Fantic 500s with the 6-spd Zongshen NC450 motor

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Chris S
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Fantic 500s with the 6-spd Zongshen NC450 motor

Post by Chris S » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:49 pm

I had a blast on the Caballero 500 Scrambler yesterday, courtesy of the friendly guys at T Northeast in Horley.

Scrambler, Dirt Track; Rally: same bike, different plastics and seats, wheel sizes, gearing (FT) and suspension (Rally +50mm).
These are Italian designed and built bikes, with the Chinese motor bought in, and imo all look dead cool, especially the matt black Dirt Track. But out of the crate they're a bit skimpy to make a good travel bike.

I was interested in the six-speed Zongshen NC450 the big Cabs use.
Zongshen entered five in the 2017 Dakar. All DNFd but mostly due to crashes.
Could this be the six-speed Goldilocks 450 missing from the GP450 and the 450L? A new DR-Z?
Pretty soon I realised the way Fantic have spec’ed it, it was still a bit too ‘Dakar’, but it sure was fun finding out.

In the US a company directly imports a lardy-looking RX4 made entirely by Zongshen (orange thing below) with their own NC450 motor.
No Italian design flair there.
You may well find the same or similar to the RX4 in Europe under some other confusing brand, like Cyclone Moto in France.

But if you’re after a taught pocket rocket to blast across the moors on a summer’s evening, check out the 500 Cabs.
Long version with lots more pics on the AM www.

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Last edited by Chris S on Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:49 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Fantic 500s with the 6-spd Zongshen NC450 motor

Post by mark vb » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:38 pm

Love the look of the Caballero. Not so keen on the weird offering depicted in the last picture, though it appears to be another make. I used to regularly race with a mate around the Orpington 1-way system... he on a Fantic Caballero, me on a Puch (sports mopeds, that is).. FS1E's were no match for us!

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Re: Fantic 500s with the 6-spd Zongshen NC450 motor

Post by MudFing » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:04 pm

Gotta admit, the longer travel rally version looks the part. I saw one at a bike show a few weeks ago and initially thought it was the new triumph 1200 scrambler (from a distance) which is no bad thing!

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Re: Fantic 500s with the 6-spd Zongshen NC450 motor

Post by tempesc » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:24 pm

Look nice - middle (matt black) one for me!

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Re: Fantic 500s with the 6-spd Zongshen NC450 motor

Post by Mad Hatter » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:16 pm

I've been seriously considering the rally version next year as a small fun back roads bike with some panniers, that or the sinnis 250 scrambler as it's not about going quick but having a nice time cruising round. We'll see where money is as there's a 5k difference between the 2 :lol:

Arguably the fantic would be a lot better though, but I'm struggling to resist the charm of a tiny bonnie with lots of things to tinker with 🤔

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Re: Fantic 500s with the 6-spd Zongshen NC450 motor

Post by Asgard » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:43 pm

How can the same company come up with something as pretty as the dirt track bike then go on to present that fooking orrible thing in the last pic? :o
What use is being well adjusted to a sick society?.

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Re: Fantic 500s with the 6-spd Zongshen NC450 motor

Post by Nico-D » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:45 pm

Asgard wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:43 pm
How can the same company come up with something as pretty as the dirt track bike then go on to present that fooking orrible thing in the last pic? :o
Because they're not the same, as Chris writes in the post above the Fantic is designed and built in Italy by Fantic using the zongshen engine, the engine is the only common thing between the two. The ugly thing in last pic is chinese creation entirely it appears, I agree it's truly 'orrible :shock:

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Re: Fantic 500s with the 6-spd Zongshen NC450 motor

Post by chunky butt » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:53 pm

Saw the cabalero in local bike shop, wow I was taken a back, really nice clean bike, see it being great fun on the back roads. ;)

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Re: Fantic 500s with the 6-spd Zongshen NC450 motor

Post by HoboBeemer » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:48 pm

Love the look of the Black one...


For the first time ever I am starting to consider other makes outside of the mainstream, the bike that did it for me was seeing and riding the GPXMOTO TSE250 2 stroke enduro when I was out in Asia, if they where sold here with the savings that come with a Chinese funded machine I would snap their arm off, esp as the build quality and reliability I would have to say is 99.9 percent there now, esp on the second factory batches of said machines that allows kinks to be ironed out.

I believe the bike at the bottom is somewhat of a generic offering?, It looks remarkably like a bike sold by possibly 2 different companies to the local market in Asia, (The Philippines and Malaysia) respectively, also in the US?.

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