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Sachs FYM 400

Sachs Express 150 (August 2008)

Spannerman from Motorcycle Trader mag takes the Sachs 150 for spin

Mite is Right

Let’s start with the price: the Sachs 150 Express is $1995 new and is comfortably on road with all expenses paid (dealer charges and registration) for less than $2500. It’s inexpensive because it is built in China, not at Sachs’ base in Germany.

THE CHINESE CONNECTION

ON CHINESE BIKES

New motorcycles from China are coming onto the market here under many brand-names and wearing a multitude of badges. They’re being offered for sale by everyone from backyarders to respected dealerships. We’ve all heard the horror stories about faulty bikes, poor backup and non-existent spares.

We’ve also talked to buyers who are very happy with their new Chinese purchases. The problem for the intended buyer is the sorting and sifting that’s required to home in on a good bike and avoid buying a bag full of problems.

BUYER BEWARE

One thing is pretty clear. If you buy a Chinese minibike for $400 from the front of someone’s house, you’ll get exactly what you pay for. You can forget about parts and product information. Even the Australian importers who have gone down the ADR route will have trouble providing you with service information in English.

Certainly don’t expect an owner’s manual.

If you’re tempted by the Chinese food currently on offer, you need answers to these four questions:

Who are the Australian distributors for the particular bike and how established are they?

Is there a dealer network that allows you local access to competent service and a parts supply?

Are there indications that the bike will become a volume seller in its niche to ensure that good product knowledge develops?

Sachs FYM 400
Sachs FYM 400

Does the seller’s warranty at least match the Japanese competition?

If the answers you get about your intended purchase aren’t reassuring then it really is a case of ‘buyer beware’. If on the other hand the case for the purchase looks pretty strong, then you’re making an informed decision.

The arrival of these inexpensive Chinese bikes has already produced some indirect benefits for Australian buyers. Part of the impact of their availability has been to drag down the prices of the established importers’ bikes that they line up against.

Conservative buyers may decide to delay the purchase of a Chinese bike until a service reputation is established, but early-adopters can now take advantage of very low prices that apply at this stage.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY THIS ONE?

When the Sachs Express 150 arrived on the scene we recognized the brand. Sachs in Germany has made some nice bikes over the years and it’s currently a supplier of top quality bike suspension components. So the willingness of Sachs to hang its badge, and its reputation, on a bike from a Chinese factory is a good sign for buyers.

The Sachs measures up pretty well against our four ‘buyer beware’ questions too. If as we expect it sells in reasonable numbers, the growth in product knowledge and dealer network size should follow.

So, following our own guidelines, we have chosen Sachs as the first of our Chinese road bikes for a full test.

Published. Thursday, 28 August 2008

Sachs FYM 400



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