TGB/Sachs at DealerExpo2008 REVISED

NOTE: I got a couple things wrong in the original story, hopefully I’ve covered all the mistakes. Apologies to Cobra Powersports for the mistakes and the delay in correcting them.

As Brooke pointed out last week, one of Dealer Expo’s biggest surprises was that TGB importer Cobra Powersports has added historic German marque Sachs to their lineup. Cobra is a solid operation with a good dealer network, and most dealers we talked to were pretty excited by the news.

U.S.-market Sachs will be the manufactured in China and sold under Cobra’s “Peirspeed” name (with Sachs branding also intact).


The MadAss 50 and 125 are distinctive moped-style bikes that made a big splash when introduced a couple years ago, though their impact was tempered by the XKeleton Trickster, an identical bike that hit American shores about the same time with a bit more marketing behind it. Both XKeleton and Tomberlin (the previous importer of the MadAss) seemed to lack the after-sales support and dealer network that Cobra brings to the table, so it’s good news for dealers and consumers. The MadAss is definitely not for everyone, but it has a fanatical following, and with moped popularity growing, it’s nice to know there’s a a modern-looking good-quality moped available for juvenile delinquents everywhere. Pierspeed will import the 50cc as a 4-speed manual, and the 125 with a 5-speed manual transmission.


Peirspeed will also offer a new Sachs bike, the X-Road 125, which was one of the few “wow” bikes of the show (OK, we have weird taste). It’s a 6-speed (!) mini-supermotard-style bike with a cool-looking red trellis frame. There are very few affordable small-displacement motorcycles available these days, so this distinctive bike (and its reasonable price) will hopefully be popular with new riders, students, and maybe even commuters. If 125cc doesn’t cut it for you, dear reader, a bigger-displacement version is in the pipeline.


Back to the meat of Cobra’s roster (that’ll be popular with anyone Googling “cobra meat”), the Taiwan Golden Bee lineup has barely changed for a few years now and it’s starting to look a bit stale. TGB is a top Taiwanese manufacturer with quality and reliability on par with Genuine and Kymco, and Cobra offers a great dealer/support network, so it’s a shame TGB’s bikes offer such a “beachfront scooter rental” vibe. POCphil and I spent an hour talking to Cobra sales reps, trying to explain to them why their bikes aren’t selling on par with Genuine or Kymco, even at better prices, and to their credit, they seemed very receptive, (even though we gave them roughly the same spiel last year).


Cobra plans to add Peirspeed branding to all their bikes, including the TGBs. It makes sense from a consistency standpoint, but we hope mixing generic Chinese products with their higher-quality TGB and Sachs products isn’t detrimental in the long term to the reputation of the company. The Peirspeed-badged “Europa 400” on display was the same 400cc Chinese scooter we saw at several other distributors’ booths (it’s also being sold as the “Italjet Marco Polo” in Europe). Cobra Sales Manager Mason Orr insists it’s a quality bike (it may well be) and that it and any other bikes will need to meet a high standard to be sold as a Peirspeed. If they can keep quality control up on their Chinese products, differentiate their bikes from cheaper identical bikes from other importers, stock a good supply of spares, and support their dealers as well as they have with TGB, the Chinese risk might pay off, but that’s a lot of “ifs.”

Of less interest to scooterists (and not targeted to us anyway), but a concept worth mentioning: Brass Balls Bobbers (oof!) are a line of bobbers (not mini-choppers as I said earlier, though I make no apologies for my complete ignorance of the V-Twin world) that allow the buyer to have a bike custom-built from a variety of engines, bodies, suspensions, colors, and accessories. The dealer displays three or four sample bikes on his floor, and the customer can spec his bike at an in-store kiosk. The bike is manufactured and shipped to the dealer, who preps it properly, and the customer comes and picks it up. Again, the bikes are not our bag, but we like the idea of a design-it-yourself system, and a similar online design/ordering system for scooters might be a good way for a mid-sized scooter importer and their dealers to compete with unaccountable quasi-legal drop-shippers— such a system would allow online sales, which might attract more customers, but also ensure bikes were prepped by professional dealers, and that a service/support relationship was in place for the life of the bike.

Stay tuned for more news from DealerExpo 2008!

More Peirspeed/TGB/Sachs photos in the gallery.
Index of all DealerExpo 2008 stories

8 thoughts on “TGB/Sachs at DealerExpo2008 REVISED”

  1. New models – Monaco 250, Deco 125 and Vintage 50/150 made by Jonway who supplies Tank, Roketa and 10 other importrs . Nothing else ned to be said.

  2. Cobra/Peirspeed exec commented over at Moped Army Forum that Madass 125 IS built in China to keep retail price down in USA . He said that the bike would be unaffordable if built in Germany. He also reassured the crowd at Moped Army that quality control would be superior with several Sachs engineers overseeing production in China.

    Price he quoted for the Madass 125 in the USA was under $2300!!!! Wow!!!!!!!!!

  3. I just want to know if that MA125 seat will fit on a Lammy :)

  4. The Brass Balls bikes were not mini choppers, they’re full sized choppers. The bikes are offered with 3 different motors (S&S, Indian and HD) I was impressed with the bikes and their whole “build your bike online” business plan leaving the dealer with the job of just handling delivery and support. The bikes shown at Indy were 2 hardtails and one softail, both hardtails could have been purchased for less than $20K and the Softtail was fully loaded and would cost the buyer $22K with the 100 inch S&S stroker motor. Pretty good when you consider HD will sell you that EXACT same bike for $33K with less warranty. I gotta give those guys credit for bringing a sellable product to market their first time out while Fischer is still pushing an un-buyable bike that is getting more and more out-dated each year. Choppers aren’t my thing, but these were very conservative bobbers that were built using all top-shelf gear. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy from them if I were in the market. Thank Jesus I’m not in the market.

  5. With a price tag around $20k, I was thinking, “These bobbers can’t be ‘mini’ choppers…Unless they were made of GOLD!” Thanks pocphil for clarifying that.

    And supersoul, that Madass 125 for under $2300!! is looking better every minute.

    More posts from the Expo, please 2sb?

  6. 2sb has been in bed with the flu for a couple days now. We apologize for not updating this story promptly with TGB’s clarifications, let alone writing more stories. The hallucinations and chills are starting to fade and we’ll hopefully be able to type with our usual accuracy rate (72%) tomorrow. Thanks for your patience, everyone!

  7. Guangzhou PanYu HuaNan Motors Group: we are the leading motorcycle manufactory in China which make the motorcycle, scooter, ATV, Golf Car. We have a 120, 000 square meter production base and more than 2, 000 employees ( include 5 engineer from Germany South Korea, Japan) The register capital of FYM is 10, 000 million. We introduce the technical from Yamaha and own the Brand name of Sachs (Germany). Our company annual production capacity is up to 500, 000 units motorcycles and 800, 000 engines. We also have the CCC cerficater, EEC certificater, DOT certificater. ISO9002 Approved. We are the OEM factory of Hyundai (South Korea) and Yamaha( Japan).

  8. For being the leading motorcycle factory in China I have to say the FYM hnmoto website needs to be updated. The 2005 chinese calendar is still their main banner and half the site never functions when searching hyperlinks. As an avid scooterist and one that will purchase many more in the future, I, and many others would appreciate the FYM site being retooled. We thank you!

    Meanwhile…I have to say the Peirspeed Europa 400 is a slick looking ride. I’ve had my eye on it since early last year. I assume it is the same scoot as the Schwinn Del Mar 400 or the Qlink Splendor 400. At $4650, I’m ready to buy one and see for myself. I’ve been told they haven’t been shipped to the U.S. as an approved EPA certificate is holding them up. If anyone has information to the contrary, I would be more than interested in an update. Personally I’d probably purchase the Peirspeed Europa 400 as I can’t see myself getting on anything displaying with the word: “Splendor” Safe Riding..Cheers!

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