Test: Kris Hodgson
Images: Bike Review

Kris puts the 2018 CFMoto 650MT adventure-sports offering to the test with a few weeks of on and off road riding.

Having seen how impressed Pommie was with the previous iteration of the CFMoto 650MT, I was super keen to get my hands on the new version, which while not a massive update, does boast some thoughtful additions. See his test here: Review: 2017 CFMoto 650MT

Probably the biggest point of note for this machine is the buy-in of $7,990 Ride-Away, yes you read that right – that’s a ride away price – and you’re getting a formidable little adventure sports tourer.

It’s also worth noting that build quality really seems to have risen since we first tested a CFMoto 650NK a number of years ago, and had a long termer for a year, with consistent improvement showing how serious CFMoto are about delivering super competitive machines. Remember, this is a company that apparently owns 51 per cent of the new KTM Chinese factory and builds parts for White Power, KTM and Kawasaki among other brands. The engine is basically an ER6 unit.

My first thoughts on the Kiska Designed 2018 650MT were that this is a pretty good looking machine, that massive crash bar assembly notwithstanding. The new adjustable screen has sharper lines and offers better cover than the last version, while the front fairing and headlight are very sportsbike inspired.

Everything flows, with great lines and good finish quality, and where the old version which came standard with panniers looked like a tourer, this crashbar/pannier rack version certainly leans more towards the rugged adventure-sports-touring segment.

Under $8K on the road delivers a liquid-cooled DOHC parallel-twin with a claimed LAMS legal 41.5kW and 45.72lb-fts, dual front disc brakes from Spanish firm J Juan including braided lines, a simple LCD dash, comfortable single-piece seat, adjustable suspension front and rear, and a mode button for Sport and Touring modes. Other already mentioned features are the pannier rack, crash bars and adjustable screen, with no standard panniers on this model.

The CFMoto 650MT is heavy, with the brand claiming 213kg, which I’d assume is dry and also relates to the bike’s touring posture and CoG. For my 180cm frame the 840mm seat height is also very manageable, while you really sit in the bike and comfort is a strong point. The relatively tall ‘bars were also just right for me, allowing a relaxed grip with a slight bend in my arms.

Read the full review at Bikereview.com.au