Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

This is the adventurous version of CFMoto’s remarkably good 700CL-X Heritage – the machine that convinced hardened Bike sceptics that a Chinese motorcycle could compete with
the best without a bargain price being an excuse.
The 700CL-X ADV has the same underpinnings as the base model
so there’s no reason to expect any less from this one – it’s powered by

a version of Kawasaki’s ER-6 motor with 74bhp and 50 lb.ft (identical
figures to MT-07). Suspension is the same adjustable KYB kit used by
the Heritage, and the forks don’t appear to be longer despite the
ADV’s off-road pretensions. The chassis is unchanged too.
The main differences are the 18in front wheel (now spoked), beaky
front mudguard,
screen, 5mmwider handlebars
and the addition
of minging
pannier fitment
racks. That lot
adds 7kg,
bringing the total
weight to 203kg.
The electronics
are tweaked too.
You get two
modes – Stre
nd Off-road, though CFMoto don’t reveal what the off-road mode
does. Our bet is: switch off the rear ABS and soften the power
delivery. The seat height goes from 800mm to 830, presumably
because of a chunkier saddle.
The Adventure is now on sale in China, but CFMoto won’t say
whether it will come to the UK. If it does it’ll add a welcome dose of
value to the middleweight adventure class. The Heritage sells for
£6599, so the Adventure is likely to be around £7k – that’s £2700
cheaper than the more off-roady and lower-spec’d Ténéré 700, and
only £750 more than the less powerful Honda CB500X. For a bike
with a perky engine, loads of electronics, decent suspension and a
warranty, £7k
seems like a
steal. Plus,
because of its
relative low
weight, the
chances are the
ADV will be far
better off-road
than pricer big
Look closely at this new Moto Morini 6½ Street and see if you
can find anything that screams ‘cheap’. Difficult isn’t it?
Brembo brakes, fully adjustable Kayaba forks, five-inch TFT
dash, Pirelli tyres and tidy frame welds mean it seems as sorted as
any middleweight from Triumph, Yamaha or the rest.
Morini are now owned by Chinese motorcycle colossus Zongshen
and the bikes are built in China but designed in Italy. The Street
follows the X-Cape adventure bike that appeared earlier this year and
it uses most of the same running gear. Power comes from a lightly
modified version of Kawasaki’s old ER-6 motor, which puts out
61bhp at 8250rpm and passes Euro5 thanks to the latest fuel injection
from Bosch and tinkering by Zongshen (who also build motors for
KTM and BMW). There will also be a Scrambler version costing
£6999. The Street will set you back £6699.
So will they sell? ‘Yes, but a lot depends on your age,’ says Ben
Wiley from Morini dealer Moto Hub. ‘With people under 30, it
doesn’t occur to them that Chinese bikes might be lower quality
– they missed that period. And older people [55+] aren’t bothered
because they remember when Japanese bikes were shite for a few
years before dominating everything. It’s only really the
40-somethings who tend to be worried about the bikes being
built in China.’
Ben’s been selling the X-Cape – which has the same
engine and chassis as the Scrambler but comes with a
fairing – for four months and has been surprised by the
popularity. ‘Our demo bike has done 2500 miles because so
a lot for us – we’re a small
business with only three of
us working here. From
the ones we’ve sold,
three have been Morini
people [who actively
wanted a Morini], and
the rest are new to us,
mostly people who want
something a bit different.
‘When people look at the
X-Cape, they’re often
surprised by the quality,’ says
Ben. ‘I had a chap with an MT-07
who just came in for a look and ended
up buying one because the quality was
so much better than his Yamaha. We
are really looking forward to getting
the new ones – I reckon they could do
just as well as what we’ve found so far.

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