Someplace over the previous 17 years that Chinese language-made CFMOTO bikes have been exported to Australia, they’ve morphed from low-cost and cheerful transportation into good worth.
Now, with the launch of their new 800MT vary of Touring and Sport bikes, beginning at $12,990, they’ve made one other transformative leap — to a fascinating journey machine.
Largely because of their affiliation with Austria’s KTM, CFMOTO bikes have improved their construct high quality whereas piling on the expertise.
However extra importantly they now appear to have a greater understanding of discerning world markets that view bikes as greater than mere transportation.
I’ve ridden nearly each CFMOTO mannequin imported into Australia previously 17 years and have been impressed by how a lot bike you get on your buck.
In reality, perhaps a bit an excessive amount of bike as they’re often obese.
Weight remains to be a difficulty within the 800MT Touring I’ve been testing. At 231kg, it’s plump for a mid-sized bike. Most of that heft is up excessive within the 19-litre gasoline tank making it prime heavy which isn’t ideally suited for an journey bike, particularly when the going is sluggish and technical.
However my different points with previous CFMOTO fashions — rudimentary suspension and minor glitches equivalent to using modes that don’t work and nonsensical instrument data — have been worn out by the 800MT.
This bike merely entices with its high quality of end, excessive degree of creature options and competent dealing with.
Have a look at this spectacular array of normal options: cruise management, seat and handgrip heaters, rear wheel hugger, adjustable gear shifter, self-canceling indicators, LED lighting together with fog/auxiliary lights, conveniently positioned USB and 12-volt chargers, two using modes, slipper clutch, cornering ABS, crash bars, an enormous iPad-sized TFT display screen with complete data, hand-adjustable windscreen, totally adjustable suspension, and even Bluetooth connectivity that gives easy navigation instructions on the display screen.
I wouldn’t be shocked if in a few months CFMOTO Australia doesn’t do a deal the place they throw in baggage as they’ve completed previously with different fashions.
The 800MT vary is their first non-learner mannequin.
The Touring ($14,490) and Sport ($12,990) went on sale in January 2022, initially for purchasers who joined their pre-order marketing campaign, which included $800 price of free equipment.
The marketing campaign nearly exhausted their preliminary cargo however they’ve since obtained extra containers to crank up the inventory ranges once more.
Up to now, the most well-liked mannequin is the Touring mannequin which provides tyre strain monitoring, centrestand, up/down quickshifter, plastic handguards, baggage racks, alloy bashplate, steering damper and engaging “gold” wire-spoked wheels that accommodate tubeless tyres. They even function helpful right-angle valve stems.
Whew! That’s an exhaustive checklist of options on prime of the already spectacular array of normal tools.
However is all of it simply frosting on a stale cake?
No, this can be a contemporary and thrilling bike with succesful efficiency, journey and dealing with for touring our extensive, brown land.
That’s to not say there aren’t some drawbacks, aside from the top-heavy weight.
That weight subject ought to be of specific concern to any rider shorter than me.
At 183cm (6’), I’ve bother placing my ft flat on the bottom when stopped due to the tall 825mm seat. It’s not simply the peak, however the width that stops you getting your heels on the bottom.
On a few events I nearly dropped the top-heavy bike when stopped on slippery or unstable surfaces.
Additionally, you will need to watch out about the place you park the bike because the facet stand is just too quick and it might topple over on a sloped or tough floor.
The 800MT vary is powered by KTM’s 799cc parallel-twin engine that has been one in all their greatest items for the previous 5 years.
The dual is a succesful unit, though the facility band right here is pretty slender and you need to judiciously use the gears for stirring motivation.
It should pull strongly from 3200 revs, however loses breath about 5000, nicely wanting the limiter at 9500rpm.
There may be additionally a jerkiness within the throttle and a surging at fixed throttle going about 50-60km/h. I imagine there’s a software program repair coming for this.
The engine has little low-down torque for tough off-road conditions, although the low gearing helps.
Nonetheless, its general gearing is just too low with the engine spinning at 4400revs at freeway cruising pace (100km) in sixth gear.
That’s in all probability why the gasoline financial system is a disappointing 5.6 litres per 100km.
It’s not as low geared because the 700 vary, however an optionally available sprocket for greater gearing could be welcome for Australian situations.
In any other case, the transmission with up and down clutchless quickshifter feels fairly slick and purposeful, whereas the slipper clutch works nicely to forestall rear-wheel lockups on handfisted downshifts.
Once you work the gears and run the engine exhausting there’s an entertaining, however not annoying, growl from the exhaust.
The engine runs fairly scorching and there’s a blast of scorching air blown from the radiator immediately on to your shins. Whereas that is expectedly uncomfortable in slow-moving city visitors, it’s even noticeable out on the freeway.
You’ll have to put on lengthy boots, in any other case it might change into insupportable in a Queensland summer time. After all in winter, it’s a bonus.
The 800MT comes with two using modes: Sport and Rain. The latter dampens throttle response and is helpful for slippery situations equivalent to moist roads or gravel. It helps compensate for the dearth of traction management which many journey riders could miss.
CFMOTO makes use of Spanish J.Juan brakes (now owned by Brembo) on most of its bikes and they’re affordable performers.
On the 800MT they function twin discs up entrance which lack some preliminary chunk, which isn’t a difficulty when using on gravel.
When you hit the brakes exhausting in a panic cease, the hazard lights routinely flash which is a good security function that ought to be normal on all bikes.
The cornering ABS can be a worthy security gadget that stops the entrance tyre from slipping out from below you on a bend.
The ABS does permits minor rear-wheel lockups which may be disconcerting for some however are helpful for using on grime roads the place the tyre tread must dig into the gravel.
Experience is on the plush facet so it fits our bumpy city streets in addition to B-grade nation roads.
Because the suspension is adjustable for compression, rebound and preload, most riders ought to have the ability to discover appropriate settings for his or her weight and using model. Nonetheless entry to the rear shock preload adjuster with a C spanner is troublesome as it’s hidden below the tank and seat.
Steering is ponderous with a 19-inch entrance wheel and extensive bars, however once more this fits journey using for which it’s meant.
Cruise management is a welcome addition and is simple to function.
It will possibly solely be deactivated by hitting the brakes or pulling within the clutch, not rolling again the throttle.
I discovered it did permit the bike to float over the set pace by as much as 5km/h, even on a flat floor, so regulate your speedo.
The large TFT devices have a plethora of knowledge on the house display screen which is nice. No must scroll by means of a number of screens to get all the information you need.
There are additionally a number of different screens for controlling a bunch of different capabilities such because the seat and hand grip heaters.
Surprisingly, you’ll be able to change most of those settings on the fly which could be a distraction.
It’s also possible to hook up the bike to the CFMOTO RIDE app, which is offered throughout iOS and Android platforms. All you need to do is punch within the bike’s VIN to register on the app which additionally opens up the navigation perform.
The 800MT has one of many greatest instrument screens on any bike and it’s simple to learn in most situations, count on when the solar is shining immediately on the display screen.
Riders will discover the 800MT has a impartial using place with a luxurious seat that ought to see you comfortably by means of its 300+km gasoline vary with out a break.
Pillions may also discover their extensive and flat perch very comfortable with beneficiant handles to grip.
The handlebars could also be too excessive for some quick riders, however you’ll be able to simply roll them again for a extra relaxed attain. You actually received’t want bar risers to accommodate using within the standing place throughout tough surfaces.
These bars are additionally fairly extensive at 853mm which makes authorized lane filtering tough.
Perched atop the bars are giant truck-style mirrors which give a giant and clear view behind however can snag on SUV wing mirrors in visitors.
The windscreen supplies reasonable safety and may be adjusted 5cm by turning two knobs on both facet of the display screen. It might have been higher if it might be adjusted by only one knob or lever on the left so you’ll be able to preserve your proper hand on the throttle grip.
Tall riders could expertise some wind buffeting even within the highest place.
At evening the LED headlight casts a really vibrant and white headlight with good dispersion and eyebrow-singeing excessive beam, particularly when used with the auxiliary driving lights, though you’ll have to disable the auto gentle perform.
Regardless of some shortcomings, that is now a fascinating bike for Aussie journey riders.
The 800MT competently fulfils its design intention to tour a wide range of terrain. Simply throw on some baggage and go chase the horizon.
CFMOTO 800MT Tech Specs
|Worth||$12,990 rideaway (Sport), $14,490 (Touring)|
|Guarantee||3 years, limitless km|
|Engine||Liquid-cooled 799cc parallel twin|
|Energy||70kW @ 9000rpm|
|Torque||77Nm @ 7500rpm|
|Transmission||Six-speed, slipper clutch, chain drive|
|Suspension||43mm KYB upside-down forks, totally adjustable, 160mm journey; KYB mono shock rear, totally adjustable, 150mm journey|
|Brakes||320mm twin discs, J.Juan 4-piston radial callipers; 260mm rear disc, J.Juan twin-piston calliper, cornering ABS|
|Wheels||19×2.5; 17×4.25 forged|
|Tyres||Maxxis tubeless 110/90-19; 150/70/17|