While big players Honda, Yamaha and Polaris are getting ready to pull the pin on the Australian quad bike market, CFMOTO is in the market for the long haul.
Its single cylinder, 184cc, four-stroke with electronic fuel injection -- a first for Honda on a farm bike -- starts instantly without the need to hunt for a choke, and it runs smoothly from the get go.
Started by push-button and backed up with a kick start, the motor has no ignition kill switch -- a godsend for the rider who forgets to turn off the ignition and so comes back to a flat battery.
A slick 5-speed transmission offers a speed for every occasion, with selection smooth and neutral easy to find.
Acceleration is smooth, without hesitation, even with a cold engine, and rider comfort is right up there, with a well sorted suspension -- tele-forks up front and a long travel mono rear swing arm that soaks up the roughest terrain.
A 20-inch wheel up front and 18-inch at the rear, fitted with off-road profile rubber, plug through the mud with ease; bringing things to a stop is the job of a front-end disc and rear drum set-up, both combining to deliver sure, safe stopping. That mud is kept under control by wide mudguards and oversized mud-flaps on both wheels.
Living with the XR190 day to day is easy, helped by the attention to detail of the Honda designers. A 12L fuel tank should last for a long day’s work, and heavy-duty front and rear racks offer 3kg and 20kg capacities, respectively, with the front unit also having a heavy spring to keep things secure
Mounting is a breeze with an 823mm seat height, and once aboard the wide comfortable seat pad delivers a comfortable ride. Parking up is by twin Big Foot side-stands that resist sinking into soft ground
For the operator, a clean, concise dial delivers machine and speed information, sensible lever guards protect the rider and the machine in the case of a tumble or fall over, and a broad beam halogen headlamp brightens the darkest mornings.
Importantly, the XR 190 seems to be geared just right, with tick-over in bottom gear being slow enough to follow a lethargic mob of cows back to the milking shed, without needing to slip the clutch.