- The RX6 prototype was first shown in 2020 at the China International Motor Expo
- It is the largest-capacity model from Zongshen’s sub-brand Cyclone
- Will be available in two variants
Cyclone, a subsidiary of Chinese bike maker Zongshen, had unveiled the RX6 prototype ADV at the 2020 International Motorcycle Trade Exhibition in Chongqing, China. It was billed as the largest-capacity offering from the brand, and its 650cc parallel-twin engine had been sourced from Norton as part of a 20-year deal with the British brand (before it went bankrupt in 2020 and was then taken over by TVS).
Though the RX6’s engine is similar in size to the twin-pot mill in the Norton Atlas Ranger and Atlas Nomad scramblers, it has been detuned to make around 71PS and 62Nm.
A quick once-over
Starting off with the visual aspects, the headlight, flyscreen and tank extensions/engine shrouds resemble those on the Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin. In profile, though, it appears Cyclone has channelled the previous-gen Kawasaki Ninja 650, right down to the offset position of the monoshock and the stubby exhaust end can. It also gets LED lighting all around, including the curious-looking (I won’t say garish) ring-type LED indicators.
Overall, though, the production-ready RX6 looks quite similar to the prototype. However, it sports wire-spoke wheels on laced rims and not the alloys which we saw earlier. This means there could very well be both a road-biased and a more off-road-ready variant on offer. However, with a relatively high 820mm saddle height and a hefty 215kg kerb weight, we don’t expect it to be much of a scorcher when out on the trails.
Additionally, it looks like Zongshen hasn’t cut corners with the Cyclone RX6, evident with the inclusion of Nissin radial brakes (with Bosch ABS). And sat in the saddle, with your thighs hugging the 22-litre fuel tank, you’ll even spot a 7-inch TFT screen.
So can I get one?
The short answer? No. Firstly, there’s the point of market reception. Other than Benelli (and a handful of e-scoot manufacturers), the Indian market hasn’t taken too well to Chinese products. Next, TVS is now handling Norton’s affairs, and so, Zongshen would be loath to enter the fray. And lastly, today’s Indian ADV buyer is spoilt for choice with the Kawasaki Versys (and Ninja) 650 and Suzuki V-Strom 650XT.
Finally, with the CFMoto 650MT set for launch soon and rumours running rife about a higher-capacity Royal Enfield Himalayan, any additional player on the field should be ready for a drubbing. And we don’t expect Zongshen would be up for it!
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