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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Company: Sendai USA
Website: http://www.sendai-usa.com

I would like to start off this review by talking about 2 things that people seem to forget when buying a new pocketbike.

#1. Shipping.

How many posts have we seen here on Pocketbike Planet where someone is all excited to have their new pocketbike on the way only to see a later post with them all upset because their bike was damaged during shipping. Nothing is worse than building up all of your excitement of the expected arrival of your new bike only to be let down by lousy packaging causing the bike to be damaged during shipping.

Well, I can attest with a new Sendai Aikido pocketbike that should not happen. Granted some shipping damages are out of the shippers control, but upon receiving the Sendai Aikido pocketbike I can tell you that the Sendai company takes great care in making sure the bike arrives to your door in the same excellent shape it left the company.

The Sendai Aikido box arrives with a custom made Styrofoam shell molded to the same dimensions as the bike that kept it safe and secure. There was not one scratch or crack anywhere to be found on the Sendai Aikido pocketbike I received.

#2. Warranty.

The Sendai Company warranties all of their pocketbikes for 180 days (6 months) against manufacturer defects. How many times have you seen where someone buys a new Chinese pocketbike only to have a part fall off or break due to a manufacturer defect? No worries about that with the Sendai Aikido! This type of warranty is not only unheard of in the Chinese bike market, but in the European market as well! It's great to see a manufacturer offer this kind of warranty on their pocketbikes and we can only hope other manufacturers will follow suit.

Upon opening the bike I was surprised to not only discover enough stickers for even the most sticker-happy pocketbike rider jumping for joy, Sendai also included a small tool set and a container with measurements to mix your gas and oil! Just another nice touch to show we are dealing with a quality company who understands pocketbikes.

While I have never been a racer who is worried about my pocketbike being overly "pretty" the Sendai Aikido has got the "bling bling" for those of you who want it. The bike has a plastic cover over the main frame spar below the gas tank and the plastics were also painted in a chrome look-alike paint job. The chrome is clean and while taking the Photos I had to adjust my stance as to not show my reflection in the bodywork. (If "bling" is not your thing, the Sendai Aikido is also available in regular paint schemes.)

The Sendai Aikido comes with a "Pro Performance" exhaust and air filter so no need to run out and buy an aftermarket exhaust (more on its performance later). The rest of the bike is pretty standard for a full fairing Chinese (Cagllari style) pocketbike. One thing I did notice though is the welds on this bike seem to be much better than on other Chinese pocketbikes I have seen and look like they would hold up better in a crash (more on this crashing stuff later) ;)

Using the supplied oil/gas mixture container to fill up the pocketbike I took the bike to my local spot to do some testing. After only 2 pulls the bike started right up. Taking care to break the bike in correctly I then spent about an hour riding the pocketbike around keeping the pocketbike at about half throttle. The pocketbike felt good as I winded my way slowly around the track.

After finishing off an almost full tank of gas I was ready to refill the pocketbike and go have some fun at full throttle. I was surprised at the throttle response in the lower RPM's as the other Chinese pocketbikebikes have been a little lacking in this department. The Sendai Aikido pulled great from low to about 3/4 throttle. The top end was just as fast (or faster) as the other Chinese pocketbikes I've ridden but the throttle response was a little lacking. But this seems to be something that all of the Chinese pocketbikes have had a problem with and a slight gearing change would fix this. But with most pocketbike racing done on smaller tracks you want to throttle response to be the best down low to pull out of the corners so I don't think to many people will be needing a gearing change.

The brakes on the bike were great as well. Those who have raced with me know I am very hard and late on the brakes and the Sendai Aikido's brakes did not let me down. The tires are standard for a Chinese bike and as with the other Chinese bikes I have ridden I had no problem getting both knees down all over the track.

I also had a chance to "crash test" the Aikido and can attest that it performs very well. I was running about 25mph going into a tight left hander when something caught my eye on my right. Now not many people know this but I am blind in my left eye so I have to crank my head really far in left hand turns to see through the turn. Well, after glancing to the right and then back to the left to get back into my turn I realized that I had missed my braking marker by about 10 feet. Normally this would not have been a problem but I had a few friends out on pocketbikes with me that day and t-boned one of them and both of us and our bikes went flying. Thanks to wearing quality protective gear I am happy to report that I am ok, and thanks to the quality of the Sandi Aikido pocketbike I'm happy to report that it's ok as well. (I wish I could say the same for my friend’s bike which did not fair as well).

In closing I would highly recommend anyone looking for a quality Chinese pocketbike to take a look at the Sendai Aikido. You might find other Chinese pocketbikes cheaper, but the attention to detail, quality product and the outstanding warranty is worth the extra few bucks for the Sendai Aikido.
 

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