We recently posted our first-ride review of the seven-model 2022 motorcycle lineup from CFMOTO, which ranges from the 126cc Papio to the 700CL-X Sport. I had a chance to sample each model on a private test track, and then I got a more extensive 350-mile ride on the 650 ADVentura.
During the press event, held in late June, I also got a first ride on an eighth model, which was under embargo until August 1 and will be available in “late winter” as a 2023 model. The embargo has come and gone, so I can now talk about the Ibex 800 (formerly the 800 ADVentura; when I asked one of CFMOTO USA’s reps how to pronounce the name, he said “add-ventura” rather than “A-D-V-entura,” which is a mouthful).
Given American tastes for large motorcycles and the popularity of adventure bikes, the Ibex 800 is the CFMOTO model that’s most likely to resonate with U.S. buyers. As described in my 2022 lineup review, CFMOTO established a partnership with KTM back in 2014, and soon after began producing KTM 200/390 Dukes for the Chinese market. In 2018, CFMOTO and KTM broke ground on a joint venture production facility in China.
Given the cozy relationship between CFMOTO and KTM, it’s no surprise that CFMOTO’s top-of-the-line model is powered by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve 799cc parallel-Twin borrowed from the previous-generation KTM 790 Adventure, which makes a claimed 95 hp and 57 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with throttle-by-wire, it has two ride modes (Sport and Rain) and cruise control.
The Ibex 800 has a chromoly-steel frame, fully adjustable KYB suspension (front/rear travel is 6.3/5.9 inches), 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels, and J. Juan triple-disc brakes with cornering ABS. It has a 5-gallon fuel tank, full LED lighting, and a 7-inch TFT display.
Two versions of the Ibex 800 will be offered, an “S” (Street) model with cast wheels and a “T” (Terrain or Touring, you decide) model with spoked wheels. The T is also equipped with a quickshifter, a tire-pressure monitoring system, a steering damper, a skid plate, crash bars, handguards, and a centerstand. Claimed curb weight is 496 lb for the S and 509 lb for the T.
There was only one bike at the launch, an Ibex 800 T, and it was hogged by everyone. I managed to get in a few laps, just enough to realize its potential. The Ibex 800 has the wide, flat seat and comfortably upright seating position with generous legroom that we’ve come to expect from adventure bikes, and is part of what makes them so popular (unless you are short of inseam, of course).
When you’re on a closed circuit, as we were on the Minnesota Highway Safety & Research Center’s 1.2-mile, 6-turn paved road course with a one-third-mile front straight, it’s only natural to give the whip to whatever you’re riding. With the Ibex 800 T in Sport mode, I pinned the throttle and felt it surge forward with gusto.
I was the 509-lb gorilla on a track shared with wee Papios and playful 300s, so I used the 800’s wide handlebar to give a wide berth to other bikes and slice my way through the two chicanes made of traffic cones. Cornering ABS gave me the confident to dive deep into turns and trail brake to scrub off speed, and the J. Juan binders did my bidding without complaint. The Ibex 800 T handled with confidence and poise, and I was sorely tempted to exit the track and hit the road.
At the end of the day, after indulging in the gluttonous BBQ buffet laid out by Big Mo Cason (who drove all the way from Des Moines, Iowa, to cater the event) and a midafternoon downpour that drenched the track, I spent my last dozen or so laps of the day staring at the back of the Ibex 800. John Burns, who writes for Motorcycle.com and looks like Willie Nelson in high-viz gear, had grabbed the 800’s key and I did my best to chase him down on a 700CL-X.
I outweigh JB by 50 lb, probably 55 after hoovering two plates of brisket, mac-n-cheese, slaw, and cornbread at lunch, so my meat sack in the saddle knocked a big dent in the 700CL-X’s 83-lb weight advantage. Factor in the 800’s 21-hp upper hand over the 700 (95 hp vs. 74), however, and you’ve looking a pretty even odds. Lap after lap I’d close in on John, but I could never quite catch him. Burns got in way more laps on the 800 ADV-T than I did, and he can write – and ride – circles around me, so check out his review over at MO if you desire more depth and entertainment.
Overall, the Ibex 800 T felt solid, responsive, and – not surprisingly given the origin of its engine – on par with similar offerings from Europe. We look forward to getting more seat time for a more in-depth evaluation.
2023 CFMOTO Ibex 800 T Specs
Base Price: $9,499 (S model)
Price as Tested: $10,499 (T model)
Warranty: 2 yrs., unltd. miles
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel-Twin, DOHC w/ 4 valve per cyl.
Bore x Stroke: 88.0 x 65.7mm
Horsepower: 95 hp @ 9,250 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Torque: 57 lb-ft @ 8,000 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Wheelbase: 60.3 in.
Seat Height: 32.5 in.
Wet Weight: 509 lb
Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gals.