Zontes promises new triple

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Zontes has made something of a name for itself for a decent range of 310cc single-cylinder machines over the last couple of years but the firm is set to make a huge leap forward in the coming months with the launch of a range of new three-cylinder models.

The firm has released a video on Chinese social media showing the new engine, along with a montage of components including camshafts, crankshafts and cylinders. The message accompanying the clip explains that Zontes has been criticised for not having a twin-cylinder in its range, so it’s hitting back with a triple to leapfrog its rivals.


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The engine is said to be in the region of 800cc, although the social media post says that multiple capacities will be made. Last year, sketches of a proposed Zontes triple circulated the web, with various claims of an 800cc or 1000cc capacity, but the new video evidence adds a huge amount of credibility to the idea that such a bike is on the way.

The new engine is said to have a particularly high compression ratio of 13.5:1, which indicates it’s designed with performance in mind. For the sake of comparison, MV Agusta’s 147hp 800 triple has a 13.3:1 compression ratio, while the 121bhp Triumph Street Triple RS has a 12.54:1 ratio and Yamaha’s latest, 117hp MT-09 has 11.5:1 compression. If, as expected, the Zontes engine has a similar capacity to the MV Agusta motor, it could be approaching the Italian design’s performance levels.


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The existence of the engine means it’s worth looking again at the sketch that was circulating last year.

The design shown then was for a naked bike, and actually used the engine from a Yamaha MT-09 at its heart. Like many of Zontes’ current 310cc models, it featured a single-sided swingarm. If Zontes is going ahead with the three-cylinder engine, as it appears to be, then we can be pretty sure the firm will follow the same pattern as it has with its smaller models – making multiple different bikes and styles from the same building blocks. The existing Zontes 310 models come in the form of the 310 X sports tourer (and X1 version with single-sided swingarm), the 310 T adventure bike (T1 with single sider and alloy wheels and T2 with dual-sided arm and wire wheels), the 310 R naked bike and the 310 V, which is like a Ducati Diavel that’s shrunk in the wash. Only a small selection of the bikes are currently offered in the UK – the 310 T and three of the firm’s 125cc models – but a big-capacity triple could transform the firm’s fortunes on the international stage.


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