CF MOTO 650GT (2019 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
CFMoto’s new 650GT is proof that Chinese-built motorcycles have come of age. It’s well finished, comes with lots of snazzy equipped, is comfortable, easy to manage swift and practical, but its soft suspension set-up and limited seat space won’t lend itself to serious luggage-laden, two-up touring.
It’s biggest selling point is its affordable price tag, but is it enough of a saving over its more established Japanese rivals? Most certainly, if you’re on a tight budget, but spend a little more and you can bag yourself a more polished machine with more composure and playful peppiness.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Weighing a claimed 226kg all-up, (not including the accessory Shad hard panniers you see in the pictures) the CFMoto isn’t light – 30kg heavier than a Tracer 700 and 33kg more than a Ninja 650. You feel most of the bulk moving it around at walking pace, but it’s manageable around town and doesn’t adversely affect handling.
It’s always stable, easy steering and thanks to its natural bar and peg position and padded seat, it’s comfortable on the long haul, too. Metzeler sports touring tyres may be a generation old and take a while to warm up in the cold, but they offer big wet and dry grip when they’re up to temperature.
For solo riding the 650GT’s suspension is well controlled and there’s plenty of ground clearance, but it’s easy to get it to throw shapes in the corners if you push on. Brakes have decent power but need a big squeeze to persuade them to do their thing. But for the kind of riding its designed for it behaves itself, corners and stops with confidence.
Loading it up will be a different story and its soft rear shock will struggle to keep its shape when you add a pillion and luggage. Pillions will squeeze on, but there isn’t much room for genuine two-up comfort.
EngineNext up: Reliability
There’s no question the CFMoto rides well. A deep, gurgling induction roar keeps your ears interested under hard acceleration, the six-speed gearbox is sweet and it’s 115mph-fast when you tease the ER-6-esque 650cc parallel twin towards its 10,000rpm redline. But the 60bhp mini tourer lacks midrange urgency and the kind of sparkly, laugh-out-loud fun you’ll find on the more free-revving 73bhp Tracer 700 and 67bhp Ninja 650.
On the flipside the CFMoto is unthreatening and easy to ride, with a friendly power delivery (although the engine can splutter at very low rpm and when it’s cold), a light clutch, throttle and low 795mm seat.
It returns an average of 49mpg, which is on par with Tracer 700s we’ve tested, so you should be able to squeeze a healthy 205 miles out of the GT’s 19 litre tank.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Only time will tell how durable the CFMoto will fare with a winter under its belt, but the fit and finish on our new test bike looks good and Chinese engines generally have Terminator-like durability (it always used to be that the rest of the bike rotted around them). The 650GT comes with a two-year parts and labour warranty, too.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
In terms of value for money and all-out friendliness the CFMoto 650GT is a credible alternative to its Japanese rivals, but if you’re after more fun and performance they still lead the way.
Ooh, backlit switchgear. And a colour dash…and LED headlights. There isn’t usually much to be gained from straddling a new bike for the first time in the dark, but the CFMoto 650GT is keen to impress.
It has an important job to do. This isn’t just a mid-capacity ‘Grand Tourer’, it’s a Chinese-built machine out to prove it can cut the mustard with the big boys, not just in the way it rides, but how it’s built, too. And it needs to bring it’s A Game to because although it’s cheaper than its closest rivals: the Yamaha Tracer 700 and Kawasaki Ninja 650, the price gap between China and Japan isn’t as gaping as it once was.
A further poke around the GT in the daylight and the good stuff keeps coming. The 650GT has two power modes (Touring and Sport), petal-shaped front brake discs, J Juan calipers (check out their logo on the front of WSB champ, Jonathan Rea’s leathers, the next time you look), steel braided hoses, LED running lights, indicators and tail light, a manually adjustable screen, Metzeler Roadtec Z8 rubber and two power sockets (two USBs and a 12v) handily located on each side of the clocks.
And for those who don’t like the idea of traction control, your wish is there command: there are no rider aids apart from ABS.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4v, parallel twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel diamond|
|Fuel capacity||19 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm telescopic forks, non adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Single shock, adjustable for preload|
|Front brake||2 x 300mm discs with four-piston caliper|
|Rear brake||240mm single disc with single-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||120/70x17|
|Rear tyre size||160/60x17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||49 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£140|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||60 bhp|
|Max torque||43 ft-lb|
|Top speed||115 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||205 miles|
Model history & versions
2019 – Model introduced in the UK
650NK – Naked version
650MT – Mini adventure-styled version
Both use the same basic engine and chassis
Owners' reviews for the CF MOTO 650GT (2019 - on)
2 owners have reviewed their CF MOTO 650GT (2019 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£140|
Annual servicing cost: £136
On the whole I'm happy with the bike its a friendly sort of bike that just gets on with the job, I like the adjustable screen and LCD dash its comfortable for longer trips and good on fuel. 200 ish + miles from a tank, (19L) Not so good is a slightly high tick over and its very quite exhaust note, heavy ish for a 650 but that not a problem on the move, on the plus side the seat is low so its not hard to move around.
Brakes are really good there not superbike good of course but they not lacking any bite there a Spanish brand but its owned by Brembo enough said on that point I think. Ride quality is really good suspension is not fancy but works really well KYB all round so its not rubbish, Bosch fuel injection and electrics and continental ABS and comes on Pirelli tyres so had no problems there.
Its good for what it is 650 twin with 65 BHP sounds low but its not slow and its quite good fun to ride wind a throttle on to the stop and it picks up well, you cant use half of what most bikes have and keep yours licence anyway. I've had all sorts bikes over 35 years and I'm quite happy with it, runs like a top but the tick over is a little high ( I've been told there is a fix coming for this at the next service)
Its been very reliable it's not missed a beat even it very poor weather and I've ridden it through the winter, it cleans up really nicely,. Having lived with this for several months now it doesn't feel like they have skimped, feels solidly built to me I suppose that's why its slightly heavy by todays standard, having said that its on par with others in this class. Four year parts and labour warranty now they changed this at the end of 2021 so that's really good.
£136 was for its first service and £200 ish for the second its about what they all cost really.
LCD dash with eco and sport mode theirs not a lots of difference to be fair. Comes with SHAD panniers as standard adjustable screen full LED lighting that is amazing.
Buying experience: Very good at my local dealer I've know them for years and this was a new brand to them so we are both learning as we go but there in contact with CF Moto whenever I need something and have an answer within a few hours mostly. I am more than happy with the level f service and parts availability has not been a problem for them, I've not needed anything myself but its all there if need.
Annual servicing cost: £150
What a bike would strongly recommend for anyone looking for a comfy bike with poke it’s here. The two modes eco and sports work the sports mode is amazing and makes a real difference when riding.
Amazing bike and fantastic brakes ABS works a treat
Buying experience: Davy Bikes in Bangor Co.Down were a total treat to deal with. Bike explained from front to rear and cost about the tax explained and the mpg explained as well. Fantastic buying experience.