At EICMA 2021, Chinese motorcycle manufacturer CFMoto showcased a sportbike concept that surely caught the attention of onlookers, both in person and online. It was called the SR-C21 concept, and it was by far one of the most radical sportbike concepts to roll out of the Chinese company’s design studio. Back then, CFMoto didn’t reveal anything about the bike other than what could be seen with the naked eye.
Naturally, this led to speculation as to what exactly could be beneath this machine’s fairings. CFMoto did say, however, that I would have an engine of at least 400cc. Given the bike’s ultra sleek looks, premium SC Project exhaust system, and Brembo braking components, it was expected that this bike would have quite a bit of firepower on display. On top of this, CFMoto’s partnership with KTM meant that it now owned the rights to the 800cc LC8 V-twin—an engine found in the CFMoto 800MT, and the recently unveiled limited edition KTM RC 8C supersport.
Now, details on the CFMoto SR-C21 have come to surface after it was spotted testing in China. Unsurprisingly, it seems to have lost a lot of its premium features, at least in its test-mule stage. As is the case with most concept bikes that make it to production, things get watered down, and so, too, does the SR-C21. For instance, the test mule no longer has the twin under-tail SC Project exhaust system. Instead, it features a more conventional breadbox situated at the right side of the bike. Gone, too, it seems, are the dual Brembo brakes up front. In their stead lies a single disc similar to what we see in its smaller sibling, the 300SR.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the SR-C21 is that it won’t be equipped with the LC8 800cc motor. Instead, it gets a modest 450cc parallel-twin engine, kind of anticlimactic especially given how much aerodynamic bits and pieces are on display. Granted, this bike wasn’t likely ever meant to be a player in the large-displacement hypersport segment, but rather, a premium, mid-capacity sportbike to go against the likes of the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and Honda CBR500R.