There's no denying that mini-bikes rule. There's just something about these little two-wheelers that just exudes unadulterated fun. Bikes like the Honda Grom and Kawasaki Z125 Pro are loved not only by beginners thanks to their accessibility, but by seasoned riders looking for a fun little toy to hoon around in.
Lately, there have been a number of new mini-bikes from up and coming manufacturers. A big chunk of which come from Chinese brand CFMoto, under its Papio range of mini-bikes. It all started with the ST Papio 125, a bike you could consider as a knock-off Honda Grom. Indeed, its styling and performance seem to have been lifted directly off Big Red's little stunter. However, more recent iterations of the Papio have clearly taken on a completely different approach.
We previously talked about the Papio XO-1, a gorgeous little cafe-racer built on the same platform as the ST Papio. Here, the mini-bike loses its aggressive naked bike styling, and gets retro-themed race bike aesthetics including a half-fairing, clip-on bars, and a very '80s tail section. Its asymmetrical headlight design forms the letters "X" and "O" further adding to the bike's fun-loving nature.
Having said that, CFMoto shows no signs of slowing down with its Papio model range, as it has just pulled the covers off the latest version, the XO-2. Just like the XO-1, the XO-2 is also built around a neo-retro approach. It gets a similar dual headlight but ditches the half-fairing for a more scrambler-like aesthetic. It also rolls on burly knobby tires shod on small alloy wheels, and it gets an inverted front fork and preload-adjustable rear monoshock.
Performance-wise, the Papio is sure to be a hoot to ride. Like its two older siblings, the XO-2 is packing a 126cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine with 9.4 horsepower on tap. It gets a six-speed manual gearbox, giving it a top speed of 56 miles per hour.
As of this writing, CFMoto offers the Papio XO series exclusively in China. However, the manufacturer is expected to announce global availability of this model this summer. That being said, I already have space in my garage to accommodate this little retro bike, so I, along with a lot of other riders I presume, are waiting with bated breath for the global release of this bike.