The Zontes GK350 uses a 348cc liquid-cooled motor that makes 38.8bhp at 9,500rpm and 32.8Nm at 7,500rpm. The engine is linked to a six-speed gearbox that comes packed with an assist and slipper clutch. The engine cranks up to a mechanical clatter and sounds crude all throughout the rev range. It makes most of its power in the higher revs, so it only comes to life post 4,500rpm. That said, it does offer decent tractability, provided you are in the right gear.
There’s a noticeable step-up in acceleration post 5,500rpm, post which, power is delivered all the way to its 9,000rpm redline in a linear manner. The motorcycle cruises at 100kph at around 6,500rpm, which is the meat of the power band, and overtakes are just a twist of the throttle away. However, what will put you off at these rpms is that there are a lot of vibrations on the seat, handlebar, and even on the pegs.
On the upside though, the handling and chassis balance is very good. The firm suspension setup makes it effortless to tip the bike into corners, and once tipped in, it maintains its line with precision. What’s more, the handling doesn’t come at the cost of the ride quality. Now, although the ride has a firm edge to it, the setup feels pliant over most road surfaces. It glides over minor undulations without throwing the rider off the bike. However, the rear tends to unsettle over bigger bumps and potholes.
The tyres, too, offer good grip levels and deliver decent feedback while riding spiritedly. The motorcycle drops anchors with the help of a 320mm rotor at the front and a 265mm unit at the back. The safety net includes dual-channel ABS as standard fitment.
The front brake offers sufficient bite and the feel and progression on the lever are good too. On the other hand, the rear brake provides more bite, but this causes the ABS to intervene too early. This not only increases the braking distance but also robs you of the feel and feedback at the pedal.