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Review: CFMOTO 800MT Touring

Somewhere over the past 17 years that Chinese-made CFMOTO motorcycles have been exported to Australia, they have morphed from cheap and cheerful transportation into good value.

Now, with the launch of their new 800MT range of Touring and Sport bikes, starting at $12,990, they have made another transformative leap — to a desirable adventure machine.

Largely due to their association with Austria’s KTM, CFMOTO motorcycles have improved their build quality while piling on the technology.

But more importantly they now seem to have a better understanding of discerning global markets that view motorcycles as more than mere transportation.

I have ridden just about every CFMOTO model imported into Australia in the past 17 years and have been impressed by how much bike you get for your buck.

In fact, maybe a bit too much bike as they are usually overweight.

Weight is still an issue in the 800MT Touring I have been testing. At 231kg, it’s plump for a mid-sized bike. Most of that heft is up high in the 19-litre fuel tank making it top heavy which is not ideal for an adventure bike, especially when the going is slow and technical.

But my other issues with past CFMOTO models — rudimentary suspension and minor glitches such as riding modes that don’t work and nonsensical instrument info — have been wiped out by the 800MT.

This bike simply entices with its quality of finish, high level of creature features and competent handling.

Look at this impressive array of standard features: cruise control, seat and handgrip warmers, rear wheel hugger, adjustable gear shifter, self-canceling indicators, LED lighting including fog/auxiliary lights, conveniently positioned USB and 12-volt chargers, two riding modes, slipper clutch, cornering ABS, crash bars, a huge iPad-sized TFT screen with comprehensive info, hand-adjustable windscreen, fully adjustable suspension, and even Bluetooth connectivity that provides simple navigation commands on the screen.

I wouldn’t be surprised if in a couple of months CFMOTO Australia doesn’t do a deal where they throw in luggage as they have done in the past with other models.

The 800MT range is their first non-learner model.

The Touring ($14,490) and Sport ($12,990) went on sale in January 2022, initially for customers who joined their pre-order campaign, which included $800 worth of free accessories. 

The campaign just about exhausted their initial shipment but they have since received more containers to crank up the stock levels again.

So far, the most popular model is the Touring model which adds tyre pressure monitoring, centrestand, up/down quickshifter, plastic handguards, luggage racks, alloy bashplate, steering damper and attractive “gold” wire-spoked wheels that accommodate tubeless tyres. They even feature handy right-angle valve stems.

Whew! That’s an exhaustive list of features on top of the already impressive array of standard equipment.

But is it all just frosting on a stale cake?
No, this is a fresh and exciting bike with capable performance, ride and handling for touring our wide, brown land.

That’s not to say there aren’t some drawbacks, apart from the top-heavy weight.

That weight issue should be of particular concern to any rider shorter than me.

At 183cm (6’), I have trouble putting my feet flat on the ground when stopped because of the tall 825mm seat. It’s not just the height, but the width that prevents you getting your heels on the ground.

On a couple of occasions I almost dropped the top-heavy bike when stopped on slippery or unstable surfaces.

You will also have to be careful about where you park the bike as the side stand is too short and it could topple over on a sloped or rough surface.

The 800MT range is powered by KTM’s 799cc parallel-twin engine that has been one of their best units for the past five years.

The twin is a capable unit, although the power band here is fairly narrow and you have to judiciously use the gears for stirring motivation.

It will pull strongly from 3200 revs, but loses breath about 5000, well short of the limiter at 9500rpm.

There is also a jerkiness in the throttle and a surging at constant throttle going about 50-60km/h. I believe there is a software fix coming for this.

The engine has little low-down torque for tricky off-road situations, though the low gearing helps.

However, its overall gearing is too low with the engine spinning at 4400revs at highway cruising speed (100km) in sixth gear.

That’s probably why the fuel economy is a disappointing 5.6 litres per 100km.

It’s not as low geared as the 700 range, but an optional sprocket for higher gearing would be welcome for Australian conditions.

Otherwise, the transmission with up and down clutchless quickshifter feels reasonably slick and functional, while the slipper clutch works well to prevent rear-wheel lockups on handfisted downshifts.

When you work the gears and run the engine hard there is an entertaining, but not annoying, growl from the exhaust.

The engine runs quite hot and there is a blast of hot air blown from the radiator directly on to your shins. While this is expectedly uncomfortable in slow-moving urban traffic, it is even noticeable out on the highway.

You will have to wear long boots, otherwise it could become intolerable in a Queensland summer. Of course in winter, it’s an advantage.

The 800MT comes with two riding modes: Sport and Rain. The latter dampens throttle response and is handy for slippery conditions such as wet roads or gravel. It helps compensate for the lack of traction control which many adventure riders may miss.

CFMOTO uses Spanish J.Juan brakes (now owned by Brembo) on most of its bikes and they are reasonable performers.

On the 800MT they feature twin discs up front which lack some initial bite, which is not an issue when riding on gravel.

If you hit the brakes hard in a panic stop, the hazard lights automatically flash which is a great safety feature that should be standard on all bikes.

The cornering ABS is also a worthy safety device that prevents the front tyre from slipping out from under you on a bend. 

The ABS does allows minor rear-wheel lockups that may be disconcerting for some but are handy for riding on dirt roads where the tyre tread needs to dig into the gravel.

Ride is on the plush side so it suits our bumpy urban streets as well as B-grade country roads.

Since the suspension is adjustable for compression, rebound and preload, most riders should be able to find suitable settings for their weight and riding style. However access to the rear shock preload adjuster with a C spanner is difficult as it is hidden under the tank and seat.

Steering is ponderous with a 19-inch front wheel and wide bars, but again this suits adventure riding for which it is intended.

Cruise control is a welcome addition and is easy to operate.

It can only be deactivated by hitting the brakes or pulling in the clutch, not rolling back the throttle.

I found it did allow the bike to drift over the set speed by up to 5km/h, even on a flat surface, so keep an eye on your speedo.

The massive TFT instruments have a plethora of information on the home screen which is great. No need to scroll through several screens to get all the info you want.

There are also several other screens for controlling a host of other functions such as the seat and hand grip warmers.

Surprisingly, you can change most of these settings on the fly which can be a distraction. 

You can also hook up the bike to the CFMOTO RIDE app, which is available across iOS and Android platforms. All you have to do is punch in the bike’s VIN to register on the app which also opens up the navigation function.

The 800MT has one of the biggest instrument screens on any bike and it is easy to read in most conditions, expect when the sun is shining directly on the screen.

Riders will find the 800MT has a neutral riding position with a plush seat that should see you comfortably through its 300+km fuel range without a break.

Pillions will also find their wide and flat perch very comfy with generous handles to grip.

The handlebars may be too high for some short riders, but you can easily roll them back for a more relaxed reach. You certainly won’t need bar risers to accommodate riding in the standing position across rough surfaces.

Those bars are also quite wide at 853mm which makes legal lane filtering tricky. 

Perched atop the bars are large truck-style mirrors which give a big and clear view behind but can snag on SUV wing mirrors in traffic.

The windscreen provides moderate protection and can be adjusted 5cm by turning two knobs on either side of the screen. It would have been better if it could be adjusted by just one knob or lever on the left so you can keep your right hand on the throttle grip.

Tall riders may experience some wind buffeting even in the highest position.

At night the LED headlight casts a very bright and white headlight with good dispersion and eyebrow-singeing high beam, especially when used with the auxiliary driving lights, although you will have to disable the auto light function.

Despite some shortcomings, this is now a desirable bike for Aussie adventure riders.

The 800MT competently fulfils its design intention to tour a variety of terrain. Just throw on some luggage and go chase the horizon. 

CFMOTO 800MT Tech Specs

Price $12,990 rideaway (Sport), $14,490 (Touring) 
Warranty 3 years, unlimited km
Engine Liquid-cooled 799cc parallel twin
Power 70kW @ 9000rpm
Torque 77Nm @ 7500rpm
Transmission Six-speed, slipper clutch, chain drive
Suspension  43mm KYB upside-down forks, fully adjustable, 160mm travel; KYB mono shock rear, fully adjustable, 150mm travel
Brakes 320mm twin discs, J.Juan 4-piston radial callipers; 260mm rear disc, J.Juan twin-piston calliper, cornering ABS
Wheels 19×2.5; 17×4.25 cast
Tyres Maxxis tubeless 110/90-19; 150/70/17
Wet weight 231kg
Wheelbase 1531mm
Seat 825mm
Clearance 190mm
Length 2234mm
Width 853mm
Height 1277mm
Fuel 19 litres

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

2022 Touratech Adventure Day

The 2022 Australian Touratech open day will be held at the company’s newly renovated Adventure Centre at Carboor, in Victoria’s beautiful and adventurous high country on May 28.

In the past, the event has been held in Myrtleford or Bright, Victoria, and over the perevious two years it was cancelled by the pandemic.

The Adventure Centre is at 1933 Carboor Everton Rd, Carbour, where you can learn all about the German company’s latest adventure accessories, camping goods, riding gear and other products.

You can also sharpen your off-roading skills with help from the experts and meet like-minded adventurers and hear their stories.

More details on activities, guests and the overall schedule will be available soon.

Meanwhile, you can register your interest by clicking here.

They usually arranged some interesting routes to get you to the venue on some of the region’s best roads.

We have included the routes from last year – one from the north starting in Albury, the other from the south starting in Mansfield.

Specialised routes to the Aussie Touratech Open Day:

The recent 2016 BMW GS Safari was a huge success with 200 riders traversing the glorious off-roads of the Great Dividing Range around the NSW-Queensland border and hinterland. joins recall

Touratech Adventure Challenge motorcycle gymkhana returns

Back in black

The famed German motorcycle accessory company was bailed out of a voluntary insolvency in 2017 after an increased demand in sales saw them unable to fulfil many orders – attributed mostly to the late completion of their new factory and showroom.

The new owner is interior design and accessory manufacturer Happich who took over on January 1, 2018.

When the company went into insolvency, Robin Box of Touratech Australia importer R & V Aqualine Industries told us they were independently owned.

He said the parent company’s troubles would have no affect on either the Australian operations, or to its customers and that Touratech production would continued unchanged.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aprilia Tuareg 660 arrives in Australia

Aprilia has added a third family to its new 660 range with the Tuareg 660 and Tuareg 660 L adventure models arriving in Australia this year.

The unrestricted Tuareg 660 arrives in May/June from $22,230 rideaway while the downtuned L “learner approved” model is coming in July with pricing yet to be confirmed.

Both come in a choice of Acid Gold, Martian Red or Indaco Tagelmust which is indigo (dark blue) and white and red, reflecting Aprila’s 1980s Dakar Rally race bikes. The latter colour scheme adds $300 to the price.

Powered by the 660 twin-cylinder engine from the naked Touno 660 and RS 660 sports bike, the Tuareg 660 outputs the 58.8kW of power at 10,500 revs which is down from the 75kW off the other models.

More importantly, torque is 3Nm higher at 70Nm of torque and the maximum output comes on at 6500rpm which is 2000 revs less.

The L model is restricted for Australian LAMS rules to 35kW and 61Nm.

These mid-sized Touareg models pay homage to the first Aprilia Tuareg ETX 125 in 1985 and the bikes that unsuccessfully contest the famous Dakar Rally in the 1980s.

Both feature a steel frame with the engine stress-mounted and a double aluminium swingarm.

Despite its thin frame, it still thankfully accommodates as generous 18-litre tank that will ensure it can conquer the vast distances of the Aussie outback between servos.

These adventure bikes sit on off-road oriented 2.5 x 21-inch front and 4.5 x 18-inch rear rims shod with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres, 90/90 up front and 150/70 in the rear.

They feature Brembo brakes with 300mm double discs and a 260mm disnlge disc on the back.

They come with an host of electric ic rider aids to help conquer the varied conditions of our country.

The Aprilia Performance Ride Control (APRC) electronic controls package includes:

  • ATC: Aprilia Traction Control, that can be adjusted to 4 levels or disabled;
  • ACC: Aprilia Cruise Control;
  • AEB: Aprilia Engine Brake to prevent rear-wheel lock up on downshifts, adjustable to 3 levels.
  • AEM: Aprilia Engine Map, 3 different mappings for throttle response, but do not change the maximum power delivered.  

You can also option up with an AQS: Aprilia Quick Shift electronic gearbox for clutchless shifts up or down the ratios.

There are four Riding Modes that adjust settings for traction control, engine brake, ABS and all the other managed parameters.

Urban and Explore are dedicated to street riding with ABS on, while Off-Road disables ABS on the rear and Individual lets you fully personalise the electronic controls.

You can control everything via controls mounted on the left and right switch blocks with info scrolled through the TFT screen.

The instruments also feature Aralia’s multimedia platform so you connect your smartphone and controls phone calls, sat nav and music.

Aprilia has also developed a range of special accessories such as protection, lighting, comfort seats and luggage systems as well as a line of adventure riding gear.

Tuareg 660 and Tuareg 660 L

Engine Aprilia forward-facing twin-cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled, dual overhead cam (DOHC) with silent chain drive on the right side, four valve per cylinder.
Bore and stroke 81 x 63.93mm
Engine capacity  659cc
Compression 13.5:1
Power 58.8kW (35kW L) @ 9250rpm 
Torque 70Nm (61Nm L) @ 6500rpm 
Fuel system Airbox with front air vent. 2 48mm throttle bodies, Ride-by-wire management
Ignition Electric 
Lubrication Wet sump 
Transmission Six-speed, Aprilia Quick Shift (AQS) System up and down available as accessory
Clutch Multiplate wet clutch with slipper system
Secondary drive Chain, drive ratio 15/42 
Electronics APRC Suite that includes ATC (traction control), AEB (engine brake) AEM (engine maps), ACC (cruise control) 

Four riding modes (Urban, Explore, Off-road, Individual)

Chassis Frame in steel tubing and built-in subframe screwed aluminium plates connecting the frame to the engine
Front suspension Fully adjustable 43mm upside-down Kayaba fork with counterspring. Wheel travel: 240mm
Rear suspension Aluminium swingarm. Progressive linkage. Fully adjustable Kayaba monoshock. Wheel travel: 240mm
Front brake

Rear brake


300mm double disc 

Brembo callipers with 4 horizontally opposed 30/32mm pistons. Axial pump and metal braided brake line

260mm diameter disc; Brembo single piston 34mm floating calliper. Master cylinder with separate reservoir and metal braided hose

Multimap ABS

Wheels spoked with aluminium drop centre Front: 2.15×21-inch, Rear: 4.25×18-inch
Tyres Tubeless, Front: 90/90-21, Rear: 150/70 R 18
Dimensions Wheelbase: 1525mm 

Length: 2220mm 

Width: 965mm

Saddle height: 860mm 

Headstock angle: 26.7 degrees

Trail: 113.3mm

Weight  204kg kerb weight (187kg dry weight) 
Emissions compliance


Euro 5 

4.0 litres/100 km 

CO2 emissions 99g/km 
Fuel tank capacity

Colour range

18 litres (3-litre reserve)

Indaco Tagelmust, Martian Red, Acid Gold

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Touratech Australia invites riders to open day

The Australian Touratech open day is back after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic.

It will be held next weekend (18 December 2021) at Touratech Australia’s newly renovated Adventure Centre at Carboor, in Victoria’s beautiful and adventurous high country.

In the past, the event has been held in Myrtleford or Bright, Victoria.

Touratech adventure riding experts give tips about planning, riding, equipment or bike issues.

Coffee and lunch are included, but you must book your attendance for catering by clicking here.

They have also arranged a couple of interesting routes to get you to the venue on some of the region’s best roads – one from the north starting in Albury, the other from the south starting in Mansfield.

Specialised routes to the Aussie Touratech Open Day:

Touratech Adventure Challenge motorcycle gymkhana returnsBack in black

The famed German motorcycle accessory company was bailed out of a voluntary insolvency in 2017 after an increased demand in sales saw them unable to fulfil many orders – attributed mostly to the late completion of their new factory and showroom.

The new owner is interior design and accessory manufacturer Happich who took over on January 1, 2018.

When the company went into insolvency, Robin Box of Touratech Australia importer R & V Aqualine Industries told us they were independently owned.

He said the parent company’s troubles would have no affect on either the Australian operations, or to its customers and that Touratech production would continued unchanged.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Review: Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

I’m thinking of writing a letter to Harley-Davidson boss Jochen Zeitz asking him to rename their new adventure bike the Pan Australia, rather than the Pan America.

There is no more suitable country than Australia for such a bike where half of the gazetted roads are dirt and the other half riddled with potholes and corrugations; where the dual-cab ute and SUV have taken over as the family vehicle; and where it’s a couple of packed lunches between servo stops.

Here the unaptly named Pan America stands proud as a conveyor of riders across everything from single track to freeways and even the daily commute.

Based on price, performance and efficiency, it sits toward the top of the growing heap of popular litre-plus behemoth adventure bikes.

Harley-Davidson’s first adventure motorcycle comes in two models overseas, but in Australia and New Zealand arrives in the up-spec Special model only, priced at $A31,995 ride away ($NZ33,995).Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

That’s fairly competitive when compared with Euro rivals from BMW, Ducati, KTM and Triumph.

The base model has mag wheels and is more road oriented, while the Special is an adventure tourer with electronically adjustable semi-active suspension, tyre pressure monitors, centre stand, multi-position rear brake pedal, hand guards, aluminium skid plate, Daymaker headlight, heated hand grips, cruise control and steering damper.

Harley-Davidson Pan America Special
Tubeless spoked wheels

Options include tubeless spoked wheels like BMW’s GS and adaptive ride height which were fitted to my test bike at a package cost of $1485.

Over the course of two weeks, I took it on pretty much every type of gazetted road in Australia from sandy single track, through some mud, B grade potholed country roads, suburban commuting and highways.

The big Harley may look like a big, black, plastic wheelie bin, but it certainly is a practical and accomplished all-roader. Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

What it isn’t, is a Harley; or at least it does not look, feel, sound nor perform like any of the hundred-plus Harleys I’ve ridden in the past couple of decades.

In fact, one of the world’s most recognised brand names is only discretely displayed on the wheels and rocker covers, with blank bar-and-shield logos on the tank.

The engine may be a V-twin like all other Harleys, but the new liquid-cooled Revolution Max 1250 feels, sounds and performs more like a parallel twin.

There is none of the thump and big-bottomed torque of Harley’s big V-twins. Instead, it is a refined engine with variable valve timing and a good spread of power.Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

With 112kW of power, it’s only beaten by Ducati’s Multistrada, while the torque monster BMW at 142Nm is the only big adventurer with more grunt than PanAm’s 127Nm.

However, maximum power and torque do require many more revs than other Harleys or the BMW GS juggernauts.

And it doesn’t have that iconic potato-potato sound that Harley famously and unsuccessfully once applied to trademark.

The engine is married to an un-Harley-like slick transmission where neutral is easy to find and the gears mesh so nicely you can cluthlessly shift up and down through most cogs.

At 100km/h in sixth, it is spinning at 3800rpm which is about 1200 revs higher than most Harley engines.

The spread of ratios allows low gearing for technical terrain as well as a reasonably vibe-free smooth run on the highway.

Here you can flick on the cruise control and be assured that you won’t cop a ticket for inadvertent speeding since it doesn’t pick up pace going downhill.Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

While other brands may be introducing adaptive cruise control that regulates the speed according to the vehicle in front, at least Harley’s cruise will protect your licence, albeit with a strange surging feel as it tries to stick to your selected speed.

Like most big adventurers, it stands tall with high bars, footpegs, windscreen and tank.

Yet the adjustable seat height is relatively moderate for adventurers at 850mm with an optional suspension dropping it to 830mm, so it should a wide range of riders.

Ergonomics are comfortable with a commanding riding position, plenty of leg room, a generous reach to the bars and a big, plush saddle for both rider and pillion who also gets massive hand grips that double as discrete mounts for panniers.

It’s accommodation that will convey rider and pillion hundreds of kilometres in comfort and with plenty of protection from the windscreen with three-level adjustment.

Harley-Davidson Pan America Special
Adjustable windscreen lever

You can adjust the screen via a lever on the left so you can keep your right hand on the throttle. However, I found it a bit awkward to adjust on the fly, so I suggest pulling over to change the screen height. 

On rough terrain, the standing position on generously sized footpegs with pop-out rubber inserts is also congenial without the need for bar risers.

Surprisingly, the company that previously boasted it made “heavy motorcycles” is not the heaviest of the adventurers at 253kg, which is 15kg less than the market-leading BMW R 1250 GS.

While no behemoth adventure bike feels at home on single track, the top-heavy Harley does not feel too awkward.

Despite the V-twin confirmation placing a lot of weight high in the chassis, it feels well balanced and not overly hefty.Harley-Davidson Pan America Special

However, in the standing position, you can’t see the front tyre which makes it difficult to precisely place the front wheel in or out of ruts.

All big adventure bikes are now marvels of technology and the PanAm is no different with a massive 6.8 inch TFT display showing speedometer, gear, odometer, fuel level, clock, trip, ambient temp, low temp alert, side stand down alert, tip-over alert, cruise, range and tacho.

All that info is available on the home screen, but the type on some info is small and difficult to read.

However, you can scroll through various screens where the information is tailored with larger and easier-to-read letters and numbers.

It comes with four preset riding modes (highway, rain, sport and enduro) that adjust throttle sensitivity, ABS, power output, traction control and suspension damping, plus a customisable mode that you can tailor to suit your needs and riding style.

You can also pair your phone to the bike and access phone calls, music and navigation through the H-D app.

Harley-Davidson Pan America Special
USB accessories charger

All controls are easily reachable on the plethora of switches and buttons on the two big switch blocks.

Harley has long had sidestands that lock so they won’t roll forward and fall over. The PanAm continues that sensible tradition, but it’s a bit short and too far forward for my liking, making it difficult to deploy on flat ground or where there is a slight uphill on the left.

The massive centre stand is welcome, but difficult to deploy without assistance from a pillion or riding buddy.

You can dress up the PanAm with a wide range of Harley accessories, including three durable luggage systems, as well as adventure riding gear for men and women developed in collaboration with respected European motorcycle apparel specialist, REV’IT!.

Pan America Special tech specsHarley-Davidson Pan America Special

  • Price: from $31,995 ride away (test bike included tubeless spoked wheels and adaptive ride height at $1485).
  • Warranty: 2 years/unlimited km.
  • Engine: liquid-cooled, VVT, Revolution Max 1250cc V-twin.
  • Power: 112kW @ 9000rpm.
  • Torque: 127Nm @ 6750rpm.
  • Gearbox: 6-speed, chain drive.
  • Weight: 253kg.
  • Suspension front/rear: 47mm inverted fork with electronically adjustable semi-active damping control. aluminium fork triple clamps / Linkage-mounted monoshock with automatic electronic preload control and semi-active compression & rebound damping.
  • Brakes front/rear: 4-piston radial monoblock caliper, 320mm discs / single-piston floating caliper, 280mm disc, ABS.
  • Dimensions: 2265mm (L); 965mm (W); 1510mm (H); 1580mm (WB); 850mm (S)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMOTO unveils MT800 accessories

CFMOTO Australia is gearing up for the launch of their first non-learner adventure motorcycle models, the 800MT Sport and 800MT Touring, late this year.

Last month they announced pricing and now they have unveiled a wide range of accessories.

The 800MT Sport in Starlight Black will cost just $12,990 ride away and the up-spec Ocean Blue 800MT Touring is only $1000 more.

They will come with a three-year, unlimited kilometres warranty under CFMOTO current ‘2 plus 1’ deal.

Now the importers have announced a wide-ranging line-up of genuine accessories for the Aussie-bound duo.

In addition to a huge catalogue of standard-fitment features, 21 items will also be available across the full accessories’ gamut: luggage, protection and ergonomic alternatives such as a higher seat, handlebar riser mounts and oversized rally pegs.

The accessories range is as follows:


Aluminium top case (36 litres): $699

•    High-strength reinforced corners  for the shock and stress of off-road riding

•    Perfect match with the original mounting bracket

•    Waterproof, dustproof scratchproof inside lining

Aluminium side case (RHS 28 litres, LHS 35 litres): $699 eachCFMoto 800mt

•    High-strength reinforced corners  for the shock and stress of off-road riding

•    Perfect match with the original mounting bracket

•    Waterproof, dustproof scratchproof inside lining

Rear tail bag (40 litres): $399

CFMoto 800mt

•    Constructed from waterproof and wear-resistant nylon fabric

•    Wide range of internal pockets and strapping

•    Top access port (waterproof zipper), internal nylon waterproof bag

•    Double-end roll mouth, items accessible from both sides

•    Converts to a backpack when not fitted to bike.CFMoto 800mt

Side bag assembly: RHS $599, LHS $499

•    Isolation plate which protects the bag and its contents from exhaust heat

•    Made of wear-resistant waterproof 1000D fabric, with a waterproof zipper to achieve an all-inclusive waterproof and dustproof seal

•    Can be used as a backpack or tail bag

•    10kg maximum load

The 800MT Sport and 800MT Touring will go on sale with factory-fitted pannier mounts.


•    Headlight guard (silver or black): $179

•    Radiator protector (silver or black): $169

•    Lower crash bars (silver): $299

•    Spotlight guards : $99

•    Front brake caliper guards: $59

•    Front brake fluid reservoir guard: $59

•    Rear brake fluid reservoir guard: $59

•    Dashboard protective film: $12


•    High seat (up 30mm to 855mm): $199

•   Oversized rally pegs: $119 each

•    Handlebar riser mounts: $89CFMoto 800mt


•    Oversized side stand seat (800MT Sport only): $59

•    Front fender extension: $39

•    Device extension bar: $99


The 800MT Sport and 800MT Touring are powered by KTM’s 799cc parallel twin, which produces 70kW (95hp) at 8000rpm and 88Nm at 6600rpm.

The 800MTs also have a slipper clutch, Bosch electronic fuel injection and a ride-by-wire throttle with three riding modes: rain, off-road and road.

The 800MT Sport and 800MT Touring share the same 19-litre fuel capacity, expansive rider and pillion seats, tubular steel frame, fully adjustable KYB suspension, crash bars, 825mm seat height, adjustable screen and Spanish J.Juan brakes with ABS.

The major point of differentiation between the two is in the rolling stock: cast wheels on the Sport as opposed to spoked tubeless wheels on the Touring. Wheel sizes are 19-inch front and 17-inch rear – an ideal compromise for road and off-road riding.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMoto confirms two 400MT variants

CFMoto is not only introducing a bigger adventure bike platform called the 800MT, but there will be two model variants.

Australian CFMoto distributor Mojo Motorcycles boss Michael Poynton confirms that there will be an off-road oriented spoked-wheel model and a more road oriented alloy wheel model.

Both will have 19-inch fronts and 17-inch rears, most likely with varying degrees of tread aggression to suit the terrain.

The bikes will be shod with 110/80 R19 and 150/70 R17 tyres.

“We are planning to release both variants in Australia in the second half of 2021,” he says.

Mojo has been importing the bargain-priced bikes since 2005 with sales of more than 250,000 and now has more than 80 dealerships across the country.

CFMoto’s road motorcycle range currently includes four NK naked bikes (150cc, 250, 300 and 650) as well as the 650MT adventure tourer, 650GT sports tourer and their first full faired bike, the 300SR which we will review shortly.

CFMoto also recently unveiled its 1250cc tourer with a KTM V-twin engine and announced a range of electric scooters will be coming to Australia from 2022.

Moto Guzzi V7 Special

Now we know that the 800MT coming next year will be in two variants, powered by KTM’s 95hp 799cc LC8c parallel twin from the 790 Adventure, now replaced by the 889cc 890 Adventure.

CFMoto and KTM have had a long association with the Chinese manufacturer producing small-capacity KTM bikes for the local market for several years.

And like most CFMoto products, the 800MT will likely be designed by Austrian designers Kiska who also design for KTM.

The 800MT adventure bikes will weigh in at a hefty 231kg, rising to 248kg when in touring mode with alloy panniers and a top box.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 arrives with accessories

The new Suzuki V-Strom 1050 range has arrived in Australia in two variants, four colour schemes and two accessories packs.

It comes standard in Glass Sparkle Black for $17,990 ride away and the flagship 1050 XT (Cross Touring) at $20,990 ride away in Pearl Brilliant White or Glass Blaze Orange.

Prices include 12-months registration.

There is also a Champion Yellow No.2 inspired by the second generation DR-Z Paris-Dakar racer and a Glass Sparkle Black.

1050 accessories kits

The 1050 models arrive with a choice of two accessories kits to tailor the big adventurer to your needs.

Voyager Pack

This features aluminium panniers and top box in powder-coated black ($3599) and anodised silver ($3699) including mounting brackets.

The 38-litre top box is made of 1.5mm aluminium and has four large tie-down points.

The waterproof, quick-release panniers hold 37 litres each.

That’s 112 litres of storage all up.

This matching system features stainless steel latches, glass-fibre reinforced plastic corner covers and one-key access.

Trekker Pack

On top of the Voyager aluminium luggage, the Trekker Pack includes Suzuki plug-and-play heated grips, LED fog lamps and a 4mm aluminium skid plate.   

The Trekker Pack is also available in black and silver kit variants for $6199 and $6299, respectively.

More power

Not only is the flagship V-Strom 1050 bigger with 5kW more power to 79kW at 8500 revs, but it is also more techno.

Some of the hi-tech features include cruise, hill hold, slope and load dependent controls, ride modes and LED lighting.

V-Strom 1050 press release from Suzuki AustraliaSuzuki V-Strom 1050 Dr Big

Powered by Suzuki’s highly acclaimed 1037cc, 90° V-twin, DOHC engine which has further evolved for MY20, boasting increased top-end power whilst also conforming to Euro 5 emissions standards. Thanks to new camshaft profiles and timing, peak horsepower has increased considerably from 74kW / 8,000rpm to 79kW / 8,500rpm (106hp). The highly refined engine begins with a deep rumble low in the rpm range, then progresses through the mid-range along a strong and linear torque curve then keeps building through the high rpm range in a smooth yet enjoyable manner.Suzuki V-Strom Dr Big

The distinctive new styling incorporates elements of both Suzuki’s legendary DR-Z desert racer and the large off-road model DR-BIG. The distinguishing beak design first adopted by Suzuki stays true to Suzuki’s heritage while also modernising the design to be more aggressive and bolder for the new generation V-Strom 1050.

The most technologically advanced production Suzuki motorcycle in company history, the latest generation V-Strom 1050 is the first to boast Suzuki’s new Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S). Combining an array of electronic aids and controls as well as several unique features only available on XT, further enhancing rider useability and convenience like never before.    

An advanced cruise control system works in conjunction with the new ride-by-wire throttle system to maintain the set vehicle speed without the rider needing to operate the throttle, a welcomed feature for long-distance touring that assists in reducing rider fatigue. Cruising speed can be set from approximately 50km/h to 160km/h at fourth gear or above. A switch on the right handlebar can be pressed to put cruise control into standby, and the selector switch (up/down) on the left handlebars allows the rider to adjust the speed up and down accordingly.

Suzuki’s famous Drive Mode Selector (SDMS) is now available on a V-STROM for the very first time, offering riders the choice of three difference output characteristic modes. A-mode provides the sharpest throttle response, B-mode provides a slightly softer throttle response and C-mode provides the softest response of the three modes.

Another Suzuki first is the Hill Hold, Slope Dependent and Load Dependent control systems available on XT. Hill hold control automatically applies the rear brake when the motorcycle is stopped on an upward slope to prevent rollback when the brakes and clutch are released. Slope Dependent control constantly monitors posture and if required controls brake pressure to prevent rear wheel lift during downhill braking.

Load Dependent system supports optimal braking by compensating for varying load conditions such as the difference between riding solo or with a pillion and loaded luggage vs unloaded.     

An updated traction control system now features three modes of control (previously two) inspiring greater confidence in diverse riding conditions. Mode 1 is for spirited riding with minimal level of intervention. Mode 2 is ideal for commuting and regular riding conditions and Mode 3 is best suited for poorer riding conditions such as wet or cold roads as it offers the highest level of intervention.

An upgraded Bosch inertial measurement unit (IMU) equipped on the XT model now works on 6-directions along 3-axis rather than the 5-axis of the previous system. This allows it to detect pitch, roll, and yaw movements based on the angular rate and acceleration. This new high-performance 6-direction IMU combines a 3-axis angular rate sensor (gyrometer) and a 3-axis acceleration sensor in a single compact unit.

The motion track brake system exclusive to XT combines information on the posture of the vehicle from the new IMU with the front and rear wheel speeds. This allows the ABS to activate not only in a straight line but also when the vehicle is leaning. When the brake lever or pedal is operated, this system instantly assesses the need of ABS operation by calculating the posture of the vehicle and front and rear wheel speeds. When judging the need of operation, ABS unit decreases braking pressure, and continues to control the increase/decrease of the pressure according to the traction available.Suzuki V-Strom Dr Big

This latest ABS system allows the rider to select from 2-levels of intervention. Mode 1 provides minimal intervention and is suitable for flat dirt roads, whilst Mode 2’s intervention timing is earlier than Mode 1 and is ideal for normal tarmac roads.

A newly added Combined Brake System automatically applies pressure to the rear brake to help stablise the motorcycle when the front brake pressure rises to a certain degree.

An updated windscreen design compliments the new exterior design. Developed utilising wind-tunnel testing, the new screen can be finely adjusted without tools to one of 11 positions across a 50mm vertical range.

The instrument panel presents all required information on a full LCD screen using a clean and intuitive layout with information displayed in order of priority. Included in the display are the speedometer, tachometer (full pixel digital display), gear position indicator, odometer, trip meter (A, B), instantaneous fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, driving range, fuel level indicator, engine coolant temperature indicator, ambient air temperature indicator, clock, voltage meter, service reminder, SDMS mode, traction control mode, cruise control indicator, ABS mode, hill hold indicator, engine rpm indicator light, frost indicator light, turn signal indicator light, high beam indicator light, traction control indicator light, ABS indicator light, and neutral indicator light.

A USB port is located left side of the instrument panel. It can be used as a power source for charging a smartphone, navigation system, or other similar device.Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Dr Big

The lightweight and compact chassis is the core factor in achieving the V-STROM’s comfortable and enjoyable character. The narrow width of its V-twin engine allows the motorcycle to maintain a slim body shape even with a 20L fuel tank present, allowing the rider to easily reach the ground with their feet.

Utilising a cast aluminium twin-spar frame featuring the optimal rigidity balance for exceptional stability and handling performance. The frame supports everything a rider requires to embark on their next big adventure from straight line stability to smooth and natural cornering with high levels of traction.

The 43mm KYB inverted front fork features adjustable compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload and can be tailored based on rider preference and usage.

The V-Strom 1050 XT also sports a completely new seat design that allows the seat height to be adjusted an additional 20mm higher than the standard position. The KYB rear shock features adjustable spring preload via an external hand dial to easily facilitate adjustments between riding solo, with pillion or fully loaded with luggage.

TOKICO Monobloc radial mounted front brake calipers handle stopping duties matched with dual 310mm floating discs provide strong braking performance with remarkable feel. 

The footrests are constructed of tough steel and have been redesigned to make it easier for the rider to stand on flat dirt, and are also wider than the previous version.

Protection and convenience on the XT is taken to the next level with an aluminium under cowling and accessory bar guarding underneath and side of the engine whilst stronger hand guards have been employed to protect rider’s hands from wind, rain and flying stones. The lightweight centre stand is well balanced and is useful when performing maintenance tasks and loading luggage. Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Dr Big

Wire-spoked aluminium rims are fitted as standard on the XT model offering improved road absorption whilst the standard model is equipped with 10-spoke cast aluminium wheels. Both variants are shod with Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41 tyres.

A vertically stacked LED headlight and LED rear combination light deliver excellent visibility and stylish looks, the XT also features LED indicators as standard equipment. 

Other niceties include Suzuki’s Low RPM assist system which monitors and automatically raises the idle speed when taking off from a stop or when riding slowly through traffic and 

Suzuki’s Easy Start System which provides ultra-convenient one-touch engine starting.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Screen date set for Long Way Up TV series

Long Way Up, featuring Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor riding electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycles, will screen on Apple TV+ from 18 September 2020, the same month the bike launches in Australia.

Apple TV+ has announced that the first three episodes will screen on the Friday with one episode every week after that.

However, they don’t say how long the series will be.

If you don’t have Apple TV+ you can wait until the whole series has been aired and then do as one-month free trial.

Otherwise, it costs $A7.99 per month.

Small screen adventure

In the third and probably final “Long Way” series, the Brits ride Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire motorcycles from the city of Ushuaia at the tip of South America to LA.

They cover 21,000km over 100 days through 16 border crossings and 13 countries: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and up through Colombia, Central America and Mexico.

Also joining them are their longtime collaborators, directors David Alexanian and Russ Malkin, driving in electric Rivian utility vehicles.

Unlike their previous adventures on BMW GS machines, this one was on Harley’s new electric LiveWire which will be available in Australia in September for a whopping $A49,995 ($NZ53,995).

That’s more than the feature-laden Ultra Limited tourer at $A41,495!

While the specially modified bikes did get the pair to their destination, Ewan admits he ran out of “juice” a couple of times and even had to hitch rides with cars by hanging on to the B pillar.

The admissions came in an interview on the American Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in February 2020.

In the interview, he explains that they chose electric motorcycles because they “wanted to be part of that new wave of transportation”.

“It proved to be amazing and quite tricky at the same time,” McGregor tells Fallon.

“Charging is the issue. There’s no real infrastructure for charging in Patagonia, for instance.

“We’d just knock on people’s doors and ask if we could plug them in.

“They usually do let us. We’d camp in their garden and we’d plug in.”

However, he said charging two bikes at the same time would sometimes blew the houses’s fuses, so they would charge one at a time.

“People were so generous and lovely about it,” he says.

“We’d ride all morning and then if we stopped to look around the town we’d find somewhere to plug in at a restaurant or a cafe or something.”

Out of juice

Charley and Ewan adventure on LiveWire
Ewan on a LiveWire in South America

According to Harley, LiveWire range is about 150km on the highway and about 235km in the city.

So, what did they do when they ran out of “juice”, Fallon asked?

“Hope for a hill,” McGregor replies.

“I got towed a couple of times. I was the only one that ran out.

“Charley never ran out of juice and he’ll tell you it’s ’cause he’s a better rider than me and it may well be the case.

“But I ran out a couple of times, so I’d just hold on to a car.”

Charley and Ewan adventure on LiveWire
Ewan and Charley pack their LiveWire electric bikes

He explains how this stunt was performed and we assume it was at slow speed and could have been using one of the back-up vehicles.

“If you open the back windows and the front of the car you could get your arm around a pillar and you just muscle along like that for a while,” he explains.

Ewan says the first time he saw this done was in New York when he was about 21 or 22 riding in a yellow cab.

“A Harley-Davidson guy — a Hells Angels guy — who’d run out of gas or his bike was broken down clattered into the side of the cab, grabbed hold of the pillar and he shouted the address of the Hells Angels clubhouse to the driver who just took him there and didn’t ask any questions; just drove there like that.

“I think the Hells Angels owe me $5.26.”

It’s been a long time between trips for Ewan and Charley.

From 14 April 2004 to 29 July 2004, they rode across Europe and the USA in Long Way Round and from 12 May to 4 August 2007 they rode from the top of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa for Long Way Down.

With Ewan becoming increasingly busy with Hollywood movies, Charley squeezed in the 2006 Dakar rally for his series, Race to Dakar, and has produced several other travel shows.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

40 Years Edition GS models coming

To celebrate BMW Motorrad’s fourth decade of adventure models, 40 Years Editions of their F series will arrive in Australia at the end of 2020 and early next year.

BMW Group Australia Product Communications Manager Nick Raman says prices and final specifications of the F 750 GS, F 850 GS and F 850 GS Adventure will be available closer to the release date.

He also says details of Australian celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the GS will be released soon.

Apart from special GS 40th anniversary paint and graphics, they will come with full LED lighting and a USB charging device in the cockpit.

ABS Pro and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) will become standard fittings.

BMW Motorrad Australia General Manager Andreas Lundgren says the new models will also have a “raft of new option packages to complement their celebrated handling prowess on all road conditions including gravel”.

“They also make a statement by evoking BMW’s legendary models of the past in a significant year for the GS model line.”

40 Year Editions

Here is the official BMW press release on the 40 Years Editions anniversary models:

F 750 GS

BMW 40 Years anniversary F series GS models

In Light white, sports style or as “40 Years GS Edition”, and with expanded standard equipment

The new BMW F 750 GS now steps up in the new basic Light white paintwork with the tank centre cover painted in the vehicle colour. The black matt painted rims, black handlebars and seat bench in red/black make for a striking contrast.

The sports style in San Marino blue metallic is also new for the BMW F 750 GS, while a tinted windscreen delivers a sporty touch. BMW 40 Years anniversary F series GS models

Granite grey metallic rims, silver handlebars and a black-grey seat bench and galvanised radiator cowl additionally make a high quality impression.

Conversely, the visually eye-catching BMW F 750 GS “40 Years GS Edition” with the “40 Years GS” logo on the fairing side panels is dedicated exclusively to the “40 Years GS” anniversary.BMW 40 Years anniversary F series GS models

Its yellow hand-protector bars and seat bench in black/yellow with GS logo unmistakably evoke an icon from 40 years of GS history, the BMW R 100 GS. Black matt painted rims, silver handlebars and a galvanised radiator cowl round off this exclusive anniversary appearance.

F 850 GSBMW 40 Years anniversary F series GS models

In Racing red, Rallye style or as “40 Years GS Edition”, and with expanded standard equipment:

The new BMW F 850 GS comes in the new basic Racing red paintwork with tank centre cover also painted in the vehicle colour. This contrasts with the black-coated fixed fork tubes, black rims and seat bench in black/grey.

In Rallye style and Racing blue metallic colour, the BMW F 850 GS together with the hand-protector bars, black fixed fork tubes and black-red seat bench emphasises its sporty character. The gold rims and galvanised radiator cowl accentuate its luxury feel.BMW 40 Years anniversary F series GS models

The “40 Years GS Edition” BMW F 850 GS celebrates the 40th anniversary of the BMW GS models in Black storm metallic with “40 Years GS” logo on the fairing side panels. Exclusive yellow hand-protector bars, gold rims and a seat bench in black/yellow with GS logo also ensure a high level of recognition. Black fixed fork tubes and a galvanised radiator cowl are further hallmarks of this anniversary model.BMW 40 Years anniversary F series GS models

The standard equipment of the BMW F 850 GS has been further enhanced with a windscreen adjustment mechanism and a TFT display including convenient Connectivity functions.

F 850 GS Adventure

BMW F 850 GS Adventure
F 850 GS Adventure

In Ice grey, Rallye style or as “40 Years GS Edition” and with expanded standard equipment

In the new basic Ice grey paintwork with tank centre cover painted in the vehicle colour, the new BMW F 850 GS Adventure fulfils aspirations for adventure, off-road competence and touring capability.

The black fixed fork tubes and rims and grey-black comfort seat blend in homogeneously and harmoniously.

F 850 GS Adventure Style Rallye
F 850 GS Adventure Style Rallye

The new BMW F 850 GS Adventure in Rallye style and Kalamata metallic matt paintwork signifies sporty talents and a sense of adventure. With its gold rims and fixed fork tubes, the new BMW F 850 GS Adventure appears both dynamic and aesthetically-pleasing at the same time.

The sports windscreen and a black/grey upholstered Rallye seat with 890mm seat height enhance the BMW F 850 GS Adventure’s sporty appearance.

The new BMW F 850 GS Adventure as “40 Years GS Edition” is also dedicated to the special anniversary of the BMW GS models. The “40 Years GS” logo and yellow hand-protector bars are distinctive hallmarks of the anniversary GS in Black storm metallic paintwork.

Black-coated fixed fork tubes, gold rims and a black/yellow upholstered seat bench for two with 860 mm seat height round off the BMW F 850 Adventure’s tribute to the GS family’s 40th anniversary.
A TFT display including convenient Connectivity functions is now also standard on-board.

New and modified optional equipment and Original BMW Motorrad Accessories for F 750 GS and F 850 GS

The new BMW F 750 GS, BMW F 850 GS and BMW F 850 GS Adventure all feature new components of the Pro riding modes optional equipment.

As per GS models with boxer engines, a reworked throttle response in DYNAMIC riding mode now ensures elevated dynamics and riding enjoyment.

Furthermore, dynamic engine brake control and Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) now feature in Pro riding modes. Other new Pro riding mode features include the preselection of up to four riding modes for the button assignment on the right handlebar controls (only in conjunction with the Connectivity optional equipment in the BMW F 750 GS).BMW 40 Years anniversary F series GS models

An extra low seat bench as well as modified lowered suspension will be available as optional equipment for all three models in the future, ensuring even better ground accessibility when stationary.

Original BMW Motorrad Accessories now supply a holder for the BMW F 850 GS and BMW F 850 GS Adventure for mounting the BMW Motorrad Navigator above the standard TFT display; a beneficial element when the driver is stationary off-road. This holder was previously reserved exclusively for GS trophy machines and deployment vehicles.

The ex-works “Preparation for navigation device” optional equipment is still available for positioning on the handlebar clamp as before.

Since completely switching off the ABS will no longer be permissible under legal homologation regulations in the future, the Enduro and Enduro Pro riding modes provide suitably adapted controls for this purpose.

The ABS function can still be switched off on the rear wheel in Enduro Pro riding mode (BMW F 850 GS and BMW F 850 GS Adventure only). The HP logo will be omitted in future in all optional equipment scopes and Original BMW Motorrad Accessories.

The sports silencer for the BMW F 750 GS will only be provided via Original BMW Motorrad Accessories.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com