CFMoto Side-by-Sides: Are they good quality?


CFMoto is an up-and-comer in the UTV/ATV world. They are a Chinese manufacturer and they have been growing here in the west. The question is, are they worth it? What is the quality like?

CFMoto does make good quality UTVs. They are a Chinese manufacturer and they break the mold of terribly made products coming from China. They keep up with their competition and are growing in popularity. CFMoto UTVs are built tough and their power and ability keep up with top name brands in North America.

Generally, people tend to shy away from Chinese made ATVs and UTVs but CFMoto has worked really hard to break away from that and show that they are competing for the market. They have done well and it shows from their products.

Keep your eyes peeled because they are only going to get more popular. I will be going over some important parts of the vehicle and talking about the specs and how it compares.

Engine

Utility UTV engine specs

NameEngine TypeEngine DisplacementMax Power OutputMax Torque
CFMoto UFORCE 1000V-Twin cylinder, 4-stroke, SOHC, 4-valve963 CC79 HP60 lb-ft
Polaris Ranger Crew XP 1000Twin cylinder, 4-stroke, DOHC999 CC82 HP62 lb-ft
Cam-Am Defender XTV-twin cylinder, 4-stroke799 CC82 HP69 lb-ft

One area that I think that CFMoto shines is their engines. For the lower price you pay, you would expect an engine that does not perform as well as other more expensive name brands. The 2019 UForce 1000 has a V-Twin cylinder, 4-stroke engine. That is right up there with the Polaris Ranger Crew XP 1000.

I created the table to show you how similar the specs are in a CFMoto engine to that of a name brand. It holds its own. The great thing about this is the price tag. CFMoto UTV’s are significantly cheaper by about $1,000 to $3,000. Their side-by-sides are incredibly well priced for what you get. A majority of aftermarket products you may invest in will already come with a CFMoto side-by-side.

The power of the engine in UFORCE 1000 engine is nothing to sneeze at. It has 79 Horsepower which is only slightly below the other ones. The displacement is higher than the Can-Am Defender XT which I found to be surprising.

As you can see, it has the power to keep up with the competition. CFMoto is making a name for themselves by selling side-by-sides at a cheaper price without skimping on important specs. Its fuel efficiency is above that of the Defender. It only lags a little behind the Polaris Ranger. CFMoto has put their work in and it shows. They are certainly growing.

The engine on this vehicle is really good and if you are looking for a powerful UTV for utility work, I would consider looking into the UFORCE 1000. The smaller models are excellent too. They perform well against the competition.

Transmission

CFMoto uses CVTech IBC transmission. In general, the transmission consists of high gear, low gear, and reverse. you can put it in either 2- or 4-wheel drive depending on how the terrain might be. The shifting between gears is clean and smooth. I do not remember things be clunky or weird when I was riding a CFMoto side-by-side.

Because things can get hairy and pretty messy, the vehicles come with an electronic locking differential to help out in times of need. What that does is basically override the difference in the wheels turning and sort of locks them into place to turn in unison.

This can make steering a bit stiff but nothing that can’t be handled. You just have to be ready to handle it. I would rather have it than not. It was honestly comforting. It is built to keep you safe. If you get a chance to ride in one, see how it works for you.

Suspension

The CFMoto ZFORCE is where the suspension shines. Each corner of the vehicle has a double wishbone suspension. It also comes with a gas shock on each corner that is adjustable to fit your style of driving. You can adjust the rebound and compression. I think that’s awesome. It is a small touch that goes a long way. You can adjust it to what you like or to the terrain around you.

The shocks are really good with the price you pay. Both shocks have around 11 inches of clearance. The back is only a couple millimeters less. This is slightly less than some other UTVs of the same caliber but you really cannot complain at the price it is.

Overall, I am way impressed by the suspension in the ZFORCE. It costs less overall than name brands but it holds up well against the competition. It is not as high off the ground as others (most others are around 15 or 16 inches) but for the price you pay, it can’t be beat. If you want a solid UTV without being super flashy, I would invest in this.

Chassis

I think one of the greatest strengths of the CFMoto UTVs is their toughness. They are solid off-road vehicles. They have really improved from the past and come up clean. The dimensions of the ZFORCE are 2870 x 1510 x 1830mm and the UFORCE dimensions are 2971.8 x 1612.9 x 1849.12mm. These are both up there with the big names. They did not spare anything with the frame of their UTVs.

Both models handle well and they are structured to withstand. In recent years, CFMoto has really broken away from the fears that people fear about overseas manufacturing in China. They are well aware of the problems that can occur when out on the trail and they combat it with high-quality products at a lower price than the big competitors.

The chassis is not cheaply made. It is able to haul all kinds of stuff up to a couple thousand pounds. I have never had a problem with it. It can handle the rugged terrain that you are riding on.

Steering

Something that I appreciate about the ZFORCE is the power steering. Now, power steering can be such a help but sometimes it feels like you are not in charge of the vehicle or that you can’t be connected with the terrain your wheels are in contact with. There has to be some balance. I personally like to feel connected to the road. I like the raw experience.

I think that the ZFORCE does this well. It has a little bit of power steering so you do not wear out your forearms but not too much to take away from the experience of zooming through the dirt and around corners. It has the right amount so you do not come home with burning arms. Trust me, I had a truck once that did not have power steering. I learned fast that it is not fun to drive anything once your arms are tired and burning.

Power steering allows you to be in control enough to feel confident in your driving the machine but not to overpower it or feel underwhelmed in controlling the vehicle. The ZFORCE does this right.

Ground Clearance

The ground clearance of a CFMoto ZFORCE 100 is 11.8 inches. This is a little lower than others are which are closer to 13 or 14 inches like a wildcat or a Maverick. I would not count this vehicle out though because of that. I still get plenty of use out of these UTVs without the extra ground clearance. It will still get you where you need to go.

In stock form, UTVs do not have the best ground clearance so invest in a lift kit if you plan on going over tons of rocks. If you are going dirt or sand trail riding, then the ZFORCE or any other model should be good to hit the trail with. I personally would not use it for rocky terrain. I think the ZFORCE would be a nightmare in places like Moab, Utah.

Towing Capacity

Let’s go back to talking about the UFORCE for a minute. When we talk about towing capacity, we generally are talking about vehicles that are meant to be workhorses. There are plenty of utility UTVs and CFMoto does a good job with their own.

The bed can tow up to 1,000 lbs. It has a front and rear 2-inch receiver hitch which can haul up to 2,000 lbs. This is nearly 500 lbs. more towing capacity than big competitors. The UFORCE 1000 holds its own. The 3500 lbs. winch on the front end of the vehicle can pull plenty of weight and what makes it even better is that it has a wireless remote.

This would make a great vehicle to have on the farm. It is versatile and powerful. the UFORCE 1000 is a hidden gem when it comes to utility UTVs. Any projects to get done around the property can be done with this vehicle.

Wheels

Wheels are a crucial part of the UTV experience. If your wheels are good, your experience is that much better. The wheels are thick and strong to withstand rocks and other things that might puncture or ruin your wheels. The ZFORCE has 26-inch 6-ply tires that come attached to 14-inch aluminum wheels. They are not too shabby.

The bigger number of ply means that it is tougher. Most trucks have 6-ply. That is pretty strong and should withstand. It is very unlikely that you will have a problem with a tire blowing.

These tires work in all kinds of terrain. Sand, mud, dirt, etc. It handles well and it feels good. The tires grip well where they need to.

The tires are CST Abuzz tires. They are specifically built to ride on soft and hard terrain. It is built lightweight so whoever is driving can have ease of control in steering. They are made specifically for ATVs and UTVs. It has been engineered for the ultimate experience on various terrains.

Interior Design

The Interior design is simple. It is not there to catch your eye but it works. It has a 4-point harness for safety. Some have said that it feels a little tight. This is a comment I hear from tall friends who try out the CFMoto UTVs. You can tilt the steering wheel up and down but that will not make as much of a difference for those that are tall.

Other perks inside of the cab include an LCD display on the dash. You can hold stuff under the seats and behind you. So if you have lots of little odds and ends for a quick fix up somewhere on your house or property, stick them in here.

The bed can be unlatched and dumped making your job a ton easier. I like the design of this vehicle even if it is a little small. If you are a really tall person, you may want to look somewhere else for a utility vehicle.

Other Minor Details

The seats are comfortable. I felt like I fit pretty well and I am about average in size. I already mentioned the 4-point buckling system for safety. That is great considering there is not a whole lot protecting you from falling out if you were to roll over.

A few other safety things include turning signals and hazard lights. These come in handy sometimes and it is nice to have them. It even has a horn and I guess that would be useful if you are trying to get someone’s attention. The headlights and taillights are all LED and work great. There is a handbrake should you need it. On a hill, it might come in handy.

It comes with a lot of good things in it that are straight from the factory. It is pretty impressive. It has adjustable shocks and a few other gadgets that you would not expect to come with a UTV at a lower price. You do not really find that in other UTVs straight from the factory. That is something I appreciate.

Is CFMoto Worth Your Money?

I am of the opinion that CFMoto is worth it. CFMoto is relatively new here in North America and many people do not know what they are or if they are any good. They are a Chinese manufacturer and that can be difficult especially here in the west where we naturally associate bad products to be from China.

I know that CFMoto had a problem in Canada back in the day but they have remade their brand and have really cleaned up things here in the west. I believe that they have become a trustworthy brand. In Canada, they have an unprecedented warranty of up to 5 years which is incredible. I wish that they had that in the United States.

They are not a name brand or super flashy. They do not have the biggest hold on the UTV/ATV market either. If you are looking for a tough and well made UTV that will not cost you as much as the name brands will, then CFMoto UTVs are as good as they come.

If you are extremely tall, they may not be as comfortable. They fit most sizes but it is a little less roomy than other UTVs. Right out of the factory CFMoto’s UTVs are equipped with a bunch of good perks that most other brands sell for aftermarket products.

Not only is the price cheaper but they are keeping up with the name brands. As you can see from my chart way at the beginning of the article, CFMoto is making some pretty impressive vehicles for utility and even recreation. I would not count out CFMoto. They are really pulling their weight and making a name for themselves. I recommend giving CFMoto a try.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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