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  1. #1 CFMoto Motorcycle Manufacturing Hangzhou 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    CFMoto (ChunFeng) literally means Spring Wind. If one attempts to use an on-line translator to translate 春风 Chinese Simplified -> English, 春风 (ChunFeng) will usually be translated into something along the lines of 'spring wind' or 'spring force'. CFMoto is a private motorcycle company owned by one Chinese individual, unlike many other motorcycle manufacturers in PRC which are government SOE or similar. The company was created in 1988, and has received a number of government awards or similar over the years, as well as achieving various manufacturing standards.
    ISO9001: 2000
    Employees: 1500+
    Located: Hanghzhou, Yuhang district
    Business: Manufacture; motorcycles, engines, ATV, UTV, pleasure-craft
    Web: CFMOTO
    Web: KTMR2R
    Other: CFMoto Club www.cfmotoclub.com

    I was fortunate to be able to visit CFMoto based in Hangzhou multiple times since 2010, 4 years after purchasing my export model CF250T-VIP (Honda Helix clone). Since having bought my second CFMoto, a Jemtax (CF250T-6A) scooter, and having had some small issues with parts availability through my local Suzuki motorcycle dealer, I thought it was time I made a site visit to CFMoto a priority back in 2010, and I am glad I did. I rode to Hangzhou on my Jetmax maxi scooter, so the site visit was only half the fun, where I was able to meet and greet a number of CFMoto employees, be given a tour of the premises, assembly lines, and impressive display room full of CFMoto range of motorcycles, scooters and ATVs/UTVs (CFMoto have since added boats to their product line). I have had the opportunity to return several times since then, and have been impressed with the facilities and work culture evident on my visits.

    Inside the CFMoto plant, are four vehicle assembly lines – two each for two-wheelers and ATVs/UTVs - and three engine assembly lines, operate a zero defect policy. Given that CFMoto want zero defects from any of their products, CFMoto realise the company and its employeees cannot afford to cut corners in QC,consequently they build up to a quality level, not down to a price. CFMoto utilises 28 CNC machines on the factory floor demonstrates one way to achieve this level of QC is for a higher proportion of the components used to assemble each motorcycle to be actually manufactured in-house to higher tolerance levels, rather than sourced from outside suppliers, as is the case elsewhere in China. All this is part of CFMoto’s long-term strategy to increase the quality of their products in an attempt to recover their market share of global exports.

    CFMoto Power Co. Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Chunfeng – meaning “spring wind” - Holding Group (hence 'CF'), an engineering company founded in 1989 by 24-year old Lai Guogui to make components for the growing powered two-wheeler industry. It only began manufacturing complete motorcycles in 2000, when it obtained the necessary government license to do so, however since 1996 the company had built 125cc motors for sale to other companies; and the following year it developed the first complete liquid-cooled motorcycle engine made in PRC, again for supply to other brands. In 2007 CFMoto moved into its present purpose built 45,523m2 plant in Hangzhou with a 1520-strong workforce (200 of which are qualified engineers directly involved with new product R&D) that is steadily increasing production not only of bikes and scooters, but especially ATVs/UTVs.

    As a company much smaller than industry giants like Lifan, Loncin, Zongshen and Qianjiang (owners of Benelli), CFMoto is almost unique among PRC powered two-wheeler manufacturers in exclusively marketing its own brand – it doesn’t build complete bikes and scooters to sell to other companies for re-badging.

    It’s also more export focused than most of the larger companies: for the past five years it’s been the biggest exporter of ATVs/UTVs from PRC in dollar volume, and it only builds larger capacity models, 500cc and up – indeed, its range-topping model of which 10,000 units were built in 2013 has an 800cc V-twin engine (would make an ideal platform for a cruiser motorcycle). With all its products, CFMoto emphasises quality of manufacture, rather than low cost volume, so while its bikes are generally well priced, they’re also fairly well made and durable.

    CFMoto seemingly gets the whole quality issue, in a way that many other PRC manufacturers which are primarily price-oriented, still don’t by strictly enforcing a zero defect manufacturing policy, and through adopting innovative production methods to ensure every product is finished to the highest level of detail. In line with CFMoto's policy of moving upstream in terms of engine capacity, in 2009 CFMoto began development entirely in house of its own purpose-built 650cc parallel-twin motor as a platform for a range of middleweight models of different types, of which the 650NK Naked motorcycle was the first.

    It’s a mark of how quickly its R&D engineers work that this model was launched on the home market early in 2011, with over 70K kilometres of test mileage already under its wheels, reaching export markets in 2012. The 650TR tourer came next doemstically in 2012, with export sales of the renamed 650TK commencing one year later in 2013, and there’s a 650MT adventure tourer in the works, too – expect it to debut on the domestic market in the latter half of 2014, and to be available to export customers in 2015.

    Indeed, CFMoto is projecting manufacture of 10,000 650cc parallel-twin models for 2014, with 4000 of these headed for the domestic market, and the balance for export. However, demand for motorcycles with 400cc or larger is still very small in PRC, occupying less than 1% of the total market with sales of just 9500 units in total in 2013, albeit representing a sales increase of 56% year on year.

    It’s anticipated this will be increased still further in 2014 after products like the Kawasaki ER-6F, Ninja, and the Honda CBR300 were introduced to the PRC market in 2014 – but this increased competition means a greater focus on export sales for CFMoto. And indeed it’s these that have fuelled the company’s recent expansion, with turnover registering a 40% growth year-on-year in 2011, 55% in 2012 and 70% in 2013.So CFMoto’s 650cc DOHC parallel-twin eight-valve motor with 180-degree crankshaft (one piston up while other piston down) chain cam-drive and a gear-driven counter-balancer to smooth out the vibes, represents the arrival of PRC’s long-awaited debut middleweight motorcycle models - the first ‘real’ bikes to originate from the world’s largest motorcycle market. As such, it’s a first step on the climb up the engine displacement ladder that’s certain to fuel an increasingly irresistible attack on Western markets by PRC manufacturers. It's a fairly safe bet to suggest that the 650NK is a direct ripoff of a Kawasaki ER-6N, design-wise, but the 650NK was the first motorcycle to be exported out of PRC with an engine larger than 250cc and, after visiting the modern, well-equipped CFMoto factory in Hangzhou, a few hundred kilometres South-west of Shanghai, it’s hard not to be convinced that this company is proving itself as a catalyst for change.

    Aside from CFMoto's own development plans, CFMoto have entered into partnership with Austrian motorcycle company KTM.

    The KTM-CFMoto joint venture should have kicked off a year ago, but was put on hold when a local Chinese opportunist tried to ransom the KTM name, after highjacking it by registering King Tao Motorcycles (KTM) in PRC. Even though that company never actually produced any motorcycles/scooters, its owner sought a payoff of more than $1 million to hand over the rights to the name, which the KTM board declined to pay. Instead, the KTM board took the time needed to register KTMR2R (as in, KTM Race-to-Road) as a manufacturer in PRC. It was a tortuous legal process that took time to complete, and it’s under this name that all KTM models are sold in PRC.

    Two models assembled via CFMoto, the Duke 200 and Duke 390 have already started selling at various KTMR2R stores throughout PRC. The two models are exported from the Bajaj-KTM JV factory in Chukan near Pune, India. The bikes are exported on a CKD basis to CFMoto who then assemble at the CFMoto, Hangzhou factory. Over time it is anticipated that other models might also be assembled/manufactured by CFMoto, although for the time being all other KTM models are imported through CFMoto as fully assembled models, and sold alongside the Duke 200/390 models in the KTMR2R dealerships.

    YMMV.
    Last edited by bikerdoc; 07-02-2014 at 04:35 AM.
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  2. #2 Re: CFMoto Motorcycle Manufacturing Hangzhou 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    BikerDoc, you sure know how to create expectations! But you always write great reports, so my expectations surely will be fulfilled...

    cheers
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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