|Review of the
Serves me right. I should know better
than to make generalizations about scooters. For several years, I have
been saying that mainland Chinese scooters are low quality. I was wrong.
Yes, there are some mainland Chinese scooters that are poor machines,
maybe even dangerous, but that certainly is NOT true of "all" Chinese
scooters. I have just completed my first review of a mainland Chinese
scooter, a CFMoto Glory, and I am impressed. The fit and finish is nothing
like as good as scooters from Japan and Taiwan, but the running gear of
the Glory is quite nice.
Marty Mataya, the owner of
here in the Twin Cities, has been pushing me to have a closer look at some
of the new Chinese scooters. I like Marty and have a lot of respect for
his opinion. In 2008, he rode a 150cc scooter manufactured by CF Moto in
mountainous and desert regions in Mexico (Minnesota
Motorcycle Monthly June 2008). I picked up a new CFMoto Glory
150EFI from Marty and started riding.
CFMoto is a part of ChunFeng Holding Group based in China. They have
been around since 1989 and have eight wholly-owned subsidiaries with
liquid-cooled engines and scooters as its core business. CFMoto has a
distribution network that includes Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Viet Nam,
Europe, North America and South America.
I had ridden scooters built by CFMoto in the past and was not very
impressed. After some time on the new Glory, I can say that things have
definitely changed for the better.
Speedometer Reading/Speed/Fuel Economy
use a GPS unit to perform some of the review tasks on scooters, including
speedometer and odometer accuracy. This was one area that the CFMoto Glory
did NOT do well. The speedometer and odometer were 20% optimistic. That
means when the speedometer indicates 36 MPH, the actual speed is 30MPH.
When the speedometer indicates 60 MPH, the actual speed is 49 MPH. This
puts the Glory in first place for most optimistic speedometer I have every
tested. The top speed of the Glory was 65 MPH which was an indicated 79
MPH. Fuel economy during the review was 67 MPG.
This is the part of the review when I remind you that I am NOT a small
person (220 pounds) and that the scooter was new and NOT broken in,
and that I was NOT gentle with the scooter. After engine break-in, with a
smaller rider in normal riding conditions, I would expect 70 - 80 MPG from
Glory is packed with features that I absolutely did not expect from a
mainland Chinese scooter at this price point. Speaking of price point...
the MSRP on the Glory is $2,699, but in talking with several dealers, I
would say that the "street" price is really in the $2,200 - $2,400 range.
You might even get lucky and find one for less. For the purpose of this
review, I'm going to assume $2,300 as a typical selling price for this
scooter. CFMoto offers a limited 2 year warranty on the Glory. The engine
and major electrical are covered for two years, and other components are
covered for one year (suspension), 90 days (CVT) or 30 days (Battery)
which is not that far off from what other scooter manufacturers offer and
better than most mainland Chinese scooters. CFMoto also includes labor in
its warranty coverage, try getting THAT out of an online-sales-only
The CFMoto Glory is powered by a liquid-cooled 152cc four-stroke engine
which is fed via electronic fuel injection and puts out about 11
horsepower. The transmission is an automatic CVT. The Glory weighs in at
330 pounds and has a seat height of 30 inches. A hydraulic telescopic fork
covers the front suspension while dual shocks handle the rear. BOTH front
and rear brakes are single disks. The front tire is a 100/80 - 14 and the
rear tire is a slightly wider 110/80-14. The fuel tank holds just a touch
over two gallons.
Switches and controls are in the "usual" modern scooter configuration.
The left hand controls the rear brake, high-beam/low-beam headlights, turn
signals and horn. The turn signals are a little different in that the
push-to-cancel button is separate from the left/right switch. The right
hand controls the front brake and throttle, the engine-stop switch and
electric starter button. Lighting (headlight, brake light, turn signals)
is adequate. The fuel cap is a locking style, is located on the left/upper
side of the leg-shield and was easy to use. All the switches and controls
functioned just fine with no flaws during the review. Something that
cannot be said for other mainland Chinese scooters I have ridden.
The dash is digital and was very easy to read and has a
speedometer/odometer in miles. The digital "number" is in the center of
the speedometer and digital segmented line follows the curved speedo
display. There are indicators for turn signals and high beam as well as a
digital fuel gauge and temperature gauge. The fuel gauge was pretty
accurate displaying a close approximation of what was in the tank. The
odometer is also digital and a clock takes up the lower position on the
display. The reset buttons for the clock are under the seat back by the
battery. This makes some sense as you are likely to need to re-set the
clock when changing out or servicing the battery.
The seat latch release is located below the left/rear corner of the
seat and was a little touchy to use. Under-seat storage is poor. There is
an emission canister, bracket and hoses that make the space un-useable for
most helmets or any other large, solid objects. I suppose one could cram
some small flexible stuff under there, but I didn't as I was concerned
about knocking a hose off the canister. Luckily, the Glory comes with a
nice rear rack that is pretty much just screaming for a good topcase.
The Glory started easily and required
minimal warm-up. It ran great, had more power than I expected, and was
pretty comfortable. Doesn't sound like much does it. What I was expecting
(based on previous mainland Chinese scooter experience) was a
virtually non-existent suspension, very slow acceleration, low top speed,
poor-to-dangerous brakes, and uncomfortable ergonomics. The Glory
suspension, though not terribly refined, easily handled my 220 pounds -
even over rough roads. The acceleration was as good as just about any
other scooter in its class. OK, it's nothing like as quick as a Buddy
BlackJack, but then again neither is anything else. The top speed, even on
a scooter that was not yet broken in, was better than most scooters in its
class. The braking was excellent - easy to modulate and confidence
inspiring. I had a wide range of people ride this scooter. Many of them
were mainland-Chinese-scooter-haters. They ALL were impressed with the
powertrain on the CFMoto Glory.
My wife Beverly rides just about everything I review. She does NOT have
any pre-conceived notions about scooters from China. She LOVED the Glory.
This is a woman who has a Genuine Blur for goodness sake. The Blur is
probably the best 150cc scooter currently on the road and she was quite
happy riding the Glory. I think the relatively low seat height combined
with the 14 inch wheels had a lot to do with her response. The ride on the
Glory is smooth and stable (big wheels) and rough roads and
pot-holes aren't such major events (good suspension & big wheels)
and the responsive powertrain is just plain fun. She wasn't really
concerned about the lack of storage (she usually makes me carry all her
Riding two-up is OK on the Glory. The seat is big enough and there is
enough foot/leg room for the passenger. I wouldn't want to consign anyone
to the back of the Glory for the entire day, but for short trips a
passenger should be fairly comfortable. The seating position and overall
ergonomics were good for me. The low seat and tall wheels mean that
leg-room is at a bit of a premium and a taller rider may feel cramped.
Fit and Finish
When you get a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 150cc scooter for about $2,300
you know there has to be a catch. Fit and finish is it. As far as some
mainland Chinese scooters have come in improved mechanicals, they still
can't hold a candle to the scooters from Japan and Taiwan in fit and
finish. The plastic panels on the Glory felt thin and brittle. The
clear-coat on the red panels was rough and poorly done. The alignment of
the shiny-to-flat panels was just adequate. The controls and switches,
though functional, lacked the good detail finishing that one finds on
Japanese and Taiwanese scooters.
OK, all that being said, the fit and finish was still better than what
I've seen on mail-order scooters and better than what I have seen on
Chinese scooters from a couple of years ago. They are making strides in
this area, but have a way to go.
In my short time with the CFMoto Glory, I was impressed with the running
gear of the machine. A liquid-cooled fuel-injected 150 is an outstanding
configuration for an urban scooter. I came to this review with a negative
attitude and thanks to fine dealers like Marty at GoMoto I now feel much
more "up to date" on the improvements to mainland Chinese scooters. I may
see about adding a CFMoto to my long-term review scooters and see how the
durability of these machines compares with other products.
If you are looking for the best fit and finish, you're going to be
disappointed with the Glory. If you're looking for advanced mechanical
features and good performance at a reasonable price, I believe you'd
benefit from considering a CFMoto Glory.