Tag Archives: 650MT

CFMoto 650MT & Shinko tyre review

Some 10,000km after taking possession of a CFMoto 650MT and then fitting it with Shinko 705 Adventure Touring tyres, industry veteran Dale Schmidtchen has updated his impressions of the combo. (You can also check out his initial reviews of the 650MT and Shinko tyres.)

Eleven months of ownership with this bargain-bin beauty and I can report that it continues to impress with every ride.

I still look at the Yamaha 700 Tenere and KTM 790 Adventure with envy, but for my general rides and realistic level of ability, I doubt I could justify the difference in price overt the MT at just $7490 ride away.

I commute most days on the CFMoto, and ride generally every weekend, sometimes both days. This hasn’t stopped over the COVID-19 enforced lockdown and as MBW can attest, it has been easy to do many hundreds of km even in a small radius.

Saddle timeCFMoto 650 MT

Last weekend, I did a 430km day trip and had plenty of time to reflect on this little bike as I cruised in a group that included Harleys, V4 Hondas, Triumph Speed Triples, a GSX1400 and even an MuZ 660.

The riding position is really relaxed, neutral and at the end of the day, I was tired but not sore.

I have found a happy place for the adjustable screen that nicely deflects bugs and breeze, allowing for my preferred visor up touring.

The brakes still have a lot of pad left front and rear. Braking force and control remains very consistent, despite a very basic level of ABS that is unable to be switched off.

The original chain and sprocket are doing very well.

Mirrors are still generally fuzz free and if I had to complain about anything from the cockpit’s view, the instruments can get a bit glarey if the sun is in the wrong position, but I don’t think that is anything unusual on any motorcycle.

I have left the bike standard in all areas for now, even resisting the temptation to derestrict it.

The engine power is ample for the real world and for now it’s still LAMS. I have also run a variety of fuels through it and there seems no real difference in power or the way it performs, but if I had to mention one fuel, Shell 98 seems to give it a little more range.

I originally quoted 400km from a tank. Theoretically that is possible, but because I am scared of pushing a bike home, I normally fill up at 300. It gets between 22km/l and 25km/l.

Shinko tyresShinko Tyre

The Shinko 705 tyres continue to impress after 6000+km. The front has lost 1mm of tread in the centre and the rear has worn away 4mm. In both cases, there is a lot of tread depth left and I expect the rear will be a 10,000km tyre.

I run them at 34/38 psi cold and they have plenty of predictable grip on dirt or tarmac.

IssuesCFMoto 650 MT

So what don’t I like and what issues have I had?

Generally nothing, just little niggles that haven’t stopped me in any way.

The tops of the fork adjusters have faded badly from red to a dull flesh colour.

Also, the clear plastic lower fairing on the right hand side is showing signs of cracking. The upside is that these parts are probably available at very sensible prices and I will replace them when I have to.

The only real letdown of the bike is the suspension. Sure, it works fine in 90% of cases, but over high-frequency bumps such as road corrugations, it reminds me of Stutter Rap from the Beastie Boys.

A good suspension tech could probably make it a lot better, but this could also be done at the factory. Get the suspension sorted and I have to say, it would be a giant killer.

Having said that, I am looking forward to trading up to the new CFMoto 700CL-X due later in the year.

CFMoto 700CL-X AdventureCFMoto 700CL-X Adventure

Until then, the 650MT will do me nicely. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMoto 650GT ‘worth the extra dollars’

Motorcycle industry stalwart Dale Schmidtchen has been reviewing the CFMoto 650MT for some time now, but recently switched to the road touring 650GT version.

While the CFMoto 650 MT ABS costs $7490 ride away, the 650GT is an extra $1000. Both are learner-approved, but would also suit mature riders.

Dale says the GT is a “great bike” with “world-class” fit and finish that makes it well worth the extra money.

“If it had another name on the tank, you could easily believe it came from one of the best manufacturers,” he says.

“The only part of the bike that appears cheap are the switchblocks which need a better choice of symbols and fonts.”

Here is Dale’s assessment of the CFMoto 650GT:


At 100km/h, the engine is running at 4000rpm which is 500rpm less than the MT.

I get about a very reasonable 4.3L/100km from the MT, so the GT’s economy should be a little better.

At highway speed, power delivery is good and it doesn’t feel like it is over-geared.  In fact, it feels a little stronger in the mid-range than the MT.

Engine temperature shows it runs cooler than the MT which does tend to run hot in traffic.

It also feels cooler but this can be difficult to quantify as the temperature gauge does not indicate the actual temperature, only an LCD line.

SuspensionCFMoto 650GT

I would rate the GT’s suspension as the best of any CFMoto I’ve ridden.

It handles all manner of road bumps with ease and in general gives no cause for concern.

I would encourage CFMoto to add a preload adjuster cap to the fork, as these not only look good but offer a positive feature at little extra cost.

An Ohlins cap, spacer and spring kit costs the manufacturer very little and a lesser brand cap would add little to the bike’s overall cost, but more to its value.

The rear coloured spring is an attractive feature, but it would be great if it could be adjusted.

I would like to see a pin-type adjuster as used by Ohlins which is easy and simple to use.

Wheels, tyres and brakesCFMoto 650GT

The German Metzeler tyres are a noticeable improvement over the Chinese CST Adrenos fitted to the MT.

They add stability under braking, cornering integrity, they cope better with bumps and undulations and they have better grip. I would imagine they would have superior wet too, but it hasn’t rained here for a while!

The 160 section rear sat on the 4.5-inch rim better than the MT, as well.

Braking power started out a bit poor but began to offer good bite and progression after about 800km.

If they have used the same compounds as the MT, it will be best around 2000km.


The riding position on the 650GT is good and suits a wider range of people with a lower seat than the MT.

I note that some effort has been used to weight the footpegs and rubber mount them.

The left footpeg was in the way most times when I put the side stand down.

By the way, as a tourer, it needs a centre stand, especially with the left-hand side chain run, making chain lubing more difficult on the side stand alone. 

The 650GT windscreen is perfect and the type of adjustment should be employed on the MT as it is more effective. Perhaps the robust MT system works better on rougher roads.

The fuel filler cap is much better than the MT as it stays in place during filling.

Mirrors are not as good as the MT as they vibrate. They need better weighting to reduce harmonics. Field of view is poor and there is not enough adjustment available.

Digital instrumentation are what you would expect on a more expensive bike with two layouts. I also love the way they change to night settings and are dimmable.

There is also a USB for charging your phone or GPS, which is essential for a tourer.

My only complaints are minor:

  • Like the MT, it needs a helmet lock;
  • It is difficult to tell the fuel and temperature gauges apart;
  • It was too easy to confuse the horn with the change button for the maps/dash layout; and
  • The rear axle nut is probably the biggest in the business and could do with at least 1cm shaved off.


This is a recommended option for anyone looking for a good-value, midsize road bike.

They should fit these with panniers from standard not only to fill in the rear aesthetically, but to truly live up to the “Grand Tourer” moniker.CFMoto 650GT

CFMoto 650GT tech specs


Engine Type: Two cylinder, inline 4-stroke, 8-valve, DOHC with counter balance
Capacity: 649.3cc
Bore & Stroke: 83mm x 60mm
Compression Ratio: 11.3:1
Fuel System: Bosch EFI
Max Power Output: 41.5 kW @ 9,500rpm (LAMS Restricted)
Max Torque: 62 NM @ 7,000rpm
Gearbox: 6-speed
Clutch: Multiplate wet


Frame: Tubular steel diamond frame employing engine as fully-stressed member
Front Suspension: 38mm KYB telescopic fork (max travel 120mm)
Rear Suspension: Extruded steel swingarm with tubular steel bracing, cantilever KYB monoshock (max. travel 45mm)
Front Brake: J.Juan Dual 300mm discs with twin-piston calipers
Rear Brake: J.Juan Single 240mm disc with single-piston caliper
ABS: Continental ABS

Size / Weight

Length x Width x Height: 2100mm x 784mm x 1340mm
Wheelbase: 1415mm
Seat Height: 795mm
Min Ground Clearance: 150mm
Min Turning Diameter: 5.6m
Fuel Capacity: 19L
Payload: 150kg
Weight: 226kg


Wheels Front: 17 x 3.5 cast alloy wheels
Wheels Rear: 17 x 4.5 cast alloy wheels
Tyres Front: 120/70 ZR17 Metzeler
Tyres Rear: 160/60 ZR17 Metzeler


Available Colours: Concept Blue or Nebula Black
Warranty: 2 Year, Unlimited KM

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMoto 650MT 2500km update

Motorcycle industry stalwart Dale Schmidtchen has now been in the saddle of his 2019 CFMoto 650 MT ABS for 2500km, so it’s time for an update.

Dale, who has previously worked for CFMoto, gave his initial impressions in his review last month.

Dale‘s update:

First service came up at a pleasing 1500km, not 1000km or even 800km like many other bikes.

The service was performed by the selling dealer, Sunstate Motorcycles, Nerang, and it was also very pleasing at just $270.

I was lucky enough to throw a leg over a new Suzuki V-Strom 650 while waiting for the service. The V-Strom was fully run in and quite an impressive model in the same genre, but it highlighted the amazing value of the CFMoto at less than 2/3 of the price and with panniers included.

I bought the bike because I needed a machine capable of many types of riding, so it didn’t take long before I got the wheels dirty on some unpaved country back roads.CFMoto 650MT update

While it may climb every mountain and ford every stream, there are two main drawbacks.

First is the road-biased tyre tread. Second is the lack of high-speed damping from the rear shock on corrugated dirt inclines. It tends to skip the corrugations, losing power and traction.

It adds a bit to the challenge, but I am sure a little work in the suspension, tyre pressures and a rubber update should help a great deal.

Loosen upCFMoto 650MT update

My CFMoto has taken most of the first 1500km to loosen up the engine and front suspension.

The fork seals had a noticeable amount of stiction from new, which made modulating the front brakes on dirt roads harder than now the stiction has faded.

On one very fast creek crossing, the exhaust pipe did ground out once, but I doubt most people will ever find this.   

The headlight on low beam is good for everything up to 100km/h.

The LED running lights light up the immediate road well, filling in the usual dark area. However the headlight is really bright and does not alternate between high and low. The low stays on with high beam and does its best to dazzle everything in sight.

The chain and sprocket have shown minimal wear and has not required adjustment to date, which is exceptional.

I cannot comment on wet braking as yet, thanks to the current winter drought, but in the dry the brakes are more than adequate. I recently tested out the ABS on a straight dirt road and there is great feedback before it cuts in.CFMoto 650MT update

Fuel economy has been steady since day one and hasn’t improved much with running in.

On 95 RON fuel, the bike gets a respectable 4.3L/100km (23km/l or 65mpg), theoretically allowing for 400km range.

When the last fuel block has been flashing for some time, it takes about 13.5 litres from a claimed 18 litre tank, so reserve is quite generous.

Overall, I am still enjoying the bike immensely and hope to give you another update at around 8000km.

CFMoto 650 MT ABS tech specsCFMoto 650 MT


$7490 ride away


649.3cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve, parallel-twin four-stroke with 180-degree crankshaft, chain camshaft drive and single gear-driven counter balancer

Bore & Capacity:

83mm x 60mm

Compression Ratio:


Fuel System:

EFI with 2 x 38mm ITT throttle bodies and single injector per cylinder


41.5kW @ 9500rpm (LAMS restricted)


62Nm @ 7000rpm


6-speed with gear primary drive


Multiplate wet

CFMoto 650 MT


Tubular steel diamond frame employing engine as fully-stressed member

Front Suspension:

USD fork (max travel 140mm)

Rear Suspension:

Extruded steel swingarm with tubular steel bracing, cantilever monoshock (max. travel 145mm)

Front Brake:

2 x 300mm steel discs with twin-piston calipers with Continental ABS system

Rear Brake:

1 x 240mm single disc with single-piston caliper with Continental ABS system

Front Wheel & Tyres:

120/70ZR17, 3.5 x 17 MT alloy

Rear Wheel & Tyres:

160/60ZR17, 4.5 x 17 MT alloy

CFMoto 650 MT

Length x Width x Height:

2150 x 835 x 1332mm




840mm or optional 820mm



Turning circle:


Fuel tank:




Max Payload:


Source: MotorbikeWriter.com