Video: China goes retro

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Fresh on the heels of Ducati’s Scrambler launch, fellow Italian marque Italjet will be bringing their own retro bike to market, thanks to a team-up with a Chinese manufacturer.

Italjet motorcycles are not well-known in Canada, but the Italian marque has been around since the 1950s. They mostly build scooters and small motorcycles, often with motors re-purposed from other brands. You can find more about them here; the company’s best-known product in recent years might be their Dragster scooter.

Their latest machine was actually first seen at a Chinese show, Visordown reports. Called the Buccaneer 250, it’s powered by an air-cooled V-twin. It’s a curious mixture of scrambler and cafe racer styling; the seat looks like a scrambler seat until you notice the bum stop on the back, and the pipe is really too low to be considered a scrambler. Yet, the tire tread is more gnarly than you’d expect to see on a cafe bike, and what about that wire headlight guard and off-road style handlebar?

The Buccaneer is actually being built by Chinese firm Longjia, and draws its name from the company’s Buccaneer 125, built in the 1970s. Ducati’s own Scrambler they unveiled earlier this fall will be built in Thailand, so there’s a precedent for an Italian marque wanting to build a retro bike overseas. Some buyers in the Euro market might distrust a made-in-China machine, but Suzuki’s GW250 seems to have proven to many that the country can indeed make a reliable motorcycle, so who knows? If the price is right, maybe the Buccaneer will be a success. There’s certainly plenty of demand for an affordable, reliable retro.

You can see the Buccaneer in the video below.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The big, fat tires seem to suggest it will handle like a truck – much like a lot of the home built street rats we see running around. Perhaps that’s just as well, given how the exhaust sticks out on the right side… ?

    • Agreed. I’d imagine that it is possible to tighten-up the piping based on the video. It does seem unnecessarily clunky. I do kinda like the looks, but it would be awfully chancy to buy an Italian bike made in China.

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