Earlier this year, Carmen decided she wanted to a change from her 1995 BMW R1100r motorcycle that she’s had for a while. She’s had several bikes over the years and her favorite was a 1989 Honda NX250 dual sport bike. She and I both loved that bike but she eventually wanted to ride to places that required more highways and the little NX was just not meant for highway speeds.

Now after having three street bikes she’s come full circle. We’ve moved south of Nashville where we have lots of secondary roads rolling through some great scenery which is perfect for cruising around at a leisurely  pace and just “taking it in”.

Tired of pushing the big BMW around the garage and not needing a bike for highway use, we sold the R1100r and went hunting for a small dual-sport bike. What we found is bike that both fit her needs and is also an opportunity to satisfy my own curiosity about Chinese motorcycles

If you’re trying to figure out what the bike is the photo here, it is a TT250 from CSC Motorcycles. CSC doesn’t actually manufacture the bike themselves but instead they use a Chinese motorcycle as the base for their bikes. In the case of the TT250, it is a Zongshen  motorcycle according to the title (manufacturer “Zong”).

CSC then makes some modifications as well as giving the bike a full “going over” until it meets their stringent specs. This includes things like making sure all the fasteners are properly torqued and other quality control steps are taken. The most important “part” is the customer service offered by CSC.

This last point is what sold Carmen and I on getting this bike. We’d been looking for small Japanese dual-sports for weeks and were not finding much near us that was in budget. We spotted this weeks old TT250 on Craigslist just eight miles down the road from us with only 100 miles on it.

Image from CSC website

16 bhp makes for adequate, but not quick, forward progress

For less than $2000.00 we were able to get this nearly new TT250 and I would be able to ride it home in minutes. That evening and next morning I worked on making some adjustments such as properly setting the chain and rear wheel alignment (it was a “bit” off). I also worked on lowering the stock 34 inch (86cm) seat height so that Carmen could flat foot the bike with her 30″ inseam.

Raising the forks and taking preload out of the rear shock alone nearly got me there. Cutting down the thick foam on the seat and making it more narrow got it just right and still left enough seat padding for comfort. Carmen was able to take her first test ride just an hour after I finished the seat modifications on Sunday morning.

After her ride she felt like we had definitely found the right bike for her. It is the right combination of weight, power, and cost that she wanted and it is actually a pretty good looking machine to boot. And in case you were wondering, yes, a full review is in the works and will likely appear on webBikeWorld.com in the coming weeks so “stay tuned”.