CF MOTO Z6: Ready to play in the big leagues
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
The CF Moto Z6 is a sport-oriented side-by-side made to cut into the market created by the Polaris RZR. In fact, the Z6 is similar to the RZR in appearance, but it’s not fair to call it a clone. The Z6 has a distinctly different approach with a little more utility mixed into the sport recipe. It’s a different kind of machine, which is available with standard features like a winch and a towing capacity of 1500 pounds.
Suspension is surprisingly good. The 51-inch width allows the machine to fit on narrow trails but limits cornering to a conservative pace compared to a much wider RZR S.
CF Moto has been fighting that stigma for years. The company’s presence in the U.S. is relatively short, but it has a 30-year history of building motors for other companies—many in the marine industry. Now the U.S. arm of the company is headquartered near Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is working on building its reputation and its dealer network. We can say this much: there are no other companies selling the Z6 or any other CF Moto products under a different name. The company has worked with the EPA and California Air Resources Board to be fully compliant with U.S. law—that’s a big investment and shows that CF Moto plans on being around tomorrow.
The X6’s main attraction is value. For $8500, standard equipment includes a winch and alloy wheels. A roof and windshield also come stock but aren’t pictured.
The seats are well made and comfortable, but the backs have a little too much flex.On a hot day, the CF Moto steering wheel is sort of rubbery.
The CF Moto is a touch narrower than most UTVs, designed to fit easily in the back of a standard-bed pickup truck.
What really sets the Z6 apart is its list of standard features. It comes with a winch, 12-inch alloy wheels, premium CST tires, a mirror, a tilt steering wheel, four-point harnesses and full-height bucket seats. The price? $8500. That’s about $2500 less than a base-model RZR.
The winch has enough power to pull the X6 out of most ugly situations. A remote switch allows you to stand clear of danger while you control things.
The impression of quality is further driven home when you start the motor. It comes to life effortlessly and revs willingly. The fuel injection meters perfectly, even at altitude. In performance, the motor is about what it should be: a 600cc single. It compares well to a Yamaha 450 Rhino or even a Honda Big Red, and will out-accelerate either of those two. Top speed after a long stretch is just over 50 mph, regardless of wind direction. The motor’s output suffers by comparison to bigger machines like the 700cc Rhino or the 800cc RZR, as you might expect.
We can’t even fault the ride quality of the Z6. The suspension is surprisingly good on small impacts and bumps. You have to start slamming obstacles hard and fast before you start bottoming. When you need to back it down a notch, the brakes are excellent.
The standard alloy wheels look great, but there’s room for more rubber in those wheel wells.
It’s hard to call the Z6’s steering a true weak point because the machine turns well, but steering itself is sloppy. It takes a lot of steering-wheel rotation to make things happen, then you need to anticipate some correction if the Z6 starts to catch up to your input too quickly.
And finally, there are a few small faults that might require owner attention. The steering wheel has so much flex it feels as though it might break. And likewise, the seat backs are a little floppy and could use another attachment point.
Never heard of CF Moto? That’s OK, you will.
So far, we think they are doing everything right.
2011 CF MOTO Z6
Engine SOHC 4-valve,
Bore x stroke 96mm x 82mm
Final drive Shaft
Front Twin A-arm/9.5″ travel
Rear Twin A-arm/9.1″ travel
Brakes Four discs
Ground clearance 9.5″
Fuel capacity 7.1 gal.
Weight 992 lb.
Colors Red, Metallic Blue, yellow,
Metallic Gray, Pearl White,