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CFMOTO ZFORCE Trail 950 2023: a powerful, versatile off-road vehicle

We recently took possession of the CFMOTO ZFORCE Trail 950 2023 side-by-side for a long-term trial lasting several months. First, we were very excited to test this manufacturer’s new chassis. Secondly, we were eager to see how CFMOTO had evolved.

If you’re not up to speed, take a look at our pre-ride analysis.

CFMOTO ZFORCE Trail 950 2023:

Since we’ve examined it from every direction and every angle, we can give you our first impressions of this newcomer for 2023.

Attention to detail:

We have to admit that CFMOTO has greatly improved the overall package compared to its predecessor, which is already almost 10 years old. We have to admit that they’ve learned from their mistakes and are offering us a much-improved vehicle.

Indeed, they’ve succeeded in terms of design. Its lines are modern, and CFMOTO has nothing to envy any manufacturer in this respect.

A digital dial in the right place!

Personally, your humble columnist isn’t a fan of centrally-placed digital dials. This new version, however, gives us a digital dial that’s easy to read and exactly where it’s supposed to be: right in front of the driver. What’s more, it adjusts in correlation with the steering wheel’s height for perfect accuracy according to the driver’s size and preference. What more could you ask for?

The indicator digits are more than appreciably large and unequivocal. The only drawback is the size of the set buttons on the left and the brightness adjustment on the right, which are just too small. I can’t imagine trying to adjust them with a glove in winter. In fact, I think the exercise would be quite simply inappropriate.

Would you like to tidy up? You bet!

The designers thought of designing 2 storage spaces at the front to easily store a multitude of things. Whether it’s your clothes or your lunch, there’s plenty of room for all your gear.

Nevertheless, the absence of a rubber seal leaves me wondering how watertight these trunks are. I don’t believe in their ability to completely prevent dust from finding its way in. An airtight bag designed for this purpose, available from any good outdoor store, is recommended, in my opinion, for valuables.

Trail dimensions to be taken lightly!

In our preconceived notion, we expected a width of 50 inches for this narrow version of the ZFORCE. This is both true and false. The 50-inch width indeed applies to the wheels.

Nevertheless, gallon to hand measure, we’ve determined that its actual width is 54 inches, taking into account the fender extensions. These standard additions offer good mud protection, but they need to be taken into consideration when passing through a cramped trail.

And much more … regarding its width:

A narrow version of a vehicle also indicates a predisposition to roll over more easily. It’s an obvious rule of physics!

I had to hold back a little to get to grips with it properly. However, I quickly gained confidence in this vehicle and its claims to stability.

If we compare it with the almost identical SPORT model (60″), the one we’re testing has 2″ less clearance. As a result, the lower center of gravity provides greater stability. On the other hand, a lower ground clearance means fewer obstacle-clearing opportunities. This Trail model sends shivers down our spines when we hear the underlying surface rubbing against pebbles on bumpy trails.

So, we have to take into account its narrowness advantage, which puts it at a disadvantage when overcoming tree trunks, rocks or any obstacle.

An engine with a response!

The 963-cc engine powering our test model is anything but boring. Passing maneuvers are excellent, and sometimes you have to hold back to exploit it even more.

The “Normal” mode saves money at the pump, while the “Sport” mode lights up the engine for even sportier driving. This engine is the perfect choice for this Trail version of CFMOTO’s ZFORCE. To ask for more would simply be overkill. It gives us everything we need in this respect.

One major omission…

I believe that all vehicles should be fitted with a handbrake. This ensures that the vehicle remains stationary whether parked or transported on a trailer. To my great disappointment, this vehicle has been exempted from this safety feature.

In conclusion, despite a few points of improvement, I feel that the CFMOTO ZFORCE Trail 950 2023 is already a good step forward compared to what this manufacturer has already offered us in the past. It’s fair to say that its future is flourishing and that its emergence is not about to be extinguished.

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