May 5, 2024

CFMOTO 450MT - First Ride

CFMOTO 450MT - First Ride

Theres been a lot of chatter on the internet about the CFMOTO 450MT, but I didn't realise how excited people would be to finally see it in person.
Since the launch my inbox has been swamped. So let's get into it.

The 450MT is incredibly well spec'ed for the price. Equipped with tubeless 21' and 18" rims, adjustable KYB suspension, adjustable windscreen, USB-A and USB-C device charging, colour TFT display, Switchable abs (to the rear wheel), switchable traction control, and the list goes on. We have an 820mm seat height, lowerable to 800mm and you can pick up a replacement seat from the extensive parts catalogue to bring the seat height up to 880mm. 220mm ground clearance, 17.5l fuel tank, folding mirrors, 2 year warranty.

Thats a lot of kit for $9,950+ORC.

But, how does it ride?
Being used to a Tenere 700, I thought the 450MT felt a bit tame. I was a bit underwhelmed to begin with, thinking it felt a bit under powered. But putting it in perspective, its got a small engine... the parallel twin 449cc engine is remarkably perky. It pulls in 6th gear from as low as 50kph... thats not to be sniffed at.
The ergonomics are pretty much spot on, with wide bars, low pegs, and a seat thats low and narrow enough to stand over easily. It's very well balanced, with what feels like a reasonably low centre of mass making the 450MT quite stable both at motorway speeds and off road. The factory muffler is on point with a beautiful 270 degree burble that gets quite loud on acceleration and has a lovely little bob when transitioning to decel.

Heres a big call, but I feel confident with what I'm about to type. If Yamaha were to make a smaller capacity Tenere, I would expect it to feel like this.

We only got to ride the 450MT during the CFMOTO NZ launch for a couple of hours, but in that time, I was able to tru put some off road, some motorway, and some back roads. Not once did I feel the bike was out of it's element. it was responsive and easy to ride, with a comfortable seat and easy to navigate TFT display.

This should sell well, with a sub-10k price tag, and more CC's than most of the competition, this could be seen as CFMOTO showing up the more established manufacturers. I would be keen to grab one of these, put some knobleys on and take completely off road, just to see what happens.. and at 10k... you could.