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Written By: 
John Arens
No doubt you’ve been hearing more and more about a brand called CFMOTO. Globally they’re one of the top brands in sales of ATVs and Side x Sides thanks to a continually evolving lineup and pricing that can’t be ignored, and they’re rapidly gaining market share in North America. A recent trip to Minneapolis gave us a chance to catch up with the CFMOTO crew and spend a few days on the trail with the new lineup. Our focus was the 2024 CFMOTO ZFORCE 950 SPORT, a powerful, sporty, and versatile all-new Side x Side we couldn’t wait to try. We were not disappointed! MEET THE MINNESOTA TEAM Before you can improve anything you first have to know the customers intended use. Brands such as Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, etc. realized this years ago and created design teams here. Thanks to Polaris, Arctic Cat, and various aftermarket companies, Minnesota is chock full of powersports talent, and by locating their headquarters there CFMOTO was able to draw from a large pool of engineers and product specialists who are able to immediately contribute to any new product. That was a huge step forward for product development. CFMOTO also recently moved into an enormous new headquarters, making them the third major powersports OEM in the Minneapolis area. If you’re thinking this is all a cozy arrangement geographically, it gets better than that! After a self-guided drive through the industrial park to see what type of manufacturing the neighbors were up to, we stumbled onto the Polaris Corporate headquarters on the other side of the park! It should make for interesting conversation at the neighborhood BBQ. A NEW TRAIL FORCE – THE ZFORCE 950 SPORT SIDE x SIDE The ZFORCE 950 SPORT fits nicely between the ZFORCE 800 TRAIL and the ZFORCE 950 H.O. At 60” wide it fills a hole in the ZFORCE lineup and even though it has a couple less horsepower than the 950 H.O. model it would be our pick when heading out for a weekend adventure. There is a long list of outstanding standard features, but the biggest advantage is updated styling and a 2nd generation chassis. Some of the best features of the 2024 ZFORCE 950 SPORT include: • UPDATED BODY STYLING – Updated bodywork looks and performs great • POWERFUL 963cc, V-TWIN ENGINE – Class leading power mated to a smooth shifting transmission. • EXCELLENT GROUND CLEARANCE and HIGHLY ADJUSTABLE SUSPENSION • STYLISH CAB INTERIOR - ERGONOMICALLY FRIENDLY – Its comfortable, functional, and very nicely done. • EXCELLENT, LARGE STORAGE AREAS – Sealed storage bins inside and out • EASY ACCESS PANELS FOR MAINTENANCE TASKS – Makes upkeep easy! • LED LIGHTS and TAIL LIGHTS – Improved visibility for after-hours rides. • HUGE VALUE FOR THE PRICE – Accessorized right from the factory. CFMOTO STYLING – BEAUTY and FUNCTION We really like the bodywork of the 950 Sport. It’s bold, sporty, highly durable, and easily protects the riders and chassis components. It also fits very well. Seams between panels are tight, and it resists scratches but is also pliable enough to bend without easily cracking. You can scruff it against branches or cake it with heavy mud and it will still make it back to camp. CFMOTO gives the 950 SPORT a full width steel tube bumper at the front and a smaller tube bumper at the rear and they do a good job of protecting vital chassis components. If you need additional protection a more robust bumper and side nerf bars are available. We really like the LED lights at both ends, and inset accent panels compliment the sporty look. COMFORT CAB – A TOUCH OF CLASS The cab interior of the 2024 ZFORCE 950 SPORT marks an enormous step forward in CFMOTO design. It’s very automotive like in layout and quality. The dash flows nicely and doesn’t intrude on your knees, and there are TWO good sized sealed storage bins. Controls are placed within easy reach, and there are multiple knockout spaces for accessory switches. Lighted switches would be nice for night rides, but there is a long, blue, glowing accent piece embedded in the dash as if Luke Skywalker left his light saber there. It’s cool! Down below there is ample room for your feet, and the textured floor helps hold your boots in place, along with the angled foot rests. The distance between pedals is good, and the pedals are at a comfortable angle. We LOVE the adjustable seats that are slightly larger for your pizza bloated hide, and they not only look great but are very comfortable. We’re also especially fond of the flat-bottomed, adjustable steering wheel. The inset pieces again give the 950 SPORT a look of luxury and class. Just ahead of the wheel is a beautiful, multi-color display that’s easy to read on the trail. Head room is very good, but our favorite feature about the cab interior is the doors. CFMOTO really got this part right! The doors on the ZFORCE 950 SPORT should be sent to every OEM design department. They close and fit perfectly, but they were also designed for excellent ergonomics. Automotive styling teams never include sharp corners on surfaces that contact the occupants. The reason is, sharp corners quickly become annoying as they wedge their way into your body parts. Remember the last time you were in a RZR and tried to rest your elbow on the top door edge? No doubt you were soon looking for either a pool noodle and duct tape, or a SawzAll to fix the problem. The CFMOTO engineers used a generous radius on all edges, and the result is a surface that is textured beautifully and flows smoothly across all panels. They nailed it! CHASSIS and SUSPENSION The 2024 ZFORCE 950 SPORT is built on CFMOTOS generation 2 chassis and features a steel frame with dual A-arms at every corner. The shocks are preload and rebound adjustable, with a three-position style clicker similar to FOX QS3 shocks. We feel the shocks were a bit spongy and too soft for aggressive driving in the stock setting, and by clicking them to the fully firm position the ride was improved. Revalving them and possibly changing the springs might be the better long-term solution. No doubt aftermarket companies like BANDIT SUSPENSION ( will soon have upgrades available. Getting the power to the ground are 27” CST STAG tires on sharp looking 14” wheels, and Electronic Power Steering is calibrated to provide just enough assist to make steering easy, and to take up any shock loads from impacts. Finally, although the 950 SPORT is meant for serious recreation a handy hitch at the rear is ready to haul a trailer. ENGINE and TRANSMISSION DETAILS The 2024 ZFORCE 950 SPORT engine is a liquid cooled, 963cc, eight valve SOHC V-Twin fed by a BOSCH EFI system. It delivers 85 hp at just under 8000 rpms, which is equal to or exceeds anything in the class. We appreciate the dual power modes, and you can choose between SPORT or NORMAL mode from a switch on the dash. For technical, tight, or rocky terrain NORMAL mode can smooth out the power delivery, but when you have open trail flip it into SPORT and let it run! Shifting gears is very smooth on the 950 SPORT. The CVTECH clutch responds very well to throttle input and it engages aggressively, but also smoothly with no jerky feeling. The 950 SPORT gets up to speed quickly, and when you let off the throttle back shifting is very good as well. Overall, the engine power is well matched to the chassis. Thankfully, maintenance was considered with the new 950 SPORT. Multiple panels with ¼ turn fasteners can be removed in seconds, allowing for easy access to regular maintenance areas. Great idea! TIME TO RIDE – THE FUN PART! Climbing into the comfy seats of the ZFORCE 950 SPORT was easy. The doors provide ample room, and the seat belt snicked into place without digging into our neck. With a flip of the key the engine delivered a healthy, steady rumble and we slipped the shifter into HIGH gear. A stab at the throttle pushed us back in the seat and we were off! The 950 SPORT engine and transmission responds very well to throttle input. As we darted through the woods trails we immediately noticed it’s extremely stable, yet still nimble feeling. It feels light and you can put it anywhere on the trail and it will hold its line. It was a blast twisting through the trees, and the center mounted digital display is easy to read at speed. There is very little feel of body roll from the 60” wide chassis, and the tires did a good job of finding traction on the terrain which was a combination of sandy berms, loamy clay trails, and rocks. The EPS system is also calibrated nicely to assist with steering effort but we also really like how it doesn’t take away feel of the trail. We mostly left the engine in SPORT mode, and when we had open trail our top speed was just north of 75 mph. Even at top speed it still felt very stable and confidence inspiring. We also appreciate how sight lines over the hood are very good and you can see the trail ahead and alongside the vehicle. Ride quality, handling, and performance of the 2024 ZFORCE 950 SPORT is up to the quality of its appearance and construction! We had a blast testing the performance and trying to find the limits of the ZFORCE 950 SPORT. We never did, but we’ll happily take one out anytime! ALL THE EXTRAS You can’t ignore the standard features CFMOTO equips many of their models with. Parts that are considered accessories on nearly every other brand are included on many CFMOTO ATVs and Side x Sides. The 950 SPORT gets a list of added-value features including a roof, fender flares, a winch, wheel well enclosures that keep mud out of the chassis, and a massive, incredibly nice sealed rear storage box. A NEW 4-SEATER – THE ZFORCE 950 Sport 4 Four-seat models are a big part of the market and the new 2024 ZFORCE 950 Sport 4 will be hard to ignore. The chassis is a little longer than the 2-seat 950 Sport, but it comes with all of the 950’s best features including a beautiful cab interior. It also gets a shock upgrade! The shocks are preload and compression adjustable, but also feature dual rate springs, and instead of the 3 adjustment positions of the 2-seat 950, these units offer 7 positions. Assuming these shocks are designed for the extra 300lbs of the 4-seat chassis, it would be a good test to bolt them onto the 2-seat unit. It might improve the spongy feeling, and it definitely offers more adjustability. Overall, the 950 SPORT 4 is a fantastic looking unit at the reasonable price of $18,299. THE TEAM DELIVERED! The 2024 CFMOTO ZFORCE 950 SPORT is a highly impressive Side x Side. It represents thoughtful, creative design and excellent work at all levels. There’s little doubt the experience of the Minnesota development team has played a major role in upgrading all aspects of the Generation 2 CFMOTO Side x Sides and ATVs. The ZFORCE 950 SPORT is exactly why the team was assembled, and the result they are capable of. It’s packed with performance and value-added features in a highly capable package. Great job CFMOTO! 2024 ZFORCE 950 SPORT specs Engine: 963cc, SOHC, Liquid-cooled, V-twin with Bosch fuel injection Transmission: Continuously Variable transmission with High, Low, Neutral, Reverse, Park Final drive: Selectable 2WD/AWD/4WD with locking front differential. Shaft drive Steering: Speed and force sensitive Electronic Power Steering Suspension F & R: Dual A-arms with High pressure gas shocks w/ piggyback reservoir, 3-position compression adjustable Tires: 27 x 9-R14 CST Stag – Front, 27 x 11-R14 CST Stag - Rear Brakes F & R: Hydraulic disc with parking brake Ground clearance: 12 in. L x W x H: 121 in x 60 in x 74 in. Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs. Curb weight: 1,433 lbs. Fuel capacity: 9.8 gal Instruments: Multi-function display includes digital speedometer, fuel gauge, odometer, hour meter, clock, trip meters, 2WD/4WD indicator, water temperature warning indicator, oil pressure warning indicator, gear indicator, seatbelt reminder lamps Warranty: 1 Year factory warranty MSRP: $15,299

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