Emerging Chinese bikemaker CFMoto looks for dominance in 2021, as it prepares to enter new motorcycle segments and significantly ramp up its production capabilities.
The company has already outed its first fully faired sportsbike, the 300SR, and recently unveiled its first non-LAMS offering in the 700CL-X retro naked bike. Next, CFMoto plans to develop the “largest, most powerful” motorcycles ever produced by a Chinese manufacturer.
CFMoto is converting its CF1250 police bike for regular production, meaning that we will soon see a 1278cc V-twin-powered tourer, loaded with tech like a large 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster.
This motor is a retuned version of KTM’s LC8 V-twin, and delivers 105kW and 120Nm in this application.
CFMoto first partnered with KTM in 2013 to build small-capacity KTM-badged model for the China. Now, the joint-venture will see CFMoto expand into new territories.
Future models will be built in a new 150,000 square-metre facility in Hangzhou, China, which the brand says is capable of producing 50,000 large capacity motorcycles per year.
“It’s intended as a great showcase of CFMoto’s access to advanced technology in design and styling,” said CFMoto chairman Lai Guogui in a press release.
“While other companies in the domestic Chinese powersports industry were developing 125/150cc bikes, CFMoto was making our 650NK model, on which we are already on to the second generation. And while other companies are developing 250/300/400cc bikes, CFMoto is developing a 1000cc-plus bike.
“It’s a great proof of CFMoto’s brand positioning in looking ahead to larger-displacement products.”
CFMoto’s new 700CL-X naked sportsbike, which was revealed earlier this month, will be the brand’s first non-LAMS model to hit Australian showrooms when it launches early next year.
The new platform will birth three variants, starting with the 700CL-X Heritage in February, followed by the Adventure and Sport models thereafter.
Power comes from a 693cc parallel-twin sending 55kW and 68Nm to the rear wheel via a slipper-clutch-equipped six-speed gearbox.
The bike features neo-retro styling, with things like a round headlight, aluminium trim elements, alloy wheels reminiscent of wire-spoked wheels as well as a leather seat.
Most notable about the 700CL-X is its segment-leading level of standard equipment. The bike benefits from KYB 41mm forks with a link-mounted KYB rear shock, adaptive LED lighting, daytime running lights, auto-cancelling indicators and an LCD dash.
The company is also taking on the popular LAMS sportsbike segment with the release of its 300SR. This segment is dominated by the likes of the Yamaha YZF-R3 and Kawasaki Ninja 400, though CFMoto undercuts both on price with its highly competitive $5790 rideaway pricetag.
In Australia, CFMoto has steadily grown with its distributor Mojo Motorcycles since the brand launched in 2005, however, the bikemaker’s local director anticipates a big boost to its local presence.
“CFMoto is a seriously powerful player in the ATV/UTV markets across the globe, and we knew big, bold moves were on the horizon for the company’s motorcycle division,” explains CFMoto Australia director Michael Poynton.
“It’s quite the warning shot, and it’s just the beginning.”
Spencer has a keen eye for hard news, and does some of his best living on deadline day. He loves more than anything to travel on his motorcycle, and is adamant that Melbourne Bitter is a world-class lager. He also knows how to operate the big computery thing in the office. By night, Spencer plays guitar with Melbourne punk outfit LOUTS.