Bikes > Motor

CFMoto’s tour de force at EICMA 2023

MT-X, 125NK Concept, 450MT, new three-cylinder, and more

CFMoto came out with guns blazing at this year's EICMA. PHOTO FROM CFMOTO

Possibly the fastest-rising brand in the motorcycle industry, CFMoto made the halls of the Fiera Milano at this year’s EICMA show its stomping grounds with an array of new models and concepts that look mere months away from production.

The first reveal was the 125NK Concept, clearly aimed at Asian markets where small-displacement bikes are king. The naked bike features a single-sided swingarm with a carbon-fiber cover for the rear wheel, a slim tail, a sporty exhaust, and a wide-shouldered tank. LED lighting adds to the upmarket appeal.

No details yet on engine performance, but a 125cc motor typically makes around 8hp to 12hp depending on the tune. A competitively priced 125cc CFMoto for the Philippine market could theoretically have the Japanese stalwarts worried about losing market share.

Small-displacement bikes are all about looking flash for the youth market, and this concept nails it. PHOTO FROM CFMOTO

Next up was the MT-X Concept, a more off-road-focused version of the highly regarded 800MT. Graphics aside, it sports true-blue adventure bike details like an enduro fender, a 21-inch front wheel, and a portrait-style, eight-inch TFT mimicking the navigation towers of rally bikes.

CFMoto didn’t give exact specs, but claims it has higher ground clearance and more suspension travel than the stock 800MT upon which it is based. The fuel tank is also markedly lower, similar to the KTM 790 Adventure’s, for a lower center of gravity. No engine and transmission details were specified either, but the standard 799cc parallel-twin on the 800MT makes 95hp paired with a six-speed transmission.

A middleweight, off-road-focused ADV bike would definitely shake up the market. PHOTO FROM CFMOTO

A new 675cc, three-cylinder engine is also being touted as the heart of the Chinese manufacturer’s upcoming line of sport bikes. Developed completely in-house, the three-cylinder makes over 100hp and 68Nm at 8,250rpm and can spin up to 12,300rpm.

The engine weighs just 55kg thanks to the use of forged aluminum for the engine block and pistons. It’s slated to power the next generation of sport bikes in 2024.

The new engine was completely developed in-house. PHOTO FROM CFMOTO

Possibly one of the biggest surprises was the 450MT, an adventure bike based off the 449cc parallel-twin employed on the 450SR and the 450NK.

With 44hp, 44 Nm, and a 175kg dry weight, the 450MT should greatly appeal to adventure riders who have longed for a lightweight bike with the character of a 270° twin-cylinder.

The adjustable KYB suspension offers 200mm of travel and 20 levels of damping, while the ergonomics are optimized for stand-up riding with a raised handlebar and flat footpegs.

A 21-inch front wheel, a 18-inch rear wheel, 220mm of ground clearance, and a 820mm seat height are all things ADV riders look for, along with selectable ABS and traction control. We can’t wait to get our hands on this one!

The 450MT would be a hit in the entry-level ADV category. PHOTO FROM CFMOTO

Meanwhile, the 800NK GP brings an aggressive riding position as well as race-ready components. These include adjustable suspension, slip-on exhaust, raised footrests, a lowered handlebar, CNC’d parts, fork and swingarm protection, and an exclusive single seat—all reflecting CFMoto’s Moto3 racing project.

Lessons learned from the Moto3 project have been applied to the 800NK GP. PHOTO FROM CFMOTO

Would people buy a Chinese cruiser, though? CFMoto is showing off its custom chops with the 450CL-C Low Ride and the CL-X Spirit. The former has a custom bobber-style aesthetic with a lenticular wheel rim, and a single seat with contrasting stitching. The custom look is further highlighted by the dual exhausts and the color-keyed engine casing, while the teardrop-shaped fuel tank has been chromed.

Would people dig a Chinese cruiser, though? PHOTOS FROM CFMOTO

On the other hand, the CL-X Spirit is a scrambler with a high dual exhaust, a custom shaped saddle, spoked wheels, off-road tires, and upgraded suspension and brakes.

CFMoto is also taking a dig at the scrambler niche. PHOTOS FROM CFMOTO

Finally, the UForce E Concept is an electric ATV with a two-tiered cargo box and an extendable cargo bed. The interior won’t displace a Range Rover anytime soon, but it does offer bolstered seats with good legroom and, seriously, Apple CarPlay connectivity.

An ATV that actually looks comfortable. PHOTO FROM CFMOTO

With these many interesting—and relevant—concepts presented by CFMoto for the international market, one has to wonder if the long-established players aren’t beginning to feel just a tiny bit of pressure from this upstart Chinese manufacturer. Either way, more choices and competitive pricing will benefit consumers.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.