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Chinese Excelle 800X and 525X ADVs chart course for Europe

By Ollie Barstow

Content and Features Writer



China’s Colove reveals two new Excelle adventure motorcycles


Excelle - the latest in a string of Chinese motorcycle manufacturers looking to expand globally - has revealed two adventure motorcycles expected to lead its charge across Europe; the Excelle 800X and Excelle 525X.

This week’s celebrations may have ushered in the Chinese New Year of the Tiger, but in biking terms 2022 looks increasingly like becoming the Year of the Chinese Motorcycle.

While Chinese-flagged motorcycles have developed something of an unfavourable reputation over the years, its footprint has steadily and stealthily expanded across the UK motorcycle market with firms such as Lexmoto proving a success in the learner legal market, Vmoto Super Soco holding a large portion of the electric PTW sector and a number of British brands - such as Sinnis - relying on Chinese manufacturing to keeps costs down.

However, Chinese firms have only recently begun making a concerted push into larger capacity segments, led by CFMoto, which won positive reviews for its neo-retro roadster, the CL-X700 Heritage, the first of three models set to be launched on a new middleweight platform.

This has been followed up by Voge - the premium arm of Loncin - which offers the DS adventure tourer, while Zongshen is primed to roll out new models under the Cyclone brand name in the coming months. Meanwhile, Benda made headlines recently with talk of a turbocharged small sportsbike and Ducati Diavel-inspired LF-01 cruiser.


2022 Colove Excelle 800X 525X details price spec_02


Now a new name in Excelle has emerged in recent weeks, though its background is more recognisable as evolving from Colove. While Colove itself is a relatively fresh brand for many, it has generated a fair few headlines over the past 12 months with proclamations of eyeing up Europe.

Currently it offers a handful of fairly generic licensed models in its domestic market but recently ramped things up a notch by revealing the Excelle 525X adventure motorcycle.

While it doesn’t exactly break away from the tradition of Chinese brands using European models for inspiration in terms of design - the 525X bearing a suspiciously similar look to the BMW F850 GS - it’s at least a handsome recreation with a muscular profile and flush body panels. It even goes to the effort of rather faithfully recreating the familiar colourways of the propeller-badged firm.



Under the skin is a Loncin-borrowed 471cc parallel twin-cylinder engine generating 53hp and 50Nm of torque, which compares favourably with its most applicable rivals, the Honda CB500X (42.45hp) and the Benelli TRK 502 (46.9bhp).

However, where the Excelle 525X literally excels is its generous specification with an adaptive LED headlight that dips when it senses an oncoming vehicle, smartphone compatibility and a TFT dashboard.

With the 525X now seen in the flesh, Colove used the recent Chongqing Motor Show to reveal the production version of its bigger brother, the Excelle 800X. Adapted from the 800X Super Adventure concept shown last September, the 800X has barely changed from the prototype.

Once again Colove appears to have glanced afield for inspiration, though ironically it seems to have settled on the CFMoto 800MT, which is now on sale in Europe and is due to arrive in the UK this summer.



This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, looking rugged in all the right places while also streamlining the fairing design, while also being something of a compliment towards the strides being made by Chinese brands in the design department.

It’s perhaps no coincidence though since both models share the same running gear courtesy of the KTM-sourced 799cc LC8 twin-cylinder engine.

It wasn’t the only new model being showcased the show with two Enduro and Motocross bikes being revealed, plus the Colove 321RR, a small sportsbike with its sights set on the CFMoto 300SR and KTM RC390.

As it stands, the 525X’s predecessor is known as the Colove KY500X - and is available in some European markets - but the emergence of the Excelle nameplate suggests this will be used to properly establish the brand in Europe, much like Zongshen and Loncin are doing with Cyclone and Voge respectively.

UK sales are yet to be confirmed, but with more distributors showing an interest in Chinese flagged larger capacity models as they become more prestigious and popular, Excelle is likely to find plenty of interest by leading with two adventure motorcycle models.

Should they arrive, the Excelle 525X is on sale in China for the equivalent of £4,800, around £2k less than the Honda CB500X.


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