CFMoto point the way to the future with their modular chassis ethos
We’ve had our first look under the skin of a new CFMoto electric in the works that uses a modular plug-and-play design that could be adapted into a range of models.
The Chinese firm has already revealed images of a police-spec bike developed for the domestic market. And now, thanks to patent documents, we can take a deeper dive into what’s to come.
Although the initial machine, dubbed 300GT-E, is clearly a touring style model that’s purpose-made to suit police needs, with plenty of built-in luggage space for equipment and even a flashing light on a rear-mounted pole, the structure underneath is designed to suit virtually any type of bike.
It mirrors an increasingly common theme in electric bike design. The batteries are stored in a cast alloy central section that doubles as the main structure, allowing simple subframes to be bolted onto the front and rear to suit the final bike’s desired style and purpose.
We’ve recently seen Harley’s electric subsidiary, LiveWire take this route with the new Arrow platform which debuts in next year’s S2 Del Mar. Harley’s Canadian rival Bombardier will also take a modular approach with the electric Can-Am bike range that’s due to be launched in 2024.
Different front frame sections will be available, easily manufactured from tubular steel and including the steering head to set the geometry. Different seat subframes can also be bolted to the centre structure with minimal R&D cost, along with new bodywork to suit, to change the bike’s style and stance.
Similarly, the modular layout can use a variety of different motors to change its performance potential, and of course, the forks and swingarm can also be swapped for alternative components.
The CFMoto patent reveals that the central battery structure is actually bought from another company – Blue Stone New Power, which markets batteries, motors and control electronics under the NUPO name.
NUPO also provide the 10.5kW electric motor, as well as the other electronic components, giving the 300GT-E peak power for short bursts of 16.5kW (22.5bhp) alongside the ‘rated’ 10.5kW (14bhp) that it can maintain for longer periods.
That’s sufficient for a top speed of 75mph, while the motor’s peak torque of 40lb.ft should be enough to give reasonable acceleration despite the police-spec bike’s hefty 225kg mass. CFMoto’s latest patent shows that all the electronics are water-cooled, with a small radiator in the upper right hand-side of the fairing to expel the heat.
The patent also reveals several elements of the 300GT-E that hadn’t previously been seen. Detailed drawings of the bar controls and the mechanisms under the skin reveal not only the bike’s electrically adjustable screen but also show that it has a switch for a reverse gear that changes the direction that the electric motor runs to help manoeuvre the bike – with a speed limiter to keep it at walking pace when going backwards.
There’s also a front-mounted camera mounted in the nose, operated by a thumb switch on the left-hand bar, while other buttons, exclusive to the police version of the bike, are used for the siren and a loudhailer system.