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 GoMoto 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
I 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 the Glory.
The CFMoto 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 scooter company.
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 stuff).
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.