CYCLONE RC401 DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE
Through our previous static interpretation of RC401, we see the manufacturer’s choice of RC401 configurations–with all mainstream configurations a 400ml model should have, reflecting its high cost performance. Now we come to another importance issue, the riding experience.
RC401, as the second race-aping model under Cyclone, is more mature than the previous model in all aspects. Looking at the history, Zongshen Group has a passionate race history. RC401 is created by the manufacturer by combining race and civil technologies. In addition, RC3’s experience makes RC401’s performance more mature.
Background: Zongshen Racing Team was founded in 1999; it was the 2021 EWC (Endurance World Championship) Suzuka champion, the 2002 EWC annual champion, and got into the top 10 of the World Superbike Championship 2004, won the third place in the 2006 Asian Cup Road Motorcycle Championship, and won 125 stations titles and 29 annual titles CRRC and CSBK between 2003 and 2009.
The RC401’s official data are: maximum power 33kW (9,500r/min), maximum torque 37N•m (8,000r/min). The data indicate that the power output of this engine concentrates on the later stage. The 5.8s acceleration capability enables it to start quick at traffic lights. But does the high-rev power burst mean the low-rev riding experience is sacrificed?
The answer is no. RC401’s performance at low revs is ok, if not excellent. After all, TC401 engine’s tolerance is still very high, the adjustment of the engine retains certain low-torque performance. Taking the cruising speed commonly used in cities as an example, RC401 has no obvious gear drag in the 3rd gear cruising at 40km/h, and can easily overtake other vehicles.
RC401 has outstanding high-rev performance. There is continuous power output from 6000rpm to 9500rpm, and the acceleration feeling extends to about 130km/h. The shift from low to high gears is smooth. Because it has dense engine teeth, the connection between gears is more natural in the shift process. The combination of sliding clutch and high gear ratio is a good one for less experienced riders.
In general, RC401 implements the power adjustment of mainstream race-aping models, i.e., RC401 is not uncomfortable when riding low revs, but passionate when riding high revs. It has found a delicate balance between street and track riding.
If the RC401 balances street and track riding in terms of power set-up, its performance at corners is more track-friendly. Compared with purely street models, RC401 has better sensitivity at corners.
Its excellent curve performance is particularly bright on mountain roads. The riding experience is obviously different from street riding. Take the mountain turns as an example. RC401 takes a very short time to countersteer to pass the corner. This short transition time means that your brake point can come later. The preset shock absorbers also provide good support. (The front and rear shock absorbers are adjustable, respectively: front 110mm-travel inverted shock, and rear 55mm-travel central shock).
Sensitive cornering, stable support and good grip of the tires make you easy to forget where the bike’s limit is, until you feel the exhaust rubs against the ground. According to the previous information revealed by Cyclone, it can reach an inclination angle of 63°(approaching the racing bike level) after being modified with track-oriented accessories.
As mentioned above, RC401 has found a delicate balance between street and track in terms of power performance. It needs a bit of balance for beginners to adapt to in other respects, too. Race-aping models that sell good on the market always have one thing in common, i.e. being friendly to new riders. Thus, the first thing is a proper seat height.
RC401’s 785mm seat height is friendly even to women riders. Although the sitting posture is low, but the split type handlebar allows the rider a forward riding position.
Another feature with this motorcycle is being “light”. The “light” here refers not only to the weight of the body, but also controlling, braking, and clutch operation flexibility. The RC401 has a curb weight of 178kg. The “light” of the clutch is due to the sliding clutch. The “light” of the front brake is due to the strong braking force provided by the front double-disc brake. The addition of Bosch double-channel ABS makes RC401 safer. Overall, RC401 is suitable for beginners.
RC401 seems to cause a cost performance competition among domestic race-aping models, but actually it has found differential track. Underpinned by the big brand’s technology and experience, RC401 is truly cost-effective and easy to ride.