CFMoto is gearing up to launch a range of motorcycles in India by the middle of the year. The capacities of these bikes will span from 250-650cc. But before we go any further, let's address the question many of you must be asking.
Who is CFMoto?
CFMoto is a Chinese manufacturer that produces motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, side-by-side utility vehicles, and powersports engines, parts, gears and accessories. The company was founded in 1989 and claims to have developed 98 vehicles and 51 engines in total. The company is based out of the Zhejiang Province in China and has been selling its products across the globe – including to premium markets in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. CFMoto’s bikes are regarded to be at the higher-end of the scale when it comes to premium products coming out of China.
If you're wondering where you've heard the name before, that's because CFMoto was in the news a couple of years ago, when KTM announced had it had entered a joint venture with the company in October 2017 to expand production. As part of this agreement, CFMoto will manufacturer a 999cc version of KTM’s 75-degree V-twin LC8 engine, which will be exclusively manufactured in China from 2020 onwards to power an all-new range of models carrying the CFMoto brand. Alongside this, though, the tie-up will see the manufacture of KTM’s future range of middleweight bikes powered by its 799cc LC8c parallel-twin engine (found on the 790 Duke and 790 Adventure).
Is this not CFMoto’s first time in India?
CFMoto did make an entry into the Indian market around two years ago, with its Indian partner, Eider Motors. However, Eider Motors never fully set off and the chairman was arrested for allegedly cheating dealers. Thus, CFMoto motorcycles never ended up hitting the streets. So, like fellow Chinese brand Benelli, CFMoto is back for round two in our market – a market that is growing increasingly harder for international motorcycle manufacturers to ignore.
Who is AMW Motorcycles?
AMW Motorcycles Private Limited is an unlisted private company formed in September 2018 and is based out of Bengaluru. This company is in the process of setting up an assembly plant and is currently testing the upcoming CFMoto motorcycles out of Hyderabad. While not much else is known about the company at the moment, we can confirm that it has no association with AMW Trucks (Asia MotorWorks) which is headquartered out of Mumbai.
Everything we know about the CFMoto-AMW tie-up
CFMoto-AMW already has a website and social media handles set-up online, as it gets ready to launch its motorcycles, ATVs and side-by-sides. The motorcycle line-up for India includes the 250NK, 400NK, 650NK and the 650MT – of which, the 250NK, 650MT and 400NK have already been spotted testing in India.
The 250NK will be the company’s entry-level offering in India. The sport-naked bike also has riding modes which, when launched in India, will be a segment-first feature. It also has all-LED lighting and a fully-digital TFT instrument cluster. Powering the 250NK is a 250cc, single-cylinder, four-valve, DOHC, liquid-cooled motor making 26.5hp at 9,000rpm and 22Nm of torque at 7,500rpm. This fuel-injected engine comes mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The bike’s trellis frame is suspended on a USD fork and a monoshock. As for the brakes, the 250NK uses a 300mm disc at the front and a 245mm disc at the rear.
CFMoto’s 400NK is essentially a lower-capacity 650NK. It appears to share its aggressive, street-naked bodywork with the larger 650NK and also gets all-LED lighting and a fully-digital instrument cluster. The tubular diamond-steel frame the bike uses is sprung up by a 41mm telescopic fork and a monoshock. For brakes, the bike employs 300mm twin discs up-front and a single disc at the rear. The bike also uses CST-branded tyres that measure 120/70-ZR17 at the front and 160/60-ZR17 at the rear, just like the 650NK. Powering this motorcycle is a 400.4cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled motor that makes 41.4hp at 9,500rpm and 34.4Nm of torque at 7,650rpm. This DOHC, eight-valve engine comes paired to a 6-speed gearbox.
As for the 650NK, it shares a majority of its cosmetics and mechanicals with the 400NK. However, it uses a higher-capacity motor that will help propel the 206kg motorcycle at a much quicker rate. The 649.3cc, liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder motor on it produces 61hp at 9,000rpm and 56Nm of torque at 7,000rpm.
The adventure-tourer 650MT, on the other hand, uses a differently tuned 649.3cc, liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder motor and makes 70.7hp at 8,750rpm and 62Nm of torque at 7,000rpm. The motorcycle is also slightly heavier than the 650NK, with a kerb weight of 213kg and the bodywork is completely different. The 650MT has a large windscreen and fairing that are typical of an adventure tourer. It also has hand guards and a large single-piece seat. CFMoto has also equipped the bike with crash bars, which come as standard. Optional extras include aluminium panniers and an 820mm 'low seat' to reduce the standard 840mm seat height. The steel diamond frame the 650MT uses is suspended off the ground by a USD fork and a monoshock. Braking is taken care of by twin 300mm discs up front and a 240mm disc at the rear.
How will they be priced?
CFMoto is known internationally for its competitive pricing. In Australia for instance, the CFMoto 650NK is priced at AUD 6,490 (Rs 3.20 lakh), where it’s direct rival is the Kawasaki Z650, which costs AUD 9,799 (Rs 4.84 lakh). If the Chinese-brand could replicate such cutthroat pricing in India, it wouldn’t go unnoticed in a market as price-sensitive as ours. We expect to hear more about the dealership network plans closer to the intended launch period.