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ATV Adventures: Product review – CFMoto ZForce 950 Sport 4

By Lynn Blamires - Special to the Standard-Examiner | May 23, 2024
1 / 3
2 / 3
The cockpit is roomy and the instrument cluster is informative and easy to read.
3 / 3
Lynn Blamires

Having reviewed other CFMoto OHVs, they are getting better with every new model I have taken out on the trail. Nick Faulkner with Young Powersports provided a 2024 CFMoto ZForce 950 Sport 4 and we took it for a ride.

This is the first four-passenger model in the CFMoto line and Nick wanted a trail test to help him answer customer questions. We chose the Grassy Mountain Trails off the Aragonite exit on Interstate 80 west of Delle.

I did a walk around this machine before we got it dirty. This model color is called “Nebula Black.” It has white markings with orange accents and presents a sharp, clean look. It has full doors and a rear cargo box lid to block dust.

The tires are 27-inch Stagg brand radials on bead-lock cast aluminum alloy wheels. It looks like it can handle much larger tires. A hard top is also standard equipment along with a 4,500-pound winch. The headlights are LED and the tail lights come with built-in backup lights.

Folding my long legs into the cockpit was a little bit of a challenge, but once I was in, the cabin was comfortable. The LCD instrument cluster gives fingertip access to monitor 12 vital functions. The dashboard has plenty of blanks to add popular electronic devices and a 12-volt outlet for portable accessories. There was also a large glove box with a lid instead of a door.

A drive-mode switch in the middle of the dashboard caught my attention. It was marked “normal” and “sport.” The normal setting is designed for negotiating technical trail sections while the sport mode is used for more aggressive riding. The steering wheel has a flat side at the bottom and has a sporty feel.

It was time to see what it would do on the trail. I fastened the three-point seat belt and turned the ignition key. The ZForce 950 has a rear-engine design. It is powered by a 963cc V-twin SOHC engine with eight valves that give off a throaty tone. I released the hand brake and we left the noise behind. This machine has a hand brake and a parking position on the transmission.

The combination of electronic throttle and power steering makes the ZForce responsive and fun. Because the suspension includes high-pressure gas adjustable shocks with piggyback reservoirs, trailing arms in the rear and arched dual a-arms up front, it has a buttery smooth ride. The 12-inch ground clearance could be enhanced with larger tires.

The 950 has a wheelbase of 120 inches and an overall length of 151 inches, which is 3 inches longer on both counts than a Polaris RZR 4 XP 1000. However, it didn’t feel long and the turning radius is good.

I rode a track in the Grassy Mountains last year so I thought I had seen what she had to offer. While we covered some of the same trails, it felt like a different ride. We followed trails into the foothills and rode into canyons I hadn’t seen before.

Some of these trails had not seen much traffic and appeared faint but easy to follow. The trail took some steep climbs that the ZForce 950 took with ease. Shifting from low to high-range going in and out of four-wheel drive was smooth.

The wildflowers were out in their early spring stages and the mountains were flush with a blanket of green. The temperatures were perfect for a ride.

One problem I noticed was when I relaxed, my leg leaned against the shift lever and I knocked it into neutral. Another dilemma I encountered is that the cup holders aren’t large enough to handle the popular 40-ounce mugs.

We came onto some trails on the north side of this system near the government bombing range. These trails were fast and curvy. The ZForce was extra fun through this section. I would say that the “Z” stands for “zippy.”

We got back to our staging area finishing a ride of 61 miles. It was a good test for the CFMoto.

One of the best features of this machine is the price point. With all of its standard features, compared to the Polaris RZR XP 4 1000, it is $6,700 less at $18,299. It also comes with a one-year warranty, which is better than the industry standard. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and consider the CFMoto ZForce 950 Sport 4. There is a lot of bang for your buck here.

Contact Lynn R. Blamires at quadmanone@gmail.com.


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