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RideFast Nov 2019

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||| FIRST RIDE: ZONTES

||| FIRST RIDE: ZONTES 301-V At first glance the bike reminded me of the Ducati Diavel. It even sports the small backrest for the pillion just like the Diavel. The handlebars sweep back like a cruiser should with the uprated dash sitting just above the fuel tank. The seat is low at 720 mm and you have feet-forward controls putting you into a comfortable, relaxed riding position. Interestingly the footrests can be adjusted through three settings, so taller riders should also be comfortable on the small Zontes. The exhaust looks stubby with a honeycomb pattern. However, on closer inspection you will see that it is a plastic shroud over the actual exhaust. The swingarm creates the illusion that it pivots just above the exhaust, but it is actually attached a lot further forward. The rear footrests are incorporated into the bodywork and can be released when needed. These clever design elements add a certain style to the design. The 310-V shares the same front wheel of the other Zontes bikes, but the rear wheel is noticeably fatter as befits a cruiser. It is a 180/55 compared to the 310-X’s 160/60. One of my gripes that I had with the other Zontes models was the brakes. They lacked initial bite and required a hefty pull to affect any sort of retardation of the bike. Zontes have now beefed up the brakes and the size of the discs have also grown. This has made a huge difference in the stopping ability of the V. The other major upgrade is in the dash. The 310-X and 310-T both had a bigger instrument cluster than on the 310-R, but it was still an LCD panel. The new 310-V has a full colour TFT screen. You have four themes to choose from to change the layout of the display to your liking. That is the thing about Zontes: every iteration of Zontes just gets better and better. And not just small incremental changes. The changes are noticeable. Both the updated brakes and dash will filter down to all the other models over time. The 310-V runs the familiar Zontes 312 cc mill from their other models. Power is 26 kw VFactor Zontes have just expanded their 310 range of motorcycles here in South Africa with their latest offering: the 310-V. The cruiser styled V will bring the number of 310s to four. The others are the The naked R, the faired X, the adventure oriented T. Words & pics by Brian Cheyne 62 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2019 6 3