Review | Mark Hamerton Photos | CFMoto Canada
CFMoto isn’t the newcomer on the block anymore. With more than ten years of bringing quality off road products to the market, they have created a name for themselves even in the shadows of the big Japanese and North American makers.
The early ATV models had us noticing the breakaway quality we weren’t used to in Chinese machines. But now the maturing company is aggressively competing with the big boys on an almost level playing field. Battling the stigma of low quality Chinese hardware, the designers at CFMoto have followed closely the successful designs of their counterpart vehicles, and then over engineered components seemingly in an effort to offer one better. You don’t have to look too long at a CFMoto ATV before you notice very similar designs to your favorite brand. But hey, why reinvent the wheel?
The new 2016 CForce 400 LX HO is a shining example of the efforts to produce a long lasting, tough, durable, and reliable product. Almost everything is bigger, stronger, or reinforced providing a solid first impression. The axles are oversized, the frame is securely welded and gusseted, and the steel racks are as solid as we’ve seen. All of this strength must come at a cost, but a few extra pounds is better than a crack or bend in your ATV.
Although the heavy duty nature of the CFMoto is apparent, this new 400 cc engine and chassis leapfrog the company in to the future with refinement, power, comfort, and stylish looks. The single cylinder 4-valve single overhead cam powerplant is noticeably smoother, quieter, and almost as powerful as its dated big brother the CForce 500 with 30 hp and 35 hp respectively.
As soon as you turn the key and shift into high gear the newly designed motor and CV-Tech IBC variable speed transmission provide instant power, with little to no spin up required. Gone are the days of compensating for under-power with high revs, as this beauty hooks up in an instant and quietly propels you along the trail, getting up to speed in no time at all. Grades are easily traversed without risk of belt damage and shifting into low gear is rarely necessary. It’s safe to say the engine and clutch are a match made in heaven, or at least the CFMoto plant in China.
With previous models offering a stable but less comfortable ride, this re-tuned 400 chassis with double A-arm suspension and adjustable shock absorbers does a splendid job of keeping the rubber on the trail while providing a higher level of rider comfort, even after eight hours of rough trails. The attractive aluminum alloy wheels, vented disc brakes provide a low unsprung weight complementing the suspension system to provide a relaxing and much improved drive regardless of the challenging terrain.
If that wasn’t enough, the CForce also boasts electronic power steering that is notably well tuned, giving the rider an easy to manage set of handlebars while still not isolating one from trail feedback. All these advancements add up to a pleasant stress free ride that is still fun and won’t leave you feeling like there is anywhere you couldn’t take this capable unit.
The CForce 400 isn’t without curb appeal, with an aggressive new front end design and wicked LED headlamps, you won’t fail to impress. The geometry and curves of the fenders and foot wells give an overall look of capability and grace. The stock 6 ply 25” tires are visually appealing as well as mud ready, and the new smaller dash display conveys all the same information as the predecessor, but in a smaller less colorful (and less distracting) manner. Of note, we really appreciate the coolant temperature gauge rather than a simple idiot light that tells you “Hey, it’s too late, but you’ve overheated!”
As with all CFMoto off road products the CForce 400 is fully tricked out with two mirrors, front and rear turn signals, a horn, and is well kitted out with reflectors. Most spectators first chuckle at these features, but after spending a few hours on the trail, not having to turn around to check the rider behind you, not having to wave your arms around to indicate what direction to go, and not having to try and yell at a fellow rider from within your sound deadened helmet you quickly see the wisdom in the additions. As the sport continues to grow and we see more and more communities allowing ATVs on the streets, these safety features just make sense. And hey, anything that lets you keep your hands on the handlebars and your eyes in front is surely going to keep you safer.
Available in single and two up configuration, we tested the 2 seater and found the rear seat to be very comfortable, and the arm grips offer a solid sense of safety when riding as a passenger. The raised rear foot rests are great when riding alone as they offer a higher perch for deep water crossings. The added length can also make steep inclines easier and safer, however I personally am not a fan of 2 seater ATVs. I find them harder to steer in tight quarters, easier to get hung up in sharp crests, and generally a bit heavier, but if you plan to take along another rider there is no better way.
Squeezing in under $5,000 MSRP the CForce 400 still offers a ton of extras including 2500 lb winch, 2” hitch receiver (with trailer light connection!) painted front bumper, skid plate, and A-arm protectors. With all this CFMoto is extremely competitive with similar machines in this class offering much more for the money, hands down.
I thoroughly enjoyed riding this capable ATV, and after 9 or 10 hours of hard trails I wasn’t fatigued, sore, or wanting to stop. I hope CFMoto brings this level of refinement to the larger ATVs in the near future, and I will be the first in line wanting to try them out.
CFMOTO CFORCE 400 LX HO
Transmission: CV-TECH IBC variable transmission
Drivetrain: 2 wheel/4 wheel drive and electric locking differential
Front Suspension: Double A-Arm, 9 in (22.9 cm) Travel
Rear Suspension: 8.8 in (22 cm) Travel
Steering: Electronic Power Steering (EPS)
Front Brakes: Hydraulic / Vented disc brake
Rear Brakes: Hydraulic / Disc brake
Towing Capacity: 360 kg (794 lb)
Ground Clearance: 1 UP: 250 mm (9.8 in)
2 UP: 275 mm (10.82 in)
• Storage back driver seat
• Painted steel front bumper
• Skid plate and A-arm protectors
• 2500 lb winch
• Hitch receiver
• Anti-theft system with steering lock
• Numeric LCD dashboard
• Adjustable dashboard light
• Trip meter (RPM indicator, Voltage indicator,
KM/MPH odometer, Daily counter, Clock)
• Fuel level indicator
• Temperature indicator
• Oil pressure indicator
• Speed indicator
• 12V auxiliary plug
• Headlight (55 Watt, low or high intensity)
• Trailer connector
• Brake lights
Warranty: 1 Year Full – Five Year Available
Available Colours: Blue and Black
PRICE MSRP: Starting at $4995