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Few Chinese motorcycle firms have been as readily accepted in the West as CFMoto. This year it has raised its game again with the launch of the 700CL-X, and for 2021 the company is taking another huge leap into the big leagues with its new 1250TR-G tourer.

First making its debut earlier this year as a prototype targeting the contract to supply China’s massive market for police and security service motorcycles, the 1250TR-G is the production-spec, civilian version that will go on sale in the first half of 2021. It made its debut over the weekend at the huge CIMA show in China, which is one of the few big motorcycle expos not to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new bike continues the years-long cooperation between KTM and CFMoto, with the latter company building some of the Austrian firm’s smaller engines of late.CFMoto

What makes the 1250TR-G significant? Well, it’s the most powerful production bike yet to emerge from China and a machine that cements the growing ties between CFMoto and KTM. The two companies have worked together for several years, with CFMoto building KTM-branded bikes for the Chinese market and responsible for manufacturing some of the Austrian firm’s smaller engines for sale worldwide. This year CFMoto has also taken on production of the KTM LC8c parallel twin, as used in the 790 Adventure790 Duke, and 890 Duke R.

TR-G large-displacement V-twin
The TR-G’s large-displacement V-twin is based on KTM’s LC8 vee, but in this application it’s tuned more for torque.CFMoto

With the 1250TR-G, CFMoto gets its own large-capacity V-twin using a design based on the big LC8 vee that’s powered KTM’s most powerful models over several generations, ever since it first appeared in the RC8 superbike more than a decade ago.

Coming in at 1,279cc, the CFMoto engine isn’t identical to any existing KTM version of the engine, and unlike the Austrian versions, it’s tuned for torque rather than out-and-out power. Peaking at 140 hp, it’s just a fraction ahead of BMW’s 134 hp R 1250 RT, which is surely the CFMoto’s most direct rival in the touring bike market.

TFT screen
That TFT screen is the largest you’ll find on a motorcycle and it performs multiple functions.CFMoto

Along with more power, the new CFMoto promises an overload of technology as befits a range-topping tourer. The bike’s TFT instrument display is the largest ever seen on a motorcycle, and it offers multiple configurations of instruments as well as a mind-boggling array of information. It can tell you everything from the radio station playing via the bike’s JBL-made stereo to the tire pressure. It also allows the rider to control several onboard functions including the bike’s built-in Bluetooth multimedia and navigation, as well as the riding modes and the settings of the electronic suspension, which comes courtesy of WP.

Brembo radial calipers
Brembo radial calipers operated by a Bosch ABS aim to change the unflattering image of Chinese bikes.CFMoto

The name brand components continue onto the brakes—Brembo radial calipers are operated via a Bosch ABS system—and between them mean that despite the 1250TR-G’s Chinese roots there’s little to suggest the bike’s quality will fall anywhere below what you might expect from Japan or Europe. Just as Hyundai and Kia have transformed the image of Korean-made cars in recent years, CFMoto is on the warpath to change the perception of Chinese motorcycles.

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