One of the most promising new models I’ve seen this year is the Taiwan Golden Bee X-Motion 250cc. This model hasn’t made it to the U.S. yet, but after seeing it on display at the Taiwan Motorcycle Show, I just had to get my hands on one and take it for a spin.
I approached the management of TGB to see if they would allow the U.S. press to get a preview of it, and they graciously invited us to visit them at their new assembly line in Kaohsiung. The facility is also home to the new 525cc ATVs, which the company says are coming to the U.S. market within the next few months.
TGB has been in the industry since 1978 and is known worldwide as the primary CVT supplier to all the major OEMs, including Piaggio, Bombardier, Peugeot, Minarelli and many more.
In the last two years, the company has branched out by expanding from youth ATVs to newer 300 and 400cc engines. Now the new 525cc promises to expand the line even further.
TGB doesn’t buy their engines or parts from other suppliers; they make everything in house — and, as this writer confirmed, the OEM is an OEM supplier. So it might take them more time to get to market, but they make everything on the unit from start to finish. Having that capability to make everything in-house really separates TGB from other OEMs.
Upon arriving at the factory, we got a tour from president George Lin. We witnessed engines being made from scratch. A long corridor of CNC and polishing machines showcased some of the many parts and accessories TGB sells to assemblers in Taiwan.
After the tour it was time for a test ride. At first glance, the X-Motion seems like it’s about the same size as the Kymco 250 Bet & Win, but you feel a little taller while sitting on it. It offers more under-helmet storage space than the Daelim 250 allowing you to place two full-size helmets underneath. Once we got it on the road, I could feel the power of its horizontal 249cc liquid-cooled engine. And on the busy roads of Taiwan, we put it to the real test to see how it kept up with traffic and other scooterists.
The brakes and suspension were second-to-none as we rode up a mountainside to put the X-Motion through its paces. Plenty of power and response will make this an easy sell to the U.S. consumer looking to hit the highways. Mr. Lin informed us that once past the testing phase, the unit will gain some cosmetic accessories and undergo a few minor changes before its U.S. launch.
The company tests new models and gathers market-based feedback before launching in a new market.
It’s this type of feedback that has allowed TGB to be named the number one and two ATVs in France in 2007 and 2008. The sporty look and design of the ATVs have been embraced by French riders, and the company is showing strong sales of units in Germany, as well.
The suggested MSRP was close to half the price of a Honda model, which in my opinion will make it a hit. For more information on these new models visit www.tgb.com.tw.