trails.
What I bought:
I purchased two Kazuma Falcon 110 atv's, and a Redcat 150. Since making the Chinese atv purchase, I've found out that Kazuma and Redcat are actually the same company. It's been just about four years since I made the purchase. None of these were the mini type quads, the 110's were called a teenager model, and had a foot shift. It has three speeds forward, and reverse. The 150 is an automatic with reverse. There are other Kazuma four wheelers to select from.
Who I bought them for:
These Chinese atv's were purchased for my two sons, and small framed wife. As you can guess, the 150 was for my wife. The sizing for my wife's quad was fine. The 110's were a little bit big for my boys, especially my youngest, who was 6 1/2 at the time. We made the most of the situation, adding pieces of wood to the foot rests so my youngest could touch it.
Where I bought them:
I checked out all the online sellers, and there were tons of them to choose from. The online sellers had a little better pricing than a local dealer I found, but there were some issues. First of all, when you bought the Chinese atv online, you had to assemble some of it. I remember reading that it was an easy assembly, but it just didn't sound like a good idea. I also read about some horror stories with shipping damage. I decided I would buy it locally, and spend a little more money. I'm glad I did. The local seller used locktite on the nuts, which were not self locking. Without this, they would have almost inevitably wiggled their way loose.
I was pleased with the look of the Chinese atv's. They appeared to be fairly well made. They had a cool look, kind of like a Raptor. They were racing models, and the kids thought they were the best things ever. They rode them nonstop (and still do) for the summer.
Upon closer inspection:
The wheelbase on the 110's is pretty narrow. I would say that they are too narrow to be considered stable, although we've only had one incident where one tipped. It was on a steep hill, when my oldest started going sideways. I believe my Yamaha would not have tipped, but I know I would have had to lean into the hill quite a bit. My inexperienced son was not leaning far enough, either. I've thought about the extenders, but just have never purchased them.
The 150 had a much wider stance. In fact, I'd say it was pretty much in line with a real Raptor. I was and am very happy with that. Now that my oldest is 12, he will be moving up to the 150. My wife will have to "settle" for a new four wheeler.
On both models, it became apparent that the plastics for the fenders and body are not any too thick. Still, despite a ton of use, and four years with them, only one has a fender crack. That crack, was actually caused when the four wheeler was parked and turned off. A Hail Mary type of toss with a football caught it just right. A little Gorilla Glue on the back of the fender, and it was all better.
Power and speed:
The 110 models both are not very powerful, but they are capable of climbing a fairly steep hill in first gear. I'm an avid deer hunter, and I think they'd drag a dear across the woods, as long as there was no snow. The power is lacking a little, but they were only about a thousand bucks new, so what do you expect? On flat trails, with the kids on them, they go about 25 miles per hour. This is much less than the 45 miles per hour advertised. I wasn't expecting that type of speed, so it doesn't bother me at all.
The 150 has great power for the engine size, and decent take off speed. I'm actually really impressed with what it can do. I thought the 150 would be a little small, but it has worked out great. On flat trails it will go just a hair over 30 miles per hour. This is well short of the 50 miles per hour advertised.
I'm happy to report no real problems with any of the machines. One had an electrical issue shortly after if bought it, which I hear is common. The local dealer fixed it in an hour, and didn't charge me a dime. I've read and known people with plenty of horror stories to tell, so I know I got lucky. I'm mechanically declined, so repairs are out of the question for me to perform on my own.
Are they worth it?
Are off brand four wheelers worth it? Yes, they are, but you have to know what you are getting. These machines are not expensive, some costing under 600 dollars new. Can you expect a cheap atv under 600 dollars to perform like the major brand, at just over 2000 dollars? Of course, mine were all just around 1000 dollars, but that's still half the price. I would tell people that these four wheelers are worth the money you pay for them. They are a great way to teach your kids four wheeling. They are probably not sufficient for adults, although I've never tried one of the adult Chinese atv's. I hear they are making them as big as 800cc these days.
Moving forward, I will buy major brands, since my kids are getting older. I'm hoping to get another 2 or three years out of them. My youngest son, now 5, will be using his brother's as a hand down. I don't regret my purchase at all. I would highly recommend them for beginners, those that cannot afford a major brand, and those that just want something to screw around on.