Our first ride with the newly-launched 450NK

Last week, we witnessed the global launch of CFMOTO’s newest addition to its stable: the 450NK. SRP: PHP 262,800.

The Global Launch of the 450NK was done here in the country and that says a lot. The Philippines – probably the only country in the world with a 400cc minimum displacement on expressway rule – is the perfect market for motorcycles like the 400NK and 450NK. If we factor in the 450NK’s price tag, which is more affordable than the KTM 390 Duke’s PHP 289,000 price tag, many “graduates” of underbones and scooters will definitely have this bike on their “my next motorcycle” list.

First ride: CFMOTO 450NK image

With Motostrada’s generosity, MotoPinas.com was one of the very first few to try out the new 450NK not only here in the country, but for the entire globe. Our route was pretty simple and straightforward: ride from Motostrada’s showroom in Caloocan then take NLEX and SCTEX to Lighthouse Marina Resort in Subic. The ride was more or less 150 kilometers, one-way.

400NK vs 390 Duke vs 450NK

The 400NK was one of CFMOTO’s popular models, mainly because of two factors: 1) it’s an affordable 400cc motorcycle at PHP 248,900, and 2) the bike was a legitimate expressways-legal motorcycle with its twin-cylinder 400cc powerplant.

First ride: CFMOTO 450NK image

Personally, the 400NK was one of the bike models that I only hopped on once and never wanted to ride again. In my opinion, the 400NK was 1) underpowered, 2) very heavy, and 3) hard to maneuver in slow-moving traffic and the bike seems to want to fall down when being leaned during cornering. The 400NK was a terrible motorcycle, so to speak.

Once on the saddle of the new 450NK, I can’t help but think about my experience with the 400NK, and looking for an improvement was inevitable. KTM’s 390 Duke also came to mind.

First ride: CFMOTO 450NK image

Wheelie stunt performed by Barok Reyes

The first thing I noticed on the new 450NK was the weight difference vs the outgoing (and to be phased-out) 400NK. Standing the bike from its side stand, I can immediately feel the 41-kilogram weight difference between the two bikes.

On paper, the 400NK weighs 206 kilos while the new 450NK tips the scales at only 165 kilos (dry). Also for comparison, the single-cylinder 390 Duke has a dry weight of 139 kilos.

First ride: CFMOTO 450NK image

Stoppie stunt performed by CFMOTO's very own Hu Hai

With the 450NK’s short wheelbase and light body, maneuvering the bike is comparable to maneuvering a 200cc standard bike in traffic.

Top speed

Unlike the 400NK, the new 450NK’s acceleration is spot on and is somewhat close to the acceleration of the 390 Duke. The Duke, of course, feels “torquier”. Where the 450NK excels vs the 400NK and 390 Duke is the top end. The 400NK has a claimed top speed of 175 kilometers per hour. The 390 Duke, on the other hand, as claimed by some, can top at 170 kilometers per hour.

The new 450NK, with the demo units still under their break-in period, topped at 187 kilometers per hour, as claimed by one of the ride participants on our way to Subic. It is also worth noting that the 450NK reached that top speed "with ease", according to the ride participant.

First ride: CFMOTO 450NK image

With regards to styling, it's actually quite subjective but it ticks the checkbox on my "Good looking bikes" list. I never had the chance to tweak the bike's settings from its TFT screen, nor was able to test the 450NK's behavior on the twisties so I have no comments on those aspects at the moment. 

These are some of the questions that a Juan Dela Cruz rider may ask: Is the price tag reasonable? Yes, considering that the 450NK is a 2-cylinder expressways-legal motorcycle. Is this a good everyday to and from work commuter bike? Absolutely. It's light and very much maneuverable.

Is the 450NK a good motorcycle for weekend warriors? That's also a yes. Riders who prefer to ride only during weekends, or those who frequent long rides during weekends will definitely enjoy the new 450NK because again, it's fast and expressways-legal.

The only drawback, for now, is that CFMOTO Philippines has yet to establish its 3S shops (Sales, Spare parts and Service) across the country. 

First ride: CFMOTO 450NK image

But don't worry, says CFMOTO Philippines during the 450NK's launch in Okada Manila. They said that they have partnered with the country's largest motorcycle dealers and very soon, access brand new CFMOTO units, as well as parts and maintenance services will be closer to your home.