CF MOTO 700CLX ADVENTURE (2023 - on) Review


  • Easy going road manners
  • Impressive spec, with rear ABS cancellation
  • Comfortable over distance, quality tyres

At a glance

Power: 69 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.7 in / 830 mm)
Weight: Medium (448 lbs / 203 kg)


New £7,349
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Although not originally planned to arrive on British shores, the £7349 CFMoto 700CL-X Adventure will now land in UK showrooms in March 2023 – sitting alongside the pre-existing Sport and Heritage nakeds as a no-nonsense, easy-to-ride dual purpose scrambler.

Built in China in CFMoto’s Hangzhou factory, the bikes across the range are now being distributed in the UK by KTM’s parent company Pierer Mobility in a partnership that began in 2013. CFMoto will now also produce the 790 Adventure range for the Austrian brand, in China.

The new CL-X might say adventure in the brochure, but it’s unlikely to be your pick for serious all-terrain riding. Instead, it’s a comfortable, mild-mannered, almost-retro-looking twin that would likely raise a smile on a dusty gravel trail but run out of ground clearance on anything more serious.

Accelerating out of a corner on the CFMoto 700 CL-X Adventure

Tested on the challenging spaghetti-like ribbons of tarmac draped across the mountains of southern Spain, the CL-X showcased its skills as being one of those bikes you can hop on with instant familiarity. Every control is where you’d naturally expect it to be and there’s an easy reach to the ground, thanks to an 830mm seat height.

The grumbly circa 70bhp DOHC 693cc parallel twin engine is sprightly but easily managed, and the wide flat bars allow you to bully the 18in front Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyre into bend after bend without protest. ABS comes as standard to help meet Euro5, with the ability to deactivate it on the rear when the bike is placed in its Off-Road mode.

Combine this with a soft seat and a roomy peg position and it becomes an affordable alternative to the likes of the £9995 Ducati Scrambler Icon, with the added benefit of a small clear screen that keeps the wind well away from your shoulders and lid.

A CFMoto 700 CL-X Adventure parked on a campsite

In fact, the only thing that really spoils the CL-X is the calibre of its competition. The mid-size parallel twin market is currently saturated with credible models from almost every mainstream manufacturer, with the class leaders now favouring V-twin mimicking designs with 270-degree crankshafts for more character, engagement, and punch.

The CFMoto’s Kawasaki ER6-inspired design doesn’t have this and whilst it makes a delightful bark as you sling gears at it between bends, it lacks that final 5% wow factor to leave you wanting more. The spec is impressive and it’s dead easy to ride, but that’s just not quite enough to set it apart in one of the biggest segments of the modern motorcycle marketplace.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Simple and easy are the two best words I can use to best describe the handling of the CFMoto 700CL-X Adventure. Push on the wide bars and it turns without fuss – like if Ronseal did chassis geometry. It’s not lazy steering, or too abrupt, but a gentle, predictable peel into the bend and a solid composure throughout.

I weigh in the region of 10 stone and while the adjustable 41mm upside down forks and single shock are on the soft side for me it doesn’t tie itself in knots or dive heavily under braking. Heavier riders may think differently, however the full adjustability at the front and the preload and rebound changes available at the rear end should help to counteract this.

Instead, that additional squidge of the springs works in tandem with the comfortable seat to absorb any energy from ruts and bumps in the tarmac – leaving you to get on with the important job of having fun.

Riding the CFMoto 700 CL-X Adventure

And should you want to let your hair down and stretch the bike’s legs, there is plenty of ground clearance on either side from the wide, flat pegs – meaning no nasty scrapes as you explore the lean angle potential. This is helped further by the inclusion of Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres, which give the illusion of being a blocky, off-road-centric adventure option but grip just as well as any road-only rubber available in this segment of the market. They are seriously good.

Wrapped around the gold spoked 18in and 17in rims, they allow for late braking into a bend, with a plushness that helps soak up the imperfections in the tarmac. Although we didn’t get the chance to test this bike off-road, it’s likely they would have performed just as well here - being a class leading option for many seasoned adventure bike riders.

CFMoto 700 CL-X Adventure front mudguard

Braking power upfront is provided by a single 300mm disc and J.Juan four-piston radial caliper, which was ample on our trip. At no point did the ABS intervene and you can comfortably control your deceleration with two fingers on the span-adjustable lever.

Other models in the CL-X range come with more powerful stoppers – most notably the £7549 Sport café racer model, which gets dual from Brembo Stylemas on the front. Although a sexier brand to have on your bike, they are complete overkill for something of this size and instead highlight flaws with the soft front end – diving like a pogo stick every time you touch the lever, with immediate chattering from the ABS.

As a final party piece for the Adventure, the rear ABS can be switched off in Off-Road mode, by holding down the button until a warning light comes on as a constant on the dash. This should give more control should you wish to venture off-road, and allows for a cheeky skid here and there, if you’re feeling mischievous.


Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The CFMoto’s 693cc A2 licence restrictable engine is easy-going and unthreatening. Based around the old Kawasaki ER6 motor but now with an increased bore and stroke of 83x64mm to bring it to 693cc, it gives a warming embrace to novice riders and allows those more advanced to extract every morsel at sensible speeds.

Fed by a small 13-litre fuel tank nestled between your knees, it generates a gravelly bark unsurprisingly reminiscent of Kawasaki’s Ninja 650 and Z650. Although free-revving, it’s happiest sitting in the middle of the RPM range – starting to feel a bit short of breath at the very top.

Keep it fizzing between 6000 and 9500rpm and it's golden, producing a great induction noise and an ample surge of power to carry its 203kg wet weight. It’s also the best fuelled of all of the CL-X options, with the Sport we also had access to on this test surging aggressively from the middle of the revs like a kind of hidden VTEC system that made negotiating tight switchbacks unnecessarily difficult.

CFMoto 700 CL-X Adventure parallel twin engine

Outside of that, the clutch is light, and the shift is crisp – meaning no nonsense coming up and down the box.

Elsewhere though, the very architecture of the engine could be a stumbling block to its ‘Adventure’ name, with the twisting front header pipes protruding noticeably and without protection from behind the front wheel. This could be problematic should you want to tackle any challenging trails, with one hefty whack on those likely to spoil your trip and put a big dent in your wallet.

That’s not the biggest problem the CL-X has though. Unfortunately, the world is moving on from engines like this and although it’s perfectly acceptable, the market now demands more performance and engagement, rather than simply ease of use.

Manufacturers like Aprilia, Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki are now all adopting 270-degree crankshafts in their mid-size offerings to mimic the feel of a V-twin and provide more punch. Having recently ridden the 91bhp, 755cc Honda CB750 Hornet, the CFMoto feels flat by comparison and would really benefit from the 799cc KTM derived two-pot motor found elsewhere in their 800MT range.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

It’s difficult to say for certain how reliable the CL-X Adventure will be over time, but it will be sold in the UK with a four-year warranty should anything go amiss, with all of the spare parts now stored at KTM's headquarters in Mattighofen.

There is one owners’ review on our 700CL-X Heritage page, which shares the same chassis and engine, and they score the bike five stars out of five in this category, claiming no issues in around 9320 miles (15,000km) of usage.

Cornering right on the CFMoto 700 CL-X Adventure

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Priced at £7349 and available with a four-year dealer warranty, the 700CL-X Adventure represents good value for money. It’s well built, has an impressive suite of electronics, and features premium touches like a set of Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres to set it apart from some of its rivals.

Being a mid-sized parallel twin, the CL-X’s rivals could be seen as almost never ending, but the closest trio includes the Moto Morini Seiemmezzo range (also built in China), the Yamaha XSR700 and Ducati’s lowest spec Scrambler, the Icon.

The Morinis begin at around £7000 and have the added benefit of a colour TFT dash. The twin-cylinder engine is also based around Kawasaki’s ER6 but gets a claimed 9bhp less. The Yamaha comes in at £8250 but benefits from a stronger dealer network and more power and proven reliability. The Ducati £9995 is the most expensive and features a V-twin motor, alongside cornering ABS, and a TFT dash.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

You get a lot of bang for your buck on the Adventure, with a number of features to set it apart from the rest of the 700CL-X range. This includes the clear front screen, which wraps around the circular LED headlight and keeps the wind off your shoulders and head nicely – minimising fatigue on long motorway runs. There’s also a chunky hand rail for the pillion passenger and racking to attach luggage when you go away.

The only disappointment is the circular LCD display, which feels a bit old fashioned in this modern world of TFT screens. It’s easy to read the main dial though and helps keep the costs down, however the small warning lights around the rim of the unit can be easily lost in sunlight.

CFMoto 700 CL-X Adventure LCD display


Engine size 693cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled DOHC parallel twin
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 13 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 203kg
Front suspension 41mm KYB USD forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension KYB shock, adjustable for preload and rebound
Front brake Single 300mm disc with four-piston caliper, ABS
Rear brake Single 260mm disc and two-piston caliper, ABS
Front tyre size 110/80 x 18
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £111
Annual service cost -
New price £7,349
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Four years

Top speed & performance

Max power 69 bhp
Max torque 45 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2022 CFMoto 700CL-X Adventure launched online in mid-August. Initial responses from previous importer suggested it wouldn’t come to the UK. It is now set to arrive in dealers in March 2023.

Other versions

Other versions of the 700CL-X are the Heritage scrambler and Sport café racer, which both arrived in the UK in 2022. All three share the same basic engine and tubular steel chassis.

Owners' reviews for the CF MOTO 700CLX ADVENTURE (2023 - on)

No owners have yet reviewed the CF MOTO 700CLX ADVENTURE (2023 - on).

Be the first to review the CF MOTO 700CLX ADVENTURE (2023 - on) on MCN

Back to top