QJ Motor SRC 500 Review: A Potent Modern-Classic Cruiser?

The SRC 500 is the newest entrant in the modern-classic motorcycle territory. It might be from a Chinese brand, but does pack a good bunch of qualities in its favour. Does it make the cut to come across as a formidable contender? Let’s find out
8 mins read
12-May-23 06:45 PM IST
  • Highest displacement motorcycle in QJ Motor’s current portfolio
  • Larger version of QJ Motor’s Benelli Imperiale 400
  • QJ Motor SRC 500 priced at Rs 2.69 lakh (ex-showroom)

Modern-classic motorcycles hold a strong liking among two-wheeler buyers in India. Some of the main reasons why people choose them are for their character, commanding yet comfortable riding stance, exposed mechanical look and not to forget the generous use of chrome. Now, I may not be much of a fan of this genre of motorcycles, but that’s just me. That said, one cannot deny the fact that a lot is going for modern-classic motorcycles in today’s market.



QJ Motor is a Chinese two-wheeler manufacturer that has now ventured into India with an interesting lineup of motorcycles. The brand is one of several owned by China’s Qianjiang Group, which is also the parent company of Benelli and Moto Morini. That aside, coming to the motorcycle in these pictures, the SRC 500 is essentially a bigger version of the QJ-owned Benelli Imperiale 400. Dimensionally, displacement-wise and even on the feature-front, the SRC 500 is here to offer more to buyers in the modern-classic motorcycle segment.


That’s quite a lot going for a motorcycle that aims to take on the lucrative modern-classic two-wheeler market. But does the SRC 500 tick all the right boxes to come across as an ideal 500cc retro-styled touring bike that Royal Enfield tried to achieve with the Classic 500?



The SRC 500 is large in proportions giving it a big bike feel


At first glance, one could mistake the SRC 500 for the Benelli Imperiale 400. But, it doesn’t take long to notice the large proportions of the SRC 500. Like most modern-classic motorcycles, it features a large round headlamp flanked by amber-coloured circular turn indicators. The handlebar is a wide single-piece one with two digital displays housed inside the twin-pot meters. The fuel tank is a large typical teardrop-shaped one that can store 15.5-litres of fuel, followed by a single-piece saddle. The tail section features a clean and simple look with the oval brake lamp and round turn indicators.


The twin-pod digital displays get chrome bezels for the retro look 


The headlamp is a conventional filament type, with a small parking lamp in the same reflector. A LED unit would have been nicer as it would have looked more modern and also cast a better light spread which the current setup lacks. The switches are easy to reach and don’t take much time to get accustomed to, while the quality of the switchgear isn’t great, but not terrible either. The motorcycle is offered in a dual-tone colour scheme with three colour options, this one being the red and white livery.


The SRC 500 rides on 19-inch front and 18-inch rear alloy wheels


On the weighing scale, the SRC 500 stands at 205 kg, which is decent for a motorcycle of its class. It rides on a 19-inch front and a 18-inch rear alloy wheels shod with Maxxis tyres. For braking, the SRC 500 is equipped with a 300 mm disc at the front with a two-piston caliper and a 240 mm disc at the rear with a single-piston caliper. The system is backed by dual-channel ABS, as standard.




The 480 cc air-cooled mill is surprisingly smooth and refined


Coming to the meat of the matter, what I would like to bring your attention to is the large 480 cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine, which is the centrepiece of this classic tourer. On paper, this mill is rated to produce 25 bhp of maximum power at 5,750 rpm and 36 Nm of peak torque at 4,250 rpm. The power delivery is smooth and linear with a fat and juicy torque curve. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox which is slick and positive on shifts. The top cog is large for overdrive which helps keep the revs low when on the highway.


Power delivery is smooth and linear, with hardly any vibrations to complain about


When accelerating from a speed as low as 15 kmph, the second gear manages to build momentum without any jerks. And if you want to cover long distances, the SRC 500 will sit comfortably at 100-110 kmph all day long without the motor feeling stressed at all. What that means is, whether you’re tackling traffic or chasing triple-digit speeds on the highway, this motor doesn’t disappoint, packing a healthy dose of fun. 


The exhaust note is deep with a likable thump that gets even better on the move


From idling to riding down the road, the 480 cc thumper emits a deep exhaust note that is nice to the ears. On the move, an important thing to observe with large single-cylinder mills is the vibrations. However, I am happy to conclude that the SRC 500 doesn’t have any intrusive vibrations felt at the handlebar, seat or foot pegs. However, it was only at the pillion foot pegs that the vibration of the engine was felt.



The suspension is softly set at the front, while the rear is set on the stiffer side making the ride rather unsettling


It is crucial for any cruiser, for that matter, any motorcycle to perform decently in this department. That’s because a rider will be spending a lot of time on the saddle while encountering a variety of road terrains and corners.


In the case of the SRC 500, the bike offers a wide and well-cushioned seat offering a comfortable ride, while the wide chrome-finished handlebar offers a commanding yet engaging stance. The foot pegs are neutrally positioned but are slightly higher, which can turn out to be a little cramped for taller riders. The saddle height is set at 800 mm, which should be accessible for most riders.


Riding stance is upright with centre-set foot pegs and wide handlebar


As you get going on this bike, one of the first things to notice is how light the clutch operation is, as it can be easily operated even with a single finger. Now, it is understood that modern-classic motorcycles aren’t meant to be excellent handlers and agile machines. But, at the same time they also aren’t supposed to deprive you of enjoying smooth flowing corners or when riding over bumpy roads, right?


Bite from the front brake a good but can do with some more feedback


In the case of the SRC 500, the motorcycle does a commendable job when ridden in a relaxed manner. Pick up the pace a bit and things start to get a bit jittery. You see, the SRC 500 is suspended by a telescopic fork setup at the front and dual shock absorbers at the rear. Now, the front is set up soft while the rear is set on the stiffer side, thus upsetting the dynamics of the motorcycle while tackling corners or a bumpy road. While the motor eggs you to twist that throttle and carry more speed, the unsettling nature of the suspension makes the whole experience rather scary. The brakes do a decent job of shedding speed but could do with a little more bite, mainly because of the speeds that this motorcycle is capable of. 




The SRC 500 has the potential for a capable modern-classic touring motorcycle


Priced from Rs 2.69 lakh (ex-showroom), the QJMotor SRC 500 does come across as a nice-looking modern-classic motorcycle which isn’t frightfully expensive while ticking a good bunch of boxes. It has a fantastic motor coupled with a slick gearbox that is great for highways as well as to putter within the city. 


The SRC 500 is a relaxed cruiser with a refined motor that can be most enjoyed on highways


For a relaxed ride experience, which isn’t too fast, nor too slow, the SRC 500 does offer an enjoyable experience. However, one needs to consider the relatively unknown brand, limited sales and after-sales network. But if you’re in the market for a modern-classic thumper and are okay without the Royal Enfield badge, the QJMotor SRC 500 could be the bike for you. Having that said, if only the suspension setup can be tweaked to give it better dynamics, it would complete the package.



(Photography: Pawan Dagia)




Engine Displacement

480 cc

Maximum Power

25 bhp @ 5,750 rpm

Peak Torque

36 Nm @ 4,250 rpm



Frame Type 

Bassinet type

Overall Length

2170 mm

Overall Width

820 mm


1120 mm


1440 mm

Ground Clearance

155 mm

Kerb Weight

205 kg

Seat Height

800 mm

Fuel Tank Capacity

15.5 litres

Tyre Size (Front)

100/90-R19 (tubeless)

Tyre Size (Rear)

130/80-R18 (tubeless)

Brake Type & Size (Front)

300 mm Disc

Brake Type & Size (Rear)

240 mm Disc

Front Suspension

Telescopic fork

Rear Suspension

Twin shock absorbers

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