Maybe. Maybe not. Saying the Chinese can go from zero to world-class-offroad (or even street) in a year or two, might be their dream but that's all it will be. At least for another 4-6 years.
Do not misunderstand me, I have nothing but respect for the Chinese, been there, broken bread with them, spent a lot of time in their country. They are intelligent and very hard working. But they do NOT have the creative talent required to CREATE a world-class bike. Putting together a line-up of 20 bikes is not the same as putting together a line-up of 20 bikes that can win races.
Will they have bikes capable of winning races in 5 years? Maybe. But not this year or next year or 2 or 3 years after that. Not because they won't try very hard. But because they haven't yet acquired the creative genius that is required to build world-class bikes. They will, someday, and Honda knows that. Honda knows its got maybe 5 years.
Why do the great majority of us buy big, harry-ass thumpers? To be able to sit on our bikes and dream. To sit on our bikes and plan The Next Big Trip/Race/Ride/Whatever.
Yeah, a bike is also "transportation" and Honda's entry-level "transportation" bikes will be feeling pressure soon. "Transportation" that is cheaper is often viewed as better. I've seen a family of 4, going down a street in India on a single, 50cc scooter. Seen that many times. That's transportation, and they're grateful for it, God bless em.
The people on this Forum do not dream about "transportation". We dream about and buy and tweak and talk about and write about big, harry-ass thumpers because the XR600/650R/L are world-class, win-races, carry-you-to-Panama-and-back legends. Legends aren't designed and built and tested in combat in a year or two. Honda knows that--cost base or no cost base--their premier street and dirt bikes are safe for now. If they are smart (and I think they are damn smart) they will keep they premier customers happy, for as long as humanly possible.
I've been wrong before and I could easily be wrong now. Time will tell.
Like several of you said, "I got mine".