Ever since CFMoto pulled the covers off the NK-C22 concept bike back in September it’s been clear that a production version couldn’t be far behind. We scooped the design drawing for that machine in October and now we’ve got sight of the first genuine photos and specifications – and it looks every bit as good as we could have hoped.
There still hasn’t been an official announcement of the 800NK – for that’s what the showroom model will be called – but CFMoto has type-approved the production version in China, where they’re built, and that means a full launch can’t be far away now. From what we already know, if the 800NK can be as competitively priced as CFMoto’s other models, it stands a chance of being a genuine alternative to bikes like Honda’s new CB750 Hornet and Suzuki’s GSX-8S. It will also providing tough competition to the KTM 790 Duke, which was recently relaunched as a cheaper model below the 890 Duke, sharing the same engine as the new CFMoto and manufactured alongside it at the Chinese firm’s factory.
The 800NK looks near identical to the NK-C22 concept, losing that bike’s carbon fibre components, bellypan, brake ducts and single-sided swingarm, as well as its SC-Project exhaust, but retaining the same overall shape. That includes the distinctive headlight, with a central LED flanked by while DRLs, and the flowing bodywork that runs from jutting side panels that neatly match the edges of the headlight all the way into the tank, seat unit and tail. It’s a good-looking bike, and one that has enough unusual touches (like the odd, winglet-like front mudguard that ‘s mirrored by a similar-shaped element above the headlight) to stand aside from the competition.
Second version has higher-spec TFT dash
When compared to the Honda Hornet – surely a close rival – it’s a much more aggressive-looking machine. It out-powers the Honda, too, with a 99hp, 799cc version of the KTM LC8c parallel twin engine. A similar motor also drives the CFMoto 800MT adventure bike.
It sits in a steel tube frame, with upside-down forks ahead and a cast alloy swingarm behind, and the whole bike weighs in at a competitive 186kg wet, according to CFMoto’s type-approval documents. Those numbers beat both the Hornet (90.5hp, 190kg) and Suzuki’s new GSX-8S (82hp, 202kg).
A 1465mm wheelbase is identical to the GSX-8S, and the CFMoto sports J.Juan radial four-pot front brake calipers on twin discs flanking its 17-inch front wheel. The tyres are 120/70-ZR17 at the front and a wide 180/55-ZR17 at the rear, notably larger than the Hornet’s 160-section rear and matching the Suzuki’s sizes. According to the type-approval, the 800NK’s top speed is 136mph.
The approval documents show two versions of the bike, internally called the CF800-7 and CF800-7A, but in terms of dimensions, power and performance they’re identical. The main visual difference is that the black CF800-7A has a larger TFT instrument panel, potentially indicating that it also has higher-spec electronics in terms of riding modes and rider assists. Both bikes have Bosch 9.1MB ABS systems.
With the type-approval complete, its unlikely to be long before CFMoto officially launches the 800NK. If its price can be as appealingly low as Honda’s new Hornet, which is a remarkable £6999, then CFMoto may have a sales hit on its hands.