The new CFMoto 800MT is here, the first big bike to come out of KTM’s partnership with the Chinese manufacturer.
We’ve known KTM had a plan to work with CFMoto for years, and at the time of the first 790 Adventure release, there was a rumour that bike’s engine was built in China. KTM told us it wasn’t—it was made in Austria. However, when KTM moved forward to the 890 platform, it took the older 790 design and licensed it to CF Moto. The two companies had already been working together for years on smaller machines, so this was just the next step.
Although CFMoto adapted the 790 engine, it doesn’t sound like the Chinese factory made many changes to the engine. Reports from international mags say the 795 cc liquid-cooled parallel twin has an up/down quickshifter and six-speed gearbox, and makes 94 horsepower at the crank, with 57 pound-feet of torque. Those are basically the same numbers as the Austria-built KTM engine.
What else do we know about the new bike? Looking at the styling, it looks like a 790 Adventure and a Honda Africa Twin had a love child. There’s a 7-inch TFT screen, allowing the rider to stay on top of the bike’s electro-trickery: Riding modes, traction control, cornering ABS, and so on. The TFT can also display navigation instructions, probably through pairing with a smartphone. LED headlights and daytime running lights are standard. Reportedly, the 800MT will come in two separate versions, one more street-oriented, one more dirt-oriented; both versions will have 19-inch front wheels and 17-inch rears.
One very noticeable difference between the KTM and the CFMoto: The CFMoto version supposedly weighs almost more than 100 pounds more, probably due to heavy use of Chinesium in the chassis.
At this point, CFMoto is not selling motorcycles in North America; previously, some of its Kawasaki-derived designs were on the market in Canada, and seemed like solid bikes for the money. Those bikes had reasonably decent reputations in Europe as well. However, North Americans are more likely to be familiar with the brand’s ATVs.