The PFMoto Starship 6 is a touring motorcycle released by the Chinese manufacturer PFMoto in 2022. The company is affiliated with Lifan and the Geely Group, which includes Qianjiang, Benelli, and Keeway. Initially, there was scepticism about PFMoto’s ability to bring their concept motorcycle to reality, but they have unveiled the Starship 6.
Here are the key features of the PFMoto Starship 6:
- Styling: Inspired by the Honda Gold Wing, with a similar design that includes side panniers, a top case, and a large windscreen.
- Engine: The Starship 6 is powered by a 573cc V-twin engine that produces 60 horsepower. This makes it slower than the Gold Wing but also lighter and more affordable.
- Features: Arrives with features typically found on high-end touring motorcycles, including an electronically adjustable windscreen, a full-colour TFT instrument cluster, Bluetooth connectivity, and loudspeakers.
- Pricing: The Starship 6 is priced at just $ 4,000 in China, making it a very affordable option for touring motorcycles.
Takes inspiration from Gold Wing
The Starship 6 is heavily influenced by the Honda Gold Wing, featuring similar styling cues and design elements. It has a shrunken version of the Gold Wing’s bodywork, including side panniers and a large top case behind the passenger backrest.
The motorcycle also includes a large windscreen for wind protection. In terms of ergonomics, it offers a relaxed riding position with a low saddle, upright handlebars, and forward controls, resembling a cruiser-style setup.
However, despite its resemblance to the Gold Wing, the Starship 6 performs short. It has a lacklustre 573cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected V-Twin engine, generating only 60 horsepower. This is less than half the power output of the Honda Gold Wing, and the engine size is considerably smaller. Although it is lighter than the Gold Wing at 280 kilograms, it is still heavy for a motorcycle of this displacement, indicating potentially sluggish performance.
PFMoto’s Starship 6
On the technological front, PFMoto has incorporated impressive features into the Starship 6. It includes an electronically adjustable windscreen and a full-colour TFT instrument cluster. The motorcycle also offers Bluetooth connectivity and loudspeakers for music playback, similar to mainstream tourers.
While the Starship 6 is competitively priced at around $4,000 in the Chinese market, it is unlikely to reach outside China. Its weight and underpowered engine make it less competitive in the U.S. and European markets. However, within China, it may find some success among riders looking for an affordable touring option with modern features.
Pros of the PFMoto Starship 6:
- Affordable Price: The Starship 6 is priced at around $4,000 in the Chinese market, significantly cheaper than high-end touring motorcycles like the Honda Gold Wing. This makes it an attractive option for budget-conscious riders.
- Styling and Design: The Starship 6 takes design inspiration from the popular Honda Gold Wing, offering a visually appealing touring motorcycle with sleek bodywork, integrated side panniers, and a large windscreen. It resembles a scaled-down version of the Gold Wing, which may appeal to riders who appreciate its aesthetics.
- Impressive Features: Despite its affordability, the Starship 6 has some noteworthy features. These include an electronically adjustable windscreen, a full-colour TFT instrument cluster, and Bluetooth connectivity with loudspeakers. These modern features enhance the riding experience and add convenience.
Cons of the PFMoto Starship 6:
- Underpowered Engine: One of the significant drawbacks of the Starship 6 is its lacklustre engine performance. With a 573cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected V-Twin engine producing only 60 horsepower, it falls far behind the power output of higher-end touring motorcycles like the Honda Gold Wing. This can result in sluggish acceleration and limited performance, particularly when carrying a passenger or riding on highways.
- Limited Market Availability: Starship 6 is primarily targeted at the Chinese market, so it may not be readily available or supported in other regions. This can restrict access to parts, servicing, and warranty support for riders outside of China.
- Weight: While the Starship 6 is lighter than the Honda Gold Wing, it is still considered heavy for a motorcycle with a 573cc engine. The weight of 280 kilograms can impact maneuverability and agility, particularly in tight corners or low speeds. It may not offer the nimble handling and responsiveness riders typically expect from lighter touring motorcycles.
- Competitive Disadvantage: The Starship 6 faces a significant challenge in competing with established touring motorcycles in the U.S. and European markets. Its underpowered engine, weight, and potentially lower build quality compared to established brands can make it less appealing to riders prioritising performance and reliability.
The PFMoto Starship 6 is a touring motorcycle that brings an affordable option to the market with its attractive design and modern features. It draws inspiration from the Honda Gold Wing, offering a visually appealing motorcycle with integrated side panniers, a large windscreen, and a relaxed riding position.
The Starship 6 falls short in engine performance, featuring a relatively underpowered engine compared to higher-end touring motorcycles. Although lighter than the Gold Wing, its weight is still considered heavy for its engine size, potentially impacting maneuverability and agility. Additionally, its limited market availability outside of China and the potential challenges associated with parts, servicing, and warranty support could be a drawback for riders in other regions.
Ultimately, the Starship 6 may appeal to budget-conscious riders in China who prioritize affordability and modern features over high-performance capabilities. However, riders seeking more power, better handling, and broader market support may find better options among established touring motorcycle brands.