Rallye du Desert — a retro scrambler inspired by the Dakar Rally…
Today, we are thrilled to feature our first custom motorcycle from China, built by Luo Hao of Mandrill Garage. The base bike is a Shineray 440, which is a copy of the Honda 400SS — a 29-hp, air-cooled single built from around 2002 to 2009. The Shineray 440 has been rebranded in Europe as Mash Motorcycles, who have a range of 400cc versions, and as the SWM Gran Milano 440. Says The Bike Shed Times:
“The engine is second-cousin to a Honda 400. As a matter of fact, Shineray manufactured engines for Honda in China for a period of time and this is pretty close to that engine, but bored out to 440cc and up-specced with oil cooling and fuel injection (mostly to meet European emission requirements).”
Luo Hao admits that he wishes the quality of the Shineray 440 was better — especially the EFI — but it’s the only big single bike he can obtain in China, so he works with what he has. All things considered, Luo and the crew of Mandrill China has built one impressive tribute to the Paris Dakar rally bikes of the 70s and 80s.
Below, we get the full story on this big single adventure machine.
Shineray 440 Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My work shop has been established since 2012, owned by me and some friends. I am a graphic designer, and I like to build and ride motorcycles. So we open Mandrill Garage and Mandrill Cafe. Friends can party together here, talk about everything motorcycle.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
It’s Chinese brand. In China it called Shineray 440, In Europe it’s Mash.
• Why was this bike built?
It’s a Customer project. Shineray 440 is a copy Honda CB400SS. Quality is not very good, EFI is like rubbish, but it’s the only big single cylinder engine motorcycle in China I can buy, so I use it.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Design concept is vintage rally bike. Color is from 1979 Yamaha XT500 Rally.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Hand-made the bike’s tank and high exhaust pipe. Tires are Pirelli Scorpion Rally. Headlight is Baja style. Everything is vintage rally and vintage MX style.
But I wanted to put something modern, so I used Trailtech gauges with speedometer and bar graph tachometer. All blue plastic parts are from an old Yamaha IT490.
• How would you classify this bike?
Vintage Rally / Vintage MX
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The original Yamaha XT500 rally’s tank has a lot of hard edges. I redesigned the tank, making it like the old bike but more smooth.
Follow the Builder
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MandrillGarage/
- Instagram: @Mandrillchina
- Photographer LuoHao (@iLoopluohao)