Founded in 1689 to produce muskets for the Swedish Army, motorcycle production began in 1903 which makes Husqvarna Motorcycles one of the world’s oldest manufacturers with uninterrupted production. 

 

Husqvarna Motorcycles continues to innovate and excel with an impressive range of models and technical leadership. Over a dozen high-tech, class-leading motorcycles are not only tackling the enduro, motocross, supermoto and dual-sport production segments head-on, but also re-imagining the street and travel segments.

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KOVE 450RALLY STANDARD. WHAT’S BEHIND THE ELUSIVE CHINESE RALLY OFFERING?

Kove Motorcycles (pronounced Ko-vee) is a new name in the mix for most and it’s no great surprise given the company was only founded in 2007. To offer some perspective, Honda has been making motorcycles since 1946.

That said, a few would be surprised to hear Kove has been around for 17 years.

Founded by Zhang Xue, a former enduro racer, Kove is headquartered in Chongqing, China – a city with a greater population than Australia – and home to several motorcycle manufacturers such as Lifan, Loncin, and Zongshen.

True to Zhang Xue’s roots, Kove’s early models were enduro motorcycles but fast forward to 2024 and the company has jumped into world events with both feet.
In 2023, Kove became the first Chinese manufacturer to compete in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship with their 312RR machine.

It also took on the Dakar Rally in 2023 with all three 450Rally Factory Editions, finishing the race including a top 50 overall finish for rider Sunier Sunier.

In 2024 the team fielded 5 bikes with 4 finishing in the top 100 in the toughest rally on the planet.
In 2024 Kove plans to release a 450 motocross model to complement its MX250 and so it’s clear it’s not moving at a conservative pace.

KOVE 450RALLY STANDARD

The Kove 450Rally is making waves in the adventure bike scene mainly because it’s a capacity so many have wanted and it’s based on a rally concept and that’s super cool.


At the heart of the 450 Rally lies a single-cylinder, DOHC, liquid-cooled 449cc engine which delivers a maximum output of 51 horsepower at 9500 rpm and 39Nm of torque at 7000 rpm.

The 450 Rally weighs in at a claimed 145kg dry which is about the same as a Husqvarna 701 Enduro which also offers 74Hp to play with.


The Kove 450 Rally also has a 6-speed transmission with a cable-actuated clutch.

GOING FOR DISTANCE

One of the most distinctive features of the 450 Rally is its triple-tank fuel system.

Two tanks flank the frame backbone, while a third one sits beneath the seat, doubling as the subframe. This design offers a combined capacity of 30 litres, translating to a potential range of over 450 kilometres.

CHASSIS & SUSPENSION

The 450 Rally boasts a steel perimeter frame while suspension duties are handled by a 49mm YU-AN (YU-AN is a suspension manufacturer also from the city of Chongqing), upside-down fork with adjustable compression and rebound at the front, and a YU-AN piggyback shock with similar adjustability at the rear. Both offer a generous 304mm of travel which is slightly less (6mm) than a KTM 450 EXC.

Fitted, of course, with a 21/18-inch wheelset, the 450 Rally also has 270mm of ground clearance which is, using the comparison to the KTM 450 EXC once again, a lot less than the 347mm offered on the Austrian enduro machine.


The reason I’m looking at the enduro bike as a comparison and not the CFMOTO 450MT, is that the 450MT is an adventure bike, not a rally or rally-style bike. The CFMOTO has less power and weighs more, but it’s designed to a price point and for the average adventure rider in mind.


I guess I could compare it to a $50,000, 95Hp KTM Rally Replica, but that would be mental.
The fact is that the 450cc adventure model is such a unique proposition that there aren’t many direct comparisons.

BRAKING AND SEAT HEIGHT

The 450 Rally employs braking by Taisko a 2-piston calliper gripping a 280mm disc for braking at the front, while a single-piston calliper with a 240mm disc handles rear braking duties.


The braking system is equipped with switchable ABS that remembers the settings after you turn the bike off and then on again.


The 450 Rally comes standard with a colour Bluetooth-compatible TFT display.

Additionally, a lower seat option is available for the many riders who might find the standard 914mm seat height a bit intimidating.

UPSELL ME

Alongside the 450Rally Standard Kove also offers a 450Rally Factory Edition which was launched in 2022 and is a step closer to the race bike formula used in world rally. Kove claims they are exactly the same as the bikes raced in the 2023 Dakar.


To separate itself from the Standard model it comes with a carbon fibre navigation tower bolted directly to the frame, as well as a roadbook holder and thumb-winder on the switchblock.

The more race-oriented bike also features a different ECU with more aggressive mapping and a titanium exhaust.

The 450Rally Factory Edition comes with mousse tubes but does not feature ABS braking. This would make it impossible to register in Australia.

In addition, Kove offered a 450Rally EX model based heavily on the 2024 Dakar race bike as a limited model run that put out a considerably increased 65Hp and featured a quickshifter, slightly more fuel capacity but weighs less than the Factory Edition.

KOVE IN OZ?

Kove lists 18 distributors around the world but there isn’t one listed in Australia as yet.

There have been rumours that it’s coming soon for about 18 months.

It’s hard to imagine we won’t see them in the near-ish future given the positive reception CFMOTO has been enjoying.

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