under the Nagakawa brand in India. To save on import duty, the vehicles
will not be true CBUs (Completely Built-up Units) - horns, headlights,
mirrors etc will be fitted after import. The bikes are a 100cc and
a 125cc, both four-strokers. Two scooters, each with 100cc four-stroke
units mated to variomatic transmissions (similar to the Activa/Kinetic),
will be available.
huh? We were too - excited as hell! Finally, someone was going to
stop talking and get down to riding the Chinese bikes. So, are they
imported NK100 (left) and NK125 will go on sale by February.
Disc brakes, alloy wheels and electric start are standard.
Hong Kong-based Dayang Naga-kawa Motors has set up an Indian arm
to import and sell bikes
NK100-17 AND NK125-13
handlebars give semi-cruiser-type riding position. Acceleration
is average from unrefined 125cc engine.
the looks. Frankly, these two are no beauty contestants. The NK100,
with its over-recessed fuel tank, gaudy decals, and the 80s
headlight and visor, looks like a Bajaj 4S or a Yamaha Crux-R with
cheap alloy wheels. While the NK125 still has some semblance of
a sporty stance, it all ends with the unexciting fuel tank and the
equally boring visor. The contoured seat of the DY125 looks nice,
and even reminds one of the sexy CBZ for a fleeting moment. The
crystal-look tail-light on the 125 is eye-catching as is the bamboo-stem
NK100 is powered by a 97.3cc single-cylinder, four-stroke, air-cooled
unit, breathing through the conventional set-up of an SOHC and two
valves. The NK125 is essentially the same set-up, albeit a larger
displacement of 124.6cc. Ignition is by the conventional CDI, and
for meeting emission norms, a rudimentary EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculator)
has been incorporated. While the NK100 develops 8bhp at 8000rpm,
the NK125 claims 10.7bhp at 8500 revs-a-minute. The all-down cyclical
gearboxes (four-speed for the NK100 and five-speed for the NK125)
are an India-first. Quality of shift, however, is far from satisfactory.
On the NK100 (without a heel-shifter) up or down was a pain at all
times. While upshifting on the NK125 was reasonably precise, one
encountered a unique problem - as the heel shifter was lower than
the footpeg, it was practically useless trying to downshift with
the heel shifter. Solution offered to us - bend the footpeg down
by beating it with a hammer! Incredible.
On the performance front, it was a mixed bag. First of all, the electric
starter failed to fire the engines. Then, on using the kick-start,
though the engines came alive, the bikes started spewing thick black
smoke that would have put a diesel engine to shame! We immediately
shut them off, and did a quick check.
single noisy, vibrates excessively over 7500rpm.
front disc ineffective.
nacelle marginally better
NK100 seat too spongy.
All seemed fine - EGR was in place, choke was off and there was sufficient
engine oil. The problem was later traced to carbon-choked spark- plugs
in both bikes. Talk of camaraderie!
Acceleration was peppy in both bikes, thanks to the short gearing,
and responsive yet unrefined engines. The 0-60kph mark on the NK125
came up around a respectable 7.0 seconds, while that on the NK100,
around 9.5 seconds. But all the fun dies out early, since the engines
whine in a laborious effort to rev above the 7500rpm mark (though
at a standstill, the NK125 did rev to an indicated 11000 rpm!). Worse,
the nerve-jarring vibrations force you to drop the revs. While the
60kph mark on either bike is not much of a bother, the 60-80kph haul
on the NK100 and 60-90kph on the NK125cc takes eons, not to talk of
the fear of feet sliding off the pegs due to nerve-jarring vibrations!
The brakes were equally disappointing. 240mm discs up front and 110mm
drums in the rear are supposed to provide good braking, right? Wrong.
The brakes on these two specimens would probably qualify as the most
under-performing ever, if not the worst. The disc on the NK100, in
fact, made a noise similar to the shriek of a cat, and was utterly
useless in rubbing off speed. The company offered ridiculous explanations
like ...the final adjustments for India are to be made.
Indicative fuel efficiency tests revealed that the NK100 returned
41kpl, while the NK125 was good for 36kpl. To compensate for the hard
riding involved in speed testing, repeated accelerations for my photographer
and a higher idling rpm forcibly set by the company (wonder why?),
there would not be more than a 15 percent improvement. That means
a compensated figure of 47kpl for the NK100 and 41kpl for the NK125
(as compared to the company claim of 75kpl and 65kpl respectively).
The conventional suspension set-up of a telescopic front fork upfront
and the rear swingarm with coil over shocks on either bike does its
job well of keeping out most bumps, bar the deepest crater. The contoured
hard seat on the NK125 is quite comfortable, with the wide, raised
handlebars providing a nice semi-cruiser-type riding position. The
spongy seat of the NK100, however, is a letdown, and the feet-forward
riding position becomes a pain after a few minutes. Whats more,
the problem is compounded further by the terrible gearshift.
On the handling front, the single downtube frame ensures predictable
handling. Cornering is precise, and there is no lethargy nor overeagerness
from the chassis. Getting into a corner at a brisk pace, braking late,
and then getting onto the throttle at full revs on the exit - none
of this elicited any abrupt behaviour from the bike. The Chinese rubber,
manufactured by Huaya, was thick enough, though hopefully, these will
be replaced by Indian tyres better suited to withstand Indian road
and heat conditions. If only the brakes were better . . .
The fit and finish on the bikes is tolerable, to say the least. While
the equipment levels on paper are simply outstanding value-for-money,
reliability and ease of operation are big question marks. For an expected
price of around Rs 33,000 for the NK100 and Rs 42,000 for the NK125,
you get a disc brake (that barely works), electric start, remote start
(promised), a digital gear indicator, flash-to-pass (only on the NK125),
alloy wheels and a tachometer.
The turn-indicator and headlight switches are of poor quality plastic,
and feel as if they would break with repeated use. A nice touch is
that all electricals like the headlight, tail-light, horn and turn
indicators are directly connected to the battery. Particularly useful
on a dark road, since this eliminates a flickering headlight whose
intensity varies with the engine rpm. Both bikes also have a helmet
lock as standard. Regarding finish, the plastics, chrome and decals
are upto the mark, and can be compared to Indian standards. The paint
job, however, needs improvement.