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ADV NewsNew Kove 450 Rally Bike Hitting North American Showrooms Soon

New Kove 450 Rally Bike Hitting North American Showrooms Soon

Heading to the 2023 Dakar Rally and our shores.

Published on 12.15.2022

No doubt it’s fun to see all the new bikes being unveiled at the annual EICMA show in Milan each year, even if that thrill is so often tempered by lack of availability in the US. But this is one revealed at the show that will be headed our way, and soon  — the Dakar spec’d 450 Rally Pro and standard option 450 Rally from emerging manufacturer Kove Moto. 

So what is Kove Moto? It’s a Chinese brand founded in 2017 and run by CEO, Zhang Xue, a former semi-pro MX rider who is obsessed with rally raids and wants to bring the Chinese flag onto the world stage. In fact, Kove Moto already has three of its Rally Pro factory bikes and Chinese pilots entered in the grueling Dakar Rally and will compete in the upcoming edition.

Kove 450 Rally Pro motorcycle

For those who haven’t already left for the comments section to complain about the infiltration of Chinese brands, one of the noteworthy things about this rally bike is that the standard version, currently in the process of being approved for full street legal certification, will be affordably priced at $8,999. Its Dakar-spec’d Pro counterpart, according to the brand’s US distributor, USA Motortoys, will sell for $14,500. 


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Kove Moto has been busy in its short life, developing and producing a range of street bikes, as well as a 500cc adventure bike, all to date sold in Asia under the name Colove.  According to a statement on Kove Moto’s website, company sales growth for 2021 was 40%, with sales exceeding 20,000 units.

Kove 450 Rally Pro motorcycle
Kove 450 Rally Pro motorcycle

Behind the scenes at the fast-growing Chongqing-based company, CEO Xue’s passion project 450 Rally has been in the works for four years. When interviewed at EICMA, Xue made his intention clear. He not only wants to create a machine that will be competitive in Dakar and other famously tough rally raid events, he wants to make such a bike available to every rider. And as a motocross rider himself, he’s been notably hands-on during the development process and also in prototype testing. 

Kove 450 Rally Pro motorcycle
Kove 450 Rally Pro motorcycle

The Rally Pro certainly looks the part, and in a recent promotional video it seems to go fine too. Power is supplied by a specially prepared Zongshen 449cc liquid-cooled single claimed to pump out 54 hp and 31 ft-lbs of torque. The standard version will offer slightly less pop: 52 ponies and 29 ft lbs of torque. It also offers a 38-inch seat height option (same as the Pro) as well as a lower 36-inch seat height option. The Pro model will come with all the Dakar-friendly goodies like a Scotts steering stabilizer and carbon navigation tower to accommodate roadbooks, while the R will come with a more standard digital display. Dry weight for both versions is listed at 320 lbs. 

Kove 450 Rally Pro motorcycle

The bikes are equipped with three fuel tanks for a combined eight-gallon capacity offering a claimed 300 mile range and are listed as featuring 12 inches of travel front and rear, while the “Low Seat” R offers 10 inches. Wheels are the expected 21/18 combo, brakes are listed as Nissin single disc for front and rear and the recommended service interval will be 5,000+ miles.  

Kove 450 Rally Pro motorcycle
Kove 450 Rally Pro at EICMA.
Standard 450 Rally model.

According to USA Motortoys, the first demo bikes are on track to be air shipped this month, with the bulk of the first shipment arriving to the States around May, 2023. All those first arrivals, 70 Rally models in total, will be designated “Competition Use Only.” With a unit currently being tested for street-use approval at US government labs, USA Motortoys says if all goes well it expects full street legal versions to be landing at its 71 GPXMoto dealers by Fall. 

Kove 450 Rally Pro motorcycle

And yes it’s true the KTM and other top brand’s Rally replicas are Dakar proven and sold in extremely limited numbers, but still, the idea of owning an “uncorked” Rally bike for less than $15k will be appealing to many. Especially if it’s a bike that can be competitive and survive the toughest rally on Earth. 

We won’t have to wait long to find out. But make sure to mark your calendar since the flag drop in Saudi Arabia this year will come a little early (December 31st). 

Kove 450 Rally Specs

450R Rally Pro Race version450R Rally (high seat)450R Rally (low seat)
Dimensions (L*W*H) inches85*32*5886*31*5586*31*55
Wheelbase inches585858
Steering angle (left/right)°38.538.538.5
Front seat height inches383836
Minimum ground clearance inches121210.6
Braking methodFront: Single-disc dual-piston caliper Rear: Single-disc single-piston caliperFront: Single-disc dual-piston caliper/ABS Rear: Single-disc single-piston caliper/ABSFront: Single-disc dual-piston caliper/ABS Rear: Single-disc single-piston caliper/ABS
Shock absorber formFront inverted rear external airbagFront inverted rear external airbagFront inverted rear external airbag
Suspension stroke inchesfront 12 rear 12front 12 rear 12front 10 rear 10
Vehicle mass lbs. (without fuel)320320320
Reach angle°282828
Tire specificationsFront 90/90 -21 Rear 140/80-18Front 90/90 – 21 Rear 140/80 -18Front 90/90 -21 Rear 140/80-18
Fuel tank volume (gallons)888
engine typeWater cooling, oil cooling, single cylinder, overhead double camWater cooling, oil cooling, single cylinder, overhead double camWater cooling, oil cooling, single cylinder, overhead double cam
Engine displacement fl ounces151515
ignition methodEFIEFIEFI

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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22 thoughts on “New Kove 450 Rally Bike Hitting North American Showrooms Soon

  1. This is great news, a new player will bring more competition to the marketplace! Chinese or not I like the “enthusiasm” of their chief, more riders in charge instead of corporate bean counters . I cant wait to try one out!

    • No beta testing needed. Engine has been out for years with gobs and gobs of miles on them. Showa suspension, nissin brakes and bosch ecu. There is no “new”/”untested” components on the bike.

      • Not true, this engine is the new Zongshen DOHC NC450, while the SOHC NC450 has been out for….I dunno a decade, this version is new and none exist in the US. Bottom end is similar to the old engine but top end all new. Also does NOT have a Showa suspension, it might have one that looks like Showa but it isn’t Showa. Lets keep facts straight on these since coming from China, finding facts on them can be difficult. The suspension is one of the reasons I’m holding off on these, maybe it is a direct copy of Showa stuff but I’d rather someone else pay for a bike to find that out.

        • The DOHC part is true. But the 300 DOHC has been out for a year with no reported issues.
          Re-if it is SHOWA or not…. id wager it is along with Japanese brakes….. and some US and EU components in there too… I know for a fact that part of the slow roll out of this bike was due to supplier delays in both regions.

  2. This is the bike KTM should be offering on their 690 platform . . . a street legal 690 version based on their 450 raid bike. With all the aftermarket vendors providing conversion for the 690, how have they not added one to their offerings in the way Honda has done with the 300.

    • i have owned a 690 since 2016, and i find this to be the biggest mis-step in ktms lineup. especially when they were years ahead of the curve w/the 640 adventure. they do an adventure version of all other displacements, even the 390, but how they continue to ignore the 690 is truly baffling.

  3. So cool. How they come to new Zealand. The base model could be cheaper than a dirty bike. A road registered version at an inexpensive price is definitely what we need.

    • Couldn’t agree more CCP is slowly chipping away at the US economy, slowly buying farm / agricultural at hyper inflated prices. People should take their blinders off!!

      • I can’t understand why Americans are happy to fill their homes with Chinese made products from Walmart but get up in arms over Chinese motorcycles.

    • huh ? The usa has systematically boycotted technologies from countries that supported it … from Concorde to Airbus to name a few….

  4. Fantastic! If this bike comes to Europe, I’ll be in line to buy it! Preferably the PRO version. YES YES YES! I don’t care if it’s Chinese, this looks promising.

  5. Once you understand the absolute symbiosis of PRC private, public and military industry, and the absolute dominance of the CCP over everything, only then can you understand that any support to (mainland) Chinese industry is unacceptable.

    I’m sorry that that this comes across as another “infiltration blah blah” comment, but you simply can’t afford to gloss over this under the pretense that this is just another motorcycle blog.

  6. Ktm is now assemble in China and very little model are still build in Europe, No American builder on that market segment.

    I have 1 Gas Gas(KTM) EC 300 2022 and 1 Husquarva(KTM) FC250 2023
    in my garage presently. I think this Chinese model is the affordable Unicorn since the KTM Rally 450 is the best but $$$$$. For adventure riding and some Rally like the Baja 6 days it could be a fantastic bike.

    I will be watching the Dakar since 3 KOVE 450 Rally bikes is in the race of January 2023. 54hp instead of the 70hp on the KTM but possibly more reliable on the long term usage. If they can go up the scary dunes on the Dakar they can go anywhere in the world or race anywhere.

    Basically you can buy 2 Kove 450 Rally with aftermarket parts to 1 KTM 450 rally.

    This is a serious unicorn for all of us.

  7. All 3 of these bikes that entered Dakar finished Dakar. No engine failures. & Only minimal other issues. Recently confirmed from GPX to be 50 state street lega certified option sometime in 2023…so you can tag it. Watch out KTM and Honda, the Chinese are coming to eat your lunch in the affordable consumer edition rally bike market!

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