Geared up for the farm
by Andy Bryenton
The side-by-side all-purpose vehicle has filled the gap between the quad bike and the full-sized ute on Kiwi farms so well that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. Now, as a whole new farming year kicks off with Gypsy day on June 1, there’s plenty of rural folks in the market for something which is even more finely-tuned to fit that niche.
Original side-by-sides came down to farming from the world of hunting, but were easily and quickly adapted to their new role.
The easiest way to do this was to talk to the people using them, who universally demanded more off-the-beaten-track abilities, such as improved ride height, steeper attack angles for fording streams and tackling rugged ground and carrying capacity to take all the tools necessary for farm jobs along with you.
This has been the genesis of the CFMoto U800 EPS Farm Spec — a combination of the best parts brought together to create something more than the sum of them. Like the Ford Cobra or GT40, it’s an international collaboration — though there’s probably room for some McLaren in that mix as well because this side-by-side is focussed heavily on New Zealand.
This explains the weatherproof nature of the beast, with its tough, shatterproof windscreen, hefty, roofed roof cage to meet ROPS standards and tons of grip for in the mud, thanks to independent A-arm suspension and serious four-wheel-drive capabilities, including a front diff-lock. Power still comes from CFMoto’s tried and true 800cc V-twin but is delivered to potentially all four wheels via a Canadian sourced ‘bulletproof’ CVT transmission system, getting the maximum amount of power to the ground in any situation.
That’s a good thing, because our farming terrain may be picturesque, but it’s in many ways tougher than Aussie’s dry and dusty outback. A front-mounted winch and plenty of ground clearance help the CFMoto U800 EPS Farm Spec get out of tight spots, while the whole package has been designed to be easy to maintain, easy to water blast clean, and simple to operate. A big, high-capacity tipping tray with a gas assist sits in back ready to tote the tools of the trade. All in all, this is a farming companion as well-bred for its task as the ubiquitous border collie sheepdog.
For those looking to start the season — and brave the winter — behind the wheel of something new, this CFMoto with plenty of grunt and nimble power steering might just be the perfect fit.