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Old December 8th, 2022, 04:11 PM   #1
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[cycleworld.com] - 2022 CFMoto 300SS

Hangzhou-based CFMoto comes out swinging with its premier, entry-level sportbike, the 300SS.

Click here to view on their site.


The 300SS is CFMoto’s sportier entry into the small-displacement sportbike category. (CFMoto/)Ups

  • Aggressive styling
  • Standard 5-inch TFT display
  • Affordable MSRP
Downs

  • Uncomfortable riding position
  • Awkward mirror placement
  • Smaller-displacement engine compared to some competitors
Verdict

As far as entry-level sportbikes go, CFMoto’s 300SS is a powerhouse of value and performance. With a range of features and attractive styling, the 300SS is a worthy competitor in the US market, especially considering the bike’s modest $4,299 price tag.


The 300SS is available in Nebula White and Nebula Black color options. Not only is it an affordable entry into the sportbike category, but it also looks good, with a modern and stylish design. (CFMoto/)Overview

Chinese manufacturing has historically been clouded by such things as poor-quality metals, imprecise castings and engine tolerances, poor quality control, and lackluster reliability, but even in 2022, is that still the case? If CFMoto’s new lineup of motorcycles is any indicator, it’s safe to say that these once-plausible claims are more of a fallacy in the current day and age.

Hailing from Hangzhou, China, CFMoto opened the doors to its Plymouth, Minnesota–based US headquarters in 2007 and hasn’t looked back. The brand originally specialized in ATVs and side-by-sides. However, upon noticing a massive gap in the motorcycle market that’s been long dominated by the Japanese Big Four and European manufacturers, CFMoto launched its line of bikes, including the top-selling 300SS.

This entry-level 300SS sportbike is nothing short of impressive, especially when considering the low price tag, peppy 292cc single-cylinder DOHC engine, standard TFT display, and stout build quality. Time will tell if the company has what it takes to change the market’s perception of Chinese motorcycles, but bikes like the 300SS have certainly started a shift in opinion.


There might be more performance-oriented models in the small-displacement sportbike category, but that doesn’t mean the 300SS isn’t capable of fun days in the canyons. (CFMoto/)Updates for 2022

As this is the first year of production for the 300SS, there are no updates to be found.

Pricing and Variants

The 300SS is offered alongside CFMoto’s similarly spec’d 300NK naked bike, which could be considered a variation of the platform. However, for those looking for a fully faired, small-displacement sportbike the 300SS is CFMoto’s sole option. Colors are the only notable options, the 300SS being offered in Nebula White and Nebula Black.

There is a slight cost increase over the 300NK thanks likely to the added costs of bodywork. While the NK is priced at $3,999, the 300SS crosses the $4,000 mark with an MSRP of $4,299.

Competition

There are no shortage of options in the small-displacement sportbike category, with nearly every manufacturer offering a beginner-friendly entry into the world of motorcycling.

Options include the Honda CBR300R ($4,899), Yamaha YZF-R3 ($5,499), Kawasaki Ninja 400 ($5,299), Suzuki GSX250R ($4,999), and KTM RC 390 ($5,799). If BMW’s G 310 RR comes to the US, that will be part of the competition as well.

With similar specifications and a significantly lower price tag, CFMoto’s 300 series isn’t designed to just compete in the current market but to undercut other bikes in its class. After all, why spend an extra $1,000 on a bike with similar features and a warranty? That’s CFMoto’s concept.

One thing to keep in mind is that each manufacturer takes a slightly different approach to the category, with bikes like the KTM RC 390 and Kawasaki Ninja 400 designed to offer a little extra performance for riders who may want to hit the racetrack.


The 292cc single-cylinder engine uses a counterbalancer for reduced engine vibrations. CFMoto claims 29 hp at 8,750 rpm and 18.7 lb.-ft. torque at 7,250 rpm. (CFMoto/)Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The 300SS is equipped with a 292cc DOHC single-cylinder engine with a Bosch EFI handling fuel management. All 29 hp and 18.7 lb.-ft. of torque are routed through a six-speed transmission with a slipper clutch, piloting the bike to a moderate top speed of 87 mph.

While not blisteringly fast, the bike has plenty of pep for cruising around town and having some fun on backroads; gearing is also effective for any riding style, making the 300SS a versatile and enjoyable entry-level machine.

In terms of displacement, the 300SS is closer to the Honda CBR300R and Suzuki GSX250R, which take a more modest approach compared to the larger-displacement Kawasaki Ninja 400 and even KTM’s RC 390.


There are some borrowed design cues, but overall, the 300SS has a very unique look that helps it stand out from the mainstays in the sportbike space. (CFMoto/)Chassis/Handling

Comfort and predictable performance are the name of the game in the lightweight category, where there’s less emphasis on an ultra-rigid chassis more suited for racing. CFMoto’s uniquely designed steel trellis frame takes that into account, balancing things like weight and rigidity. This is not the only steel trellis frame in the class, but it still stands out among the competition.

Similar emphasis is placed on the suspension, which CFMoto claims was designed to be lightweight but rigid, with a progressive-rate springs in the fork. The shock uses an IFP (Internal Floating Piston) and has five-click preload adjustability.

There’s a decent blend of sporty stiffness and comfortability out of the box. However, the 300SS’s clip-on handlebars make managing quick turns more difficult and clumsy than the naked offering.


Front brake package consists of a 300mm disc and four-piston caliper. Notice the design touches on the wheel. (CFMoto/)Brakes

Braking on the 300SS is more than satisfactory, especially when coupled with the bike’s low 364-pound curb weight (though 31 pounds more than the naked 300NK).

The SS sports a four-piston caliper and 300mm disc up front, and a 245mm single-rotor setup at the rear, providing plenty of clamping force to control the bike through corners and harsh braking. With the addition of standard, dual-channel ABS, braking is controlled and predictable in all conditions.

Fuel Economy

There is currently no Cycle World real-world fuel economy data.

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

Due to the low height of the clip-on handlebars and the long reach between them and the seat, the 300SS forces riders into an uncomfortable seating position. Coupled with the awkwardly spaced mirrors, the everyday drivability of the 300SS leaves a bit to be desired.


One of the standout items across CFMoto’s 300 lineup is the 5-inch TFT display that comes standard. (CFMoto/)Electronics

The CFMoto 300SS is no stranger to technology, as it comes standard with everything from factory dual-channel ABS to a full-color, 5-inch TFT display. LED headlights, taillights, and signal lights are standard, providing crisp and accurate light output.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The 300SS comes standard with CFMoto’s two-year factory warranty.


A closer look at the 300SS bodywork highlights the modern design CFMoto was aiming for. For $4,299, this really is a good-looking motorcycle. (CFMoto/)Quality

Quality is impressive across CFMoto’s entire on-road lineup, and the 300SS is no exception. Precision welds line the entirety of the steel trellis frame, plastics are robust and neatly molded, and the bike’s overall feel rivals the current top contenders in its class.

For nearly $1,000 less than its competitors, the 300SS is certainly a considerable offering in the entry-level streetbike class.

2022 CFMoto 300SS Claimed Specifications

MSRP: $4,299 Engine: 292cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled single-cylinder; 4 valves/cyl. Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 61.2mm Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain Fuel Delivery: Bosch EFI Clutch: Wet, multiplate slipper clutch Frame: Tubular steel w/ aluminum alloy swingarm Front Suspension: Inverted fork Rear Suspension: Monoshock, 5-click preload adjustable Front Brake: Radial-mounted 4-piston caliper, 300mm disc w/ ABS Rear Brake: 1-piston floating caliper, 245mm disc w/ ABS Wheels, Front/Rear: Aluminum alloy; 17 x 3 in. / 17 x 3.5 in. Tires, Front/Rear: 110/70R-17, 140/60R-17 Rake/Trail: 25.0°/4.1 in. Wheelbase: 53.5 in. Ground Clearance: 5.9 in. Seat Height: 30.7 in. Fuel Capacity: 3.2 gal. Claimed Wet Weight: 364 lb. Contact: cfmotousa.com
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