CFMoto expands its range with the 450NK
Ever since CFMoto launched the 450SR sportbike with the brand new, in-house 449cc parallel-twin engine, it was clear that more models with the same engine would follow. Now the first of those models has surfaced: a naked bike that could be an enticing offering in the mid-range.
The upcoming CFMoto 450NK has yet to be officially unveiled, but it has surfaced in new Chinese type-approval documents that include a photo of the finished motorcycle ready for sale. Unsurprisingly, it shares more than just its engine with the 450SR (450SS in the U.S.) and also adopts the sport bike’s chassis, suspension and parts of the fairing. In essence, the 450NK is a competitor to Kawasaki’s Z400, while the 450SR goes head-to-head with the Ninja 400.
Performance and features of the new CFMoto 450NK
Performance-wise, the 450NK is the same as the 450SR. With the same engine – a parallel-twin with a 270-degree crankshaft for a more charismatic, V-twin-like power delivery – it produces 50 hp (49 hp, 37 kW) at 9,500 rpm and 39 Nm (28.8 lb.-ft.) at 7,600 rpm. This gives it a slight edge over its Kawasaki rivals, which come in at 45 hp (44.8 hp, 33.4 kW) at 10,000 rpm and 38 Nm (28 lb.-ft.) at 8,000 rpm. In terms of weight, again there is almost no difference; the 450SR (168 kg – 370 pounds) weighs a tiny bit more than the Ninja 400 (166 kg – 366 pounds). The new 450NK comes in at 165 kg (364 pounds), which is exactly the same weight as the Z400.
In terms of pricing, the 450SS (U.S. version) has an MSRP of $5,499 (about €5,024), a few hundred dollars below the comparable ABS-equipped Ninja 400. Given that, we can expect the 450NK to be priced around $5,199 (about €4,748), similarly below the Z400. However, when looking at the equipment levels, the Chinese machines pull away. An upside-down fork instead of the design used on the Kawasakis. A radial Brembo four-piston front caliper and a 320 mm brake disc instead of an axial two-piston design on a 310 mm disc. The CFMoto models also feature a 5-inch color TFT display, while the Kawasakis have analog and monochrome LCD displays.
Design and visual relationships between the 450NK and 800NK.
Although the 450NK shares the same steel frame and cast aluminum swingarm as the 450SR and also adopts the sport bike’s seat and rear fairings, the visual changes are more extreme than just removing the fairings. CFMoto redesigned the fuel tank for the NK, with separate body panels cutting into the sides of the tank and protruding forward to the sides. At the front, they are shaped to complement the headlight design. The headlight is a Y-shaped unit that echoes the design language of the new KTM-powered 800NK. Below that is the distinctive front channel-shaped fender, which also mimics the larger model. On either side, there’s a carbon look plastic fairing that hides the sides of the radiator, while a two-piece nose spoiler surrounds the engine’s oil pan.
Dimensions and riding position of the 450NK
Information in the Chinese type approvals shows that the dimensions of the 450NK are largely the same as those of the 450Sr, with length and wheelbase essentially unchanged. However, the handlebars of the NK are a few inches wider than those of the SS and sit much higher. The footpegs are also positioned differently, mounted lower and further forward than those on the sportbike to allow for a more upright riding position.
Given the timing of Chinese type approval, it’s likely that the 450NK will be officially unveiled in the next two or three months. It is expected to be in dealerships in 2024.
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