Chinese brand CFMoto releases posh ‘S’ version of its 450 SR lightweight sportster, here’s your first look at the 2024 CFMoto 450 S SR!
Sub-500cc twin sportsbikes – don’t you just love ‘em? They’re cheap, fun, great for novices on A2 licences, and there are plenty of them around.
It’s a bit of a weird class though – you’ve got bored-out twins like the Yamaha R3 and Kawasaki Ninja 400, both of which grew out of 250cc machines.
Then there’s the Honda CBR500, which is a bigger twin that replaced the old CBR300 single, and the KTM RC390 – which is a 401cc single. Add in the new Aprilia RS457 twin, and you have a class with a lot of variation, to suit all tastes.
China’s CFMoto brand has also had a strong presence in the sector for a few years now. Its 450 SR is a good-looking, well-put-together A2-friendly twin, with road-biased sporty chassis and full fairing, complete with (perhaps-superfluous) aerodynamic winglets.
And with CFMoto signing a partnership deal in Europe and the UK with KTM, the brand’s been given a big boost in terms of visibility, availability, and reputation. Put simply, with KTM’s parent group – Pierer Mobility – behind it, the relatively unknown CFMoto brand has become a more tempting prospect for British bikers.
And here’s another tempting prospect for 2024 – the new ‘S’ version of the 450 SR.
Launched last year in Beijing, it’s now on sale in the UK, and it’s gone straight to the top of the trick tech stakes in this small-bore sportster class. That’s mostly down to one thing – a saucy new single-sided rear swingarm which is unique in the sector, and harks back to the glory days of the Honda VFR/RVF400 and NSR250 mini superbikes of the 1990s.
Nowadays, you need to shell out for bigger, pricier Italian exotica like the MV Agusta F3 or Ducati’s Panigales for a sportsbike with a single-sider. Alternatively, you can go for a super naked like the Triumph Speed Triple, or KTM’s 1390 Super Duke, both of which also come with the posh rear arms.
The advantage is moot: single-sided arms are generally heavier than a dual-sided arm, for the same stiffness and strength. They do make wheel changes easier – useful in endurance racing or at the TT – but the main advantage is cosmetic: having an uncluttered view of a big rear wheel and tyre.
CFMoto’s given the rest of the 450 SR base chassis a bit of a lift too. You now get damping adjustment on the 37mm USD front forks, and there’s an uprated rear brake, with a new dual piston caliper.
That complements the sharp Brembo front brake setup, and helps the new bike hit its fairly low 179kg kerb weight. The fairing winglets are also upgraded, with a more aggressive shark-fin design, and the exhaust system is now more tucked-in, making the most of the single-sided arm’s styling.
On the electronics front, there’s a new traction control system for the first time, a new 5” colour LCD dash with USB-C port and Bluetooth connection, plus automatic LED headlights, as well as an emergency brake light system for extra safety when stopping.
CFMoto’s not made any changes to the powertrain – in the A2 class, you can’t really add any power here without ruling out riders with the restricted licence.
So the modern Euro V parallel twin 449.5cc DOHC eight-valve engine remains the same, putting out 47bhp@9,250rpm and 39.3Nm@7,750rpm, with a slipper clutch, six speed box and 270° crankshaft.
There’s non-ride-by-wire fuel injection with a mechanical throttle, and dual balancer shafts to cut the vibes.
So – a smart-looking new entry to that A2 sportster sector, with unique chassis tech, solid performance, slick styling, and the backup of the mighty KTM dealer network.
How much would you expect to pay for such a beastie? If you guessed £6,499 then go straight to the top of the class. More info: www.cfmoto-motorcycle.eu
CFMoto 450 SR S SPECIFICATIONS
Engine: parallel twin, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 449.5cc
Maximum power: 47bhp (34.5kW)@9,250rpm
Maximum torque: 39.3Nm@7,750 rpm
Bore and stroke: 72×55.5mm
Length x width x height 1995 x 715 x 1140 mm
Wheelbase: 1370 mm
Seat height: 795 mm
Fuel capacity: 14l
Kerb weight: 179kg (169kg dry)
Wheels (front/rear): 3.0 x 17 / 4.0 x 17
Front tyre: 110/70 R17, CST ADRENO HS AS5
Rear tyre: 150/60 R17, CST ADRENO HS AS5
Front suspension: 37mm USD telescopic fork, adjustable damping
Rear suspension: Central monoshock
Front/rear suspension stroke: 120mm/130mm (shock travel)
Front brake: 320mm Single disc, Brembo M40 caliper
Rear brake: 220mm Single disc, dual-piston floating caliper, ABS