Let’s get the nit-picking out of the way first. Everybody hates that this bike’s engine is several cubic centimeters shy of being expressways-permissible, a problem specific to Luzon residents. This could easily be mistaken for a mid-range bike, if not for those prominent R310 decal on both sides.
Head-turner, drool-inducer, eye-popper and all other cliché-sounding bodily reactions, the R310 is a marvel to look at. I usually hang out at our local convenience store with my not-so-impressive bike, but when I turned up once with the Zontes, the guard asked me “that’s a nice bike sir, did you win the lottery?” People flock around it as if it’s a museum artwork, sliding their hands on the shiny blue paint finish and looking at me with envious eyes for being the one worthy enough to ride it.
Indeed the R310 is a visual treat to the eyes from any angle viewed. There’s a fierceness to the frontal view with the LED headlight and park lights. Even the turn signals are seamlessly integrated to the side cowling. From the rider’s perspective, the front panel is minimal, so there’s less of the bike and more view of the surroundings. The side profile is a wonderful combination of points and curves, making for a street-fighter-ish mechanical physique. Bottoms up to the mono-shock for giving us a clear view of its behind. With the inverted V-shaped LEDs and sexy pillion seat design, I’d rather be looking at the R310’s behind all day than Sofia Vergara’s.
The electronics are impressive. Firstly, this is a key-less bike. Wait no, there is a key and a spare, but you keep them inside your pocket. The bike will be operational once you’re several meters near it. With the push of a button, the bike powers up, starting with the unlocking of the handlebar, followed by the diagnostics shown in the LCD instrumentation panel display. Even the fuel cap flap and the seat lock are electronically activated. They’re not the major selling points but a nice touch all the same.
The Zontes R310 is a “beginner’s” bike. I don’t buy that. While it’s not modest of me to say I’m no noob at all as I’ve had my fair share of toying with way bigger bikes, I did not expect this bike to perform well, knowing fully-well it’s a China bike. But admittedly, I wrongfully caught myself in the stigma. Power is decent at best, compared to other 250cc bikes, I rate the R310 tamed. And that’s not a bad thing. The maximum torque of 22 lb-ft is obvious once twisting the throttle. Again, as compared to other 250cc bikes, the horsepower is a tad tamer than I expected. A quick google showed this bike’s top speed, some reaching up to 170 km/h. I was only able to get it to 158 km/h, either due to lack of longer roads, or my lack of bravado.
One of the best things I enjoyed about the R310 is that it’s a joy to ride. It’s can easily be daily-driven with its close to perfection handling and cornering. It could even slither in and out of traffic jams like an underbone. And best of all, it’s already equipped with ABS for that extra peace of mind.
I rarely say this in my reviews, but when I do I mean it. I’d get this bike when, not if, I could. For something this awesome for less than PhP200,000, I’d use this to showboat. I’d whip the R310 in front of my highschool teacher who said I’d go nowhere in my life.
Joke, I was a teacher’s pet (like that’s any better).
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 4-Stroke, Single-cylinder, DOHC, Fuel-injected Engine
Displacement: 312 cc
Max Power: 34.87 hp @ 9,500 rpm
Max Torque: 22.1 lb-ft @ 7,500 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed, Manual clutch
Seat Height: 795 mm
Tire Rear: 160/60 – R17
Front Tire: 110/70 – R17
Brakes, Front/Rear: Disc, Disc, both with ABS
Fuel Capacity: 15 liters
Dry Weight: 145 kg