August 16, 2019 By C! Magazine Staff Words by Maki Aganon Photos by Buck Pago

Rising Star: CFMoto 400NK Review

I have been always wondering and certainly curious when CFMoto emerged in the Philippine market in the past few years. My first encounter with the Athens Blue colorway bike was on a Manila-based trade show. At a glance, it was undeniably handsome, but what gave me a 2nd good glance was its competitive price point for a 400cc motorcycle.

Today, CFMoto stands at a grand showroom in Caloocan, where they keep on working on the brand’s standpoint in a present ‘royal-rumble’ in the entry ‘big bike’ segment. Motostrada, the distributor of CFMoto in the Philippines, already set a foot forward for keeping a loyal community base for CFMoto motorcycles owners. Will they expand into nationwide distribution levels? That is soon for us to find out.

The sceptic in me started saying how can a Chinese-built brand can compare or compete to the long tenure of the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers? With the international established rivals rooted in the market, there is a grand opportunity for CFMoto to offer their own. There is no denying that CFMoto contends in the design department which employs Austrian design company – KISKA. Sharp styling, modern integrations and variable details that meet or exceed every rider needs should be in every CFMoto model, and yet they are.

Serious 400NK Offered Value

If you have spared some bucks, say P215,000, what’s in it for you with 400NK? It’s relatively cheap, but cheap can’t be good. Otherwise, can something good be possibly reasonably priced? First, you have a 400.4 DOHC parallel twin. You can leave the extra .4 to the toll cashier because you’re more than welcome in the highways. You also have a 17 liter tank mounted on diamond high tensile steel frame, running on CST Radial stock tires, and a fully adjustable hydraulic mono shock. Your engine is a 2-cylinder 8-valve in line with hydraulic tensioner that reduces noise plus a BOSCH EFI system. It also has braided ABS braking system and LCD Dashboard, which most sport naked bikes have.

At face value, it honestly looks good. It speaks sporty, sharp, and screams street-naked. It can intimidate anyone at first glance and I bet anyone would want to try it out, and that included me. The question is – Can the 400NK walk the talk? So we took our time and gun it in and out of the Metro.

I had to try Metro Manila traffic first. Whether you like it or not, it seems to be the proving grounds especially for any marketed commuter friendly ‘entry-level big bikes’. How did the first 15 seconds on the bike felt like? Seat height is 815mm standard and pretty fair for my pretty strong legs.

It has a compact 1425mm wheelbase standing on rim 17s, and a considerable 206 kg curb weight. I initially found the short handlebar and a rather shorter turning clearance, although it allows you to ease in and out. The throttle response is pretty decent, with a little delay but gives it midway through. I find it beneficial for beginner riders. The engine heat is tolerable between the legs, no overheats whatsoever, the radiator does a job well done. I find it quite hefty, but completely manageable as the 400NK shares a complete identical dimensions and capacities of the 650NK.

As far as handling is concerned, you take any bike to winding roads. I have discovered that the 400NK has a really sharp handling, which could have been more fun with a quick-shifter. It also gives you a steady power with less effort trying to control the throttle. I found out that the bike’s curb weight complements the proportion with the proper amount of power you provide it, with the right amount of lean and counter-steering. Front and rear braking is spot on. The 400NK lives beyond its expectation. It is a class of its own.

Simple cruising is rather easy. It saddles you upright. The wind doesn’t blow you out easily because of the given bike weight, which you can deal anytime, and tuck in if necessary. Whenever feeling aggressive, it pumps you to 155 km/h top speed. It could give you more, but it really depends. This bike simply amuses me; the way it can perform is actually exciting. This mid-range model can please you, but can vary depending on your riding needs, provided the bike’s limitations. It can suit your daily ride, and even more leisure if and when you take the long ride home.

Don’t sleep on the 400NK. If you are a beginner motorcycle rider, the CFMoto 400NK might suit you up. For those who are looking to ‘upgrade’ to a 400cc motorcycle, this is a serious consideration, given its market-affordability and competitiveness.

Looking at the big picture, the 400NK is a real deal if value for money is concerned. Arguably, it is a good platform for a start-up highway legal bike, with the benefits of modern styling with all the essentials you need. I can also see that this bike as a good platform for modern street fighter mods or optional accessories.

Is it worth the buck? If it can satisfy your daily riding needs, then yes. Beyond that, then you might consider something else. I can remember what my late grandmother always used to tell me about value for money. “If you bought something, yet you barely use it, it is expensive. But if you use and benefit with it all the time, then it’s a bargain.”

After all, we simply can’t rule out Chinese-manufactured motorcycles quickly. Any claim in quality whether good or bad, in the modern age of scrutiny and community disclosure, CFMoto Philippines could establish strong customer satisfaction and extensive after sales support. As their brand motto states, for better or worse: Experience More Together.

Specifications:

Engine: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, Bosch EFI, 2-cylinder inline, 8-valve

Displacement: 400.4cc

Max Power: 41 bhp @ 9500rpm

Max Torque: 25.4 lb-ft @ 7650rpm

Transmission: 6-speed

Seat Height: 815mm

Fuel Capacity: 17 liters

Tire, front: 120/70Z R17

Tire, rear: 160/60Z R17

Brakes front/rear: Dual Disc / Single Disc ABS

Curb Weight: 206kg

Price: Php 215,000

 

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