China’s CFMoto has long held ambitions to break out of the small-capacity bikes that sell in volume in its home country and start making bikes to play with the big boys internationally. At this year’s Chingqing Moto Expo, the brand announced the most powerful Chinese bike ever, due to hit showrooms in 2021.
CFMoto has been manufacturing engines and bikes for Austria’s KTM for many years now, and it owns the rights to the 990cc LC8 V-Twin that powered KTM’s original Super Duke 990s, among other bikes. It has redeveloped this motor into a 1279cc version for this bike, which, according to Bennett’s, will make a little over 140 horsepower in this application.
The bike, which rocks a look disconcertingly similar to BMW’s grand tourers, will be called the 1250TR-G, and CFMoto has partnered with Brembo to deliver an ABS braking system, as well as JBL for a Bluetooth-connected stereo system, operated through a massive full-color dash. KTM-owned suspension specialists WP will provide an electronically-adjustable suspension setup, so the important bits are all coming from excellent sources.
There’s a cruise control button on the left switchblock, as well as an electronically adjustable screen, heated bars, heated grips, tire pressure monitors and a tight-looking three-piece luggage kit including two hard panniers and a top box with a built-in backrest for passengers.
Will it have the magnificent self-levelling headlights, bidirectional quickshifters or flat-out “intercontinental ballistic touring” performance capabilities of the mighty BMW K1600GT? I doubt it. But it might not have to; BMW charges German prices for German performance and bleeding-edge technology. CFMoto will be able to sell these things at Chinese prices, and it’ll be fascinating to see what that means once it lands internationally, as well as how it measures up on the road.
As the biggest and most powerful bike ever made in China, it has a good chance to sell big numbers domestically. But if CFMoto manages to nail the export price to performance ratio it could be a hero bike for the brand globally, and the kind of machine that could start the slow process of changing Western riders’ opinions about Chinese bikes. A significant motorcycle indeed!
Short video below.
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