CFMOTO’s 650NK SP offers a lot of bike for the newcomer as well as enough appointments and grunt for the experienced rider. Watch the video here:
What we like:
- Well appointed
- Great price
- Strong power figures
Room for improvement:
- Switchgear lightweight
- Weak exhaust note
- Headlight dim
Beach Road in Melbourne. Iconic, lazy, meandering. For me it represents a perfect opportunity to soak in a bike’s character and performance.
From Mordialloc, all the way to just about the heart of town, the road hugs Port Phillip Bay. And, by sheer coincidence, it runs right past the front entrance of one of my favourite watering holes, in the Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda, better known as the Espy. That place represents the good part of my youth and it remains close to my heart.
In context though, a run up to the Espy offers a relaxed look at a bike’s ability to facilitate just a touch of reflection, on both the steed itself and just how I’m travelling philosophically.
A coupla light beers keeps everything in bright perspective.
The SP complemented the ride pretty damned well. Yes indeedy. I’m pretty sure that the fact that the SP is tossed a bunch of goodies to distinguish it from the garden variety NK helped all that pleasant surprise.
You see, The SP comes tricked up with KYB suspension, Pirelli Angel ST rubber, a slipper clutch, enhanced gearbox componentry and a 5-inch TFT display.
Get set to shell out an extra grand for those niceties, but at $7790 rideaway, you won’t have to sell the beach house at Brighton.
Stoppers are dual 300mm rotors gripped by twin-piston calipers at the bow, with a lone 240mm job with a single-piston at the stern.
High-end Bosch fuel injection is employed and Kayaba suspension adds to the up-spec features list
It’s a welcoming thing. The user-friendliness runs out to greet you almost immediately, like the barman at the Espy.
Seat height is an easy 795mm. Flat feet at the lights is always pleasant (especially in the slip and slide of a Melbourne winter) and the bonhomie continues with a pretty good dose of legroom, aided by relatively highish bars.
Geometry is reasonably sharp, and there’s a nice lightness at the helm. The 41kW (delivered at 9500rpm) serves the shortish wheelbase and compact chassis well. There’s 63Nm at 7000rpm there as well, so traffic hopping is a breeze. You’ll get to work quickly and efficiently.
Yes, it’s pretty quick and agile. Those thinking they are going to have to live at the back of the LAMs pack on that Sunday blast should think again.
There’s a tall redline and for a parallel twin, the bike happily tops out. In fact, that max power on offer up there at 9500rpm asks for revs and the rear wheel delivers accordingly.
Switchgear is a little down home, feeling plasticky and lightweight, but that’s about the only whinge in regard to cost saving.
So, what’s the verdict after a run on an iconic Melbourne boulevard on a bike that really suits the brief, with a view across the bay from the Espy window?
Top marks from the INFO MOTO judge.