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Company: Sendai-USA

Website: http://www.sendai-usa.com



Note: 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 Tai Chi! 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.

When Sendi-USA asked me to review their new Tai Chi I was excited for a few reasons.

#1. The Aikido bike I reviewed for Pocketbike Planet was the best Chinese built pocketbike I had ridden and I expected even more from the Tai Chi.

#2. All of the great reviews I have read about this bike on the Pocketbike Planet forums from current owners.

#3. And last but not least, the Tai Chi was designed after the Blata B1 and I really enjoyed the power of my B1 when I owned it.

When I first took the Tai Chi out of the box upon arrival I did run into one problem. A small half circle piece of the tail was chipped off during shipping, but as always Sendai-USA was on top of things and sent me an email letting me know that others have had the same problem during shipment and wanted to know if the bike they sent me had the same problem and if so they would send me out a replacement piece. The interesting thing is they sent me the email before I even had a chance to let them know about the broken piece, talk about great customer service!

As with the Aikido they sent me the Tai Chi came with plenty of stickers to dress the bike up with (I left mine stock). They also sent a mixing container for my gas and oil and a small tool bag for working on the bike.

After I checked all of the nuts and bolts and did a quick "check-up" on the bike I was ready for my first ride. I really have to hand it to Sendi-USA, both bikes they have sent me so far started up within the first 2-3 pulls.

During my first tank of gas I kept the bike at half throttle (or less) to break in the bike and that's when I noticed how much the bike felt like my old $3,000 Blata B1. Now I'm not saying the Tai-Chi has the power of the B1 (6.7hp vs 14.5hp) but the handling of the bike felt exactly the same.

For those of you who have never seen a Tai-Chi next to a regular pocketbike it sits much higher than other pocketbikes (but not as high as a Midbike/Superbike, X1, X2, ect...). This makes this a great bike for those of you who feel "cramped" on a regular sized pocketbike.

Since the bike sits higher the"feel" of the bike is much different than a smaller pocketbike as well. With the steep angle of the seat you really lean farther forward and feel like your almost sitting over top of the front wheel. Some people will not like this, but I love it as I feel like I have more control over the front of the bike during hard cornering.

After my first tank of gas I was ready to fill up for the second and start putting the bike to work.

After riding a bunch of "Cagllari" and "Lucky7" style bikes I must say the Tai-Chi feels like a rocket in comparison. The bike pulls much harder off the line and the top end is MUCH faster with a smoother power delivery.

After about 3-4 laps I started really pushing the bike and I found what I consider to be it's only fault. While the "treaded" stock tires are fine for the lower powered Chinese bikes they are not up to the job for the higher powered Tai-Chi. If all you are going to do is ride around in parking lots with your friends the stock tires will be fine, but if you plan on racing your Tai-Chi I'd suggest upgrading to some sticky race slicks.

The slotted brakes on the bike gave me no troubles in stopping. I'm amazed how well the brakes on both the Aikido and Tai-Chi feel. The brakes on both of these bikes feel just as good as the brakes on my $2,000 GRC GP.

In closing I think I've found my new race bike. I will be upgrading the carb and tires so I can race this bike against the 8hp-10hp bikes in the "Super Production" class with my local race club. I don't expect to be dominating the class with this bike, but at about 1/5 the price of a brand new Italian Super Production bike I'll have plenty of money left over for more Pocketbikes to race in other classes and not be stuck with only one bike.
 

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