Writing about bikes for 20 years. Published in dozens of titles on five continents. Mildly obsessed with discovering how things work.
Zontes isn’t a brand that’s cut through to UK buyers yet but it’s making some impressive-looking machines at a relatively low price with its ZT310 motorcycle line-up. Now the firm is preparing to enter the scooter market with a model that looks more like a motor show concept than a showroom offering.
The ZT300T-M has been teased on social media with close-up shots of its distinctive front-end styling, and now the production version has emerged in full thanks to Chinese type-approval filings.
That nose is clearly the main talking point. Stepping away from the usual, safe route of giving scooters inoffensive, bland looks, Zontes has given the ZT300T-M a face that’s like a cross between a Storm Trooper and Predator, or perhaps an automotive interpretation of Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
A gaping central maw is flanked by thrusting side panels, creating an additional pair of intakes with frowning LED headlights set above them. A third LED light, probably the main-beam unit, sits below a tall, adjustable screen that shows the Zontes is serious about practicality despite its radical appearance.
In terms of specs, the ZT300T-M uses a 33hp, 309cc single that’s build by Zontes’ parent company, Guangdong Tayo. For comparison, Yamaha’s XMAX 300 peaks at 28hp and Honda’s Forza 300 tops out at 25hp.
Despite its similarity in size and performance, it’s not the same engine that powers the 312cc, 35hp ZT310 range of single-cylinder, DOHC motorcycles. Zontes is also planning a 125cc machine, the red and grey bike in the teaser pictures, with the same styling.
Other kit includes Bosch 9.1MB ABS, and the bike weighs in at 168kg – 11kg lighter than Yamaha’s XMAX 300 and 14kg less than Honda’s Forza 300.
Given that Zontes ZT310 bikes – the naked ‘R’, sports-touring ‘X’ and adventure style ‘T’ – all cost less than £4000, we’d expect the ZT300T-M to be significantly cheaper than the average 300cc scooter, which usually list at more than £5000.
There’s no word yet on when the ZT300T-M will get its official unveiling or reach showrooms, but it will probably be part of the company’s 2021 model range.