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Birthday Update on 2 year old Keeway RKS 125cc

Blog date July 2015

Thanks to Jay for the nudge about doing a update on how the Keeway is doing. 

Well Zen will be 2 years old on the 31st July. Not a great age but what is great is his mileage. At 15,000 miles he has done more miles than many much older bikes, especially 125s.

So has this little Chinese guy  proved to be a so called piece of Chinese crap? NOOO he has not. He is a bloody great machine. He has given me more smiles and outright thrills than I could have ever have hoped for.

 This bike may be small in statue and I am not gentle with his little engine but he has a mighty heart. He just keeps going and going, revving his tiny guts out.  I certainty have no regrets what so ever about buying this bike. He is my joy, my sanity, my taste of freedom, my fun. He has taken me to so many places and has given me a new confidence in my own abilities. In short he is the best thing I have ever spent my money on.

Build wise he is still looking good. There is the odd rust patch beginning to appear. He does not look sparkling new anymore. But neither does he live a cosseted life. He does not only come out on sunny days he has had to trawl through the rain, wind, slush and salt that winters throw at bikes in the UK. It was a harsh winter on bikes last year with salt remaining on roads for a long time. It was also very wet. 

I do look after my bike the best I can. He does get cleaned and polished and treated with a PTF bike spray. He does have regular oil changes and is serviced on time every time. I know this all helps but at the end of the day if the Keeway RKS 125 was really just crap it would have shown up by now no matter how much polish I spray on him. So if you bestow a little love and care onto a Keeway then you will be rewarded with a bike that after a massive 15k will still be going strong. 

I did however recently bear witness to what can happen to a Keeway that had not received such care. The poor bike was parked up next to mine. (Sorry to the owner if you are reading this but well I am afraid that I just tend to be honest). It was slightly younger than Zen and on enquiry I found this bike had only 7000 miles on the clock. But these two bikes stood side by side looked worlds apart. The other bike was well errr a bit of a wreck. It looked 4 times the age of mine. The chain was practically hanging on the floor and back tyre was bald. The paint work was scuffed and the original engine had been replaced because apparently the owner had managed to blow the other one up at 6000 miles. The young owner in trainers and jeans did get a bit of a mother hen talking to by me about his loose chain and bald tyre and looking after his bike better for his own safety's sake. They worry me they do some of these young riders. I hope he realised I was nagging just because I actually cared enough that he would get to be a old biker one day.
However his bike and the rather sorry state it was in is probably the very reason why many modern Chinese bikes get the undeserved reputation of being crap. Because they are cheap to buy they do appeal to the young. Not all younger riders are negligent in checking oil levels and lacking in knowledge about basic bike maintenance and some older people may lack mechanical skills too of course.  But if you had never seen my bike and all you had seen was this other Keeway then yes you well may have come to the conclusion that Chinese = crap. So before you brush any make and model of bike with one paint brush be sure you know its history. 

One thing I have always loved with this bike is its sweet gear changes. It required little more than a tickle to get it to change gear. One thing that has began to happen just over the last month is that this gear change is now not quite as smooth as it once was. Ren tells me this is normal and just a part of Zens ageing. Well i guess I do not run as smooth as I did once myself so can't hold that against him. He has also sprung a very small oil leak. Glad to report that I myself has of yet not been found to be leaking. So I will investigate Zen's leak and hopefully fix it. I or rather we (Ren and I) suspect the leak is from a gasket so a new one will be sourced and fitted soon. 

My Keeway cost me £1500, in 2 years it has done 15000 miles. It has given me 1500 smiles at least and so far it has been so very, very, very good. I can not recommend this bike highly enough. It is a little belter, a tiny bundle of joy. I can only tell you my own story and that has been so far a very positive experience for the Chinese Keeway. 

I do get a little sad when I see Zen can no longer shine as brightly anymore and I know deep down that his mileage is making him old before his time. But the whole point of him was to be ridden and not to stay sat still and shiny in a shed and he does that job to perfection. I just love this bike .. can you tell huh can you tell ?? Whenever I slide open my shed and see him stood there all ready for a ride my little heart gives a flutter and my grin makes my face ache.  What more can any bike give but this joy and I have a feeling that Zen gives me everything he has.


sharon's still very clean rks125Not looking too bad for a ageing Chinese hooligan



Reader's Comments

Mark said :-
Ive Also Got The Rkv Version - Same Bike Except More Sporty Look And Special Forks.
Had Mine For Same Amount Of Time And Found It To Be A Superb Reliable Machine And An Aboulte Pleasure To Drive,
So Much So I Have Just Passed Big Bike Test And Will Keep This Bike And Still Use It Regullarly.
Well Done To Both Of You On This Excellent Blog.

01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
Nice in white !
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
And nice write-up on the RKS ,..

Wonder how long we should expect a RKS to be able to last ?

And what will kill it definitely in the end ?

In DK it costs approximate 1000 GBP ,.. about the same as a mediocore MTB

Never before so much MC for so little a price
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Sharon said :-

Nooooo we can not talk of such things like the death of a RKS, they must live forever
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
In orde to gain eternal life it might need a little help, just like the rest of us ;-) with no fuel-inject, ecu, or pump the basis is there however, but a selection of essential spares are crucial, while still there, thus the qustion,,
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Tom McQ said :-
Well done Sharon and Zen. You have both come such a long way in such a short while. 15,ooo miles??? WOW! I know lots of "bikers" who never do that mileage in their lifetime, let alone in two years. Keep going :-)
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
PeterV said :-
Hi Sharon,
I congratulate both of your milage and your blog.
I return here time to time to practice the language and also because my son has the RKV version of Your bike (and he is so pleased with it as well)!
And now let me share an important fact about Keeway to reassure every owners all over the continent! This brand has built his European headquarters here in Hungary and they have a GREAT warehouse. In this website
you can choose your model and download it's sparepart-catalog as a .rar file. You have to extend it to .xls and after that get shown every columns to see English names of articles. Prices are mentioned in Hungarian Forint (Ft) and about 430 Fts equal to 1 Pound.
I belive this is good news for You...;-)
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi PeterV. That is a GREAT find! I've downloaded and extracted the file for Sharon's bike and everything is there and that's just brilliant. At 430Ft to 1 UK pound your prices are much cheaper than ours here in the UK.

I might look into the possibility of ordering spares from Hungary!

Really useful that Peter, thank you so very much.
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
Great, but I have a problem with the *.rar, and seemingly there is no English choice on the main-
site, please update in case there is specific possibilities ordering from the rest of Europe, evt
an email to a English-speaking person

In another topic I wrote about how the DK import rip people around 300 GBP for a complete exhaust


That considered I would be curious to know how much an complete exhaust cost in Hungary ?
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hello Peter V,

I thank you for both your congratulations and your very useful spares catalogue. I am also glad to hear that you son is having fun with his own Keeway. Maybe you could post us a photo of him and his bike sometime? Happy and safe riding to your son and I am glad we might prove useful as English teachers :-)
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Henrik, I've downloaded and extracted the .rar file. If you don't know .rar works like .zip. You'll have to download a .rar extractor, there's plenty of free stuff out there. I used an app called UnCompress from "Store" from Microsoft.

My file is in Hungarian BUT finding the parts and the price is easy in any language.

The exhaust for Sharon's RKS is 42765Ft according to the spreadsheet. At 430Ft to the pound that's £100. Not dirt cheap, but perfectly acceptable.
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
Thanks, 100 pounds is OK ,.. definitely what a difference ,..300 pct !!!

Here I give a link to the 3000/300 DKR/GBP ,.. similar part from DK

(Udstødning Komplet = Exhaust Complete)

Hope it shows out that ordering in Hungary is possible

01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
PeterV said :-
Hi all,
today I've rung* the Export Department of Keeway Europe and asked a guy about how to order parts from the UK. He responsed that it is not really possible, because they wouldn't skip their partners in your country (or any other countries, of a course). He told you have to contact your local dealer for spareparts or visit the keewaymotor.co.uk website. The other way to have parts at Hungarian retail prices is to ask somebody in Hungary to buy it and send to you. Sorry for bad news...but the most important thing to be sure that essential parts are exist and available for your lovely bikes!

Dear Sharon,
thank you for your best wishes...er, actually my son began his first year on the university and before it he learnt for it, so his bike didn't ran really much in this year :-(
There is in this three years old image the First Meeting :-)

*Is it the right tense here? :-)

01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
Thanks PeterV for the info, just as I did fear, very important info,..

So for my part any plans eventually to try out a Keeway is on stand-by, (and probably finished), but I am glad I found out before getting one, don't want to get ripped of just becourse I live in DK and not HU ;-) 300 GBP is totally absurd, and the 100 GBP in Hungary is not even dirt cheap, just "acceptable",... for the comparison I just bought an OK aftermarket complete exhaust for my ANF 125 Innova for 50 Pounds from M&P,. see link

As another poster, Ilyas, wrote, aftermarket parts for Keeway is almost non existant on Ebay that's another downside to consider carefully for sure

Nice pic :-) best wishes for you and your son !!

01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi PeterV,

Damn well that's that plan out the window but thanks for the update. When I order spare parts here in the UK the prices seems to vary all the time.

When I first broke my first lever (I fell over a lot when learning.... well ok I still do occasionally) it cost if I recall correctly about £9. You would expect maybe £6 so not great but it felt ok. The next time I broke a lever a few months later that price had gone up to £12. That made no sense at all. The salesman mumbled about exchange rates and import costs but I was not convinced.

A few weeks ago I asked about the cost of a replacement oil filter and was quoted £6. When I went to purchase it last weekend it was nearly £10. I never new replacement parts was similar to the stock markets with prices changing on a daily basis???

Due to a small oil leak I also needed a gasket but the quoted price of around £24 was just ridiculous. So I decided to by a packet of gasket papers of various thickness (as I did not know the width required) for £3.60 and cut my own gasket. For future reference I ended up using the 0.15mm width paper.

Oh and Peter the correct tense is rang not rung. But your English is 100% better than any foreign languages I have.
Nice photo of your son hope he gets to get some mileage on his tyres if he ever has any spare time between classes and study.

01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
Damm, 10 GBP for a little tiny RKS-oil-filter, that's robbery just like the 300 GBP exhaust that they offer here.

Right now ordering big filters for my car-service, (Corsa 1.0), for these I will bleed 5.50 GBP each on a good offer.

For my new Hyosung XRX 125 recently I bought 4 oil filters for the same 10 GBP that you gave for just one !!!!! (plus 3.52 GBP havingthem al delivered at my door)

Thanks for mentioning gasket-paper, new to me, I will look deeper into this, so far only heard about floating gasket, (that can be a PITA to work with),..

01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
BTW. I posted a link to a fullblown RKV servicemanual a few days ago, as seemingly the engine is identical to RKS it should hold xtremely valuable info, check out for equality, if positive RKS should be able to use same filter. Now his makes things a lot easyer, in case, since RKV is much easyer to dig up spares for, a quick google revealed Hilfo NO 7620495 as being RKV compatible,
(http://www.mc-importen.dk/reservedele//article/143484)and then again available in the UK for 2.29 GBP at the link below, maybe less by more google, se well worth checking out:

01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Henrik. You're quite right £10 for a filter is plain daylight robbery. I am also 99.9% certain the RKS motor is the same as the RKV. I'm also 99.9% sure that any Suzuki pattern filter will fit as well because the motor is a copy of the Suzuki 125. We are learning things the hard way sometimes.

I will be tempted if Sharon's bike ever needs some bigger or more expensive parts to actually go to Hungary or elsewhere in Europe to get the cheaper prices! Of at least find someone who can buy them and send them to us.

It'd make for an interesting advernture :)
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Henrik,

Thanks for your continued input on the quest for cheaper spare parts. All helping one another this way is fantastic. Yes I have seen the online manual for the RKV. I posted it on the Keeway RKS review 2013 page for a guy named Bill who did not have a manual for his RKV. It is not exactly the same as my RKS but very similar and the RKV manual is far more comprehensive.

Here is a link to the gasket papers I bought


I simply took out my old gasket, fortunately I was lucky and it came off virtually in one piece and then traced around it onto the gasket paper and then cut it out. So far no gushing leaks but will see how it goes over the next couple of weeks before I declare it a job well done or not.
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
Thanks for the link, and yes, always nice when the "online community" can help eachother, I dweeled in the subject for own reasons for an start, but am happy to contribute also, motivated by a certain indignation also about what I consider a carefulle planed long term robbery-strategy,.. it's been seen before,.. but still not OK
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Henrik said :-
Ren, brilliant idea traveling to HU, just one exhaust and the travel would be more or less paid, from DK at least, LOL, thats how absurd it really is :-) shameless is a better word :-(
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
PeterV said :-
Hi riders!

To play the last card I contacted a local dealer (here in Hungary) who offers sending articles abroad. It turned out "abroad" means neighbor countries and final conclusion was the same like earlier (a private person has to buy and send articles) :-(
The other way is visit my country for parts, yes! :-)
(In this case please contact me and I'll help to fit the new part(s) gladly!)
01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi PeterV

Wow! What a great offer. Hmmmm...Hungary, sounds like a fabulous trip. There could be 2 issues with the idea though. Firstly it would cost more in travel etc than the savings we could make. Secondly if the bike is broken and needing bits in the UK or Denmark then riding to Hungary is off the cards.

Never-the-less I think going to Hungary would be fun :-)

01/01/2000 12:00:00 UTC

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