Just over five years ago, in December 2017, CFMoto surprised us all with a radical concept bike called, somewhat inexplicably, the C.02-NK. The name might have been more suited to a washing machine or a Windows update but the bike itself was a stunning-looking V-twin super-naked and now there’s a production version on the way.
While nothing has been officially announced, CFMoto has filed a rash of new patent applications showing a bike with the same technical layout as the C.02-NK, including a big KTM V-twin engine and a single-sided swingarm, but with more showroom-ready styling that takes a leaf from the upcoming 800NK.
V-twin engine is KTM-derived but reworked for CFMoto’s purposes
The C.02-NK was the first glimpse of CFMoto’s increasingly close relationship with KTM. The Chinese brand already manufactured certain engines for the Austrian company, but since the concept bike’s appearance the tie-ins have become much closer, with CFMoto building complete bikes for KTM including the recently relaunched 790 Duke and 790 Adventure. CFMoto also uses KTM’s 799cc parallel twin engine in its own 800MT adventure bike and in the forthcoming 800NK – which was previewed last year via the NK-C22 concept and scooped in production form by BikeSocial in December. In China, CFMoto also sells the 1250TR-G tourer, using a 1279cc V-twin engine based on KTM’s LC8 motor that debuted in the original RC8 sports bike. In the 1250TR-G – a BMW-rivalling touring bike with vast amounts of standard kit – the big V-twin puts out over 140hp, making it China’s most powerful motorcycle when it was launched.
Huge airbox is fed by intakes either side of the tank
The bike shown in CFMoto’s new patents uses the same V-twin engine, but potentially tuned for more power and bolted to a much lighter, lither package. Sitting in a tubular steel frame ahead of a single-sided swingarm, it makes for a powerful-looking super-naked machine that’s actually more modern looking than the original V.02-NK concept that previewed the idea.
While the V.02-NK also used a tube chassis with a cast alloy section around the swingarm pivot, like the new 1250NK (the name isn’t confirmed, but the patents show the ‘NK’ logo on the space between the rider and pillion seats). However, the new bike’s chassis has evolved, with a different layout for the frame’s trellis, and the styling is completely revamped.
Then V.02-NK was impressive-looking but very much a concept, lacking certain practical elements like mirrors and indicators and featuring a headlight design that was never likely to reach production. The 1250NK, in contrast, has a design that shares the same family look with the 800NK, using a near-identical, V-shaped headlight and the same front mudguard design with similar ‘V’ of winglets mounted on top of it.
Behind the new nose, the tank is flanked by ‘floating’ sections that bracket the forks and headlight, just below the wide bars, while the seat has a distinctive two-tier design with a tiny pillion perch mounted much higher than the rider’s more substantial cushion. The idea of ‘floating’ elements, as used on the tank, is carried over to the tail where there are two additional panels either side of the tail to create a tunnel for air to flow through.
Where the V.02-NK managed to package the entire exhaust under the engine, the realities of noise and emissions limits mean the production version in these images needs a bigger end can mounted on the right-hand side, although there’s still an under-engine collector and catalytic converter.
From the rear, we also get a look at the large, portrait-oriented TFT instrument panel, looking like an iPad bolted to the bars and hinting at a high level of tech.
Although the images here are only drawings, the details are so intricate – right down to the licence plate mounting holes on the swingarm-mounted taillight bracket – it’s clear this is a real motorcycle that’s heading to CFMoto showrooms in the not-too-distant future.