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CFMoto keep momentum going with new model!

Written by David McMullan

Around two years ago I wrote an article entitled ‘In praise of CFMoto’ in which I detailed the way that this little (compared to the giants) Zhejiang company has become the pride of Chinese motorcycle styling and engineering.

For those that follow the fortunes of the Chinese motorcycle industry CFMoto have been a revelation and in many ways they have adopted a more ‘western’ attitude to business philosophy and marketing and are one of the few Chinese motorcycle manufacturers that sell internationally using their own brand and that try to promote brand recognition. CFMoto are now considered a serious motorcycle company internationally as they have striven to develop models that the bigger motorcycle factories are just getting around to developing now.

One of the stand-out attributes of CFMoto (when comparing them to other Chinese motorcycle manufacturers) is that they are constantly producing exciting new motorcycles, sometimes variations on previous highly-praised 2-wheelers, and the new year will see them launch their next model.

Rumoured to be scheduled for a January unveiling CFMoto will be presenting a fully-faired, 249cc sports bike that will be named the CFMoto 250SR. Some months ago leaked pictures of a virtually production-ready 250SR revealed what the ultimate motorcycle will look like. It seems that the CFMoto 250SR is essentially based on the company's 250cc naked motorcycle known as the CFMoto 250NK. It also seems like this new model will be a fully-faired type of the naked roadster. It has been alleged that the leaked image was from a Chinese patent application (this would not be the first time that this has happened to CFMoto leading to this sceptical journalist believing that they may well be leaking it themselves).

It seems that like its predecessor the CFMoto 250NK, the 250SR will be powered by the same 249cc, single-cylinder, four-valve, liquid-cooled engine which which will put out 26.5 bhp at 9,000 rpm and 22 Nm of peak torque at 7,500 rpm. Conversely, different to the 151 kg kerb weight of the 250NK, the fully-faired 250SR is anticipated to be a little weightier and is likely to tip the scales at around 160-165 kg. Other features are expected to be inverted front forks, Brembo brake calipers, Akrapovic exhaust and the model is also expected to come fully equipped with a full-colour TFT instrument panel. Due to a long standing partnership with KTM CFMoto has become indelibly attached to Kiska design and this can be seen in this model as it’s clear that it shares a few external features with KTM models.

Legendary Chinese motorcycle insider Mr. Deng commented “what is especially commendable about CFMoto is the way that they are really the only Chinese manufacturer to look to take on Yamaha and Kawasaki, with this new model we would say the main rivals would be the Kawasaki Ninja 400, KTM RC 390 and the Yamaha R3 although the CFMoto 250SR has a huge price advantage. I saw the prototype for this model at the CFMoto open day here in China and of course there was the teaser video of the new model on the racetrack adding to the expectation. It really comes to something when there is expectation over a new motorcycle model that’s made in China! Of course we have the Benelli but does anyone really think that they are a Chinese bike? One question that I’ve been asked a lot is what markets CFMoto will look to hit with this model. I know for a fact that they will enter the India market with this model carrying a 300cc engine and I will very soon find out their plans for DOT and EURO4/5 certificates of conformity. When I find out I will tell David McMullan and I’m sure he will tell everyone else!”

CFMoto should also be praised for their enthusiasm to research and find markets that other Chinese motorcycle producers do not and for their attention to detail. One of the principal instances of this is their Australian promotion. To export to Australia necessitates an ECE certificate (quite difficult to get) and most Chinese manufacturers will not invest the cash required to get one because of the limited market opportunities there. CFMoto actively pursues the motorcycle, ATV and UTV market in Australia and has been receiving enthusiastic revues from Australian motorcycle websites and magazines due to features like the CFMoto touring bike 650TK using the responsive Kayaba suspension distinctively tuned to the necessities of Australian touring riders as the suspension is matched with dual front and single disc brakes. All this displays the kind of commitment to technology and precise riding details that CFMoto shows and other Chinese manufacturers tend to disregard and is another reason that CFMoto, despite being a smaller company than the Chongqing and Guangdong giants, steals the motorcycle magazine and website headlines and it looks like they are about to do it again with the release of the 250SR!

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