Zontes 500T: Modern One-Lunger ADV

As the ADV motorcycle scene gets away from the bigger-is-better idea and moves toward twin-cylinders in the 800 class, some companies are prepared to take things even more minimalist. Royal Enfield recently launched the single-cylinder Himalayan 450, and now we see something similar from China, the Zontes 500T.

The Zontes 500T appears to be an upsized version of the company’s existing 350T adventure bike, complete with a single-cylinder engine. Wot, no P-twin? While Chinese competitor CFMoto appears ready to introduce a twin-cylinder 450, Zontes is sticking to the thumper formula. The liquid-cooled single is reportedly being imported to Europe under A2 licensing regulations, which means max output in the EU is slightly detuned from the potential of 51 hp at 8,000 rpm and 37 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm.

There isn’t a lot of info floating around about this bike, although it did appear at the EICMA show in Italy last November, as seen above. However, we do know some basic details. The machine comes with a 19-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear, and the rims appear to be a tubeless spoked design. ABS is available, and therefore expect it to be standard in markets that require it. While it’s not clear if all markets get the accessories seen above as standard, they are at least going to be available from the factory—no waiting around for aftermarket support that never comes. That means you should be able to easily add crash bars and panniers; it looks like heated grips and an electrically-adjusted windshield are standard equipment, along with a five-inch TFT gauge (which implies some sort of Bluetooth connectability).

Zontes also gave the bike’s seat and gas tank a remote-unlock feature.

It’s a quite impressive spec sheet for a small-bore Chinese bike, and Euro customers will be able to buy this bike soon. Here in North America? It seems unlikely to arrive here, which is too bad—if it’s reliable, it would be an interesting competitor to the new Himalayan.

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