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2014 CFMoto 650TK review

CFMoto 650TK
CFMoto's Honda ST1300 lookalike

Chinese brand CFMoto was a little premature in the launch of the 650TK touring bike earlier this year.
The pre-production bikes were below par in terms of finish and equipment, and in comparison to the 650NK naked bike. Only a handful of the bikes were sold.
Now CFMoto has gone into full production on the bikes and the quality is substantially better as well as equipment levels and creature comforts.
The first full-size CFMoto bike was the 650NK which hit the market at $5990 plus on-road costs or a maximum of $6990 rideaway, depending on which state you live in. Read my review here.
The TK hits the market at $6990 plus on-road costs or a maximum of $7990 rideaway, which is a real bargain for a learner bike that you can realistically ride around Australia.
CFMoto 650TKThe updated bike has a mechanical throttle body restricter that tames the 52kW engine to 41.5kW or the magical 150kW per tonne limit to qualify as a learner-approved motorcycle.
Other updates include: LED running lights, indicators and taillights; a blackened stubby exhaust; new Koso instruments made in Taiwan; sticky German Continental Road Attack 2 rubber to replace the cheap Chinese CST hoops; and uprated brakes made in China for Spanish company J. Juan.
But the biggest upgrade is in the plastics which no longer look like they came from 17 different yoghurt containers.
The handmade pre-production version was very patchy in fit and finish, but the robot-built 2014 model now has a consistency in its build quality that you would expect from the Japanese.
Previously the plastics shook and rattled along with the vibey engine, but now they feel solid.
The gloveboxes on either side now open and close properly and they don’t have huge gaps while the box on the left is lockable with the ignition key.CFMoto 650TK
The 60-litre panniers are also lockable with the ignition key and now come with two failsafe latches front and back in case the central lock fails and spills your undies all over the asphalt.
They are made of unreinforced ultramid polyamide PA6 which is known for being tough and impact resistant with good damping characteristics.
CFMoto has changed the seat lock to a choke-style button located inside the left pannier so you can keep safe your comprehensive eight-piece tool kit, instruction manual and maybe even a spare pair of gloves or wet pants.
To improve the touring capability, the screen is now about 40mm taller and wider for far less buffeting and they have added a 12V outlet on the left inner-fairing.
I would have preferred the outlet was located inside the lockable left glovebox to power your phone or iPod. If you want to power a GPS, you are going to have to use some 100mph tape to secure a long lead to the handlebars.
The importers, Mojo Motorcycles, will mention the 12V location to the Chinese company who, they say, tend to listen to their feedback and act on suggestions.
CFMoto 650TKThe new and bigger instrument cluster is easier to read and features odo, fuel gauge, clock, battery and water temp. The pre-production models only had an speedo and odo.
The hydraulic brake system from J. Juan also features 25mm bigger discs front and back and stainless steel braided lines.
They have a bit more feel than before and more bite, although you still have to grab plenty of lever to slow it down as the chunky Chinese steel frame makes it weigh in at 220kg.
For 2014 CFMoto has made the sidestands a little longer so the bike sits more upright and aren’t as heavy for young learners and women to lift.
Once moving, the weight disappears and only becomes an issue when you are diving into a corner too hot with the Kayaba forks loaded up and a fist full of brakes.
Reminders of the bargain price are switchgear that feels cheap, an indicator switch that is difficult to deactivate and hand levers on the loose side.
However, it does have stylish LED running lights which you can turn on and off via a handlebar switch.
The parallel twin is a flexible engine that doesn’t have heaps of low-down torque, but is willing in any gear at any revs which is perfect for ham-fisted beginners.CFMoto 650TK
Engine braking is also strong without being abrupt, so if a learner drops too many gears or suddenly lets go of the throttle they won’t fly over the handlebars.
The pre-production models tended to vibrate through the fairing and handlebars. It seems to have been refined and the fairing is probably also a tighter fit as there is much less vibration now.
Overtaking requires a downshift or two, or with a long clear stretch ahead, you can just roll on the throttle.
It hums nicely from about 3300rpm and becomes a little more active around 4000 revs, but then it’s clear sailing up to the rev limiter at 10,000.
Of course, high-end power is limited, but there is more than enough poke here to get you into serious trouble.
Mostly you will want to keep the twin fluttering along at 4000 revs where it feels just right and the buzzing doesn’t become annoying.
Clutch pull is very light and the gearshift is long, but positive and plush with neutral dead-easy to find, which should suit learners.
Riding position is a neutral sit-up-and-beg style with the bars at an easy slight reach although the fat rubber pegs require the occasional stretch for arthritic knees.
Speaking of which, my knees rub on the fairing just as they did on my old Honda ST1100 which was obviously the poster pin-up for the designers when they sketched this model. It even has the same “shark-fin” engine protectors on the sides.
It feels instantly comfortable for a long haul, although the seat could do with more cushion.
Fit a sheepskin cover or an Airhawk and you could easily do a lap of Australia, confident in the knowledge that there are 42 dealerships in every state and territory for service or repairs.
The only limiting factor could be the small panniers into which I could only squeeze a smallish backpack. However, the luggage rack is ample and will take a big bag, plus you can tie luggage to the back seat.
Pillions will find a flat and wide perch with nice big grab handles, although the extra weight will surely strain the restricted 650cc engine.

CFMoto 650TK tech specs

  • Price: $6990 (+ORC) $7990 (max rideaway)
  • Warranty: 2-years, parts and labour
  • Service: 6000km, or six months
  • Engine: 649.3cc, 8-valve, liquid-cooled, DOHC parallel twin, 180-degree crank
  • Power: 41.5kW @ 9500rpm
  • Torque: 62Nm @ 7000rpm
  • Bore x stroke: 83 x 60mm
  • Compression: 11.3:1
  • Transmission: 6-speed, multiplate wet clutch, chain drive
Chassis: tubular steel diamond frame with engine as fully-stressed member
  • Suspension: telescopic forks with hydraulic damper; oil and gas hybrid damper single damper rear shock
  • Brakes: dual 300mm steel discs with twin-piston calipers (front), 240mm disc with single-piston caliper (rear)
  • Tyres: 120/70 R1758H (front), 160/60 R1761769H (rear) Continental Road Attack 2
  • Wheelbase: 1415mm
  • Wet weight: 220kg
  • Seat: 795 mm
  • Fuel capacity: 17.5 litres
  • Colours: white, silver, black, maroon
  1. Thank you for the posting the review. I’v been looking for sometime and this one tick all the boxes for me, however yet to test ride as I’m a L…:) Do you recall the fuel consumption it used? Regards Graeme

  2. Thank you for the review. This bike tick all the boxes for me as I am looking for a touring bike that won’t break the budget. Is the 650TK available as a non learner-approved motorcycle just like its naked sports bike sibling the 650NK? I have full licence and does not need a LAMS approved bike.

  3. Thank you. The local dealer confirmed it too. Another question crops up. One dealer mentioned the service interval is every 6000km while another said 10000km. Who is right?

    1. We were told 5000km at the press launch which is the figure I have included in the tech specs. However, I have sent an inquiry to the importer since dealers seem to have different notions about the service intervals.

    2. Here is the latest from importer Michael Poynton: “I can confirm that service intervals on both models are 6000kms. When the model was first released, they were 3000kms (as precautionary measure) however got increased to 6000kms at the end of last year.”
      That would be why there was a discrepancy with my review which listed 5000km as the service interval. That is what we were told at the launch in November. It seems they have since updated them to 6000km, so I have now amended the tech specs.

  4. Thanks. Going to place an order for the 2014 650TK in the coming weeks. What would be the power and torque figures for the unrestricted version?

    1. Power and torque increases are marginal, but the throttle feels just a little bit more lively. Certainly worth doing if you show the dealer your full licence. Most will do it for nothing if you ask nicely. It used to be an ECU fix, but now it’s a throttle stop.

  5. Thanks. The local dealer has placed an order for a 2014 model. It seems that the 2014 model I am getting is different in some aspects. The brakes will be Nissin stuff instead of J Juan. The dealer spent some time confirming with the importer that I wanted the one with the stuff mentioned in your review. Seems the new 2014 model has some running changes again. Price has increased to $8990 ride away but for me I will paying just few hundreds more over the 2013 prices. Don’t remember any new stuff but seems instruments and electronics will be different too. So a check with importer to get a full picture seems to be in order.

  6. Hi,

    I am in the UK and bought my 650TR (AKA CF Moto 650 TK) sold in UK under the WK Bikes name, bought it in Sept 2013.

    I have covered almost 3000 miles, the service interval was an important factor for me as it was originally set to 2500 miles, which I considered if it was to really compete with other manufacturers was far to low. Also any cost savings in purchase would be eroded by too frequent service intervals. However this was raised to 6K km (converts to an odd figure of 3728 miles plus or minus 100 miles tolerance) so far used for commuting to work. I have found the need to spray switch gear with either WD40 or ACF-50 to ensure water ingress does not impact functionality of switchgear/electrics ( which i did initially experience, since using the prods mentioned no further prob).

    As it was one of the original bikes to come in to UK it is missing clock, fuel gauge, has short side stand (which I really hate) panniers are – okay, did get the taller screen though which has proved itself to be worthy of the no cost upgrade.

    had to adjust the gear change lever position by a few splines to get it right for me (literally an 8mm spanner and a couple of minutes fixed that).

    If the UK 2014 version has the updates as mentioned above I may seriously consider PX this one for the new model, especially with upgraded bakes, suspension, cigar lighter, and if it as fuel gauge and odometer so much the better. One other thing that would be useful for UK models which is missing, is a dual speedometer reading in MPH and KPH as Europe is only a short ride way and only having MPH on the speedometer for something that is being touted as a tourer is… well, a bit rubbish really.. that is a poor oversight by CF Moto not to include KPH markings for UK bikes.

    other than that I have been pleased with the bike and would recommend it, agree re the seat although not uncomfortable for shorter distances I suspect that anything over 100mile journeys may be a bit uncomfortable.

    Would also like removable panniers ( allow access to clean wheels easier), and slightly chunkier more isolated grips – especially clutch side to remove buzzing on hand that makes left hand go a bit numb with pins and needles sensation.. throttle side is fine as it moves and therefore isolated from the handle bar….. so far happy 🙂

    1. Tony, thanks for the comments and advice. I also suggest using WD40 on cables etc straight after washing your bike ( I think CFMoto has been over-cautious with their service intervals and will extend them as time goes by. Please keep us updated on how the bike goes as this company is around for a while and it would be convenient to establish its reliability credentials via customer feedback.

  7. Hi,

    I have picked up 2014 version this week. The ride away price for the 2014 model has gone up to $8990 ride away but my dealer able to negotiate a good discount on it.

    The 2014 model comes with all the upgrades as mentioned in your article. The initial news that it will come with Nissin brakes prove untrue. I have put on 700+km in just 3 days. Here is the impression so far. Quality is good for its price. The machine is pretty stableon the motorway. A taller screen is desirable as I am 6ft 3. Wish the foot pegs can be lower. Pretty smooth off the line without any transmission snatch. The power is nice and the engine sound sporty wihout being too intrusive. The fairing is able to channel heat away and I can feel the heat through my legs.

    It just had its first service done which is earlier than scheduled. This is due to the fact that I did lots of kms each day and I can only bring it in on Saturday. Plus the first problem presented itself. Noticed the temperature gauge moved up dangerusly high when I am in town. One day coolant was found over the engine and floor. The coolant reservoir is empty and refilled it up. Then after riding in a traffic jam, the gauge went up again and coolant appeared again. The dealer workshoptaken a look and it seems the fuse is blown. The radiator fan is not running. Seems the 12V power socket is out too. Maybe same fuse? Other problem is the speedo readout is too optimistic. 100km/h on the speedo is actualy 87km/h on the highway speed readout. The service manager will ccfheck and revert. Plus the owner’s manual is the same as 2013 model. A call to the importer and they will get in touch with CFMoto to get an updated version out.

    So far it has Oxford heated grips and cruise control fitted. An Airhawk seat cushion is next as the seat cushion is a bit too thin and hard after a long ride. A screen extension is next and let’s see how it faired over the next 5000km. Vibration through the handle bars can be better but no big deal. Pretty happy with it.

      1. Mark,

        Is it possible to include pictures in our posts?

        I would be interested to see (if David is willing to post some pics) what the updates look like for the 2014 TR/TK model, especially the instrument cluster.

        1. Tony,
          Thanks for that great idea! I’ve now installed a plugin that allows readers to do this. You will see the following under the comment box: “Select an image for your comment (GIF, PNG, JPG, JPEG)” then a “browse” button to find the file on your system. Please resize the image first to 460×345 pixels and make sure it is saved as one of those four file extensions mentioned.

  8. Hi Tony,

    Good looking bike! Your screen looks longer than mine. Is it stock or you replaced it with an aftermarket one? I will include a picture of my bike in my next post.

    I have include the instrument cluster of my 2014 bike. As you can see, it has odometer and a clock compared to the 2013 model.

  9. Hi Tony,

    Here’s my bike. It does look it has a shorter screen. I suspect the 2014 screen should be longer.

  10. Hi David,

    Thanks for posting the pics. Like the colour of your bike…

    Was going to get that colour, but my dealership were provided with the factory preproduction machine for a week, that’s when I saw the bike in the flesh so to speak… And, it was silver, however I thought it looked really nasty as it was a Matt finish… So didn’t order silver.

    It was only after I got mine and saw a silver one in the dealership that looked really nice, how I had imagined it should look, like your bike. I asked the question and was told that the preproduction version had not need lacquered hence the dull looking finish… Well the moral is, I should have known better (as I work in IT) the saying goes never assume anything….. Lesson learnt hahaha

    Has a low fuel warning been included in 2014 model?

    The screen: when I ordered mine I did mention the screen to the dealership and was told that there was a no cost option upgrade to the taller screen, which I took, hence the taller screen. I felt, having seen the smaller screen on preproduction model, it would prove ineffective and would probably be more cosmetic than functional.

    The side stand: has this been lengthened, from your pic it looks like it still has quite a lean on it?

    Just wondering, do you get a strong petrol smell coming from the fuel tank filer cap?

    Spoken to my dealer who claims this is due to venting, but with all the bikes I have ever owned I have never had that experience, I ma a little concerned about safety as my understanding about petrol is that the fumes/vapour is what is flammable not the actual fluid.

    Enough waffle from me. Thanks for sharing the pics


    1. Tony and David,
      Thanks for sharing your informative comments and photos.
      Yes, the sidestand has been lengthened on 2014 models.
      I have experienced fuel venting problems with several models of bike, some worse than others. However, you should only ever fill your tank to the first click. Tanks are designed to have a gap for the fuel to expand. If you fill past that point, you are wasting fuel. Read my story:

    2. Tony,

      I have not experience any fuel venting problem even when I fill the tank to the brim. I shall follow Mark’s advice and stop at the first click.

      I am getting my dealer to check with the importer on getting the longer screen. I want the factory look and will wait the answer before getting the screen extension.

      The leg stand is still a little short in my book. Sure wish it has a centre stand. It would be nice if the TK comes with a shaft drive. Sure miss my old Honda CX Euro.

    3. Tony,

      Yet to see if there is a low fuel warning indicator but I reckon it is just the bar flashing if it’s too low. The temperature gauge symbol sure did flash when it gets too hot. This is when the radiator fan is not working earlier.

      It is going back to the shop as the 12v slot is still not working. Plus to get it unrestricted. Another is to put on a smartphone cradle with charger in.

  11. Hi Mark, thanks for your feedback , nice article.

    And agree regarding the overfilling aspect.

    I get the smell even if the tank only has a few litres of petrol in it. Can’t say I have ever noticed on any other bikes I have owned, unless I overfilled the tank… I have owned a few since passing my test: Suzuki SV650S3, Honda 125 Varadero, Honda Hornet 900, Honda blackbird (FI version) the Matt black and gold colour (my fav bike of all bikes I have owned) Yamaha Majesty 125 Scooter, Yamaha Fazer FZ1, Suzuki bandit 1250AS, these have all been brand new bikes in the last 13 years… What can I say, I like bikes 😉

    Only passed my test 13 years ago at the ripe age of 46 enjoying bikes now… 😉

      1. Alas, I only have the 650 TR now.

        But if I was younger, lighter and taller… 😉

        Of all the bikes, I would love to still have the 2004 blackbird.. that was an amazing all round bike that never ceased to put a big cat grin on my face… and it wasn’t about speed.. it was just the whole experience…

        I know things move on, but I really don’t like the look of the replacement for the blackbird and new bikes have become soooooooo expensive since the 2008 crash!

  12. So my partnership with the 650TR has come to an end – regrettably it proved to be quite an unreliable bike, problems with locks on panniers, head race bearing needing replacing, then as a result of that the steering never felt right, constant smell of petrol fumes, found it not to be an ideal bike for town commuting use in London just too unrefined and not easy to control in filtering situations – now that may be as a result of the race bearings being replaced. However I was no longer prepared to put up with the nonsense on a brand new bike. … lost a lot of money but decided it had to go after only 8 months.

    Replaced with new 2014 XJ6 F – which feels so refined, precise and a confident ride.

  13. I have a 2014 650TK which is coming up for 20,000 faultless kilometres. We’ve done 2000km trips from Brisbane to Lightning Ridge and Brisbane to Carnarvon Gorge. The sheepskin seat cover from Sheepy Hollow makes a big difference to the comfort, which is excellent. It chugs along like a sewing machine at 100 – 120km/h all day, even with two up, panniers and top box full. Around town it makes a good commuter (not as good as my Zero S, though). It appears they’re no longer imported which is a real shame. If you’re looking for a LAMS tourer there are a few new ones still available – highly recommended for the price.

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