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CFMOTO was founded in 1989 and has been a significant presence in China’s domestic market ever since – producing government vehicles for police, fire departments, etc. In that time, it’s also been developing a name for itself as a feature-rich and reliable manufacturer of engines, parts, ATVs, side-by-sides, scooters, and motorcycles worldwide.
In 2002, CFMOTO brought its ATVs and side-by-sides to the US, and began offering select scooters and motorcycles here shortly after. 2007 marked the establishment of CFMOTO USA’s headquarters in Plymouth, MN, and since then CFMOTO USA has worked alongside the corporate headquarters in China to develop and improve its offroad line of SXSs, UTVs, and ATVs for the American market. Today, CFMOTO has established itself as a competitive force in the US offroad market, with over 550 offroad dealers.
In April of 2022, CFMOTO USA launched a line of seven motorcycles to the US market. Though brand new to the US, these bikes have been sold, alongside other models, in Europe and Asia over the past decade (more info on the global line of CFMOTO motorcycles can be found at https://global.cfmoto.com/). Since the launch in April, CFMOTO is closing in on 200 dealerships.
Currently all CFMOTO models are manufactured and assembled in China (alongside other major global motorcycle and motorsports names), though they all undergo final assembly and checks in the US. Currently CFMOTO and KTM have a joint venture in China, which includes manufacturing and development of the 800 ADVentura (known to the rest of the world as the 800MT). That bike is slated to be launched in the US later this summer/fall.
Next week, we’re off for a first-hand eyeball and ride of a couple of these. For now, let’s have a look at the line-up why not? Especially if you read to the end, you’ll be nicely surprised at some of the features on these seven sub-$7,000 motorcycles. Beginning from smallest to largest…
Who day and night must scramble for a living? The Papio! If you’ve seen a Honda Grom or Kawasaki Z125, then you know what this one’s all about. Powered by an air-cooled 126cc fuel-injected Single rated at 9.3 horsepower and routed through a 6-speed gearbox, the Papio’s got some big-bike features in an economical little-bike package. It gets disc brakes front and rear, 4.3 inches of front wheel travel and a preload-adjustable rear shock. Bring a friend, since the rear footpegs are standard equipment as are the: LED headlight, taillight and signal lights, LCD screen with gear indicator, and 1.9-gallon fuel tank. How much would you expect to pay? $2,999.
“NK” for naked bike, as in no plastic bodywork. Or not much, anyway, for a stripped-down look that’s usually associated with sit-up straight ergonomics and optimal around-town comfort. This one gets a 292cc liquid-cooled double-overhead cam Single-cylinder engine, rated at 29 hp and 18.7 pound-feet of torque at 7,250 rpm. Bosch provides the electronic fuel injection, and an internal counterbalancer is designed to quell vibration.
A stiff, upside-down fork carries the front wheel, there’s a cantilevered monoshock out back – and antilock disc brakes are standard on both wheels. For a small bike, the list of standard features is impressive: LED lighting throughout, daytime running lights, and even a 5-inch full color TFT display. CFMOTO says the whole deal weighs 333 lbs with the 3.3-gallon gas tank full, and the $3,999 bottom line includes a two-year warranty.
That’s SS for supersport, which means this one adds swoopy bodywork and racy ergonomics to the 292cc DOHC single-cylinder Evolution engine. Again with the Bosch electronic fuel injection, four-valve head, inverted fork, and ABS. Also, the LED lighting and 5-inch TFT display. But, that swoopy raciness comes at a price: CFMOTO says the SS weighs, at 364 lbs, 33 more than the NK. And at $4,299, it’s $300 more.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you know lots of companies have been outsourcing manufacturing to China for decades. So, there’s not much uncanny about the 650NK’s resemblance to a certain other 649cc versatile system from a famous Japanese OEM. Just like that green bike, this one’s powered by a 649cc liquid-cooled DOHC parallel Twin that even has the same bore and stroke numbers: 83 x 60mm. CFMOTO claims it’s good for 60 horses at 8750 rpm, which should make this a sprightly little naked bike. Genuine KYB suspension holds up both ends of the 454-lb 650NK, and ABS-equipped triple disc brakes should bring it to a swift halt even in the rain – two 300mm discs up front and a 240mm rear. Other highlights: a slipper clutch (matter of fact, all the CFMOTO bikes have slippers), LED lights, 5-in. TFT display. Heck, the NK even comes with premium Pirelli Angel GT tires in 120/70R17 and 160/60R17 sizes. All for $6,499.
For only an extra 300 bucks over the naked 650NK, the ADVentura throws on a bunch of adventurous accessories, including a big adjustable windshield and detachable hard panniers. On top of that, it also gets a beefier, inverted fork that’s adjustable for rebound damping; so is the rear shock (in addition to its stepless preload adjustment). Ergonomically, this one serves up a more relaxed, upright stance for the operator and passenger, says CFMOTO, for spacious two-up sport touring comfort. All the other modern conveniences as well, of course, and all for $6,799.
This one had us at electronic cruise control. It also gets two ride modes – Sport and Economy – and even auto-canceling turn signals. We’re going for the rugged, scramblery niche here, with Pirelli MT-60 rubber in adventurous 110/80 R18 front and 180/55 R17 rear sizes. They’re attached to a KYB 41mm upside-down (USD) fork with full adjustability, while the linkage-mounted KYB shock out back is wrapped in a progressive spring, and offers rebound adjustment to control the lightweight aluminum swingarm.
We’re guessing this is the same injected DOHC liquid-cooled Twin as CFMOTO’s 650, but stroked by 4mm to 83 x 64 dimensions: That takes it to 693 cubic centimeters, and a claimed output of 74 hp at 8500 rpm and 48 lb-ft at 6500 revs.
Stopping power comes from a J.Juan 320mm single disc brake with radially mounted 4-piston caliper in the front and J.Juan 260mm single disc brake with 2-piston caliper in the rear. Other features include slipper clutch, LED lighting, stylized daytime running lights, center-mounted gauge, and 3.5-gallon fuel tank. The MSRP is $6,499.
Much like the 700CL-X above, obviously, but in a dedicated street package, complete with clip-on handlebars – and would you expect Brembo Stylema brake calipers? There the premium Italian components are, radially clamping dual 300mm discs up front, down there at the bottom of the fully adjustable 41mm inverted KYB fork legs, slowing the Maxxis SuperMaxxST 120/70R-17 front tire. Out back there’s a rebound-adjustable KYB shock and full-size 180/55R-17 rubber.
Like the non-Sport, we get cruise control and two ride modes, thanks to Electronic Throttle Control (ETC), which we translate as ride-by-wire. And the 293cc 74-hp engine, propelling what CFMOTO tells us is a 451-lb package when it’s all topped up with fluids and 3.4 gallons of gas. The most expensive bike in the fleet, the 700CL-X Sport will run you $6,999.
CFMOTO USA features full sales, marketing, vehicle development, design, parts and accessories, tech support, and domestic shipping and receiving departments. Since 2007 CFMOTO USA has more than doubled the footprint at its current facility, and says it has plans to build a brand-new US headquarters in Minnesota to support future ventures and demand.