Chinese motorcycle manufacturers have a long history of being industry copycats, taking other manufacturers' design and technical concepts, reverse-engineering them into subpar knock-offs, and selling them for a fraction of the price. While this may still be true to some extent today, there's no doubt that Chinese enterprises play a critical part in keeping our favorite brands alive and well.
Brixton is a brand that you may be acquainted with, and Chongqing Gaokin Industry Co. is the firm behind it. The British-inspired company is behind bikes like the Crossfire 500 and the Triumph Bonneville-rivaling Cromwell 1200, both of which were on display at EICMA 2021. The Austrian business KSR then distributes the brand in other regions of Europe. With all of this in place, it appears like this new cruiser will be tearing up the European market in no time. So, what makes it so unique?
We've never seen anything like the Thor GK 1000 from a Chinese manufacturer before. It clearly takes cues from the custom chopper culture in the United States, although with a sportier, more compact appearance. While the custom chopper scene in the United States is certainly on the decrease, it never really acheived a high level of popularity in Europe or Asia. Perhaps the purpose of the Thor GK 1000 is to refresh the heavyweight cruiser segment, which sees new models appear rather infrequently.
The Thor GK 1000 also has a totally new engine, which is worth noting. Gaokin could have simply taken the engine from the Cromwell 1200 and crammed it into a cruiser chassis to create a Bonneville Bobber knockoff. Gaokin, on the other hand, thought that an 80-degree V-twin motor with belt drive, would be a better match for the type of machine they were aiming for. The engine has a displacement of 997cc and produces just under 90 horsepower, which is very impressive given the cruiser's laid-back appearance. The top speed is stated to be 198 km/h.
Multiple riding modes, traction control, and ABS on the J.Juan-branded brakes are just a few of the premium amenities on offer with the Gaokin GK 1000. On both ends, it rides on KYB suspension components. Bluetooth smartphone connectivity is included in the completely digital instrument cluster. The GK 1000 costs the equivalent of roughly P385,000 in China, which is really excellent value for money considering the package it presents itself with. Should this bike make its way to the Philippines, would it be of interest to you?