In terms of the current motorcycle manufacturing technology in China, Gaokin ranks the top three, or even second only to Haojue. I always think Gaokin is steadfast and honest, but it always lack proper concept. The Flame500 goes all out to create the mecha style; Through GK1200 it strives to create the actual performance between T120 and Speed Twin; The Thor1000 takes product power and disruption to the extreme.
Thor1000 seems to aim to identify the taste of the mid-to-high end consumers with a futuristic punk look. This is a completely new attempt. The bike is priced at 58,800 yuan. Honestly, after I tried it, I think it’s clearly capable of delivering the capabilities of a 70,000 yuan bike.
This bike looks big and long, with 240mm wide tire and 269kg curb weight. It looks like a prehistoric monster. Actually, it’s not, and the term “contrast cute” can be applied. I was vaguely worried before the test whether it would be as hard to ride as the Harley Sportster. Not at all. I think even a novice could handle it. Therefore, it is suitable for unskilled riders who want to ride a liter cruising bike.
First, I’m going to pour cold water on all the compliments online. It’s not that there’s a styling problem, but something Gaokin hasn’t changed yet: no family specific look. I think a family look is very important, making bikes recognizable and greatly enhancing the brand fame. Family design will also reduce the design and production costs–strong universality of spare parts will certainly reduce production costs, which can then benefit consumers. Putting GK1200, Thor1000, Flame500 and GK500 together, you cannot tell they are from one brand without seeing the logo.
The Thor1000 is a really impressive bike, and it’s all metal, with only a handful of plastic parts. Gaokin has always been good at metal parts. Its metal parts manufacturing and processing technology is completely comparable with Haojue. But too many metal parts mean higher future maintenance costs, replacement difficulty is certainly higher than the use of some plastic parts. And the key “lightweight” factor is definitely out of the question. The paint is still not the domestic top level, but Gaokin is making progress on each model.
The engine on a V-cylinder cruising liter bike is one of the largest decorative pieces. The fin shape, screw consistency, cylinder surface delicacy, chromium-plated parts, metal burr control, I really can not pick out any problems. This is not the domestic top level, but the world first-class level.
In terms of riding position, the Thor1000 gives a very traditional American cruiser posture: keeping your hands high, your legs stretching front. Of all the motorcycle riding positions, this classic American cruiser sitting position is the most comfortable and relaxed. With a 680mm high seat, even though the body and the seat is wider than those of small-displacement cruisers, it is still among the easiest to touch the ground. I think riders over 155cm, even female riders, can easily touch the ground. The cushion is not as soft and resilient as CFMoto 800MT, but made of quality materials to be moderately soft. The bottom line is that the saddle makes the cruiser more comfortable to ride, which is a bonus for riding.
The Thor1000’s pedal must also be well-rated. The width and length of the pedal are very good, which is also very good for vibration suppression during actual riding. However, there is room for improvement for the gear shifting lever.
Before riding, you would probably think it’s as hard to ride. First, let’s look at the parameters: V2 engine with an 80 degree angle, bore * stroke 92mm*75mm, actual displacement 997cc, compression ratio 10.3:1, maximum horsepower 89.7hp/17,200rpm, maximum torque 95N.m/6000rpm.
This kind of big engine cruiser doesn’t put much emphasis on maximum horsepower, that is why such a liter bike has a maximum horsepower of just 89.7hp. Cruisers value low torque performance. Cruises cannot run fast due to their size, wheelbase, frame and their specific use. You can clearly feel a large pull at around 3500rpm, and fast speed at 6,000rpm. Another problem is that the throttle adjustment is a little too sensitive at 3,000-4,000rpm in the sport mode.
Regarding the riding modes, I thinks the two modes are too split. In normal mode, I feel the power is too tame, of course, this is not a criticism. I personally prefer to ride in normal mode most of the time. In normal mode, it rides like a 500-600cc bike. Once in the sport mode, the bike perks up immediately, but a little too much. I feel the power can be adjust to be less immense in the sport mode to stay aligned with its positioning. The vibration is well controlled throughout the rev range.
The cruise control function of the Thor1000 is still very user-friendly, but it can only be turned on over 60 km/h. This cruise control operation logic is the best among domestic bikes.
As I said before, from the moment you sit on it, you will forget its 269kg curb weight. In fact, with such a low center of gravity, walking it is almost as easy as Haojue TR300. Riding the Thor1000 through corners is as easy as a street bike.
It has front and rear KYB damping: front 43mm non-adjustable inverted damping, rear preload and rebound adjustable mid-mounted damping. I feel the shocks are a little bit, delivering good small bumps filtering effect, but not for large bumps. For a cruiser, i prefer a softer shock absorber adequate for daily riding.
Brake may be one of the few defects on the Thor1000. The front 320mm double disc J.Juan four-piston double calipers + rear 300mm single disc J.Juan sliding calipers are a high profile. The braking travel is long, and feel more linear. Emergency brake does not provide enough confidence for the rider.
At present, Gaokin’s products have reached the advanced level of imported motorcycles. However, for higher requirements in other aspects, such as cost control, family look, product character unity, after-market, brand influence, and outlet construction, Gaokin still has a long way to go.