My posts so far take you through why I chose to do this trip and why the Sinnis Terrain was my special purchase for the trip rather than use one of my other three bikes.
I talk about preparation for the trip and then the adventure proper – days 1 to 10.
And now to some reflections – having reached my destination of Bohinjsko Jezero, where I will rest up and enjoy some hiking before setting off for the homeward journey on Friday.
- Can you realistically tour Europe on a 125 ? Yes, of course. You just need to adjust your daily mileage so that you can enjoy each day’s ride rather than endure it. Remember, the Sinnis slogan is “Enjoy the ride”, not “Endure the ride”. Inevitably there will be some days that turn out to be a test of your endurance. You just don’t want every day like that.
- Aren’t Chinese bikes cheap and nasty? At one time perhaps. I think now the large Chinese manufacturers are having to understand quality expectations from their customers such as BMW, Harley Davidson (and other companies they supply parts to). As a consequence they are starting to apply more rigorous QC to their other markets and activities. In the same way perhaps that Skoda had to up their game when it became part of VW Audi Group. Skoda is no longer the butt of jokes that it was in the 1970s.
- Are there down sides to owning and running a bike of Chinese origin? Poor resale value perhaps still worries people but I think things will improve as Chinese quality is acknowledged as being on a par with other well known manufacturers (whose parts are increasingly being made in China anyway). Also, suppose we look at BMW resale values. OK, they don’t make a comparable 125 but they are considered at the other end of the quality and desirability spectrum. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would guess you can reckon to lose at least £2 k in the first year on any new BMW you might care to buy. And that’s not allowing for BMW servicing costs. Buying Chinese now looks like good economical sense. My only downside was trying to find a bike dealership in Slovenia that would carry out the 4,000 kilometre service. In the end I had to hop across the border to Austria.
- What about diy maintenance? A good workshop manual would be a help. I have Haynes manuals for my Townmate and Honda and the BMW official workshop manual for my C1. As the Sinnis has a 2 yr warranty I don’t want to jeopardise this but if I keep it longer than 2 yrs I will want to do all my own servicing.
- How else has owning the Sinnis changed your views? I think people need to move away from the mindset that 125s are only for learners. They are a useful tool in their own right – fun and agile to ride, frugal and, if correctly maintained, will hold up well in the British damp climate. Sinnis are not paying me to say this. I have discovered that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The little Terrain is quite a tasty treat.