If I was a motorcycle manufacturer and I wanted to release a new middleweight adventure bike, I’d take a look at what KTM were doing. And then I’d try and do something similar. That’s exactly what CFMoto have done. In fact ‘similar’ doesn’t really cut it. That’s because the new CFMoto 800MT, doesn’t just look a little bit like a KTM 790 Adventure, it’s got the same engine.
That’s right, the same 799cc twin that powers the 790 Adventure powers the CFMoto 800MT. It’s no surprise that CF’ should choose a KTM motor, especially when you consider the fact that CFMoto make all the engines for KTM’s Asian market. There’s a strong Austro-Chinese relationship. It’s a motor that makes 95hp (at 9,000rpm) and 77Nm (at 7,500rpm).
As it happens, the CFMoto 800MT has been available in parts of Europe since last summer, but from June 2022, you’ll be able to buy one here in Blighty. And there are actually a few good reasons to think about buying one; as well as the fact that it shares an engine with the KTM 790.
The ‘Sport’ has a reasonable amount of spec, including cruise control, TFT dash (with Bluetooth and GPS), full automatic LED lights with auto-canceling indicators and a Bosch ECU with selectable riding modes. You get fully adjustable KYB forks and adjustable KYB shock, J.Juan brakes, a big 19 litre fuel tank, crash bars and paniers as standard. In fact the aluminium side cases and top-box give you 63 litres of storage space in total, which isn’t to be sniffed at.
There’ll be two models available, the Sport and the Touring versions. The Sport is the more standard version, and the Touring comes with a few little extras, like gold wheels, a quickshifter, steering damper, tyre pressure monitors, heated seat, heated grips, hand guards and a centre stand. They’re telling us they’ll be in CFMoto dealerships in June 2022, they’ve just confirmed the prices and yes, it is the right side of £10k. Specifically, those prices are £8,799.00 for the 800MT Sport and £9,799.00 for the 800MT Touring. That’s a lot of adventure bike for the money.
I know some people will never ever buy a Chinese bike because of something they’ve read on Facebook about the Chinese Communist Party, and that’s fine, I’m not going to try and change anyone’s mind. But don’t forget, the 800MT is as Austrian as it is Chinese; and the Austrians haven’t got a bad human-rights record have they (apart from that one thing that happened 80 years ago)?
And then, of course, there is the build quality thing, which is an issue for some people. But I’ve ridden a CFMoto, and they’re not just ‘Chinese tat’. They are actually alright, and if you took the time to have a good look at one, you might just agree.
And anyway, if you want a new middleweight adventure bike, and you’ve only got £10k to spend, the CFMoto 800MT is your only option. Unless you want a V-Strom 650 . Or a Ténéré 700.