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Motrac’s 500cc sportsbike! | NEWS

Back in 2016 Chinese firm Motrac revealed its first big bike in the form of the MG500, a good-looking adventure-style machine. Around the same time it showed a concept version of a sporty naked built around an identical 500cc parallel-twin engine and now that concept – the MT-X500 – has become reality.

Like the MG500, both the MT-X500 (above)and its sibling are based around Loncin’s 471cc parallel twin engine. A close copy of Honda’s CB500 motor, it makes an identical 35kW peak power. However, while you’ll only find the CB500 engine in fairly low-spec Hondas, the Motrac bikes add kit like radial brakes and an upside-down fork into the mix.

The engine is bolted to a part-aluminium, part-steel frame with a trellis front section and cast swingarm pivot area. The swingarm itself is also aluminium, with a braced design that’s overkill for the performance level of the bike, but certainly gives it the right look.

The naked MT-X500 (below) has slightly challenging styling; you’ll either love or hate those strakes linking the tank to the side panels. But at least it’s not a blatant copy of an existing European or Japanese design. The fully-faired sports version is more conventional, sharing the same tail bodywork as its sibling, but new from the tank forwards.

At the moment, as is often the case with Chinese bikes, there’s an element of uncertainty over the production schedules and plans for the new machines. Motrac does have an international presence, selling some of its smaller 125cc single-cylinder machines outside Japan, and these bigger bikes are more suited to the international market. Watch this space.

By Ben Purvis