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Linhai ATV

Non Peugeot Cars and Bikes. News and discussion.

Post Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:01 am
stewartwillsher User avatar

Senior Member
Senior Member

Posts: 383
Kudos: 173
Location: Western Spain
You may have read my WAFFLE on the 2017 olive harvest; well, mentioned was the workhorse that shifts the sacks around the finca.
I thought I would introduce the beast properly and show what a diverse and eclectic mix of vehicles we have.

When we bought the finca in 2007, it was a fairly quick decision to try and maintain it in as traditional way as possible.
We chose it, not for the crops, but for the view and that it had a ruined building on the land, which gives you a strong case for constructing a building from that ruin.
Looking round and assessing the problems that the crops would incur, it was obvious that shifting sacks of harvested olives would be difficult and requiring effort because one end, the Northern, was on eight levels, each about two metres high.
An estimated total of over a ton, meant a wheelbarrow shifting forty kilo sacks was just not on.
With the smallest tractor we saw it would still be difficult to navigate the narrow, in places, terraces and weave in and out of the trees and their branches.
My research on-line indicated that a "serious" quad, termed an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) would fit the bill.
As it happened, my son-in-law, at that time was looking at a retro style motorcycle and was going to a show in Madrid to do his research.
I asked him to look out for info on ATVs.
He came back with quite a selection of bumf on suitable vehicles.
Being a sharp lad, he understood that the majority of "quads" are recreational and some little more than toys.
Two wheel drive (the majority of quads) would slip and slide on the steep slopes between terraces, some being on smooth rock.
Then some of the 4x4 models were not designed for shifting loads, but for zooming about off-road.
Ignoring all those, the Linhai 300, a Chinese copy, made under licence, of a Yamaha was favourite.
I found a local dealer and, taking a gamble, bought off catalogue.
When it arrived at the dealer we were taken for coffee by the boss and given a few freebies, so he must have done alright out of the sale, and by his own admission it was his first sale of a Linha ATV.
He delivered it to the finca.
I had already got a local builder to knock a hole in an existing shed and install steel doors, to garage the machine.
Now, I have driven all manner of vehicles, almost all types, except HGV, but was not prepared for this wicked beast.
Any one of its challenges would have been a breeze, but taken together they resulted in the most obstinate and unpleasant creature to drive.
I had been used to hand throttles of the kind on agricultural tractors or the twist grip of a motor bike, but this has a thumb lever which is both imprecise and requiring dexterity which obviously does not come naturally to me.
Next, the gear chosen has to be the gear used until coming to a standstill, as is the selection of two or four wheel drive.
This meant either sticking in the lowest so as to be appropriate for steep and slippery parts, or stopping to reselect something different.
Reverse has an extra interlock so another button has to be held in to allow backward progress.
It has two independent braking systems with utterly differing sensitivity.
The discs all round can stop the thing dead and the front braking is via a motorcycle type lever and hydraulics on the right handlebar.
I don't use that bugger or I'd be over the handlebars.
The rear brakes are activated by a pedal under the right foot and is progressive, so that's for me.
All of that is eclipsed by a dreadful automatic centrifugal clutch.
The effect of that is two-fold - no throttle could be applied on selecting a gear as there was no manual clutch. Worse was that any delicate control needed to negotiate tricky turns, some needing three or more point turns, was impossible.
Just to add to my woes, not being a particular muscular chap (yeah, I'm a weed!), the huge tyres combined with no power assist to the steering, meant I was quickly knackered.
OK, let's be fair and trumpet its good points.
Power to weight ratio is excellent and ignoring the various caution notices on loading weights, I can carry three forty kilo sacks at a time, tied, two on the back carrier and one on the front.
The 300cc motor has enough oomph that observers gasp when the front lifts (not a full wheelie) on the slopes; not had a complete brown trouser moment yet, but close!.
The grip of the agricultural type tyres with their low pressure is amazing; our slopes are steep but it goes up them no probs.
The saddle is incredibly comfortable and my modest rear end is easily accommodated.
The instruments in one central console are clear and simple.
It starts!
OK, I have had to chuck out the original Chinese battery that failed to hold its charge when just outside the warranty (of course) and the cheap AGM gel battery also failed outside its warranty, but the present bog standard bike battery is fine (so far).
But, with a bit of forward planning to top up fluid and connect to solar panel, the Linhai fires up no probs, after the fuel gets through.
Give it a few minutes to warm up, or the centrifugal clutch will stall it, and we are in business after possibly ten months hibernation.
Doesn't seem to miss a beat.
Servicing costs next to nothing.

Only two problems since new, one under warranty, which was: the speedo stopped working.
They (the dealer) took ATV away, tested, etc., ordered and replaced faulty unit, and returned vehicle in about a week, so not bad.
However the other fault, out of warranty, was diagnosed and fixed by our garage that looks after us, and was a disgraceful indictment of Chinese rubbish.
The beast was overheating after only a couple of sacks up the finca and a warning light on and a continuous bleeping.
I nobbled the fan so as it was always on and not controlled by the thermostat, which I thought was at fault, feeling the pipes to see which were hot or not.
Next service I asked our chap to look into the problem.
He called us in to see what he had found, because he could not believe it and just wanted to show us.
The lifetime coolant (Chinese special product, no doubt) had turned to jelly, so was not circulating.
Before flushing this awful gunge out and using something more effective, they wanted to show us!

Incidentally, this WAFFLE was prompted by me taking the beast to our local chap for him to give it the annual once-over and submit it to the ITV (MoT) inspection.
I watched for a gap in the clouds, then with helmet, goggles and dayglow hi viz vest, I set off the kilometre into town.
It immediately started raining, so by the time I reached the garage I was soggy, except for my head, enclosed in sixties F1 approved helmet, in BRG with white peak, just like Jim Clark's!
They just laughed at this old git on crazy motor in the rain; but then we are, after all, the crazy English (los tontos Ingleses).
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With a little bit of bloomin' luck!
My Fair Lady RCZ will be mine.
Just got to find her, that's all.


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