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Zontes GK350 Road Test Review: 2 Likes And 3 Dislikes

Published On Mar 12, 2023 By Praveen M. for Zontes GK350

Zontes GK350 Review

The 350cc segment in India has always been ruled by Royal Enfield bikes, with the Classic 350 being the best selling motorcycle month on month. Lately, several manufacturers have come to realise the potential of this segment, including Chinese bikemaker Zontes. The company’s newest offering for India, the GK350, looks unlike any other bike in its segment, in a good way! But is beauty just skin deep? We tested the motorcycle, and here’s what we liked and what we didn’t:


Unique Looks

Zontes GK350 Review - Unique Looks

Even though the Zontes GK350 has ‘Urban Sports Cafe’ as its tagline, it’s more of a neo-retro roadster, and the company has nailed the looks department. Its tastefully designed circular headlight with the offset “Zontes” panel badging, bar-end mirrors (though they aren’t all that practical), and the boxy yet muscular fuel tank goes well with the sleek rear portion of the motorcycle. The twin vertically stacked, slash-cut exhausts give it a scrambler-esque feel, complementing the fat 160-section tubeless rubber on the spoke wheel. All in all, the Zontes GK350 is sure to turn heads as it exudes a fresh breath of air in a sea of classics. 

Modern Features

Zontes GK350 Review - Modern Features Keyfob

Zontes has also nailed the ‘Neo’ part of ‘Neo-retro’ thanks to the list of features offered on the GK350. It comes with keyless operation, so you can lock/ unlock the bike simply by staying in its proximity (within 1.5m). There are dedicated buttons for the fuel tank flap and the seat lock too. They may have gone a bit overboard as the bike doesn’t come with a physical key at all. That said, the key fob does come with a built-in chip sensor that allows the bike to be locked or unlocked even if the battery is dead or removed.

 Zontes GK350 Review - Modern Features

The colour TFT console is also quite easy to read, with a legible layout of the data. It features smartphone connectivity with screen mirroring, ensuring full-fledged navigation. That said, an iPhone couldn’t scan the code prompt whereas an Android phone did. Another nifty feature is the tyre pressure monitoring system that shows both the tyre pressure and temperature. The readings are accurate too, helping you keep a closer eye on the tyre’s condition.



Zontes GK350 Review - Vibey Engine

While the 39.33PS, 348cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled heart has enough grunt to cruise at around 100kmph, the vibes are pretty intrusive. They can be pronounced on the seat and on the footpegs from 5000-5500rpm. It only gets more annoying as you pull further. The bar-end mirrors don’t really offer a good field of vision, and they end up being even more useless as the vibes creep in. 

Oddball gearbox

Zontes GK350 Review - Oddball Gearbox

The shifts were on point, but the shifting felt a little notchy, particularly the fifth and sixth gears. More importantly, the fourth gear was abnormally short, with only about 15kmph of play until it started feeling stressed. While the third gear is good enough for the city, fifth comes in handy while performing high-speed overtakes. The sixth gear serves as the overdrive, slotting in comfortably only at 60kmph and above. Most of the power band lies between 4000-6000rpm, slowly tapering off till 8000rpm. The engine feels stressed at anything above that. 

Not-so-progressive brakes

Zontes GK350 Review - Brakes

The brakes need to be a lot more progressive. There’s a lot of play before they actually kick in, and that’s quite unnerving. It takes time to get used to this. Worryingly, the braking performance isn’t that great either. As you can see in the table, the 80-0kmph braking distance is 3.73m more than the J-platform Royal Enfield Classic 350. Even the distance taken from 60-0kmph is 1.22m more than the Classic. 




Kerb Weight

Zontes GK350




Royal Enfield Classic 350 





Zontes GK350 - Verdict

The Zontes GK350 looks hearteningly different from other bikes in its segment. It is even properly futuristic thanks to its connected features. However, it feels like Zontes got a little too carried away at the tangible-features aspect of the bike, and has missed out on getting the core part of motorcycling right - a grin on your face, and a sense of satisfaction. 

The vibey character of the engine and the eccentric gearbox steal you of the joy of riding. And that, at Rs 3,37,000 (ex-showroom, India), is not really acceptable. This is especially considering bikes like the KTM 390 Duke and BMW G 310 R offer a lot more bang for the buck.

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