If you want to see the latest and greatest that the Chinese brand has to offer the world, then perhaps it’s best to look at the Philippines for the latest and greatest stuff.
In fact, I’ve been lucky enough to get first dibs on the brand-new 450 NK, which I did a first-ride review on because of the brand’s close relationship with its Philippine arm. You could say that the big wigs in Zhejiang province have a lot of interest in the Philippine market since it’s one where the brand has risen meteorically in its relatively young history. Do note that CFMoto began operating in 1989, and it’s a delight to see that the brand has come so far fielding big bikes, and even some exciting new engines on the horizon.
You’d think that during the holiday season, CFMoto would wind down and allow the market to enter into the holiday spirit with its existing lineup of bikes, but this Chinese brand is the gift that keeps on giving. EICMA was already a head spinner with CFMoto, and it appears that the motorcycle maker wants to keep piling on the pressure. Long intro aside, here it is, the 2024 CFMoto 450 CL-C.
Cousin to the 450 SS and the 450 NK, the 450 CL-C is the cruiser of the bunch, adopting the same formula that made the SS and the NK line so popular: Good design, good hardware, and a good price. The price of this model in the Philippines is set at 287,900 PHP, or about $5,200 USD given the exchange rate at the time of writing.
There are bits and pieces of British bike design in the CL-C’s silhouette and shape. It does resemble a Triumph Bonneville Bobber even down to the gas cap. While that is the case, it doesn’t have the Bobber’s suspension and instead goes with a rear monoshock which is cleverly hidden behind the exhaust and the Gates Belt Drive.
The bike is motivated by a 270-degree 449cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine that punches out 40 horses and up to 29 pound-feet of torque mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Given its power figures and displacement, the bike is more in line with the Honda Rebel 500 and Kawasaki’s new 400cc cruiser.
Handling duties are damped by a set of inverted forks and the aforementioned monoshock. The fork is a 37-millimeter set of tubes which do look beefier in person, I have to say. The single disc in the front comes in at 12.5 inches and the rear disc comes in at 8.7 inches. The wheels are wrapped in a set of CST tires with a 130/90/R16 in the front and a 150/80/R16 at the back.
Traction control and dual-channel ABS come as standard for the Philippine model as well, and the screen is a circular TFT display. Other than that, it’s all the modern bike trimmings on this one with LEDs all around from the headlight to the indicators and the taillights as well.
The bike is poised to take on the likes of the Honda Rebel 500 and other similar-sized cruisers such as the Kawasaki Eliminator. It will also butt heads with Royal Enfield’s 350-class. However, we can already affirm that among the models mentioned, the 450 CL-C will probably be the most cruiser-like in its segment thanks to that 270-degree parallel twin.