CFMOTO ZFORCE 800 EX
CFMoto has been making motorcycle, ATV and UTV engines for the worldwide market for over 30 years, and the brand is growing with 420 dealers in the USA. We tested CFMoto’s all-new 2021 ZForce 950 Sport in January and the UForce 600 last month, but we saved the CFMoto ZForce 800 EX for last. We got to thoroughly test all three at ERX Motorsports Park, and the 800 EX impressed us the most.
WHAT’S A CFMOTO ZFORCE 800 EX?
The Z-Force 800 EX was introduced in 2015, and it’s one of four CFMoto sport UTV offerings for 2021. The 800 EX is the 60-inch version of the 50-inch 800 Trail. There is also a 50-inch 500 Trail. The Z-Force 800’s fuel-injected V-twin puts out an impressive 62 horsepower and 53 pound-feet of torque. The Z-Force also features a proven double A-arm suspension set up with 10.5 inches of travel and quality, fully adjustable shocks. For 2021, the 800 EX has a new front diff and brakes, and it comes in Pearl White, Athens Blue and Lava Orange.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The Z-Force 800 EX lists for $11,799. When introduced in 2015, it was $11,299 for the EPS version. Polaris’ 50-inch RZR 570 starts at $10,599, the RZR Trail 900 is $13,399, and the 60-inch RZR S 900 costs $14,999. Yamaha’s closest offering is the Wolverine R-Spec X2 850 at $14,499. Can-Am’s Commander 800 DPS is $12,299.
WHAT ARE THE STANDARD FEATURES?
The 800 EX is equipped like Limited or Special Editions of other brands. It comes standard with variable-assist EPS, a 3000-pound winch, tilt steering with keyed steering lock, digital dash with large bar-type fuel and engine temp gauges, LED headlight accents and high-intensity projector-beam headlights, a roof, quarter doors with inner liners, two-tone bucket seats, side-view mirrors, a horn, 26-inch CST Abuzz tires on two-tone spoke aluminum wheels, under-hood storage, and a 2-inch receiver.
HOW IS THE ZFORCE POWER?
It’s peppy but not overpowering. On ERX Motorsports Park’s woods course, we preferred the 800’s smoother power over the 950 Sport’s, as we could cut faster lap times. The 800 doesn’t overpower the suspension, and it predictably powers out of turns in controlled slides, even in 2WD. The 800 EX does a respectable 60 mph in High and 37 mph in Low, which is all you need in eastern woods.
WHAT ABOUT 4X4 DELIVERY?
It’s also excellent. The CVT-Tech drive and driven clutches engage quickly yet smoothly, and the clutch matches the EFI throttle map for smooth, controlled acceleration. The range selector is pretty slick, and the Engine Braking System helps set up drifts into turns. The 2WD/4WD/diff-lock switch is old-school Rhino, but orders are carried out quickly. We had no issues with the new front diff, either.
HOW IS THE SUSPENSION?
It’s surprisingly good. The piggyback shocks have adjustable compression and rebound, plus threaded preload adjusters. Damping and spring rates are very good, and our test unit had compression set at eight clicks out, about midway through available adjustments. Ride quality over trail garbage is good, and the shocks soak up big braking bumps and whoops well. The front and rear sway bars fight body roll yet allow squat for hookup exiting turns. It feels like it has more than 10.5 inches of travel in undulating woods trails.
WHAT ABOUT THE HANDLING?
It’s excellent. The 800 EX is very agile in tight woods yet is very stable at higher speeds, even on off-camber hills and turns. Its 80-inch wheelbase is 10 inches shorter than the 950 Sport, so it snakes through the trees with abandon. The nimble handling is complemented with great EPS assist, and the CST Abuzz tires work great in eastern-woods loam and mud. It feels very light, nimble and balanced.
HOW ABOUT THE BRAKES?
Really strong. We weren’t that impressed with the original brakes in 2015, but the new brakes are impressive. The perforated rotors aren’t the largest, but the calipers on all four corners are strong and have great feel at the pedal. EBS and a parking brake back up the hydraulics, and the Abuzz meats have great stopping traction.
HOW ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
Creature comforts are mostly good. The molded steering wheel is nice with thumb nubs, and the lock deters theft. The seats are very comfortable and provide security in the cockpit, although they require an Allen wrench to adjust. Riders 6 feet tall and above will feel cramped. The doors with inner liners are nice, as they provide security and quick entrance or egress. Shoulder-bolster loops also add security. Although the dash has old-school switches, the digital instrument panel is easy to read at speed. The passenger grab bar is nice with thick padding, although it also needs tools to adjust. The glove box is fairly large and has a secure rubber-strap closure. Side-view mirrors are large and fold to prevent breakage in tight woods. Two cup holders are on the console, so they tend to heat drinks, and two large loops on the cage also aid getting in and out. The roof is nice and channels rain water, but it vibrated against the cage in back.
WHAT’S OUR FINAL ANSWER?
We liked the ZForce 800 EX in 2015, and the refinements made to the 2021 make it even more fun to drive and derby through the woods. Power, delivery, suspension, handling, brakes and traction all come together to make the 800 EX super fun to drive. It’s well-equipped and has great build quality, and the muffler has a throaty growl. While it’s old-school like the original RZR 800, the ZForce 800 EX is a tight package at a great price.
CFMOTO ZFORCE 800 EX 4X4
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, 4-stroke, V-twin
Bore x stroke 91mm x 61.5mm
Compression ratio 10.3:1
Lubrication system Wet sump
Additional cooling Auto fan
Induction Electronic DELPHI Injection
Starting procedure Turn ignition switch
Air filter type Paper pleat
Access Tool-less, undo 6 clips
Transmission CVT-Tech dual-range w/ EBS
Reverse procedure Move range selector to “R”
Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD/diff lock
Final drives Shafts
Fuel capacity 6.5 gals
Overall length/width/height 113”/60”/72”
Ground clearance 11.8”
Claimed curb weight 1,322 lb.
Bed weight limit 220 lb.
Hitch mount Yes
Towing limit 1,100 lb.
Frame Steel square tube
Front Dual A-arm w/comp. & Rebound & prel.-adj.
Rear IRS A-arm w/ comp. & rebound & prel.-adj.
Front AT 26×9-14 CST Abuzz 6-ply
Rear AT 26×11-14 CST Abuzz 6-ply
Front Black aluminum 14×7
Rear .Black aluminum 14×8
DC outlet Console
Front LED headlights
Rear Dual brake/tail lights, Hazards, Flashers
gear/clock/2WD-4WD, temp/low voltage &
oil level indicator lights
Colors Peral White, Athens Blue, Lava Orange
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $10,499
See UTV Action’s full test on the CFMoto Zforce 950 Sport here: https://utvactionmag.com/2021-cfmoto-zforce-950/