March 10 2014.

In the March 2014 edition of Motorcycle Trader, Sean Kerr continues his articles on what to do when considering importing from China. He says that horror stories are rare, but unsuspecting buyers can occasionally be caught out.

It is important to remember that the negative stories featured in the article represent a tiny minority of Chinese motorcycle export experiences. Warnings should however be heeded.

Canadian Michael Hayman has been in the motorcycle industry since the Bronze Age and is a 12-year veteran of the Chinese motorcycle industry. He outlines that one of the tricks he has learned is to mislead slightly when requesting a photograph of a particular part. “For instance, if I want to see how the welding on the swingarm looks, I will request a picture of the wheel. Of course, the picture of the wheel comes complete with that of the swingarm; the difference is that no special preparations have been made to ‘posh-up’ the swingarm and I can see it in the photograph in all its true glory.

“Another little gem of knowledge - if you are visiting a factory for the first time and you (of course) are interested to know how organised they are, visit the toilet! You can tell a lot by the way a factory operates by looking at its toilet. Is it clean? Tidy? Well decorated and organised? If a company is meticulous enough to pay attention to those facilities, then the chances are good that they will pay the same attention to their research and development and quality-testing programmes.”

To read more turn to pages 36 – 37 of April’s Motorcycle Trader or read it on-line HERE.