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Review: CFMOTO 700CL-X Heritage

Chinese manufacturer CFMOTO has been steadily making inroads in Australia over the past decade with its learner motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.

Australian importer Mojo Motorcycles is one of a growing list of companies that are no longer members of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries so their sales figures for CFMOTO are not counted.

But when they were last an FCAI member CFMOTO had laudably and surprisingly crept into the top 10 manufacturers.

And that is despite not having any scooters or motorcycles with an engine capacity of more than 650cc. In other words, no non-learner models.

Until now.CFMOTO 700CL-X Heritage

With the recent arrival of the 700CL-X range — their first non-learner motorcycles — many in the industry will be nervously and enviously monitoring sales of this bike and the coming 800cc models next year powered by KTM engines under their special arrangement with the Austrian motorcycle company.

And well should they be nervous because the 700CL-X Heritage is a handsome and well-appointed motorcycle arriving at $9490 ride away.

That includes Pirelli MT60RS “scrambler” tyres as used by Ducati and Triumph, two engine modes, cruise control, USB charging port under the seat and full LED lighting including a headlight that adapts illumination to ambient conditions.

The Hertitage naked bike will be followed by a Sport cafe racer later this year and the Adventure all-roader next year.

It is no coincidence that the “X” from the model name features heavily in the styling which really does have an X factor.CFMOTO 700CL-X Heritage

The bike is styled by Kiska Design House in Australia which is responsible for the famous orange brand’s futuristic form.

That design aesthetic is mirrored in the 700CL-X from the futuristic LED headlight with its “X” illumination to one of the tidiest of tail designs on the road today.CFMOTO 700CL-X Heritage

Not only is it well styled, but there is a lot of attention to detail in the build quality from neat frame welds to little grommets in the headstock to channel the cables. A lot of bigger manufacturers could take notice of this orderly cabling.

The 700CL-X also has the most attractive standard exhaust pipe on the market (apart from MV Agusta) with its stubby, brushed aluminium exhaust, although the catalytic convertor tucked underneath the bike is massive.CFMOTO 700CL-X Heritage

Another plus is the growling exhaust note which is pleasing without being a public nuisance. No need for an aftermarket replacement.

While this is the first non-learner CFMOTO motorcycle in Australia, it is powered by the same inline twin-cylinder water-cooled engine as in their 650cc range.

It has been stroked 4mm to 693cc with other updates including Bosch fuel-injection, split connecting rods, a slipper clutch and forged pistons.

The optimised intake system improves efficiency and increases the peak power from 41.5kW to 55kw and torque from 62Nm to 67Nm.

The result is a much punchier unit that will happily keep pace with other models in the midrange naked bike market.

In fact, it will pop the front wheel if you get a little too eager in the first couple of gears.

That’s not just the result of a punchier engine, but also gearing which I believe is too low for Australian conditions.CFMOTO 700CL-X Heritage

First gear will hit the 6000rpm limiter by the time you get to 60km/h and your hands and nether regions will be tingling excitedly at “cruising” speed on the highways with the engine revving at 4500rpm in sixth gear.

It may mean rapid acceleration, but it also results in numb hands after an hour’s ride and disappointing fuel economy of about 5L/100km with the fuel warning flashing after just 160km, despite a 13-litre fuel tank. 

There are two engine modes — Eco and Sport — although Eco does not improve fuel economy. I suspect it just softens throttle response which is handy in slippery conditions. 

On my two-week test I found I was rapidly clicking through the cogs to fourth and fifth around town and sixth from 80km/h. An aftermarket smaller rear sprocket would sort out the gearing issue.

Thankfully the 700CL-X gearbox is slick and clutch pull is moderate, although neutral can be difficult to select.

Another concern about the powertrain is that service intervals are a low 5000km.CFMOTO 700CL-X Heritage

Thankfully it is one of the few adventur-ish motorcycles that has an easy-to-access air filter for cleaning. Just remove the right plastic panel.

They also say an oil change is so simple it can “easily be done at home”, so you could save some money doing your own services.

Riding position is upright and fairly neutral for most riders although at 183cm tall my knees became sore after a few hours in the saddle due to the high pegs.

The seat is 800mm high, but narrow enough for me to put both feet flat on the ground when stopped with my legs still bent.

It feels like a soft saddle, but you sink down on to a hard and flat platform underneath which can become uncomfortable after a couple of hours.

There is also hardly any room for a pillion who only gets the seat sash to hang on to. That also means little room for a tail bag and the tidy tail means there are no tie-down points for luggage either.CFMOTO 700CL-X Heritage

Straight bars and high and wide mirrors make it a pleasure to filter through traffic. But on the highway the mirrors create some head buffeting and the engine revs blur the rear-view image.

Riders will enjoy the convenience of the easy-to-use cruise control. However, it will lose speed up hills and pick up speed going down, so be aware.

Despite only having one 320mm brake disc up front, the bike weighs just 183kg dry (196kg wet), so it has quite effective braking.

The round instrument pod has a plethora of information and the LCD screen is easy to read in even the brightest sunshine.

However, I have some issues with the instruments.CFMOTO 700CL-X Heritage

The “SEL” and “ADJ” buttons on the left of the instruments do not stand for select and adjust. Instead, the top button toggles through information on the bottom of the screen and the bottom button toggles through info on the top off the screen.

If that isn’t weird enough, a couple of the displays have no meaning at all. One is “-=2” and the other is “P- – – -“. Neither varies and neither is explained in the owner’s manual.

While there is a lot info (clock, instant and average fuel economy, average speed, engine temperature, clock, odometer, battery volts and hours of use) there is only one trip meter.

I would gladly sacrifice the two unexplained displays for a range and/or a range-to-empty display.

Perhaps that could be modified with a software update.

My test bike had only just received its 1000km service, so the engine may loosen up and provide slightly better fuel economy and the KYB suspension may also lose some of its stiction and provide a more compliant ride.

I found the suspension fine for smooth roads, but harsh and choppy on bumpy roads, although there was no bump steer or chattering.

The forks are adjustable for rebound and damping, but it didn’t seem to make a lot of difference and the rear shock is adjustable for preload with a C-spanner which is difficult to access.

CFMOTO says the bike is designed for 20% off-road with its scrambleresque tyres and basic suspension. That’s about right and fits in with other road-oriented scramblers from companies such as Yamaha, BMW and Ducati.

This is a fine entry into the non-learner sector for CFMOTO and portent for bigger bikes to come.

It will come with a pack of accessories including classic-style panniers, a diamond-stitched seat, protection and bar-end mirrors, as well as a collection of rider gear.

CFMOTO Australia includes a two-year unlimited kilometre warranty plus an extra year if servicing is done by an authorised dealer.

CFMOTO 700CL-X tech specsCFMOTO 700CL-X Heritage

  • Price: $9490 ride away.
  • Warranty: 2 years/unlimited km.
  • Engine: liquid-cooled, 693cc twin.
  • Power: 55kW @ 8500rpm
  • Torque: 68Nm @ 6500rpm.
  • Gearbox: 6-speed, chain drive.
  • Weight: 196kg.
  • Suspension front/rear: 41mm KYB upside-down fork, fully adjustable, 150mm travel; KYB rear shock with preload and compression adjustment, 150mm travel.
  • Brakes front/rear: Radial mount caliper, 320mm disc; floating brake caliper, 260mm disc, ABS.
  • Dimensions: 2100mm (L); 860mm (W); 1150mm (H); 1435mm (WB); 800mm (S)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMoto 700CL-X launch delayed

The launch of the handsome CFMoto 700CL-X range has been delayed until early 2021, but it will arrive with a pack of accessories.

The company celebrated its 30th anniversary in Milan last November 2019 with the announcement that the 700CL-X would arrive in late 2020 in three models: Sports, Heritage, Adventure.

Sports has bar-end mirrors, lower bars, solo seat and mag wheels. Heritage features more complex mags, round mirrors and wide bars. Adventure has a screen, wire wheels and knobby tyres.

Launch delayed

However, it has been delayed, presumably by the COVID crisis, and will arrive early in 2021.

The 700CL-X Heritage will also launch a wide range of accessories, including classic-style panniers, a diamond-stitched seat, protection and bar-end mirrors, as well as a collection of rider gear.

CFMoto Australia director Michael Poynton says the delayed 700CL-X will be a “watershed model” for the brand as its first middleweight naked.

“The 700CL-X is extremely important to us. It will be the company’s first non-LAMS model, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg of what we can expect from CFMOTO as a result of its relationship with KTM,” Michael says.

“Underscoring that relationship is a significant joint venture built on bricks and mortar.

“This comprises an all-new office and R&D building, in Hangzhou, China, which officially opened this month, as well as a new manufacturing facility nearby, which will be operational later this year.”

Pricing for the 700CL-X range will be announced at a later date, but we can expect it will be among the cheapest in its class as is most of their range.CFMoto 700CL-X

CFMoto 700CL-X

CFMoto models are now designed by Kiska, the contemporary Austrian design house that does KTM’s design work.

The company has close ties with KTM, making their bikes in China for the domestic market.

CFMoto 700CL-X

The design features a mix of modern and traditional influences.

For example, the traditional round headlight has LED lighting and the round instruments have an LCD readout that can display fuel consumption and incoming call.CFMoto 700CL-X

Interestingly, the X design in the headlights and the LCD instrument are quite reminiscent of the popular Ducati Scrambler.CFMoto 700CL-X

The CFMoto 700CL-X has a lightweight frame that weighs just 16.5kg and the swingarm weighs 6.7kg. All up, it weighs 183kg dry.

Technology includes ABS, electronically controlled throttle, sliding clutch, cruise control , USB charging port under the seat and “electronic protection control” (an alarm, we think).

Its lighting system automatically switches on/off according to ambient brightness.CFMoto 700CL-X

New engineCFMoto 700CL-X

The 700CL-X is powered by a newly developed 692cc inline twin-cylinder water-cooled engine.

It is the latest evolution of the CFMOTO 150/250/400/650 displacement platforms, featuring split-type connection rod, forged piston, electronic throttle, sliding clutch.

The optimised intake system improves efficiency and increases the peak power from 41.5kW to 55kw and torque from 62Nm to 67Nm.CFMoto 700CL-X

Thankfully it is one of the few adventur-ish motorcycles that has an easy-to-access air filter for cleaning.

Just remove the right plastic panel.

They say an oil change is so simple it can “easily be done at home”.

CFMoto also has a range of accessories to customise the bike, including luggage for the Adventure model.CFMoto 700CL-X

CFMoto 700CL-X tech specsCFMoto 700CL-X

Dry Weight    

183kg

Length

2100mm

Width    

860mmCFMoto 700CL-X Adventure

Height

1150mm

Wheelbase

1435mm

Seat 

800mmCFMoto 700CL-X

Clearance

160mm

Fuel 

13.5 litres

Front tyre

110/80-R18

Rear tyre

180/55-R17

Front brake

320mm disc, radial-mount caliperCFMoto 700CL-X

Rear brake

260mm disc, floating caliper

Forks

USD, damping adjustableCFMoto 700CL-X

Rear shock

Central shock absorber, damping adjustable

Engine 

4-stroke, liquid-cooled inline twin 

Displacement    

692.2cc

Clutch type

Slide Clutch

CFMoto 700CL-X Heritage
Heritage

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMoto launches sexy new 700CL-X

CFMoto celebrated its 30th anniversary in Milan last night (4 November 2019) by announcing the introduction of the sexy new 700CL-X.

Australian director Michael Poynton says it will arrive in late 2020.

“They will be offering this new model as three different variants – Sports, Heritage, Adventure,” he says.

Sports has bar-end mirrors, lower bars, solo seat and mag wheels. Heritage features more complex mags, round mirrors and wide bars. Adventure has a screen, wire wheels and knobby tyres.

“In Australia, we are speaking to CFMoto to offer these new models in both a 650cc and 700cc displacement, allowing us to still have models for the LAMS market.”

While pricing will not be announced until closer to the release date, we can expect it will be among the cheapest in its class as most of their range is.

It really is quite a sexy model from the Chinese manufacturer.CFMoto 700CL-X

However, most models are already designed by Kiska, the contemporary Austrian design house that does KTM’s design work.

The company has close ties with KTM, making their bikes in China for the domestic market.

CFMoto 700CL-XCFMoto 700CL-X

The design features a mix of modern and traditional influences.

For example, the traditional round headlight has LED lighting and the round instruments have an LCD readout that can display fuel consumption and incoming call.CFMoto 700CL-X

Interestingly, the X design in the headlights and the LCD instrument are quite reminiscent of the popular Ducati Scrambler.CFMoto 700CL-X

The CFMoto 700CL-X has a lightweight frame that weighs just 16.5kg and the swingarm weighs 6.7kg. All up, it weighs 183kg dry.

Technology includes ABS, electronically controlled throttle, sliding clutch, cruise control , USB charging port under the seat and “electronic protection control” (an alarm, we think).

Its lighting system automatically switches on/off according to ambient brightness.CFMoto 700CL-X

New engineCFMoto 700CL-X

The 700CL-X is powered by a newly developed 692cc inline twin-cylinder water-cooled engine.

It is the latest evolution of the CFMOTO 150/250/400/650 displacement platforms, featuring split-type connection rod, forged piston, electronic throttle, sliding clutch.

The optimised intake system improves efficiency and increases the peak power from 41.5kW to 55kw and torque from 62Nm to 67Nm.CFMoto 700CL-X

Thankfully it is one of the few adventur-ish motorcycles that has an easy-to-access air filter for cleaning.

Just remove the right plastic panel.

They say an oil change is so simple it can “easily be done at home”.

CFMoto also has a range of accessories to customise the bike, including luggage for the Adventure model.CFMoto 700CL-X

CFMoto 700CL-X tech specsCFMoto 700CL-X

Dry Weight    

183kg

Length

2100mm

Width    

860mmCFMoto 700CL-X Adventure

Height

1150mm

Wheelbase

1435mm

Seat 

800mmCFMoto 700CL-X

Clearance

160mm

Fuel 

13.5 litres

Front tyre

110/80-R18

Rear tyre

180/55-R17

Front brake

320mm disc, radial-mount caliperCFMoto 700CL-X

Rear brake

260mm disc, floating caliper

Forks

USD, damping adjustableCFMoto 700CL-X

Rear shock

Central shock absorber, damping adjustable

Engine 

4-stroke, liquid-cooled inline twin 

Displacement    

692.2cc

Clutch type

Slide Clutch

CFMoto 700CL-X Heritage
Heritage

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com