• CF MOTO V3/V5 (Baron) Automatic Motorcycle

    For those who want sport or cruiser style automatic motorcycles, then the CFMOTO (Baron) is a good bike to consider. I've had my 2006 for a while now and it has met and exceeded expectations.

    CFMoto has produced bikes and scooters for the European and Asian Market since 1985 and the scooters have been marketed in the US for several years. In 2005 (summer of 2004) the CF V3 and V5 were created for marketing in Europe and the US.

    The initial 2005s had remote control alarm systems and starters, but tended to draw off the battery approximately 1 AH. If the bikes weren't ridden within two weeks, the batteries had to be recharged. The 2006s no longer have the remote and starter.

    I normally ride a Yamaha 650 V* but in city traffic, shifting was becoming more of a nuisance. Plus a heavy cruiser is not at its best in stop and go traffic. So the search for an automatic that could perform as well as one that I could flat foot. I'm 5' 7" and the V3 has a 28 inch seat height unloaded. (26 inch loaded) and works perfectly. I've had 6' 3" friends on it who say it is very comfortable with the forward equipped floor boards.

    So how is it?

    The V3 styling is european sport, and very eye stopping. It resembles the BMW 1200 sport cuiser styling. It has full fairings that are easily removed for maintenance, held on by good quality chrome plated hex screws. I have added star washers to these to prevent overtightening on the plastic and remove any vibration.

    Engine - The engine is a 250 (242) cc water cooled 10:1 single cylinder 4Stroke that puts out 18 horse. The main jet is a 110, which I will probably increase in time to a 112.5. The carbuator is a Kehein 30 mm continuous vacuum draw. The same carbs are used in the Honda helix and reflex, as well as many sports bikes and racers. I had to adjust the idle when received since it was set at 1000 from the shipper and was stalling out. These bikes recommend 1500 +/1 150. Once adusted to specs, no more problems.

    Electrical - The bike meets US dot standards. All parts are actually american (chinese made). The bulbs are standard brake and signal lights that can be purchased at Wal mart. The Headlight is a H4 (Phillips) again purchable anywhere locally. I felt this was important for repair issues and self maintenance. The bike's electical is on par with the Japanese V*. All wires are sheathed, shrink wrapped, and connections are good quality. There is no "twist and solder connections" on the bike as in some Chinese products. The spark plug is the same as used on the V*. DPR7EA-9 NGK with the same gap. Rectifier is larger than that on the V*, with a full fuse box, unlike some chinese bike with one fuse for all. There are several open slots to allow additional mods. The alternator is the same as the V* 240w. However this is at 7000 RMP.

    Brakes - Brakes are front and rear disk hydraulic. DOT 4 fluid is used in the master cylinders and the brake lines are run through wire wrap for protection. Brakes work well and are of standard type so can be upgraded in pads or bimbo brakes etc. Brake levers are on the handle bars, no foot pedal for the rear brake. Not sure if I miss it.

    Wheels - are chrome solids, no spokes so the tires are tubless. The bike has high end chinese tires on front wheel 100/90/18 and rear 150/80/15. Name brand tires from dunlop, metzler are readily available for this size. Another consideration and a plus.

    Panel - The dash is sun shaded and easily read except for the digial clock during the day. The clock is led red, which washes out in direct sunlight. The panel contains fuel guage, heat guage and speedo in MPH with odometer in km. I would have liked to see a built in tach and a trip odometer also. I added a self contained mini tach recently which works well.
    Flash to pass button on the left grip, 4 way blinkers are included.

    Gas cap is hidden beneath a locking panel that is opened by the ignition key. The cap is non vented, and I had a one time (so Far) vapor lock. I'm not sure if I should vent the cap but I am now just opening it before riding if the bike has sat for any lenght of time. The panel lock had to be fixed since the hinge wasn't meeting properly. This was accomplished with a couple of washers under the lock. No problem now and a solid closure.

    Power - The bike has power. The top speed is listed as 75 - 85 and I have had it up to 85 one time. I either have to go on the highway or find a place to open it up to test it out thourougly. By adding new jets and iridium plugs I can probably push it to 90 which is the top speed. I find it as fast as the V*. This is definitely a highway bike, if I want to ride there.

    Handling - This is where I found it to be exceptional. Balance for this bike is extraordinary. I have been able to ride at under 5 mph with no balance problems and it will even turn with minimal throttle to increase centrifugal force. Can't do that on the V*. This is a sport bike, so leans are great, and it will wheelly. Street turns and maneuvrabilty are great.

    Repair - Honda dealers will service if necessary but like most bikes, self repair knowledge is an asset. There currently are no service manuals, but a parts list for engine and some blow outs of the engine are available from the distributor. Honda helix manual is a great substitute since the engine and carb are similar to the helix. Parts availability are improving, and honda parts can be substituted. The main items such as bulbs, fuses etc are available at Walmart.

    Added plus -1) Stereo system with speakers that are side mounted and covered by the air intake. Radio AM FM1, FM2, MP3 player and Tape Player. Once the cables are clipped out of the way of the speakers, sound is good. It's not a bose system, but quality is good and above 40 mph, can't hear anything from wind noise in the helmet. But they certainly can hear it on the street. Probably works better than loud pipes.

    2) adjustable brake levers - 4 position, needed for small hands.

    3) shields- The fender wells are shielded from the rest of the bike. No mud or splash into the engine area.

    4) Engine crash bars which are extremely solid. They don't appear to be hollow. However they are square and not round which makes it hard to find a square clamp if you want to add driving lights.

    Mods - I have added the Kisentech tail blazer (rear brake light modulator) and path finder (front headlight modulator). Since the bike uses standard sockets and parts, no problems.
    The saddle bags are chase harper semi solid 13 inch. And the tach is a mini tach self contained unit. With the good size alternator there is a chance to add several electrical mods such as passing lamps etc.

    This is an automatic motorcycle so there is no storage for helmet etc. There is a small storage under the pillon seat. (very small). not sure what is kept in here.

    What I'd like to see.
    1) trip odometer
    2) built in tachometer
    3) better shocks. The shocks are good progressive spring shocks, but I would like to have an adjustable load shock
    4) a way of attaching a "book rack" on the tail.
    5) the oil sieve is the standard used on scooters, I suspect avaliable from honda for the helix or reflex if it ever has to be replaced. I would have liked to see a motorcycle filter type replacement.

    This bike is DOT, EPA and CARB certified. EPA lables and required DOT Certification lables are attached for state registration.

    Overall for a Chinese Bike, this manufacturer has met Japanese standards in all respects.


    http://www.bargainjims.com/store/default.asp (actually Baron)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: CF MOTO V3/V5 (Baron) Automatic Motorcycle started by Jacine View original post
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