Final 12 months, CFMOTO returned to the U.S. market with a seven-model lineup. The corporate’s checklist of fashions has since grown to 10, starting from the 126cc Papio minibike to the Ibex 800 T journey bike. CFMOTO’s greatest vendor worldwide is the 300SS, a light-weight sportbike with full bodywork.
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Considered one of CFMOTO’s worth propositions is affordability. The 300SS has an MSRP of $4,499, which is $400 lower than the Honda CBR300R and $1,000 lower than the extra highly effective Yamaha YZF-R3. However CFMOTO goes to need to do greater than supply a greater worth to compete with manufacturers which have already earned the belief of many American riders.
Nevertheless, curious to see what makes the 300SS so well-liked, I spent a month driving it on a wide range of metropolis streets, highways, and winding nation roads.
Swing a Leg Over
The 300SS is powered by a 292cc Single that makes a claimed 29 hp at 8,750 rpm and 18.7 ft-lb of torque at 7,250 rpm, numbers almost on par with Honda’s CB300 vary of bikes. It’s pretty light-weight at 364 lb, and it sports activities a slim seat with a 30.7-inch peak and has a 3.2-gallon gasoline tank. Driving on a metal trellis body, the 300SS has an inverted fork and a single rear shock with five-position preload adjustability. For 2023, colour choices are Nebula Black with crimson accents (as examined) and Ghost Grey with blue accents.
Once I picked up our take a look at bike and first swung a leg over it, I used to be instantly impressed by its look alone. The strains on the bodywork are well-done, the coloured stripe on the wheels provides character, and the air vents below the passenger seat make the 300SS appear like it means enterprise. Other than trying cool, it additionally has good match and end.
The one factor about it that appeared odd was the attain to the mirrors. It’s not one thing I take into consideration with a brand new bike typically, however once I reached as much as alter the mirrors, they had been so far-off that I might barely contact them. Nevertheless, I used to be capable of set the mirrors the place I wished them with out having to regulate them all through the experience, so it wasn’t a lot of a problem.
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Since I picked the bike up in a suburb of Nashville, I needed to putter alongside for a number of miles earlier than I might actually open it up and see what it might do. Instantly, the bike felt simple to experience, and that held true once I was capable of stand up to hurry. Its small measurement and easy-to-control clutch make it nimble and responsive. The gearing felt dialed in good. The 292cc engine had loads of energy to zip off from a crimson mild and get me down the interstate, but it surely by no means felt prefer it was attempting to run away with out me. The 300SS’s smaller measurement, flickability, and affordability make this bike a sensible selection for brand spanking new riders.
For a motorcycle with a worth under its competitors, the 300SS has a number of options that had been pleasantly shocking additions. For instance, it comes geared up with two experience modes: Eco and Sport. I began out utilizing Eco mode however switched to utilizing Sport primarily. There’s not an enormous distinction between the 2 modes, however Sport is a bit peppier and extra enjoyable. And it is a bike to have enjoyable on. It gave me confidence in curves and had me grinning from ear to ear. Shifting gears is easy, and the sporty seating place made me really feel like I used to be driving quicker than I used to be – in a great way.
Nevertheless, that sportier seating place isn’t superb for longer journeys. Perhaps if I had been extra used to the sporty ergonomics, I wouldn’t really feel fatigued so shortly. Because it was, I might experience the 300SS for about 45 minutes to an hour earlier than I began on the lookout for a spot to tug over and shake out the aches. For bopping round city or happening fast sprints near the home, the slim profile and agency seat had been excellent and put me in a controlling place.
Within the sweeping curves by way of the hills of rural Tennessee, the suspension was good. The one time I regretted having agency suspension was on the potholed and bumpy Interstate 40 by way of Memphis, however that part of street is notoriously tough on all autos. All over the place else, the suspension supplied a pleasant steadiness of management and luxury.
Whereas driving round city, a number of folks approached me to ask in regards to the bike and advised me they thought it appeared actually cool. They are saying you shouldn’t decide a e-book by its cowl, however there’s one thing to be stated for a motorcycle that’s each enjoyable to experience and enjoyable to take a look at, and the 300SS is each.
One other good contact for a low-price bike is the 5-inch TFT show. The show exhibits every thing you’d count on: odometer, tachometer, velocity, gasoline degree, voltage, temp, time, and equipment. When switching experience modes, the structure modifications, making it simple to inform the mode has modified however possibly a bit of more durable to search out what you’re on the lookout for in the event you’ve already gotten used to the opposite structure.
The show is simple to learn so long as it’s not in direct daylight. When the solar was behind me, I discovered myself having to maneuver my head to shade the show to learn it, which was a bit of annoying. The show additionally connects with the CFMOTO RIDE app for navigation and taking part in music. One characteristic I appreciated was the safety alert. As soon as related, the app will alert your telephone if the bike is rolled with out keys in it, a useful characteristic if somebody tries to take it off your fingers when you’re not round.
My solely different beef with the show is that, whereas utilizing the navigation, as soon as the space to your subsequent flip or vacation spot is lower than 0.1 mile, that distance is given in inches moderately than toes or yards. Perhaps you’re higher at judging distances than I’m, however in the event you requested me to stroll 5,864 inches in a single course, I’d have to tug out a calculator to determine roughly how far I wanted to go. It wasn’t an issue on the sparsely populated nation roads, however whereas driving in downtown Memphis, it was laborious to know if I ought to flip on the subsequent block or the one after that. Though I’d desire measurements in toes as an alternative of inches, having navigation on a low-price mannequin was welcome, and I appreciated all the opposite info and options obtainable by way of the CFMOTO RIDE app.
Stopping energy comes from a 4-piston caliper and a 292mm disc up entrance and a 220mm disc and single-piston caliper within the rear, and ABS is customary. The rear brake carried out its job nicely, however the entrance brake felt a bit of weak. Fortunately, such a small bike isn’t laborious to decelerate, but when it had been a lot heavier, I’d need extra stopping energy up entrance.
Together with the Bluetooth connectivity, experience modes, and the TFT show already talked about, the 300SS comes geared up with LED headlights, taillights, and turnsignals. This isn’t a bare-bones and cheaply made bike; it’s a well-built machine with considerate additions that make the driving expertise even higher. All-in-all, the 300SS offers loads to your cash.
CFMOTO’s 300SS gave me confidence that the model is on observe to incomes its carry on American streets. It’s a enjoyable experience with cool appears and an reasonably priced worth: the proper recipe for attracting new riders, whether or not they’re new to driving basically or simply new to CFMOTO. If you happen to haven’t ridden a CFMOTO earlier than, I’d encourage you to provide it a strive. I believe you’ll be pleasantly shocked, and with greater than 200 CFMOTO bike sellers within the U.S., there’s in all probability one close to you.
2023 CFMOTO 300SS Specs
- Base Value: $4,499
- Web site: CFMOTOUSA.com
- Guarantee: 2 yr., unltd. miles
- Engine Kind: Liquid-cooled Single, DOHC w/ 4 valves
- Displacement: 292cc
- Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 61.2mm
- Horsepower: 29 hp @ 8,750 rpm (manufacturing unit declare)
- Torque: 18.7 lb-ft @ 7,250 rpm (manufacturing unit declare)
- Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/help moist clutch
- Last Drive: Chain
- Wheelbase: 53.5 in.
- Rake/Path: 25 levels/4.1 in.
- Seat Peak: 30.7 in.
- Moist Weight: 364 lb
- Gas Capability: 3.2 gal.