This Chinese Adventure Bike Copies The BMW GS 1250’s Styling, And Its Name Too

  • Feb 10, 2023
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And yet, the closer you look, the more familiar bits there are to spot!

The GS moniker, created by BMW, has been synonymous with off-road bikes, with the BMW R 1250 GS currently the flagship ADV offering in the bikemaker’s lineup. However, a lesser known Chinese bikemaker Vinto Motors has, you guessed it, copied both the bike as well as the moniker!

Called the Vinto GS 525, it resembles the BMW R 1250 GS when viewed in profile, with a similar-looking  bulky fuel tank (a 21-litre unit, kudos!), and gold-rimmed tubeless 19-/17-inch wire-spoke wheels. It also has a single-sided swingarm, a testament of sorts to Vinto’s commitment. The suspension setup – a USD fork and preload adjustable monoshock – also seems built for the job. 

However, the ‘GS’ decal on the tank looks uncomfortably similar to that on the German bike, a downer in our eyes. And as you move to the front, all GS assumptions melt away, as the headlight resembles the one on the Honda CB500X, albeit flanked by two slanting LED DRLs. 

The Honda connection continues with the engine. Instead of the BMW ‘boxer’ twin, the Vinto sports a parallel twin, based of course on the one from the Honda CB500X. This engine, made by Loncin for the Chinese market, displaces 494cc and makes a claimed 53.8PS. But at 205 kilos (kerb), the Vinto GS may not have as much of a performance advantage over the CB as one might envisage.

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Moving now to the features suite, there’s a decent spread, with a smartphone-compatible 7-inch TFT console offering navigation, as well as USB charging.  Moreover, while the hard case panniers and auxiliary lights are optional accessories , the metal crash protection can be had straight from the factory. Interestingly, the Zontes 350T offers the same.

Ultimately, though, the chances of the Vinto GS525 coming to India are remote, as not only is Vinto an absolutely unknown brand, but also that its price (35,980 yuan, or about Rs 4.37 lakh, excluding taxes) is quite high. Our preferences, then, would rest firmly with the KTM 390 Adventure, which is not only a proven performer, but has also been recently spotted with wire spoke wheels, a boon for serious off-roaders.

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