Meifesto

CFMoto 800MT Touring – 2023 (Weektest)

The CFMoto 800MT comes in two versions, the standard version called 800MT Sport, and the “full package” under the name 800MT Touring. The 800MT features the 799cc twin-cylinder engine from KTM. Robust, reliable, and tested, it’s a good start. CFMoto is one of the many Chinese brands gaining traction in the European market nowadays. However, CFMoto doesn’t position itself as a budget bike but is ready to compete with the big players.
I had to experience this firsthand by riding the CFMoto 800MT Touring for a week.

The two versions of the 800MT.

Flashback to the beginning of this year, the Motorbeurs (Motorcycle Fair). One of the stands that garnered a lot of attention from the public was CFMoto. Audible were the many reactions, ranging from compliments on looks and/or variety, to the standard remarks that Chinese brands have to be inferior.
But all this attention aroused curiosity, so I had to experience it for myself. If you delve into the brand’s history, you’ll see a beautiful and long-standing collaboration with KTM. CFMoto is the world’s largest manufacturer of quads and is busy with motorcycles that can withstand any comparison with European, Japanese, or American brands. It has been clear for several years that CFMoto wants more. The use of the KTM 790 engine in the CFMoto 800MT immediately gives a sense of solidity and seems to be the step CFMoto needed to conquer the midsize adventure segment.

When you take a walk around the 800MT, you’ll quickly notice that a lot of thought has gone into it. Everything on the bike fits the model perfectly. The 800MT comes standard with cruise control, which is a must for a large adventure motorcycle in today’s market. The CFMoto 800MT Sport is the base version of the 800MT, despite all the features it offers.

The deluxe edition is the 800MT Touring. This version comes with touring options such as heated grips and a heated seat. It also includes sport features that you would expect to find on the sport version, such as the bilateral quickshifter, digital tire pressure monitoring, and a steering damper, all on an adventure motorcycle. For off-road adventures, the Touring also comes with an engine protection plate and a center stand. Plus, it boasts very stylish gold-colored spoke wheels, exclusive to the Touring model. However, at the time of writing, the Touring, priced at 12,599 euros, is only 1,600 euros more than the Sport (10,999 euros). In my opinion, the extra cost is definitely worth it.

The CFMoto 800MT comes standard at $11,000 or £9,199.  In comparison, the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE is $11,349 or £10,699. A Tenere 700 starts at $10,799 or £10,110, and a BMW F800GS starts at $10,495 or £9,995. It’s a relatively tight market in terms of competition, but the 800MT is cheaper and comes with quite a good amount of accessories.

The 800MT Touring I borrowed also came equipped with two side cases and a top case, which I made extensive use of. All three cases can be locked, and the key is required for disconnecting them, ensuring their security. On the right side, the case is slightly less deep due to the space needed to safely bypass the exhaust. The two side cases together have a volume of 63 liters (35L on the left and 28L on the right). The top case has a volume of 36 liters and is large enough for an average helmet.

Elegance in Blue and Silver in a Sleek and Sporty Touring

The 2023 color scheme of the CFMoto 800MT touring bike is Twilight Blue with silver. Many accessories and stickers are applied in a dark gray, almost anthracite, color. The silver on the front is also incorporated as a detail in the Twilight Blue. This color scheme manages to attract attention and appealed to me. The combination of gold-colored spoke wheels of the 800MT Touring with the blue and silver accents looks modern and sleek. There are two fluorescent yellow stripes visible on the tank and under the seat. Personally, I could have done without these, as it looks calmer without them.

The front of the 800MT has a sporty adventure look, greatly enhanced by the 19-inch gold spoke wheels. The black-coated front forks seem to disappear into the almost vertical front end. This is adorned with 2 round rally lights and a sleek horizontal dual headlight. From here, the windshield rises, which is adjustable in height. Not automatically, but manually, and unfortunately, you do have to stop to adjust it. Not a real disaster, once properly adjusted, you actually don’t need to touch it anymore. An adjustable windshield is something I sometimes miss with other adventure motorcycles.

The comfortable seat is truly integrated into the motorcycle, resulting in a seat height of only 82 cm for the 800MT, despite its height and 19 cm ground clearance. The passenger section of the seat is raised slightly, allowing a passenger to sit comfortably behind the rider.
For the rider, this slight seat elevation provides excellent support for the rear. In addition to lower back support, this elevation also aids in controlling the 800MT, which weighs a solid 225 kg, excluding fuel and luggage. Consideration has also been given to back support for the passenger. The top case features a softer rubber layer for the passenger to lean against. During a break on one of the longer rides, I also used the passenger seat myself to comfortably eat/drink.

The 7-inch TFT dashboard is clear and displays everything you need. Navigating through all the menu options may take some getting used to, as it’s not the most user-friendly menu. Once you’re accustomed to how it works, you can smoothly access the right settings. This allows you to turn the handlebar and/or seat heating on and off, ideal for the Dutch autumn, winter, and spring seasons. Additionally, the navigation is easily accessible, although I wasn’t able to test it.

Innovative Drive Power and Smoothness: The Power Behind the 800MT Touring

CFMoto uses the 799cc engine block from KTM for the 800MT. The history of the strong and long-lasting collaboration with KTM has certainly paid off for CFMoto. KTM decided to discontinue their 790 line, for various reasons. Their official statement was that they couldn’t make the 799cc engine compliant with the stricter Euro 5 standards. Instead of the 799cc engine, KTM introduced their new 890 engine. The collaboration between CFMoto and KTM gave CFMoto the opportunity to use KTM’s 790 engine, adapt it to meet the Euro 5 standards, and see how much power they could extract for their own adventure line. Something they succeeded in very well. Meanwhile, KTM has reintroduced a 799cc model to the market in 2023. This revival of the 790 Duke is thanks to KTM’s collaboration with CFMoto, which takes on the production of the 799cc LC8c parallel-twin engine for the Duke.

For the 800MT, CFMoto uses a well-known robust engine. They have utilized the liquid-cooled parallel twin 4-stroke with a full 799 cc displacement. Official figures indicate a maximum power of 95 hp at 9000 rpm and a maximum torque of 77 Nm at 6600 rpm.
When riding, you’ll experience a very spirited yet smooth motor from around 5500 to 6000 rpm. The motor pushes the asphalt away, and the acceleration out of corners is a delight. Below 5000 rpm, it’s a bit calmer, which is ideal for off-road sections, especially for less experienced off-road riders. On really soft or loose terrain, inexperienced travelers may sometimes miss the traction control. However, by maintaining constant traction and standing up, the 800MT can overcome almost anything. You barely notice its relatively heavy weight when riding off-road. I say “relatively” because an average enduro or supermoto bike weighing between 100 and 140 kg is considerably lighter. In comparison, the 225 kg of the 800MT is significantly less than, for example, a BMW F 850 GS, which weighs 248 kg.

As befits an adventure motorcycle, the 800MT also comes with cruise control. This feature is easy to set up using the controls on your handlebars. One notable aspect is how stable the 800MT is at highway speeds. While we don’t recommend it, you could almost complete your entire commute without needing to hold onto the handlebars on the highway. Time to reply to that one email you forgot about.

The control of other settings is also done through the 7-inch TFT screen. By using two arrow buttons, a set button, and a return button on the left handlebar, you navigate through the menus. The interface is clearly readable, but the layout of the menus takes some getting used to. For example, to activate the handlebar and seat heating, you have to go to the third submenu and then choose between three settings. It’s actually too cumbersome and too much effort to do while riding, so you’ll need to stop somewhere first before you can easily adjust this.
The layout of the main screen, your standard dashboard, is tidy and provides all the necessary information. What’s really nice is the effective automatic light adjustment. The readability is also good when standing, which is nice for off-road sections.

The Touring Accessory Package

The differences between the Sport and Touring models mainly lie in the accessories. Although the Touring comes with beautiful aluminum spoke wheels, as opposed to the black cast wheels of the Sport, the steel frame, J. Juan brakes, and KYB suspension on both machines are identical. This accessories package includes:

  • Quickshifter (Up&Down)
  • Handguards
  • Engine protection plate
  • Heated seat
  • Heated grips
  • Tire pressure monitoring
  • Steering damper
  • Engine block
  • Three-piece luggage set (although this is also available for the Sport)

The beauty of all these accessories is the price of 12,599 euros for the Touring compared to 10,999 euros for the Sport. The price difference is more than compensated for by all the extras. With these prices, CFMoto no longer positions itself below the competition, and motorcycles such as the Triumph Tiger 850 Sport (11,650 euros) or the aforementioned BMW F 850 GS (12,690 euros) come close. However, they are a bit more modest in terms of equipment, so CFMoto still manages to position itself well in the market.

Conclusion

Throughout, from the initial discovery to the final testing day, pleasantly surprised by the 800MT Touring. CFMoto has put the KTM engine to good use. The finishing and details are good, and there’s little to fault on the build quality. This puts CFMoto on par with other major brands. I’m looking forward to new models in the coming years. The color scheme is nearly perfect. The TFT screen stands out as one of the better ones, but the operation of all menus could be more user-friendly. The 799cc engine could use a bit more power, but with each new Euro standard, this seems to become more difficult. The riding position and seat are excellent, and long days on the 800MT seem effortless, especially with support from the heated elements and cruise control. Offroad it feels smooth, but sometimes its weight is noticeable.
In my opinion, CFMoto has delivered a motorcycle with the 800MT Touring that can compete with the competition and secure its place in the market.

Displacement

Two-cylinder parallel 4-stroke, 8 valves, DOHC

Cylinder

799 cc

Bore x Stroke

88 x 65,7 mm

Compression ratio

12,7 : 1

Ignition  

Electronic ignition

Max. power

95pk / 70 kW @ 9000 rpm

Max torque

 

77 Nm / 56 lb-ft @ 6600 rpm

Transmission

6 gears, Up&down quickshifter

Front Suspension

KYB upside-down telescopic, adjustable

Rear Suspension

KYB monoshock, adjustable

  

Front brakes

J.Juan double 320 mm brake disc with radial calipers

Rear brake

J.Juan single brake disc 260mm

Wheels

Aluminum spaakwiel Tubeless

Front Tire

110/80 R19 

Rear Tire

150/70 R17

Length

2234 mm / 87.9 inch

Width

853 mm / 33,6 inch

Height

1277 mm / 50,3 inch

Wheelbase

1531mm /60,3 ​​inch

Seat height

825 mm / 32,5 inch

Ground clearance

190 mm / 7,5 inch

Weight

225 kg / 496 lbs rijklaar

Fuel capacity

19 Liter

About Author