American Lifan 200 GSIII, My Favorite Motorcycle

After turning 2,500 miles on the odometer of my 2009 American Lifan 200GS III, I have only one complaint. I should have bought more, perhaps two or three.

Ask any motorcycle enthusiast to name his most favorite bike that he has ever owned, and he’ll probably tell you the one he is riding now. It’s just like any man. Ask one to name his favorite wife, and he’s not going to honor the one he married at 20 and divorced at 25. He’s going to select the woman he is married to now.

And it’s the same with motorcycles, but just a little different.

The American Lifan 200GS III has become the favorite of the seven motorcycles I’ve owned because it’s fun to ride, inexpensive to own and easy to maintain. Remember when all bikes were that way? The Lifan continues to turn heads because of its unique high-revving single-cylinder engine design and its sportsbike looks.

But there’s more than just looks when considering any motorcycle to purchase, especially the 2009 American Lifan 200GS III.

The American Lifan 200GS III reigns supreme in a $4 a gallon world where many would-be motorcycle riders are considering scooters because the under-the-butt engine variety of two-wheel machines deliver great fuel economy.

But the American Lifan 200GS III goes even better than they do.

Decent Horsepower

The American Lifan 200GS III delivers 16.75 horsepower according to BikezMotorcycle Encyclopedia. While that doesn’t sound like too much, its enough to get a 200-pound rider to 70 mph. It’s also more than most scooters deliver.

When I pass a car on the highway, I always say, “I can’t believe I’m passing a car on a 200-cc machine.”

But the American Lifan 200GS III goes even further.

Delivers Great Fuel Economy

The 197-cc powerplant also gets between 80 and 100 mpg, depending on how hard you twist the trottle. That’s better than most scooters achieve as well.

Looks Better than A Scooter

But wait a minute, the American Lifan 200GS III doesn’t look like a scooter. Now all men aren’t comfortable with riding a scooter just like all men aren’t just too keen on wearing pink shirts. It depends where you’re from. So if you want better-than-scooter performance and better-than-scooter fuel economy, consider the American Lifan 200GS III.

But Then There’s Price.

The American Lifan 200GS III currently lists at $1,499 plus destination, taxes, and fees at Extreme Scooters. That’s better than offerings from Genuine Scooters, nearly half of the $2,900 Suzuki GZ250, and more than $2,000 less than the $3,999 Honda CBR 250R. That’s why I say I should have bought two.

Easy to Work on

But, remember the American Lifan 200GS III is easy to work on. I found several great tips from the readers’ forum at China-Motoon how to release the hidden power in the Lifan 200. Just add a $20 high-performance air filter, switch the main fuel jet inside the carburetor to a No. 115 for under $10, and drill out the muffler.

Switch out the rear sprocket for one more friendly with USA highway speeds and you can cruise all day between 55 and 65 mph at a motorcycle-friendly 6,000 rpm.

After a Saturday morning in the garage, I was able to power up the American Lifan 200GS III to about 22 horsepower. That’s one less than the CBR250R, three more than the Suzuki GZ250, and about 10 more than most 150-cc scooters.

Fun to Ride

Yep, the American Lifan 200GS III is fun to ride. It corners as well as any sub-$5,000 motorcycle I’ve ever owned, pulls away easily after 4,500 rpm on the tack, and cruises all day long at highway speeds.

Not bad for something that costs about $1,500.

Did I forget to mention that the American Lifan 200GS III is my favorite bike?