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2024 CFMoto Papio SS – First Ride Review

CFMoto’s design studio is on fire right now. With all of the new bikes that are coming out of its factory, one has to wonder, what kind of inspiration are their designers on? Hit after hit, it seems like the biker maker from Zhejiang province shows no signs of slowing down. 

Taking a step back from the new-new nameplates in the lineup, there was one bike that was quietly launched in the midst of these all-new models in the lineup. The CFMoto Papio XO-1 has got to be one of our most favored bikes we’ve reviewed this year, and it wasn’t because it knocked our socks off when it came to performance, not because it was a knee-down corner-carving machine, but because it was just so much fun. 

I had this motorcycle for about a week before I reluctantly returned it. During the loaner period, I also managed to “sell” one to a friend, which is saying something because a bike as small, stylish, and approachable as this is kind of a rare find. In fact, I thought about picking one up for myself for a time. 

Great design 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

It’s a bike that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are no faux signs of performance. All the functional bits are colored in black or silver as is the case with the fork and the rear suspension. That allows those bits to blend into the background and allow the red and white panels of the Papio XO-1 to shine through. You will notice the cowl of this bike, the tank, the headlights, and even the tail section which also features an amazing level of detail. CFMoto actually drilled holes into the parts that have holes or look like they have holes. 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

The list of nitpicks is few and far between. The headlights are rather weak, but they do look good. The turn signals are lifted from other CFMoto models save for the fronts which are an integrated set and custom fitted for the Papio XO-1, the rear passenger footpegs look more like an afterthought than an integral part of the model’s design, and finally, the tank is a bit square which got in the way of some of our legs over a long ride. 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

Still, I have to say CFMoto hit the nail on the head. The bike doesn’t look like it is trying too hard to look sporty, it’s not trying too hard to be cool, it’s just quirky and it looks comfortable in its own skin. It’s a well-designed bike that you cannot take too seriously, and that’s why we were always met with smiles or questions about the bike everywhere we went whether it was stopped at a red light or pulling up to one of our favorite cafes. It’s so approachable and well-designed that you can’t help but smile when you walk up to it or get on it. 

It’s a 125cc air-cooled single, what do you expect? 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

Now, you may think that this bike put all of its eggs into the design basket, but you’d be half correct. The 125cc single-cylinder engine has a maximum power figure of 9.4 horsepower and a max torque figure of just 6.8 pound-feet. However, the whole time that I was riding the bike. 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

I did try to get a good feel of the suspension, clutch, gearbox, and brakes. The engine power took a back seat for obvious reasons. This bike doesn’t accelerate like a bat out of hell, but you’ll be smiling ear-to-ear regardless because of how slow you are going. You have to wring this bike out to get up to any sort of speed and that’s kind of the point here. 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

The suspension is pretty sorted for this bike—inverted forks especially. While I didn’t tinker around with the rear to get its preload just right, the fronts were surprisingly well-damped. The brakes were fine given the weight class of this motorcycle, and the clutch was light. It’s the gearbox that we found a bit of an issue with because it was a bit hard to shift into neutral, and we also found ourselves hitting a false neutral occasionally. After we got used to the quirks though, the bike managed city traffic quite well, with its fueling and gearing meshing perfectly with low-speed crawling. Even with a low peak power and torque figure, the bike has good fueling in the middle of its powerband so there is a nice smoothness to the single-cylinder while you’re just riding around.

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

At full tilt, however, you will be encouraged to carry speed, brake less, and make sure that you don’t slow down too much while cornering or rolling down the road. With this bike, expect to get back up to speed in maybe one to two business days (kidding). It would be wrong to expect the world of this engine since it’s just an air-cooled power unit, but I have to admit that it is quite sorted. It’s decently smooth for a small-displacement engine. For its small size, I did have to wring it out a lot resulting in a fuel economy figure of 77 miles per gallon. The tank has also about 1.9 gallons in capacity, which is a rather decent range. One full tank will last you over 100 miles depending on how slow or how slow you ride. 

All the basics covered

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

The pod gauge on the Papio SS houses a lot of features in a tiny little package. It has a fuel gauge, a low fuel warning light, trip meters, a digital speedometer, a tachometer, and even a tiny shift light at 12 o’clock. The unit that I was able to test was also had dual-channel ABS. It’s a basic system, however, but still nice to have. 

A little too small?

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

While this bike’s size is part of its arsenal of charming features, it’s also its Achilles heel. Unfortunately, tall riders will have a problem fitting on this machine. That, and passenger accommodations aren’t the best. The rear seat is hard and not a place that you want to be in for long periods of time. 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

If, however, your height is somewhere in the ballpark of five feet and four inches tall to five feet and ten inches tall, then there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to fit on this machine with little to no problem. 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

I’ve also mentioned that it is a slow bike, but let me be specific: the fastest that I’ve gone on this bike, going downhill, is about 75 miles per hour. You will be a bit of a sitting duck on this motorcycle in the face of fast-moving cars and bigger bikes. However, going fast is not the point of a Papio anyway. 

A great beginner bike or a great second bike 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

If you are starting out and you want something with style and a bit of substance, then this is a great pick. For the starting price of about $3,299 USD, it’s definitely not a bad deal. I believe that you can still keep this bike even after you’ve upgraded as well, which makes it a great value. Beginner-friendly features on the Papio SS include its uber-accessible 29.9-inch seat height and a curb weight of 251 pounds. Low and light, it’s the perfect recipe for a beginner bike, minus the clip-ons. 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

On that note, even experienced riders will still be able to extract value from this machine. As a second bike, a little pit bike, or even a city-slicking machine, this is a prime pick. It’s going to struggle on long stretches of road for sure, but if you’re just going from cafe to cafe, around town, to the shops, or even as a workhorse commuter, it can do that while your bigger bike takes a break. 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

I seriously thought about buying this bike for myself. Its style, decent performance, and approachability make it a great deal for me even as an experienced rider. I can also see that this bike will be easy to take care of. You won’t need a ton of oil, the engine is rather exposed for easy wrenching, the chain and sprockets are tiny, and the wheel and tire combo come in at just 12 inches in diameter. I reckon that this bike will be easy to maintain and get consumables for and that’s a big draw for either a beginner or a frugal motorcyclist. 

Verdict: Why the heck not? 

2024 CFMoto Papio SS Review

If you set your expectations right, and if you are keen on the design details of this bike, it’s easy to ride and even easier to love. There are few bikes that really illicit the same reactions that this bike got during my time with it. It’s not a common choice among the commuters in my area and that’s what makes it such a head-turner. You can’t help but smile while you are on this bike and others can’t help but smile while seeing someone hunched over and tucked in trying to get as much speed as possible.

Fundamentally, it’s a Papio ST with fancy clothes, but that’s its biggest asset. It’s easy to ride and even more charming clothed in neo-retro fairings. If you are a beginner and if you are looking for a less-than-full-size 125cc motorcycle, this is a great bet. 

However, performance considerations can take a back seat with this one, at least in my opinion. Because it is such a head-turner, because it is so cute, and because it’s done well, I’m sure that almost anyone can enjoy this motorcycle. I also feel that the CFMoto Papio CL, a.k.a. the Papio XO-2 would also be a viable choice if you want a scrambler of sorts. Personally, I like the retro racer look that the SS has, but I can’t say that I didn’t also consider the CL as well.



This article was originally published by a www.rideapart.com . Read the Original article here. .

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