New V4 superbike, twin-cylinder naked on the way from CFMoto

CFMoto is preparing to launch two new large-capacity models, with a 1000cc V4 superbike and a 1279cc twin-cylinder naked in the works.

CFMoto SR-C21 concept. - CFMoto

Two new large-capacity motorcycles are seemingly on the way from CFMoto, with a 1250 naked and a one-litre superbike. 

In a growing Chinese motorcycle industry, CFMoto has emerged as one of the primary brands. Through its relationship with KTM, CFMoto has been able to produce and market mid-size motorcycles, as well as the smaller-capacity bikes that are better associated with the brands of its home nation. 

It now seems that CFMoto will be expanding further, from mid-capacity machines to introduce a new range of high-capacity bikes, with a naked and a sports bike seemingly on the way. 

CFMoto 1000cc sports bike

Sports bikes have not been KTM’s thing for a while, even with their involvement in MotoGP. Their largest faired machine is the RC 390, which also has a smaller 125cc sibling, but there is nothing bigger. Rumours of a 990cc parallel-twin sports bike from Austria are now abound, but a 1000cc CFMoto sports bike would seemingly stray from that two-cylinder path.

Motorrad reports that, in June of 2022, CFMoto filed a patent application for a four-cylinder sports bike. Not only would it be a four-cylinder, but those cylinders would be in a ‘V’ formation. 

Fundamentally, the engine would seek to maximise performance, with a short stroke and an emphasis on cooling shown by two water pipes positioned between the two cylinder banks. Additionally, the patent filings reported by Motorrad explicitly refer to an output of 150kW, which is equivalent to 204 horsepower. 

Motorrad suggests the engine could be derived from KTM’s MotoGP engine used in its RC16 prototype. 

Although KTM started in MotoGP with a relatively unconventional conventionally-firing V4 (a ‘screamer’ by the time that all other manufacturers had gone ‘big bang’), by the middle of 2017 it had switched itself to a ‘big bang’ design, and from a narrow 75-degree angle to something closer to the almost-standardised Grand Prix angle of 90 degrees.

A one-litre CFMoto sports bike using a MotoGP-derived engine would not be the first road model to do so. Famously, Ducati has used a V4 engine in its Panigale sports bikes (among others) since 2019. This engine, too, is derived from MotoGP and Ducati’s now two-time-championship-winning Desmosedici GP. For the 2023 Panigale V4 R, Ducati is claiming 240 horsepower can be extracted. 

The CFMoto engine would seem to lag behind the Italian benchmark, but it would be a starting point - possibly for KTM as well as CFMoto themselves.

(The images used in this section have been of the CFMoto SR-C21, a concept sports bike showcased at EICMA 2021 by CFMoto.)

CFMoto 1250 NK

KTM’s 1290 platform is one of the best-established in the heavyweight naked, touring, and adventure categories. CFMoto has also made use of the 1279cc LC8 engine in its 1250 TR-G touring bike, in which it produces 140 horsepower.

The engine used by CFMoto in the 1250 TR-G is based on the original LC8 motor that KTM used in the RC8 sports bike back in the early 2010s. It is likely that it will be the same version of the large twin that will appear in the new naked that CFMoto is planning, for which the patent application has been filed.

The Chinese brand’s large-capacity naked is expected to be called the CFMoto 1250 NK, expanding the ‘NK’ range that currently includes a 125, 250, 300, 400, and 650. This naming is unconfirmed at the moment, as noted by BikeSocial who published the patent drawings, but a decent estimate given the placing of the ‘NK’ logo on the bike shown in the patent drawings, and the use of ‘1250’ in the name of the aforementioned tourer that uses the same motor.

As for the bike itself, the 1250 NK features many of the same styling cues as the 800NK, for which patent drawings were filed last year.

Further, the drawings clearly show a large TFT dashboard mounted in a portrait orientation, and a side-mounted exhaust with the collector and catalytic converter positioned under the engine. As for the chassis, steel tubes are used, and there is a pillion seat positioned fairly high above that of the rider’s.

As for when we will see these two bikes from CFMoto, it is uncertain. The sports bike seems further off than the naked, which seems likely to be officially announced and/or launched after the aforementioned 800 NK.

CFMoto '1250 NK' patent drawing images courtesy of Motorcycles News.

CFMoto 800 MT Review

CFMoto 800 MT Review