Hanway is an import company that manufactures its bikes in China. Like their competition in this sector of the market, they focus on small, low-displacement machines that are simple to maintain and cheap to run and insure.
At the moment, their website only lists two new models for sale in the UK. But, interestingly, both hit the max 15hp allowed for 125cc machines.
And they look pretty cool too. Several of their machines (the Black Cafe and Scrambler, in particular) look great and are still available on the secondhand market. We thought we’d take a look.
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Who Are Hanway?
Hanway is a Chinese company, probably best known for licensing and releasing a version of the Royal Enfield Himalayan.
They called this Himalayan clone, the G30. It was fitted with a 249cc engine and was available in the far east and India. It looked classic and reviewed well. Sadly, it wasn’t available here.
Like many other import bikes we’ve covered, Hanway’s UK operation focuses on smaller bikes.
Their two 125cc bikes currently available are lightweight commuters.
Hanway distinguishes itself from the competition by using classic designs and maxing out the performance of its 125s.
They do a good job of appealing to a broad market too, offering some classic, retro-inspired machines and some more aggressive, contemporary designs.
Build Quality And Reliability
It’s fair to say that riders usually don’t expect as long a lifespan from an import bike as they do a premium, name-brand one.
Hanway has a reputation for being well put together and reliable for the duration of their (admittedly shorter) life.
Sometimes, this is as direct a copy as their Himalayan clone. Other times, they use an engine design from an older, Japanese commuter but update the aesthetics to appeal to contemporary buyers.
Hanway SC 125cc Furious
This Euro 5, single-cylinder, double overhead cam, liquid-cooled engine can produce 15hp and do 75mph. These are respectable numbers for a learner-legal 125cc.
And it looks great too. There’s some inspiration from the Ducati Monster but also some from Yamaha’s XSR series. There’s some retro appeal but it uses a full-size frame with sensible geometry.
We’re not crazy about the alloy plate on the side of the tank. But a rubber tank protector/gripper stuck on there would make it look and feel a lot better. (Check out our article on tank protectors.)
Upside down forks up front and a mono-shock in the back give this a premium look. Most budget bikes go for a simpler, cheaper setup suspension configuration.
The brakes are decent too with a 300mm disc in the front and a 230mm in the rear. They are linked – not ABS. But this is plenty given the bike’s low weight of 132kg.
The 15L tank will get you 100-120mpg in simulated conditions. In the real world, this translates to a very respectable 90mpg or so when we factor in wind, traffic, stops and starts, etc.
The switchgear is generic but feels quality. The casings are durable plastic and the switches feel responsive with decent feedback.
Aesthetically, the design team has done well but the welds and finish are also clean. Footpeg hangers and subframe joints are welded and cleaned up to a high standard.
They’ve gone for an LED headlight which is bright and clear. The display is decent too. It’s got a good layout with bright, clear backlighting.
The current iteration of this uses a sports exhaust with a removable baffle. It does sound pretty sweet – surprisingly rumbly low end.
This is an interesting option for a new rider. Its maxed-out hp numbers will attract a certain kind of rider. But it looks good too, to be fair.
Hanway NK 125cc Furious
If the SC Furious is Hanway’s contemporary cafe racer/scrambler hybrid, the NK Furious is their modern, naked street bike. It has that aggressive, feline look. Not too chunky, not too lean, with lots of sharp points, a razor-thin seat, and big back-wheel clearance.
It’s not necessarily my cup of tea but it does a good job of imitating the pack. There are three colourways available. All use the same black subframe, engine casings, sump guard and wheels.
The real selling point here is that you have the max power for this vehicle class bolted to a very low weight frame. At 122kg with 15hp, this is a lively little 125cc hog.
It uses the same upside-down fork and mono-shock rear setup as the SC Furious – a decent bit of kit for the price.
The brakes are single disc – 300mm in the front and 220mm in the rear. Like the SC, they are linked and do a good job of stopping this lightweight machine.
The NK also uses the same exhaust as the SC, with its removable baffling. You’ll want to keep it in though. This is plenty loud.
The DRL LED headlight is bright and clear. So is the digital dash/display. The switchgear here is pretty generic but also felt sturdy. I guess only time will tell.
Hanway Black Cafe Racer 125cc
Motorcycle names are often deliberately vague and esoteric. The Black Cafe Racer is a black cafe racer – and we appreciate its direct approach to naming.
Everything about this is an attempt to copy the lines and curves of the DIY cafe racer scene – clip-on bars, a bump seat, chopped mudguards, custom side panels, and miniaturised components.
The switchgear and braking setup is similar to Hanway’s two currently available models. It uses a 300mm disc in the front and a 2300mm in the rear for combined braking.
Sadly, the engine here is not as lively as the SC or NK Furious models. The Black Cafe produces 10.4hp – well below the 15hp max for this category. But with a dry weight of just 112kg, there’s enough power to get you around.
The suspension here is also a little more pedestrian than the current lineup from Hanway. It uses an upside, telescopic fork up front, as the SC and NK Furious. But the rear is a more standard, twin coil spring, oil-dampened set.
Still, it looks pretty cool.
Hanway HS 125cc Scrambler
This is Hanway’s take on the classic scrambler. It’s essentially a lightweight, commuter 125 dressed up in a Steve McQueen outfit. There’s no real off-roading to be done on this machine. But it does look beautiful.
Like the Black Cafe, the Scrambler doesn’t have the full 15hp of the other two models. But, also like the Cafe, this thing only weighs 122kg dry. That’s not a lot of bike to drag around so it doesn’t feel super underpowered.
The brakes and suspension are all the same as the Black Cafe – single disc, combined brakes, upside-down fork, and twin coil rear. All do enough considering the bike’s low weight.
While we do really appreciate the looks of this one, it’s not going to appeal to as many people as Hanway’s newer bikes. Higher horsepower gets attention – especially in this limited category.
Hanway Muscle 125cc
Using essentially the same kit as the Black Cafe, the Muscle is a sportier take on the retro 125. The headlight cowl, tank shape, side panels, and seat all have subtle differences. But these are just cosmetic. Underneath, these two bikes are effectively the same.
That means this one also weighs in at 112kg and produces 10.4hp. The 17L tank here is the largest in the Hanway range and should help you cover longer distances.
Brakes, suspension, lights, indicators, and switchgear are all the same as the Black Cafe. That is to say – decent. But this is also less appealing than Hanway’s newer stuff simply because of its limited power output.
A shame really. The aesthetics of these older models are spot on.
Hanway offers a two-year warranty on parts and repair which helps with peace of mind. But like with most of these Chinese-manufactured bikes, they don’t hold their value on the secondhand market as well as bikes from Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki.
Ultimately, they make decent starter bikes for people intending to use them for a year or two before going up in size. They can also be picked up super cheap on the secondhand market for those looking for a low-maintenance beater or field bike.