2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review

2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review


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It is clear that CFMOTO has not just renewed its flagship unit for the fun of it. We were very surprised by the new generation of CFORCE machines – the CFORCE XC 800 and its big brother, the CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS. The 2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS, developed on the same platform as the XC 800, represents the third generation of this ATV in a decade, and CFMOTO isn’t playing around.

We were able to get our hands on the CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS thanks to Réal Dorval from Motomaniac in Montmagny, Qc. We want to thank him for not only supplying the machine, but also equipping the CFORCE with optional WindZone equipment from the CFMOTO accessories catalog, such as cargo box, windshield, heated thumb throttle and grips, and fender extenders. “We have to promote the riding experience with the machine,” he said. Good idea, Réal. We couldn’t agree more.

Setting a position in the market

The CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS does not go half in. Not at all.Just based on dimensions (2,395 mm long, 1,264 mm wide and 1,420 mm high), the CFORCE is at the very top of the two-seat ATV category. It’s much more than dimensions, though. Visually, the CFORCE gets a more modern design than the previous generation. The new design is striking, yet it still defines a visual identity very specific to CFMOTO. 

2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review
2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review

Sitting on 14-inch aluminum rims placed at the four corners, it is visually imposing. Its large front grille is framed by projector-type headlights that are underlined by a strip of white LEDs that are permanently lit. Under the grille, there is a nice tubular bumper that will take decent impacts. The vehicle is equipped with a raised passenger seat. CFMOTO is the fourth manufacturer to market a two-seater ATV, along with Polaris, Arctic Cat and BRP.

The LX version we tested is very generously equipped, and according to the manufacturer, it brings an added value of $3000. Our test unit was delivered with a 3000lb. winch, adjustable gas suspension, integrated flasher indicators, a horn, a trailer hitch at the rear with a wire harness to connect a trailer, and 12V and USB power outlets.

Body and finish

CFMOTO takes the necessary steps to present a vehicle that looks as good as any of the competition. The plastics have a very solid gray metallic paint, which proved durable, in particular by resisting scratches. CFMOTO has done a remarkable job of integrating the vehicle’s LED lights and headlights into the design of the plastic. Since its beginnings in Canada, CFMOTO has always equipped its vehicles with turn signals and horns. With the increasing ATV circulation on public roads, in my opinion, this equipment should be standard on all ATVs sold in Canada. It just makes riding safer, which is something we can all get behind.

2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review
2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review

On the storage side, the CFORCE is equipped with a cargo rack at the front, which houses the access hatch to the usual engine maintenance stuff (battery, radiator cap, cooling fluid tank). At the rear, behind the passenger seat, there is a good size cargo rack under which is fitted a waterproof box accessible from the rear. There’s even room to store the hitch ball and wire harness to connect a trailer. That’s a lot of cargo space for a two-seat ATV.

Additionally, the engine itself is shrouded behind plastic panels. We didn’t experience the heat coming off the engine. The large fenders and the good-sized footrests provide very good protection against splashes as well. The lines are good both functionally and visually. Nice touch!

Ergonomics, instrumentation, and lighting

The riding position is high and the gas tank shape provides space for the rider to grip with his/her knees, a bit like a sport motorcycle. Unfortunately, the location of the gear selector pushes your knee out and it can really annoy taller riders who can bump the shifter. It can become painful over the kilometers. If you keep that in mind, there is enough space for the tall rider though. The distance ratios between the seat, the footrests and the handlebars are all quite good otherwise. The thickness of the seat padding provides the right level of comfort for all-day riding without fatigue. 

As for the passenger, the seat and backrest are designed with side cushions and some additional padding between the legs to prevent the passenger from sliding forward. The thickness of the seat upholstery is very generous and, combined with the presence of raised footrests and handles that offer a comfortable grip, the passenger will enjoy the ride.

2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 Review
2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 Review

Upfront, the monochrome liquid crystal instrumentation cluster is backlit and located on the front body panel, independent of the handlebars. The indicator is clearly visible while driving and the provided information is abundant and very legible.

A word on the effectiveness of headlights at night. The power of the beams is very good, but the horizontal position of the light beam is very sharply defined. That is, the high beams are bright and reach far, but it keeps a dark area close to the vehicle. On the other hand, the low beam is wide and very close upfront. We end up playing with the Hi/Lo switch to position the light beam where needed depending on the bumps and slopes in front of us, but an easy fix would be to install an auxiliary LED bar.

Power and handling

The new generation of CFORCE offers two 90-degree V-twin engines – an 800cc developing 65hp and 53lb/ft of torque, and a second engine that we tested with 963cc pumping out 74hp and 58lb/ft. Both engines have 4 valves per cylinder, are liquid-cooled and are powered by an electronic fuel injection system from the US equipment manufacturer Delphi. Power is transmitted to the wheels via an automatic CVT-type transmission from CV-Tech IBC, a name that guarantees quality and good performance in our experience.

Both engines provide more than adequate acceleration performance and fully available power throughout the range thanks to the transmission, which works hand-in-hand with the motor. The transmissions of these vehicles are calibrated to run at a good speed. During a standing start, the 800 engine will tear off very well, but it will feel more comfortable at about 50 km/h and up. As for the 1000cc, it exploded with power from the start and will push you up to more than 100 km/h. For those who find it important, we reached a top speed of 118 km/h with the 800, and 129 km/h with the 1000. In short, the power is not a problem with V-twin engines from CFMOTO.

2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review
2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review

The independent suspension on all four wheels of the CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 comes from double wishbones with coil-over gas shock absorbers. These shocks make a big impact, no pun intended. When hammering the trail initially, we found that the ATV skipped and hopped around, which had us pulling over for adjustments in short order. After a few turns of the shock absorber adjustment knobs, the behavior of the vehicle calmed down and felt much better. The suspension absorbed bumps and kept the wheels securely on the ground with good manners, proving that setup is important for every rider. Once set up, the superbly controlled handling gave us confidence in the reactions of the vehicle on the trail. Combined with the good performance of the 14 inch CST Abuzz tires that fit the vehicle and the well-calibrated power steering, we were surprised to ride this vehicle so fast. Really, the performance of this ATV pushes it toward best in its category. Yes, we said it!

On a side note, CFMOTO has finally corrected the deficient braking of its old models. The brakes on the CFMOTO 1000 are powerful and will stop the vehicle very effectively. In addition, the front of the vehicle will not dive excessively during emergency braking. Unfortunately, during technical maneuvers at low speed, the ATV is always afflicted with too large a turning radius, which greatly affects its maneuverability in tight environments. My buddies in the Can-AM Defender that was with me did much better than I did. This is actually the vehicle’s biggest problem and something to keep in mind.

2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review
2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review

The ATV has a 4×4 system that can be electrically disengaged on the fly with a switch on the handlebar. It is possible to electrically lock the front differential using the same switch and also fully lock all four wheels to obtain maximum traction. Faced with a deep mud hole, the traction system worked effectively, because even if the ATV sank in the mud, it got out of this bad situation on its own. On snowy and slippery surfaces, the system works very well, greatly helped by the CST Abuzz tires, which remain flexible in the cold.

A word on the Windzone accessories supplied with the ATV. First of all, the rear trunk has a large capacity and perfectly fills the available space on the rack. The plastic has a good thickness and a rubber bead seals the trunk against dust and water. The windshield is made to fit the CFORCE perfectly and is available in the same color as the vehicle body. The glass does not distort the sight and is strong enough to support the mirrors without adding unwanted vibrations. When riding in the cold, this was a huge advantage.

Reliability and value for money

Here is the real question. Is this a good deal or a financial abyss? Regarding reliability, we know that CFMOTO is in its third generation with the CFORCE. First, there was the poor Moose 500, then the Terralander 800, which appeared in 2012 that did much better, and the CFORCE 850 XC, which was introduced last year. This manufacturer is serious about improving its products and it shows when you look at the construction of the vehicle. The quality of the components is there and sometimes even surpasses that of established brands with things like the size of the battery, the Sumitomo sealed electrical connectors and the quality of the wiring in general. Add in the suspension, the effective control of noise and vibrations in the functioning of the vehicle and you’ve got a great machine.

2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review
2020 CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS Review

With the old Terralander / CFORCE 800, very few horror stories leaked out on the web about quality and other problems in the first few kilometers. It is therefore plausible to believe that with the new generation, assembly quality control will be even tighter and probably at the level of the industry average.

If we talk about the financial side, the retail price suggested by CFMOTO is about $4,000 less than a comparable vehicle with gas suspension (apart from CFMOTO, only Can-Am offers gas suspensions on two-seat ATVs). However, in the event of an exchange or resale, the vehicle’s depreciation will be much higher than with a recognized brand. What does that mean in real dollars? If we compare the MSRP of 4 models of two-seat ATVs available in 2014 vs their current value that can be found on the web (classified ads),it looks like this:

Model MSRP 2014 2020 Market price % depreciation Depreciation value $
CFMOTO CFORCE 800 $11200 $5000 55% $6200
Cam Am Outlander 1000 LTD $17000 $13000 24% $4000
Polaris 850 XP Touring LE $14200 $8450 40% $5750
Arctic Cat TRV 1000 LTD $14700 $8000 46% $6700

CFMOTO has the highest percentage of depreciation, but in absolute value in dollars, it is at about the same level as Polaris or Arctic Cat. So is CFMOTO really a financial pit? I will let you judge.

In summary

The CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS is a refined ATV that now is comparable regarding its trail handling and general performance. We tested the CFORCE 800 in 2014 and we said at that time, “There is very little missing so that it is really positioned at the same level as the best units. What is missing is the perception of overall quality that one perceives through the small details. For example, in this case: better control of engine noise, better control of engine vibration in the handlebars and footrests, better calibration of the power steering settings. There is very little left for the manufacturer to do.”

We have to admit, CFMOTO has raised its vehicle to the next level because these little irritants have been completely erased in the new version. Let it be said, the CFORCE 800 XC EPS and CFMOTO CFORCE 1000 EPS are now at the level of the best. End of discussion.

For more information on the CFMOTO CFORCE 1000, please visit: cfmoto.ca