With extensive appointments and a pricetag that will send a shiver up the spines of the opposition, the CFMOTO 700CL-X Heritage makes a big statement. See our video review here…
What we like:
- Super pricetag
- Lots of clever add-ons
- Comfort plus
Room for improvement:
- No traction control
- Low speed damping harsh
- Slightly rough fuelling
CFMOTO’s first non-LAMS bike, the 700CL-X Heritage, sends a signal that the Chinese brand is fair dinkum. Already a market leader in the ATV world, it’s clear attention is focussed at the moment on the two-wheeled market. That will send a shiver down a few spines at the more traditional makers boardrooms. You wait and see. And, who doesn’t like an upstart giving a kingpin a reasonable clip behind the ear?
Versatility. Riders are insisting on user-friendliness and a jack of all trades approach from their bikes these days. Single-focussed bikes are not doing at all well in the market, just look to the litre-bike category for confirmation there. Yep, the head down bum up rocketship is no longer the aspirational go-to for just about anybody nowadays. How things change…
This is where the middleweight naked bike shines as a marketplace beacon to a wide-eyed, but fiscally-conscious buyer. Indeed, bikes just like this 700CL-X Heritage may well take top honours in the sales race in the months to come.
First up, the CFMOTO 700CL-X hits showrooms in this here base Heritage variant, but it will be joined later in the year by the sharper Sport version that gets flasher brakes and a solo seat.
Smart word suggests a touring-oriented Adventure variant with wire-spoked wheels, will land as well. Given the mad uptake in participation in the mid-weight adventure sector, they’d be remiss over there at CFMOTO HQ not to get involved now there is this full power platform to develop.
The 700CL-X has a 693cc parallel-twin that tosses up 55kW and 68Nm, backed up by a new Bosch fuel-injection system, a slipper clutch and forged pistons. It goes hard and power wheelies are a cinch.
The CFMOTO 700CL-X comes bulging at the seams with primo gear, with things like a ride-by-wire throttle, cruise control, two rider modes, LED lighting, USB charger and adaptive lighting fitted as standard.
With a 13-litre fuel tank, the bike tips the scales at 196 kilograms, with fully adjustable KYB forks, an adjustable monoshock and multi-spoked wheels wrapped in Pirelli MT60 dual-purpose tyres (18-inch front, 17-inch rear). On the road, slow traffic running suggests low-speed damping is a little harsh, things are good when the power comes on. Pretty steady and solid suspenders when you are getting up it.
There’s a single-disc brake front and back, with J.Juan calipers. J.Juan is a Spanish brake company now owned by Brembo, and it produces brake components from facilities in both Spain and China.
What’s happening under you is displayed on that round LCD screen, and there’s two rider modes, Sport and Economy. Not sure about that screen, but it’s clear and hits the ‘neo retro’ aim square twixt the eyes.
Rider comfort and riding possie are great. I can cut out long distances on a bike like this, ably assisted by that sub-200kg wet weight. Ergos are very good there.
Lending a wallop of cred is the fact CFMOTO is firmly in the sack with KTM, which has assisted it to break out of the LAMS category.
There’s two colour schemes, Coal Grey and the Charcoal Blue you are looking at, with an extended three-year unlimited-kilometre warranty.
So, from the city commute, where you can trundle into work in one of the grand metropolis’ this wide cosmo country features, to metroing it up large style at your favourite café on a Sunday pose-jaunt, to giving in to your primal urges and giving it a handful to see both what you and the bike can put together in the performance stakes, I reckon the 700CL-X Heritage just might have you covered.
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.