After a year on his CFMOTO 800MT long-termer, Nick has jumped on the little 450NK for three months, which he will swap for a 450MT long-termer. Here is his CFMOTO 450NK test...

I’ve been riding the 2024 CFMOTO 450NK, the new LAMS-approved naked that’s a wicked amount of fun. This little bike is incredible value for under $8,000 ride-away. CFMOTO keeps packing in solid tech and even better quality year on year. This one is a three-month test.

The CFMOTO 450NK has arrived to join the CFMOTO 450SR. Soon we should see the CFMOTO 450MT also.

So I’ve been off two wheels for way longer than I’d like since handing back my awesome CFMOTO 800MT, which you can read all about here. Life gets crazy, work gets busy, and let’s face it, hitting snooze and hopping in the car is easier. (Plus, who figured out how to drink an iced coffee in a helmet?) Lucky for me, Jeff called with a surprise – a brand new CFMOTO was on the way!

Read the full tech details of the CFMOTO 450NK here

It’s a punchy little machine, perfect for city commutes and weekend blasts through the twisties – it even pops a wheelie with my 110kg on top! This punch comes from its 449cc DOHC parallel twin, delivering 37kW@9,500rpm and 39Nm@7,600rpm respectively.

That’s a sweet engine setup for this type of ride and will get you to 100Km/h in 4.9 seconds. I did a few freeway commutes (about five hours total), and it gets a bit buzzy sitting at 125-130km/h near redline, but is ok at 110km/h.

The 450NK is a very compact bike, more suitable for the smaller rider than the giants like Nick!

But honestly, that’s not what this bike was made for. CFMOTO lists a 178km/h top speed. The Bosch EFI system is better than what I have experienced with CFMOTO bikes in the past, however, at very low rpm I did notice a bit of coughing and spluttering. The good news, though, it’s got a surprisingly angry exhaust note for a factory pipe.

Power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch. The gearbox was a bit clunky at first, but after about 50–60km (the bike was brand new), clutch-less shifts became a breeze, and downshifts smoothed right out. The clutch action is light enough for one-finger operation (great for beginners), yet offers plenty of forgiveness to avoid stalls in traffic. Gearing wise – it’s perfectly suited for what the bike is.

“In terms of general handling, this bike is some serious fun in the corners.” The CSR tyres were good, at least in the dry.

The brakes are decent, with a 320mm single floating disc and J.Juan radial caliper up front and a 220mm single rear disc. This is one area where you notice the budget-friendly nature of the bike.  As a heavier rider, I’d prefer something with more bite, but for learners, they’ll get the job done. It’s what you’d expect in this category.

“Overall, CFMOTO have proved once again that you can pack in a serious amount of bike into what is an incredibly cheap package.”

They didn’t fade on me, but I also didn’t push them hard enough to really test their limits, I’ll do that once the bike has more km on the clock. Importantly, CFMOTO has added a simple traction control system – a fantastic feature for a LAMS-approved motorcycle. It gets the job done, though it’s not quite as responsive as what you’d find on a pricier bike.

Secondly, the suspension is the other giveaway that this is a budget bike. It features  37mm upside-down forks with 130mm of travel, plus a single rear shock with the same travel. Out of the box, it’s definitely tuned for comfort. While adequate, as a heavier rider hitting dips at speed, I got bounced around more than I’d like. Still, for a LAMS bike ridden by newer riders, this likely won’t be a deal-breaker, and the setup overall is more than capable. Many of the riders of this bike will be almost half of my weight, so it should be fine.

“Many of the riders of this bike will be almost half of my weight, so it should be fine.”

In terms of general handling, this bike is some serious fun in the corners. It stays forgiving, especially at higher speeds, and I felt confident leaning it over further. As I always say, confidence is key in these LAMS approved bikes. You want something that makes you feel as though you’re hammering but can take more. At speed on the freeway, you won’t have any stability issues or any noticeable speed-wobbles, it’s pretty solid, even up near 130Km/h.

Around town, you’ll have no dramas lane filtering, or getting out in front at the lights quickly and efficiently. The factory Adreno tyres are fine for beginners – they get a bit squirrely in the wet, but their overall performance is decent. I’d definitely recommend chucking on a set of more premium rubber in the first 10,000km.

“I’d definitely recommend chucking on a set of more premium rubber in the first 10,000km.”

One of the biggest issues I have with this bike, and it’s really not CFMOTO’s fault, is the size and riding position. At 197cm, I’m simply too big for it. While the tank is wide and offers plenty of space to grip with your inner thighs, it protrudes too far, making things uncomfortable after about 45 minutes. I was constantly adjusting to get relief, and the seat could definitely use some more padding. I can’t fathom having a pillion on this bike, despite the pillion ‘pegs available from the factory. Plus, the pillion seat is about the size of my phone!

The tech is surprisingly good. It’s got a nice big 5in TFT curved display with options to project navigation. The T-BOX lets you connect to the CFMOTO RIDE app (Google Play or App Store), just scan the QR code, and you get trip overviews, bike diagnostics, updates, anti-theft features…

Personally, I’d still use my phone mount, but this is great for beginners (who are not allowed to run a phone on a mount). The screen’s easy to navigate once you learn the buttons, and the indicator, high beam, and ignition switches all feel like higher quality than previous CFMOTO models.

In terms of styling, it’s certainly sleek but no game changer. CFMOTO have managed to keep up with the modern designs here, with the sharp lines and fairly aggressive front-end styling. The LED’s look pretty tidy on the front, and the rear could definitely do with a tail tidy. We have the bike in Nebula White, whereas the new model is also available in Nebula Black. The colouring is subtle, and nothing you’d look twice at, but it’s fitting for what it is.

Overall, CFMOTO have proved once again that you can pack in a serious amount of bike into what is an incredibly cheap package. This thing will sell well, and I suspect I’ll see a few more on the road over the coming year. It’s aimed at someone who is likely beginning their motorcycling journey, or someone who needs a cheap, reliable machine to commute and save some cash on fuel. With three-years warranty, and the absolute bargain factory parts, you can’t really go wrong. If you’re interested, it’s worth a look. Stay tuned for our updates over the next few months as I ride the bike more…

2024 CFMOTO 450NK Specifications

Price: $7,790 rideaway
Warranty: Three years/unlimited kilometre
Colours: Nebula Black or Nebula White
Claimed power: 37kW@9500rpm
Claimed torque: 39Nm@7600rpm
Wet  weight: 179kg
Fuel capacity: 14L
Fuel Consumption Claimed: N/A
Fuel Consumption (measured): N/A

Engine: Liquid-cooled, four-stroke, parallel twin, DOHC, 270° crankshaft, 449.9cc, 72 x 55.2mm bore x stroke, 11.5:1 compression, Bosch EFI. Gearbox: 6-speed with CF-SC Slipper Clutch

Chassis: Chromium-molybdenum alloy steel frame
Rake: N/A degrees Trail: N/A
Suspension: 37mm USD fork, 130mm travel (f), Multi-link central single rear shock, adjustable spring preload, 130mm travel (r)
Brakes: J Juan four-piston radially mounted caliper, single 320mm floating disc, ABS (F) Single-piston caliper, 220mm disc (R)
Wheels & Tyres: 110/70 R17, CST ADRENO HS, 150/60 R17, CST AS5

Wheelbase: 1370mm
Seat Height: 795mm
Ground Clearance: N/A
Overall Length: 2000mm
Overall Width: 810mm
Overall Height: 1130mm

Instruments & Electronics: 5in TFT colour display, CFMOTO T-Box, CFMOTO RIDE App, BOSCH 9.1 ABS, LED lighting. 

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