New Jonway V-5 The Cruiser That Thinks It's a Harley But Isn't-3.jpg
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So, you’ve never heard of Jonway? No worries, you’re not alone. But if you’ve been paying attention to the motorcycle scene, especially the quirky and sometimes shameless world of copycat designs, you’ve probably seen a Jonway motorcycle without even realizing it. These bikes have a knack for blending in and standing out at the same time. Confused? Let’s dive into the curious case of Jonway’s latest offerings, the V-5 series – the YY400-9 and YY250-9.

The Jonway V-5: What’s in a Name?

First things first, the V-5 series. You might think that Jonway has crammed a five-cylinder engine into their latest cruisers, but hold your horses (or in this case, your V-twins). The V-5 name is a bit of a misnomer. These bikes are powered by humble V-twin engines, specifically a 400cc and a 250cc version. The “9” in the model names YY400-9 and YY250-9? Who knows? Maybe it’s the ninth iteration of their copycat series, or maybe it’s just Jonway being mysterious. Let’s just roll with it.

Powering Up the V-5

When it comes to power, Jonway doesn’t aim to blow your socks off, but they do promise a decent ride. The YY400-9 cranks out about 38.2 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 20.6 pound-feet of torque at 7,000 rpm. Not too shabby for a small cruiser. On the flip side, the YY250-9 delivers 24.8 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and matches the torque of its bigger sibling at 6,500 rpm. These aren’t numbers that will make your eyes pop, but they’re respectable for bikes in this category.

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Modern Tech in a Retro Package

Jonway’s V-5 series mixes retro styling with modern conveniences, which is quite the trend in 2024. You get full LED lighting, disc brakes on both ends with ABS, and fuel injection. These bikes roll on 16-inch wheels and come with an 18-liter (about 4.7 gallons) fuel tank. They’re also equipped with a six-speed gearbox and a Gates belt final drive. Plus, they’re water-cooled, which is a nice touch for keeping things running smoothly.

Speed and Weight: The Stats

What about speed? The V-5 series boasts a top speed of 140 kilometers per hour, or about 86 mph. Curb weight for these cruisers is 209 kilograms, just under 461 pounds. They’re not exactly lightweight, but they’re manageable for a cruiser of this style.

Styling: A Melting Pot of Inspiration

Let’s talk about the styling. If you’ve ever played the game of spotting the differences between a Harley and an Indian, you’ll feel right at home with the Jonway V-5. The design cues are lifted straight from the playbook of classic American cruisers. The front fairing, for instance, gives off strong Indian Chieftain vibes – if you squint and maybe after a minor head injury. The hard side bags, top box with a backrest, and large front fairing scream “grand American touring.”

A Mix of Influences

Interestingly, the V-5 series doesn’t just stick to one brand’s design philosophy. Those round black and brushed aluminum bar-end mirrors? Straight out of the Triumph catalog. It’s like Jonway went shopping in a supermarket of motorcycle parts and picked whatever caught their eye. Gotta keep things interesting, right?

Foot Pegs Instead of Floorboards

Another notable design choice is the use of standard foot pegs for both rider and passenger, instead of the floorboards you’d typically find on cruisers. It’s a small detail, but one that might affect comfort on longer rides.

The American Market: Not Exactly Welcome

Here’s where things get a bit sticky. Jonway doesn’t have the best track record in the U.S. market. Back in 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency slapped Jonway’s U.S. distributor and manufacturers in China with a judgment for violating the Clean Air Act. Over 11,000 vehicles, including motorcycles and ATVs, were imported and sold in the U.S. before the crackdown. Nowadays, Jonway motorcycles aren’t sold in the U.S., but you can still find some of their 50cc scooters under the Chicago Scooter Company brand. Just don’t expect them to look anything like the V-twin cruisers we’re talking about.

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Jonway V-5 YY400-9 and YY250-9: A Closer Look

Under the Hood (or Fairing)

Both the YY400-9 and YY250-9 are powered by teeny V-twin engines. The YY400-9’s 400cc engine puts out 38.2 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 20.6 pound-feet of torque at 7,000 rpm. Meanwhile, the YY250-9’s 250cc engine makes 24.8 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and the same torque at 6,500 rpm. They’re not exactly speed demons, but they offer enough grunt for a leisurely cruise.

Modern Meets Retro

Despite their throwback styling, these bikes come with all the modern features you’d expect in 2024. Full LED lighting ensures you’re seen day or night, and the disc brakes with ABS keep things safe. The six-speed gearbox and fuel injection offer smooth and efficient power delivery, while the Gates belt drive keeps maintenance to a minimum.

Comfort and Convenience

The 18-liter fuel tank (about 4.7 gallons) gives you decent range for long rides, and the 16-inch wheels provide stability and comfort. Both bikes are water-cooled, which helps keep engine temperatures in check, especially during those hot summer rides.

Speed and Weight

With a top speed of 140 kilometers per hour (about 86 mph), the V-5 series isn’t breaking any land speed records, but it’s more than adequate for highway cruising. The curb weight of 209 kilograms (just under 461 pounds) makes these bikes manageable for most riders.

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Styling: A Blend of Icons

Jonway’s V-5 series draws heavy inspiration from American cruisers like Harley-Davidson and Indian. The front fairing, for instance, resembles an Indian Chieftain – if you squint and maybe had a minor head injury. The hard side bags, top box with a backrest, and large front fairing are all classic American touring features.

Mixing and Matching

Interestingly, the V-5 series doesn’t just stick to one brand’s design cues. The round black and brushed aluminum bar-end mirrors, for example, look like they were borrowed from a Triumph. It’s as if Jonway took a trip to a motorcycle parts store and picked whatever caught their fancy. This mix-and-match approach keeps things interesting and gives the V-5 a unique, if somewhat eclectic, look.

Foot Pegs Instead of Floorboards

One notable design choice is the use of standard foot pegs for both the rider and passenger, instead of the floorboards you’d typically find on cruisers. This might affect comfort on longer rides, but it also gives the V-5 a slightly sportier feel.

The American Market: Challenges and Opportunities

Jonway’s history in the U.S. market is a bit checkered. Back in 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that Jonway’s U.S. distributor and manufacturers in China had violated the Clean Air Act. Over 11,000 vehicles, including motorcycles and ATVs, were imported and sold in the U.S. before the crackdown.

Current Status

Nowadays, Jonway motorcycles aren’t sold in the U.S., but some of their 50cc scooters can be found under the Chicago Scooter Company brand. These scooters don’t bear any resemblance to the V-twin cruisers we’re discussing, but they do offer a glimpse into Jonway’s broader product lineup.

The Verdict: Should You Care About Jonway V-5?

So, should you care about the Jonway V-5 series? If you’re a fan of quirky, offbeat motorcycles that blend various design elements into a single package, then absolutely. The V-5 series offers a unique take on the classic American cruiser, with a mix of modern features and retro styling.

Final Thoughts

Jonway may not be a household name, but their V-5 series is certainly worth a look for anyone interested in the world of copycat designs. With their blend of Harley and Indian styling cues, modern technology, and a dash of eccentricity, the YY400-9 and YY250-9 are sure to turn heads – even if people can’t quite figure out what they’re looking at.

So, the next time you see a cruiser that looks vaguely familiar but not quite right, take a closer look. It just might be a Jonway. And who knows? You might just find yourself intrigued by the quirky charm of these unconventional motorcycles.

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