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CFMoto Unveils CL-C Low Ride Concept: A Modern Twist on Classic Girder Forks

Introduction: Chinese motorcycle manufacturer CFMoto has taken a bold step into the cruiser segment with its 2023 launch of the 450CL-C. Building on the cruiser’s success, CFMoto showcased a potential evolution at the 2023 Eicma show—the CL-C Low Ride Concept. This striking bobber not only captivates with its unique aesthetics but introduces a modern reinterpretation of a classic feature: the girder front fork. While maintaining the allure of old-school styling, CFMoto ingeniously blends tradition with innovation, making a future production model of the CL-C Low Ride Concept a tantalizing possibility.

Classic Aesthetics, Modern Engineering: The CL-C Low Ride Concept emanates a captivating bobber design, leveraging numerous standard components, hinting at a plausible production model. The standout feature is the reintroduction of girder front forks—an age-old suspension design harkening back to the 1930s. This choice aligns seamlessly with the bobber style, exuding a timeless charm while injecting a modern twist.

Innovative Girder Fork Configuration: The girder fork concept involves a front wheel suspended between rigid castings, providing robust support against fore-aft forces during braking. CFMoto, however, reimagines this classic setup by rearranging the spring and shock elements, creating a more compact and contemporary package.

Horizontal Transverse Shock Placement: A departure from traditional girder forks, CFMoto’s design places the single front shock horizontally and transversely beneath the headlight. This necessitates a sophisticated suspension linkage, contributing to the bike’s overall compactness and aesthetic appeal.

Revolutionary Pull-Rod System: CFMoto’s ingenuity shines through in the pull-rod system employed to compress the horizontally positioned shock. The use of rockers or bell cranks, combined with a pull-rod system, facilitates synchronized movement during suspension compression. This layout allows for a rising-rate effect, enhancing the bike’s suspension dynamics—a feature rarely seen in front suspensions.

Advantages and Compact Design: The CL-C Low Ride Concept’s configuration offers several advantages, including the creation of a rising-rate effect for progressive stiffness. Additionally, its compact design ensures that the shock does not interfere with the headlight placement, showcasing thoughtful engineering. However, it’s essential to note that this girder fork setup introduces more unsprung mass compared to telescopic forks, an aspect that riders may need to consider.

Potential Production Model: Underneath the innovative front suspension, the CL-C Low Ride Concept retains the mechanical components of the existing CL-C 450, including the frame, swingarm, and a robust 40hp, 449cc parallel-twin engine. This strategic use of existing components suggests that transitioning the concept into a production model is a feasible and enticing prospect for CFMoto.

As CFMoto pushes the boundaries of cruiser design with the CL-C Low Ride Concept, the integration of modern engineering into classic aesthetics heralds a new era for the brand. Whether this innovative girder fork setup becomes a production reality, only time will tell, but the concept undoubtedly leaves an indelible mark on the evolution of cruiser motorcycles.


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