Does the 650NK have what it takes to be a worthy buy in the premium middleweight segment? Find out in our review in pictures
CFMoto entered India with not one but four motorcycles. The 650NK is the brand’s most affordable 650cc bike in India, locking horns with the Kawasaki Z650. At Rs 3.99 lakh (ex-showroom India), the 650NK is one of the most affordable modern middleweight naked motorcycles in the country. But is the overall package good enough for customers to seriously consider this motorcycle over its rivals? Find the answer in our review in detailed images:
The overall styling feels like a combination of Kawasaki and KTM, which isn’t surprising as the bike has been designed by Kiska, the same firm responsible for KTM’s mad machines. There are aggressive lines all over and the muscular fuel tank extensions offer a mass-forward look.
The lighting system is all-LED but the headlight’s low beam throw and intensity aren’t that great, hindering visibility. Investing in a pair of auxiliary lamps should make the illumination much better.
While the overall build quality is good, the switchgear feels a little dated. The handlebar grips feel premium, though.
The fully-digital instrument cluster isn’t exactly legible, especially the small tachometer readout. Also, the brightness feels a bit too low even at the highest setting. The instrument cluster shows details like speedometer, engine temperature, gear position indicator, clock, trip meter, odometer and fuel gauge. Range indicator is absent, though.
The 650NK’s ergonomics is very streetfighter-like with a slightly forward leaning stance. That said, a wider handlebar would’ve offered better leverage and also lent it a more relaxed riding stance.
The cushioning of the seat is on the firmer side and isn’t exactly touring friendly. However, the tank profile is slim enough to allow even shorter riders to reach their feet on the ground comfortably even though the seat is 815mm tall.
The 649.3cc parallel-twin produces 61.1PS and 56Nm. It is capable of sustaining 100kmph at just 4000rpm and can cruise around 130kmph effortlessly. However, the motor lacks character. This coupled with the sober exhaust note doesn’t thrill you enough at higher speeds.
CFMoto has ensured that the engine feels quite tractable at city speeds and one can potter around town in third gear comfortably. However, the clutch lever feels a bit too heavy.
As far as efficiency is concerned, the bike returns 20.40kmpl in the city and 24.80kmpl out on the highway. These figures are pretty decent considering the engine displacement and performance on tap.
At low speeds, the 206kg kerb weight is quite apparent and the front-heaviness results in extra steering effort. However, things get much easier at higher speeds. Though the turning radius is wide, the bike doesn’t feel cumbersome in city traffic.
The CST tyres offer plenty of grip around corners and eggs you to lean more. However, the softly sprung suspension prevents you to fully exploit the dynamics of the motorcycle.
Twin-disc brakes up front and a single disc unit at the rear provide good stopping power. However, the feel from the lever is vague and this could possibly put you in some sticky situations.
The preload-adjustable monoshock has the tendency to bottom out over sharp bumps and potholes. So if you’re riding on bad roads, choose your path carefully.
Overall, the 650NK offers great value for money and works well as a stepping stone in your journey to a big bike. But that’s only if you’re willing to oversee the fact that the brand is relatively new in India and that the bike’s reliability in the long run is quite questionable.