CFMoto 700 Designs Leaked

New parallel twin could be the bike to put CFMoto into the big league.

CFMoto patent drawings
CFMoto patent drawings show a new model from the Chinese manufacturer.CFMoto Design Patents

CFMoto has spent the last three decades building itself into a brand that comes closer than any of its compatriots to lifting itself above the general Western disdain for Chinese motorcycles. And these designs, which show an upcoming 700cc parallel-twin roadster, suggest the firm's on track to become even more credible in the near future.

These images, which come from design patents, show a bike that appears to be one of a planned range of 700cc parallel-twin models that will replace the firm’s existing 650cc twins. The chassis is completely new, which marks the first structural change for CFMoto’s largest-capacity models since the 650NK was first introduced in 2012.

The current generation, which now spans the naked 650NK, the adventure-style 650MT, the sports-touring 650GT and the full-tourer 650TR, all use a steel tube frame that's vaguely similar to Kawasaki's first-generation ER6 design. That's not the case with the new bike seen here, which has a distinct chassis of its own, with an unusual steel trellis-style layout that makes a styling feature of the main frame tubes. Striking out away from the more derivative design of its predecessor, it appears to be a sign of a company that's gained more confidence in its own abilities.

new frame patent
CFMoto’s new designs show a model with a new frame.CFMoto Design Patents

That confidence is shown in details like the swingarm that appears to be cast aluminum and has been carefully sculpted for an attractive appearance. Similarly, the inverted fork and radial-mounted four-pot brake setup wouldn’t look out of place on a high-end Japanese or European bike.

When it comes to styling, we can see influences from other machines, but CFMoto couldn’t be accused of partaking of the sort of blatant copying that many smaller Chinese firms have gained a reputation for. There’s a hint of Ducati Diavel in the short-tailed, stubby-nosed side profile, a touch of Honda CB1000R in the circular headlight, and maybe a dash of Husqvarna Svartpilen in the overall stance and details like the front fender, but overall it’s a bike that looks distinctive in its own right.

There’s a repeated “X” motif appearing on the clutch cover, the headlight surround, and even the backs of the mirrors, so don’t be surprised if the final production bike goes under the name “700-X” or similar.

CFMoto patent drawings
New design patent drawings show a CFMoto that is powered by a derivative of the company’s existing 650cc parallel twin.CFMoto Design Patents

That 700cc capacity is embossed on the left-hand side of the engine, along with the CFMoto brand name, but the engine itself appears to be a derivative of the firm’s existing 650cc parallel twin. Its overall design is remarkably similar to the Kawasaki twin used in the Versys 650, Z650, and Ninja 650, and in the current 650cc form range makes between 60 hp and 70 hp. With a few more cubes, the next version could top the 70-hp mark.

As with the current range, we’d expect the 700 engine to appear in multiple models. Internally, this design goes under the name “700-2,” which suggests there is already at least one other bike on the drawing board.

While its 700cc capacity should make it the largest CFMoto yet offered, it isn’t likely to remain at the top of the tree for long. The Chinese firm has a tie-in with KTM—it builds KTM models to be sold in the Chinese market under the KTM R2R brand—and in late 2017 it showed the V.02 NK concept bike, powered by a 1,000cc version of KTM’s LC8 V-twin engine. CFMoto is understood to have bought rights to use that engine in future models, and is also set to expand its production arrangement with KTM to manufacture large numbers of midsize bikes on behalf the Austrian firm including the latest 790 Duke and Adventure parallel twins, including for export markets.

new 700cc model
Could CFMoto make its mark in the US market with this new 700cc model?CFMoto Design Patents

CFMoto isn’t storming the market like Honda did over half a century ago, but its slow buildup into a serious, credible bike firm means it might one day be the first Chinese motorcycle company to be seen in the same light as Japanese rivals, even in the US market.