CPI’s little 50cc Super Motard and Enduro models grow up both receiving 250cc powerplants, these bikes may prove to be real contenders with high tech materials for the engines and Italian design they are both powerful and beautiful with easy modifications turning them into real track winners in their class.
price: $3300 (Launch price in Taiwan)
Horse Power @ RPM: 24HP @ 8000 RPM
Engine: Liquid cooled, single cylinder, 4 stroke, OHC
Transmission: 6 speed
Torque @ RPM: 20 Nm @ 6000 RPM
Curb Weight: 107kg
I first saw this bike in a motorcycle catalogue last year and got very excited I have owned Motocross, Enduro and Superbikes and had recently become interested in Super Motard, this bike stood out in a book filled with scooters and assorted other weakly endowed conventional street bikes and enduro models. With its lovely design in black and wavy discs it could be forgiven for toting conventional forks. I nagged the manufacturers regarding release dates, and, although the motorcycle catalogue for 2007 said it was available it had in fact not passed regulatory requirements yet.
One year later and it is due for release very soon with demo models appearing on the dealers floors so I blagged one from the dealer and took it for a ride, then another ride, then another….I put 830km’s on the bike, testing it hard on 3 local circuits, riding through city and freeway traffic to get to the circuits. I was not disappointed, this machine meets the expectations instilled by its looks.
The differences between the SM and SX models are very small, the SM comes with street tires110-80-17 front and 130-70-17 rear with a 39 tooth rear sprocket while the SX has off-road 90-90-21 front and 110-80-18 rear with 41 teeth on the back.
Both models are available in Black or Orange.
Acceleration is great, with generous low-rev torque, the power comes right on through delivering immediately with the sweetest power between 6000 and 8000 RPM, I have been told by the engineers at CPI that the redline is at 10 000 RPM but there is no point passing 8000 since there is nothing there as the power curve starts to decline.
It will not stand on the back wheel without help from the clutch but the little bit of clutch will get her up pretty quick and the wheelie is balanced. Taiwan is a very mountainous country particularly in the north where I live and the road to the track takes me up to mountain routes, there is feeling that the bike is struggling at all as it easily consumes the steep inclines and comfortably handles the sharp corners as well as the unkempt asphalt surfaces.
Overtaking manouvres are handled very efficiently with the low power torque, a couple times I made the mistake of thinking I needed a lower gear to overtake finding that there was nothing there at high revs (too much time spent on 4 cylinder bikes) and all that was needed in fact was a blip of the throttle to catapult me past the traffic ahead.
The speed is good enough to get you in trouble quickly in busy city traffic and certainly brisk enough for longer distances. I have been up to 136km/h indicated when the front starts to get light because the bike only weighs 107kg and has no fairing to manage the wind. I took it to for a dyno test (a very antiquated machine but enough to get some idea) and got 19hp with a top speed of 131.5 km/h
Braking is achieved through two pot calipers which are quite sufficient both for road use and track days with the combination of standard braided aluminum hoses and the good looking wavy discs working well enough that you will not need to upgrade unless you want to compete. When I made it slide it felt perfectly poised. Stoppie/Endo difficult to do with the two piston front calipers, did it on a converted race bike with 6 piston calipers though and it handles very well.
I had a typical situation when the car in front of me went for a left turn at a traffic light then changed his mind and stopped right in front of me, with no space to stop or just ride past him I hit the back brake and geared down twice while turning the bike into a slide, the back instantly complied to my command by breaking out to the left allowing me to point my front clear of the car and I powered around the right hand side of the car, it was very easy to do with this light and nimble bike.
Corner braking is absolutely great even with the standard equipment I was setting good times on the track trail braking toward the apex. The bike remains stable and controllable with no fade over a 40 minute non-stop session on a very tight, asphalt go-kart circuit.
The bike is very well balanced and the riding position makes control very easy whether on back, front or both wheels. It is a pleasure to ride through rush hour traffic with the height giving great visibility. Incidentally, one of my friends is also in the market for a SM and he said the bike was too short and then he came up with his ideal 250cc SM which is the Yamaha WR250X which I found rather entertaining since, although it has 6 more HP with fuel injection, 5 valves and forks, the WR is 10cm shorter than the CPI SM and around $1700 more expensive.
Leans angle is stable and comfortable all the way till the footpegs are scraping the track and you have reached the limit of the standard 130 tires and then it starts to break out sending the rear out in a way that is very easy to recover, I have in fact worn out my left footpeg completely, recommend footpeg sliders for the track. Accelerating out of high speed turns (the last exit of one of the circuits is brutal with patchwork repairs of different types of asphalt and concrete right on the full power exit point) you need to be careful of bounce and flex it does not have race suspension and only has adjustable compression n the rear spring and no adjustment on the front but otherwise, at moderate speeds even under full throttle it is very forgiving if you get the line wrong and need to correct by letting off throttle on the corner and then putting the power back on.
Excellent suspension, when you get on the bike you will notice the suspension compresses easily both front and rear which gave me cause for concern however while riding I could feel the road beneath me which gave me a feeling of confidence while at the same time the bumps and holes in the road caused no discomfort, which is very important for me as I suffer from back injuries sustained over many years of racing and riding. The seat is par for course, no better or worse than any bike I have ridden..
The riding position is upright and as such some people may feel discomfort over longer distances from spine compression, however as stated before the suspension is very forgiving so that will be a mitigating factor. I have ridden up to 200km’s on one day and still had no discomfort in my back. The ride feels very spacious and comfortable, I am nearly 6ft, and am not comfortable on small bikes, full steering lock on scooters bruises my knees and the smallest bike I feel moderately ok on is a 400cc superports. This bike while smaller and less intimidating than the DRZ400 is still large enough to be comfortable. The controls are all convenient and well positioned with easy access while riding.
When riding at night I was amazed at how great the lights are great positioning and luminescence, very impressed. As is to be expected there is no storage space save a small notch next to the battery under the seat where the factory supplied tool pouch resides. I love letting motorists know where I am and to that end my GSXR1100 had a Yoshi race pipe that left unpleasant washing up to do when the “I didn’t see you there driver” HEARD me approach. No modification is required on this great noisy thumper, not super loud but loud enough that scooters and cars knew I was there and moved out of my way, a great safety factor.
The gauge is a digital job with bar and number tacho, speed and total distance readout with Lap timer, average speed, Trip distance and clock all accessed by a button near the right thumb, lights along the edges for the standard information include neutral, lights, high beam oil pressure/service and temperature. Backlit in Blue when the lights are on a nice touch. No fuel gauage.
I worked the clutch hard backing the bike into corners on the kart track and it is still going strong. As are the gears small motions get the gears selected with the solid click of a new gearbox giving you the feeling of a quality gearbox, when looking for first gear on most bikes I have owned you will feel that the you cannot select a further lower gear because the gear pedal will not depress again and so you know you have reached first however on this bike when you reach first gear the pedal will still depress to the same degree as if you were in any other higher gear so you get an ambiguous sensation and cannot be sure that you have reached 1st when stopped and looking for neutral.
I really like this bike its handling and power are competent of a 4-stroke 250, it is in a civil state of tune but can be easily modified with a carb change. The SM250 that’s been winning races here.... I met the rider the mechanic and rode the bike on the track....and...hells bells! That thing is freakin fast!!! Its all down to the $1000 Carburettor he put on the thing, he also removed the airbox and put on a European spec pipe, but his power comes from the carb (which he says is a bitch to keep correctly tuned), so no doubt his bike is thirsty as hell and warranty invalidated, but the potential in that motor is clear, helluva fast!! So when you think you have mastered the stock bike (which is no slouch) you still got a long way to go to unleash the monster beneath. He recommends for general use to put a different carb from the one he has that costs only around $165 and is less temperamental.
Basically for a 250cc Supermoto $3300 all in it’s a great city commuter as well as short distance touring bike that can have fun at the track using low revs so limiting engine abuse and with a quick swap of wheels you can have a great time off-road or on the beach. CPI has plans to provide the complete wheel assemblies at a discounted price for those that want to make 2 bikes out of one but this is nly to transform the SM to SX not vice versa.
The dealer said he anticipates very high demand locally as the bike has received recognition by being raced successfully as well as getting glamour appeal since a local star rides one. I will say that, in my opinion, this is terrific joy for the money.
Some points of interest:
Run-in limits from CPI engineers:
The recommended RPM limit is 8000RPM in run-in period, the suggested timing for gear changing is :
1st to 2nd : 20km/h
2nd to 3rd : 35km/h
3rd to 4th : 50km/h
4th to 5th : 70km/h
5th to 6th : 95km/h
The first service light comes on at 300k’s that’s for the first oil change, next one is at 1000 then 1000k oil changes after and oil filter change at 5000km.
Fuel consumption is claimed at 200km’s, reserve to reserve of 92 octane got me 118km’s on road riding and on the track got me 78km’s but have to refill after 70km’s or you get dry gulps from the carb when coming out of a corner after braking hard on the way in since the 1 litre of fuel you have left moves forward in the tank and the carb has no gas during the heavy braking period ..
I had a small crash and there is some damage on the right hand grip and the rear brake pedal which was pushed up and scratched the engine cover on that side,
But I am very impressed by the way the bike handled the fall without any big problem, I came into the pits kicked the brake pedal back down into position and went right on riding.
Also footpeg sliders are an absolute must have item to protect the footpegs for track use. I ate these footpegs up.