4 Sale / 2022 CFMoto 650 Adventura: How Much Is A Used Chinese Motorcycle Worth?

4 Sale / 2022 CFMoto 650 Adventura: How Much Is A Used Chinese Motorcycle Worth?

In mid-2023, it sure looks like that CFMoto is going to be the first Chinese

In mid-2023, it sure looks like that CFMoto is going to be the first Chinese manufacturer to make a serious play for a piece of the mid-range American moto-market. Unlike the low-cost air-cooled machines that flooded the US almost 20 years back, the CFMoto machines come in with modern features such as TFT screens, ABS, multi-cylinder engines and even a manufacturing deal with KTM (which is also selling made-in-China motorcycles in 2023).

If you read reviews of the various models CFMoto sells in the West, they generally sound positive (here’s The Bear’s take on the 800MT Explore; here’s William Roberson’s take on the 450SS sportbike; here’s MO’s take on the rest of the lineup). But potential buyers still ask two questions: Will the machine hold up to long-term use, providing good value when compared to a Japanese bike? And when it comes time to sell, will it retain its value?

CFMoto and Chinese bikes in general have been for sale in the US long enough that we might know the answer to a few of these questions.

The Lifan GY-5, the Official Dual Sport of Eastern Europe, judging by all the YouTube uploads I see. These machines were crude, but reliable. Usually. Photo: Lifan

Chinese motorcycle longevity

To be clear: A lot of Chinese bikes were and are garbage. This is not an indictment of the country itself, because other countries also make inferior motorcycles. Chinese machines have a bad rep in western markets because they are the first non-Japanese bikes shipped here from Asia in any numbers, and because we were shipped bikes built to a low price point. Often, there was little quality control and a lot of borrowing from other manufacturers’ styling and mechanical engineering departments.

I know what I’m talking about because I owned one, and put a lot of miles on two others. I had a Lifan GY-5 which had some decidedly bad points (a shock linkage that reduced travel, instead of increasing it; and a lot of iffy pot metal). And yet, that GY-5 never broke down in two seasons’ ownership. I rode all over my province on street and trail, and sold it for what I paid for it a year previously. I also put mileage on a very-similar Saga GY250, which was a better bike, except for a gas tank with leaky seams from the factory… sigh. At least I never caught fire while riding. Obviously, quality control was lacking in that case.

And then there was the Konker KSM200 we had (sold under the QLink name in the US). This DR200 clone came with supermoto and street rims from the factory. I long-term tested it over a summer with zero breakdowns, despite hundreds of kilometers of high-rpm thrashing. Over following years, my boss and I flogged this machine mercilessly in a series of Dawn to Dusk rallies, where it ran 500-plus kilometers in 12 hours, with no mechanical attention other than an annual oil change and occasionally swapping out blown headlight bulbs.

So, some Chinese bikes are junk, others have some issues but those can be sorted, and others are pretty good. Search here on ADVrider and you’ll find many stories about inmates who bought machines ranging from the air-cooled 200s to the more modern ADVs from CSC or other importers. Some of them have been burned by bad dealerships or importers, and others have had years of fun and trouble-free riding.

What about CFMoto, then? You do see the odd lemon story, but it’s worth noting that CFMoto has been making middleweight (650-class) bikes for several years—I saw my first 650 CFMoto models at a motorcycle show roughly a decade ago. They were based around an engine that looked a lot like the Kawasaki parallel twin, and there were rumors of some sort of backroom deal between the companies. Who knows what really happened? But I do know that the machines I saw in 2014 had proper parts like KYB suspension, EFI from Magneti Marelli, NTN.NSK bearings, and an ECU from Ducati. These were not IP theft; they were quality bits, bought from respected third-party companies.

In other words: These machines were based around many of the same components as the bikes you’re buying from Japanese and Euro manufacturers. And in the years since then, CFMoto disappeared from the North American market for a while, but was sold in other countries like Australia and the UK. The reviews I’ve seen from those countries from actual riders seem mostly positive—much better than say, Hyosung. And much better than a lot of the smaller Chinese bikes that came over in the mid-2000s and insta-rusted.

The CSC RX3 adventure bike. Inmates have had varied experiences with this machine; some good, some bad. But CSC has certainly proved to not be a fly-by-night importer. They’ve been bringing Chinese bikes into the US for years. Photo: CSC

But what about long-term value?

The worry about selling used Chinese bikes is that they devalue quickly, and when it’s time to sell, you won’t get your money back. It’s a valid point; check out Facebook Marketplace, and look at the values of second-hand powersports products from China. They typically aren’t high.

Still, I suspect many of them have dropped in ratios similar to bikes from other manufacturers (at least, in the less-silly, pre-COVID era, where used bikes actually devalued over time)—except in the cases where poor quality resulted in total destruction of the bike, or when an inability to find parts made the bikes unrepairable, good only for scrap. This has happened, and continues to happen to un-savvy buyers.

It’s interesting to look at what dealers are asking for used, late-model CFMoto machines, then. Check out Cycle Trader’s listings for the brand here. Most of these bikes are not discounted very heavily, between $500 and $1,500.

The CFMoto 650 Adventura

The bike in the screenshot above is a 2022 CFMoto 650 Adventura for sale at Stahlman Powersports in Missouri. Asking price appears to be $5,999, or make an offer—contact them here.

It does not appear to come with any sort of warranty, which is a selling point for new CFMoto machines. However, it does come with a pretty large windscreen, TFT screen and a set of hard bags, and it when John Burns rode it for MO, he seemed to really like it:

Strangely enough, the bike I most enjoyed flogging round CF’s little 1.2-mile test track was the adventure bike, nearly the least sporty looking of the bunch. The ADVentura 650 gets a beefier, inverted fork that’s adjustable for rebound damping; so is the rear shock, which hangs there on the side for easy preload adjustability (not that anybody adjusted it). Bolt upright ergonomics and the windshield boring a hole in the air may be responsible, but for some reason I bonded with this one. Nice seat, nice wide handlebar… probably it was the Pirelli Angel GT tires that made the difference; they seemed to largely ignore the tar strips and damp spots.

Maybe you can find a used Kawasaki Versys 650 in similarly good shape for similar money. But if you can’t? Maybe you can get yourself a good deal by shooting an offer to Stahlman in Missouri.