Motorcycle industry stalwart Dale Schmidtchen has been reviewing the CFMoto 650MT for some time now, but recently switched to the road touring 650GT version.
Dale says the GT is a “great bike” with “world-class” fit and finish that makes it well worth the extra money.
“If it had another name on the tank, you could easily believe it came from one of the best manufacturers,” he says.
“The only part of the bike that appears cheap are the switchblocks which need a better choice of symbols and fonts.”
Here is Dale’s assessment of the CFMoto 650GT:
At 100km/h, the engine is running at 4000rpm which is 500rpm less than the MT.
I get about a very reasonable 4.3L/100km from the MT, so the GT’s economy should be a little better.
At highway speed, power delivery is good and it doesn’t feel like it is over-geared. In fact, it feels a little stronger in the mid-range than the MT.
Engine temperature shows it runs cooler than the MT which does tend to run hot in traffic.
It also feels cooler but this can be difficult to quantify as the temperature gauge does not indicate the actual temperature, only an LCD line.
I would rate the GT’s suspension as the best of any CFMoto I’ve ridden.
It handles all manner of road bumps with ease and in general gives no cause for concern.
I would encourage CFMoto to add a preload adjuster cap to the fork, as these not only look good but offer a positive feature at little extra cost.
An Ohlins cap, spacer and spring kit costs the manufacturer very little and a lesser brand cap would add little to the bike’s overall cost, but more to its value.
The rear coloured spring is an attractive feature, but it would be great if it could be adjusted.
I would like to see a pin-type adjuster as used by Ohlins which is easy and simple to use.
Wheels, tyres and brakes
The German Metzeler tyres are a noticeable improvement over the Chinese CST Adrenos fitted to the MT.
They add stability under braking, cornering integrity, they cope better with bumps and undulations and they have better grip. I would imagine they would have superior wet too, but it hasn’t rained here for a while!
The 160 section rear sat on the 4.5-inch rim better than the MT, as well.
Braking power started out a bit poor but began to offer good bite and progression after about 800km.
If they have used the same compounds as the MT, it will be best around 2000km.
The riding position on the 650GT is good and suits a wider range of people with a lower seat than the MT.
I note that some effort has been used to weight the footpegs and rubber mount them.
The left footpeg was in the way most times when I put the side stand down.
By the way, as a tourer, it needs a centre stand, especially with the left-hand side chain run, making chain lubing more difficult on the side stand alone.
The 650GT windscreen is perfect and the type of adjustment should be employed on the MT as it is more effective. Perhaps the robust MT system works better on rougher roads.
The fuel filler cap is much better than the MT as it stays in place during filling.
Mirrors are not as good as the MT as they vibrate. They need better weighting to reduce harmonics. Field of view is poor and there is not enough adjustment available.
Digital instrumentation are what you would expect on a more expensive bike with two layouts. I also love the way they change to night settings and are dimmable.
There is also a USB for charging your phone or GPS, which is essential for a tourer.
My only complaints are minor:
- Like the MT, it needs a helmet lock;
- It is difficult to tell the fuel and temperature gauges apart;
- It was too easy to confuse the horn with the change button for the maps/dash layout; and
- The rear axle nut is probably the biggest in the business and could do with at least 1cm shaved off.
This is a recommended option for anyone looking for a good-value, midsize road bike.
They should fit these with panniers from standard not only to fill in the rear aesthetically, but to truly live up to the “Grand Tourer” moniker.
CFMoto 650GT tech specs
|Engine Type:||Two cylinder, inline 4-stroke, 8-valve, DOHC with counter balance|
|Bore & Stroke:||83mm x 60mm|
|Fuel System:||Bosch EFI|
|Max Power Output:||41.5 kW @ 9,500rpm (LAMS Restricted)|
|Max Torque:||62 NM @ 7,000rpm|
|Frame:||Tubular steel diamond frame employing engine as fully-stressed member|
|Front Suspension:||38mm KYB telescopic fork (max travel 120mm)|
|Rear Suspension:||Extruded steel swingarm with tubular steel bracing, cantilever KYB monoshock (max. travel 45mm)|
|Front Brake:||J.Juan Dual 300mm discs with twin-piston calipers|
|Rear Brake:||J.Juan Single 240mm disc with single-piston caliper|
Size / Weight
|Length x Width x Height:||2100mm x 784mm x 1340mm|
|Min Ground Clearance:||150mm|
|Min Turning Diameter:||5.6m|
|Wheels Front:||17 x 3.5 cast alloy wheels|
|Wheels Rear:||17 x 4.5 cast alloy wheels|
|Tyres Front:||120/70 ZR17 Metzeler|
|Tyres Rear:||160/60 ZR17 Metzeler|
|Available Colours:||Concept Blue or Nebula Black|
|Warranty:||2 Year, Unlimited KM|