Pommie has been out testing out the CFMOTO 700CL-X Adventure, check out how this affordable machine tackled Australian roads and the loose stuff too! Photos: HMC Photography, Pommie...

The CFMOTO 700CL-X Adventure was first unveiled way back in November 2019 at EICMA. It’s taken time, but finally they are here in Australia, following the fantastic Heritage and Sport versions already reviewed by us and proven to be great machines. Let’s take a look…

Pommie has been out on the CFMOTO 700CL-X Adventure. Check out how it stacks up against the rest of the range.

Pommie has been out on the CFMOTO 700CL-X Adventure. Check out how it stacks up against the rest of the range.


Check out Simon’s 700CL-X Sport review here and Heritage review here…


Looking closely around the bike, the build quality seems pretty good, especially for the $11,990 rideaway price. The welds on the frame look good and the overall finish on the rest of the panels look great too, although there is a fair amount of plastic on the bike, but you can say the same about most bikes on the market. As CFMOTO own pretty much half of KTM, and build a lot of their range, I am not surprised at the quality of the Adventure…



Looks are very subjective and the 700CL-X Adventure may not be to everyone’s taste, but I quite like it. CFMOTO calls it an Adventure in the title, but I’d suggest it’s more of a Scrambler look, I’m not sure if copyright restricted them from using the Scrambler name, but it would have been better suited.



Adding to the Scrambler look is the high front guard and those awesome Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres. The STR’s do a great job, not only of giving you the option of tackling some dirt roads, but they also perform surprisingly well on road too.

Just over $11k gets you some brand-name equipment with some off-road capability! How good's that?

Just over $11k gets you some brand-name equipment with some off-road capability! How good’s that?

Slinging my leg over the bike for the first time, the first thing I notice is the seat feels relatively low, it’s actually 830mm, but goes narrower at the front to allow for better leg reach, meaning I can easily get my feet flat on the ground and even if you are vertically challenged you should be fine. The seat itself is a highlight of the bike and is very comfy, even after a fair amount of time in the saddle.



The seat/peg/handlebar ratio is pretty good, it gives a great comfy long distance ride position. The 700CL-X Adventure also gets a small screen that manages to deflect a fair bit of wind off my chest without any helmet buffeting and for night time riding you get a super bright LED headlight that adjusts itself depending on ambient light.

Pommie reckons the 700CL-X is an awesome commuting buddy. Comfy for long-distance riding and just cruises along at Australian speed limits.

Pommie reckons the 700CL-X is an awesome commuting buddy. Comfy for long-distance riding and just cruises along!

One thing that I do find slightly annoying is the instrument cluster, the gear indicator is in the wrong place and too large, so when your speed reaches over 100km/h it looks like it’s reading 6100km/h. I’m not sure if it was just my test bike, but the right hand km/h digit flicked all the time. Apart from that, the instrument cluster with only two adjustment buttons, is very easy to use and has all the basic functions you’d need.

Despite the 700CL-X range not being LAMS approved, they're simple and easy bikes to ride. Perfect for a returning customer.

Despite the 700CL-X not being LAMS approved, they’re simple and easy bikes to ride. Perfect for a returning rider.

Riding the 700CL-X Adventure, the first thing I notice is the light clutch action when setting off from a start, this makes commuting a joy when stop/starting through heavy traffic and also off-road. The gearbox is spot on and has a positive feel while changing gear, even when rolling up to the lights, it didn’t once fail to find neutral – pity the same can’t be said for some bikes that are three times the cost.

It's really not a bad looking bike by any standards, considering the price it looks bloody awesome.

It’s really not a bad looking bike by any standards, considering the price it looks bloody awesome.

The 700CL-X Adventure is also fitted with a slipper clutch, which works well and eliminates any wheel hop or locking up on heavy down shifts, which is great for a bike at this price level and handy on a dirt road, even if you’re new to riding off-road.



The engine is a parallel-twin and makes 74bhp and 68Nm, which is more than enough to have fun with. In fact, I’m surprised by how quick the bike goes when I crank the throttle. The fuelling on the 700CL-X Adventure is a bit different, not bad, just different. For example, down low in the rev-range I find the bike to be pretty smooth, it does have a very slight hesitation, this only happens sometimes.

Get the 700CL-X around the 7000rpm mark and it wants to take off.

Get the 700CL-X Adventure around the 6500rpm mark and it wants to take off, similar to a two-stroke!

The strange thing is, when you get the bike over 6500rpm it takes off like a scalded cat, almost like a pre power-valve two-stroke. While on the gas the parallel-twin puts out a nice throaty sound from the stumpy exhaust. I will mention that once it gets over 6500rpm the throttle response isn’t as smooth as I’d like, I’m guessing an ECU update would solve this or if not, a Power Commander would smooth things out.

As is the case with every CFMOTO bike. There's a serious amount of genuine accessories ready to deck out your bike with.

As is the case with every CFMOTO bike. There’s a serious amount of genuine accessories ready to deck out your bike.

The bike is fitted standard with cruise control and it works perfectly and makes distance riding so much easier, giving you the option to take your hand off the throttle if you wish to do so. Vibration from the parallel-twin is there as you’d expect, but minimal, the bike has rubber on the ‘pegs, which does a good job of reducing it. You do get some slight vibration through the alloy ‘bars, but it’s not enough to be annoying or make my hands tingle on long rides.


“The highlight of riding the 700CL-X Adventure is the handling and the way it goes around a corner, looking at the bike it doesn’t make sense, the bike on paper shouldn’t be this good…”


The highlight of riding the 700CL-X Adventure is the handling and the way it goes around a corner, looking at the bike it doesn’t make sense, the bike on paper shouldn’t be this good. It weighs around 200kg wet, but feels light and agile while on the move. In fact, it’s not only agile, it really changes direction fast and is capable of carving corners with bikes that cost more than twice the amount.

"It’s not only agile, it really changes direction fast and is capable of carving corners with bikes that cost more than twice the amount."

“It weighs around 200kg wet, but feels light and agile while on the move… It’s not only agile, it really changes direction fast and is capable of carving corners with bikes that cost more than twice the amount.”

The handling can be dialled in to suit your weight, thanks to the fully adjustable KYB USD front forks, while at the rear you get a KYB rear shock, with adjustable rebound damping and spring preload. The suspension does a good job of coping with most road conditions, at this price point it would be unfair of me to judge it too harshly and after a long day in the saddle I really have no complaints.



The Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres really offer great grip on the tarmac and don’t do a bad job in the dirt too, in fact I was surprised by how fast the bike steered and changed direction with the semi-knobby tyres.

We are a massive fan of the Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR's here. They tackle loose surfaces and roads with ease.

We are a massive fan of the Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR’s here. They tackle loose surfaces and roads with ease.

For the brakes, the 700CL-X Adventure gets a single J.Juan four-piston radially-mounted caliper and a 300mm floating disc at the front and a single J.Juan twin-piston caliper at the rear, gripping onto a 260mm disc. I would have liked to see a twin disc setup on the front for a bike of this size, but the bike does a pretty good job of pulling up with the brakes it has and you do get braided lines as standard, which is a nice touch. The ABS works well and can be turned off at the rear if you hold the off-road button in for a few seconds while you’re at a standstill, awesome for hitting the dirt.

The dirt-engine map makes the power a little bit more manageable when you're on the loose stuff.

The dirt-engine map makes the power a little bit more manageable when you’re on the loose stuff.

The bike has two modes, Street and Off-road, I would say that the Off-road mode is more like a rain map that just softens the throttle response and power, meaning you don’t have the full beans when on the dirt. With the bike not having traction control, which you wouldn’t expect or really need on a bike at this price point and power level, the map modes are purely for throttle response and power levels.

The 700CL-X has more than enough power to be an absolute hoon on the road and off!

The 700CL-X has more than enough power to be an absolute hoon on the road and off!

Like I said earlier, I would class the 700CL-X Adventure more as a Scrambler style bike than an Adventure, which would be more suited to the odd open fire trail than full-on off-road activity over a long distance. That being said, I decided to take the bike up some pretty nasty tracks and over some more gnarly obstacles, just to see what it was like and I was pleasantly surprised.



You do get tubeless spoked wheels so punctures should be easily dealt with, 18in at the front and 17in at the rear and 150mm of travel at both ends so it’s capable of playing in the rough stuff. However, long distance off-road riding could be restricted if you were in the middle of nowhere, especially with only a 13L fuel tank.

You are limited slightly by range, over my two week test I managed to average around 5.4L/100km, which will get you around 240km, although the fuel warning was coming on after only 160km, even when I still had 5L left in the tank.

Range anxiety is a real problem if you're planning on taking the 700CL-X Adventure off-road. I really doesn't have a tank large enough.

Range anxiety is a real problem if you’re planning on taking the 700CL-X Adventure off-road with its tiny 13L tank.

I’d challenge anybody to ride the 700CL-X Adventure and not have fun, it’s a great bike especially considering the low cost. You get a whole heap of nice functions that are normally reserved for bikes twice the price, such as, auto adjust LED headlight, self cancel indicators, cruise control, adjustable span levers, slipper clutch and a cleaver 4G T-Box telemetry system.

I think it’s inevitable that with the build quality of CFMOTO improving with the release of each new model, we are likely to see more and more of these bikes on the road, which will only help encourage newer riders to take the plunge.


Zero Motorcycles

Tech Talk

The 700CL-X’s performance amounts to an increase of 18hp (13kW) and 6Nm over CFMOTO’s existing 649cc LAMS-based parallel twin found in the two 650NK variants as well as the 650MT and 650GT. The hike in capacity for the 693cc engine over the 649cc unit has been achieved by a 3mm increase in stroke, and other technical highlights for the updated powerplant include Bosch fuel-injection, split connecting rods, a slipper clutch, and forged pistons for strength and reduced weight and inertia. This in turn lifts the power output to 73hp@8500rpm and 68Nm@6500rpm.

The 700CL-X uses the a similar powerplant to the 650MT with a longer stroke, bringing the capacity up to 693cc.

The 700CL-X uses the a similar powerplant to the 650MT with a longer stroke, bringing the capacity up to 693cc.

The 700CL-X Adventure tracks on 18-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels, mated to Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres. Suspension is by KYB including a fully adjustable upside-down 41mm fork as well as a monoshock rear with rebound and preload adjustment. Travel front and rear is 150mm. The newly designed split frame weighs just 16.5kg while a 6.7kg aluminium alloy swingarm give the 700CL-X Adventure a wet weight of 204kg.


RatedR Parts

The 700CL-X Adventure features a J.Juan braking system and Continental ABS. This comprises of a single large 300mm disc with J.Juan four-piston radial-mount caliper and a 260mm rear disc with twin-piston caliper. 



When it comes to styling, CFMOTO seem to of hit the nail on the head with the entire 700CL-X range, each have their own theme but they all fall into the retro category. The smooth body lines come together for a fresh take on classic style. The 700CL-X is marked by the retro-inspired round headlight, fuel tank aluminium side panels, leather feel seat, multi-spoke alloy wheels and Pirelli tyres. 

You have three different 700CL-X machines to choose from, all with different price points and different equipment!

You have three different 700CL-X machines to choose from, all with different price points and different equipment!

The LED headlight of the 700CL-X features a self-adaptive assist system, which can be automatically turned on or off according to the ambient brightness. It also features a daytime-running light and auto-cancelling turn signals.  

The LED headlight of the 700CL-X features a self-adaptive assist system, which can be automatically turned on or off according to the ambient brightness.

The LED headlight of the 700CL-X features a self-adaptive assist system, which can be automatically turned on or off according to the ambient brightness.

The 700CL-X features a round 75mm retro classic-style LCD dash which provides simple and real riding information. The on-board computer has two on-the-fly riding modes: Economy and Sport. In addition, the 700CL-X is equipped with cruise control, as well as a USB charging input.



The ride by wire system ensures that the 700CL-X has an accurate and safe cruise control system, it also ensures the rider can choose their assists profiles to suit their liking.

Harley


2023 CFMOTO 700CL-X Adventure Specifications

www.cfmoto.com.au

Price: From $11,990 rideaway
Colours: Aurora Blue
Warranty: Three year warranty
Claimed Power: 55kW@8500rpm
Claimed Torque: 68Nm@6500rpm
Wet Weight: 204kg
Fuel capacity: 13L
Fuel Consumption Claimed: N/A
Fuel Consumption (measured): 5.4L/100km


Engine: Liquid-cooled DOHC four-valves-per-cylinder four-stroke parallel twin, 692cc, 11.6:11 compression ratio, 83 mm x 64 mm bore x stroke, Bosch EFI with Ride by wire system, six-speed gearbox, wet multi-plate slipper clutch, RbW throttle, EFI.


Chassis:Tubular steel frame with aluminium alloy swingarm
Suspension: 41mm KYB upside-down fork, fully adjustable, 150mm travel, KYB shock with preload and compression adjustment, 150mm travel.
Brakes: 300mm rotor (f), radial-mount J.Juan caliper and conventional master-cylinder, 260mm rotor (r), floating type J.Juan caliper, ABS.
Wheels & Tyres: Scorpion Rally STR 110/80 R18 (Pirelli), Scorpion Rally STR 170/60 R17 (Pirelli)


Dimensions
Wheelbase: 1435mm
Seat height: 830mm
Ground clearance: 160mm
Overall width: 887mm
Overall Length: 2107mm
Overall height: 1200mm


Electronics: Round 75mm retro classic-style LCD, Economy and Sport modes,cruise control, USB charging input, TCS and ABS


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