The Well-Equipped CFMoto 800MT Explore Edition Makes Off-Roading Possible on a Budget

CFMoto 800MT Explore Edition 12 photos
Photo: CFMoto
CFMoto 800MT Explore EditionCFMoto 800MT Explore EditionCFMoto 800MT Explore EditionCFMoto 800MT Explore EditionCFMoto 800MT Explore EditionCFMoto 800MT Explore EditionCFMoto 800MT Explore EditionCFMoto 800MT Explore EditionCFMoto 800MT Explore EditionCFMoto 800MT Explore EditionCFMoto 800MT Explore Edition
When we think of premium off-road motorcycles, the first names that pop up are those of the Japanese Big Four: Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. However, their vehicles usually come at a relatively high cost. Today, I’d like to present a more budget-friendly option that doesn’t sacrifice quality – I’m talking about CFMoto’s 800MT Explore Edition.
CFMoto is a Chinese manufacturer of engines, motorcycles, and all-terrain vehicles. The company was founded in 1989 and became known for its high-end motorcycles and ATVs. In 2011, the brand made a brilliant business decision – it entered a commercial partnership with KTM. Then, in 2017, the Austrian-marque acquired 49% of the shares - CFMoto has since managed to create a strong global presence and grab its piece of the motorcycle market pie.

Some people might associate Chinese brands with low quality – well, CFMoto begs to differ, especially since teaming up with KTM. CFMoto has a wide range of models destined for different uses. The latest machine they have announced is the 800MT Explore Edition, the top-of-the-line variant in the 800MT lineup.

The CFMoto 800MT was presented in China about two years ago, and it’s the sister model of the KTM 790 Adventure. Design-wise, CFMoto got some inspiration from the Honda Africa Twin and the Triumph Tiger 900.

For most people, price is the decisive buying factor, so I'll start with that – CFMoto hasn’t revealed any pricing info yet, but we do know that the 800MT Sport retails for around $10,689 (€9,990), while the more advanced Touring version goes for $12,830 (€11,970). The Explore will probably cost a bit more than that, but it would still be an excellent price, especially considering the multitude of useful features you’ll get. So, let’s get into it.

CFMoto 800MT Explore Edition
Photo: CFMoto
As its name suggests, this new model is designed for long-distance rides, so its construction is centered around this purpose. The bike boasts a tubular frame chassis, which sits on wire-spoke wheels with tubeless tires, 110/80-19 at the front and 150/70-17 at the rear. The brand gifted the bike with a brand new set of tires – the original Maxxis set of tires has been upgraded to Michelin to enhance the riding experience. The new dual-sport tires also allow for more intense off-road excursions.

Like other touring motorcycles out there, this vehicle is quite sizeable – it has a wheelbase of 1,531 mm (60 inches), a seat height of 825 mm (32 inches), and a ground clearance of 19 centimeters (7.5 inches). It tips the scales at 231 kg (509 lbs.) with fuel in the tank but without the side box. Oh, about that, the 19-liter (5 gallons) fuel tank should provide a long enough range, especially since the fuel consumption probably isn’t high.

The 800MT Explore Edition comes with the same performance setup as other 800MT models. It’s equipped with a 2-cylinder, 799cc engine that outputs 67 kW (90 hp or 91 hp) power and 75 Nm (102 ft-lbs.) torque. The engine is an iteration of KTM’s LC8C engine, although it’s tuned differently – it enables the bike to reach speeds of around 195 kph (121 mph).

Speed is not that important when we’re talking about touring motorcycles, though. Instead, we should focus more on braking power – the 800MT boasts a 320mm double disk brake with four-piston calipers at the front and a 260mm disc brake with two-piston calipers at the rear. What’s more, the braking hardware is supplied by J. Juan, a subsidiary of Brembo.

CFMoto 800MT Explore Edition
Photo: CFMoto
CFMoto instead focused on other parts to make the 800MT Explore superior to its siblings. The most significant innovation comes in the form of electronics – the motorcycle features a sophisticated blind spot monitoring system. It’s enabled by radar sensors located at the rear of the vehicle. It’s engineered to make sure you carry out safe lane changes, especially when riding in low visibility conditions or at night.

Another update is the more prominent 8-inch MMI display, which also features touchscreen functionality. Moreover, it supports multimedia interaction, Bluetooth connectivity, and voice control, and provides directions for navigation.

Undoubtedly, the most critical task for any bike’s electronics is to keep you stable and safe – in this regard, the CFMoto 800MT offers plenty of equipment. It’s fitted with a six-axis sensor from Bosch and ABS and slip control, and the traction control system has been tweaked to provide the smoothest ride possible. Two riding modes are available: Sport and Rain.

CFMoto 800MT Explore Edition
Photo: CFMoto
You can customize the bike with various options, such as heated seats or grips, cruise control, 12V and USB sockets, and more. A nice detail is that the aluminum side cases and top cases are offered together with the carrier system as original accessories.

All in all, the CFMoto stands out from other lesser-known motorcycle brands. The 800MT Explore Edition is ready to accompany you both on off and on-road adventures, and all for a very competitive price. The upgrades aren’t that significant compared to other 800MT models, but they will provide you with an extra edge, which will come in handy if you plan on riding this bike at its full capabilities.
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About the author: Mircea Mazuru
Mircea Mazuru profile photo

Starting out with a motorcycle permit just because he could get one two years earlier than a driver's license, Mircea keeps his passion for bikes (motor or no motor) alive to this day. His lifelong dream is to build his own custom camper van.
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