Skip to content


We take AMCN’S long-term test CFMoto 450SR to SMSP for a track test to see how the 450cc parallel twin sportsbike performs…

We thought it about time we took the CFMoto 450SR for a track test and we weren’t disappointed. Now blinged up with a raft of genuine accessories (Living With, Vol 73 No 18) it was time to head to SMSP. We’ve already been impressed by the 450SR on the road; its parallel-twin engine is surprisingly spritely with a good spread of power from the midrange to the redline, it’s easy to throw around in corners, ride quality remains composed over crappy surfaces (despite only offering preload adjustment on the rear shock) and braking performance and feel is commensurate with the weight of the bike and its power output.

While Wattie had already sampled the 450SR on the track at the bike’s launch last year, it was belting down with rain for most of that day, so he didn’t get a great feel for it on that ride. The weather forecast for the MEGA rideday I had booked at SMSP couldn’t have been more of a contrast: blue skies and temperatures in the high 30s.

While it was cool at sparrow’s when I loaded the 450SR into the van alongside my MV Agusta Brutale 1090RR, by the time I reached Eastern Creek some 90 minutes later for sign-on and scrutineering, the mercury was already in the mid-20s. Yep, it was warming up fast and it was going to be a hot day.

Being a weekday (and hot), the ride-day was far from fully booked, but there was still a decent turnout of bikes, many of which were running race fairings and slicks. Wandering up and down the pit garages, I wondered if the 450SR might be out of its depth in the medium-fast group with its modest 34.5kW (46.2hp) peak output and its CST Adreno road rubber, but that’s the group I wanted to run my Brutale in, so green armband it was.

I treated the first session on the 450SR with some trepidation – in the back of my mind I kept questioning whether I had got the torque settings right on the swingarm pivot and rear axle bolts after having just recently fitted the new adjustable rearsets… and I also wondered how the CST Adrenos would handle track riding. 

New adjustable rearsets look great and offer more clearance

After a couple of shakedown laps, I must’ve decided I’d nipped everything up correctly and that the Chinese rubber was grippier than I thought it would be, because I was soon nudging an indicated 185km/h down the main straight and tipping into the first corner without dabbing the brakes.

By the time I was on to my third session, I saw an indicated 192 clicks down the main straight.

Power delivery from the 449.9cc parallel twin with its 270° crank is quite linear, but with only 35kW or so to play with it pays to keep engine revs above 8000rpm and shift up a gear as soon as the shift light comes on… somewhere near 10,000rpm. You can rev it beyond 11,000rpm but you won’t eke much more out of it after this, so there’s not much point. I must have done this though, because when I checked the CFMoto app on my phone there were quite a few over-rev warnings on the display.

While the gearbox shifts smoothly up and down the ratios, it would have been nice to have a quickshifter fitted to the 450SR. What it does offer is a reversible gear lever, so you can quickly swap over to a race-shift pattern, but I left it on road mode so as not to confuse myself when swapping between bikes throughout the day.

There’s decent room to move around on the 450SR and to get your head in behind the screen. The clip-on ’bars are set at a reasonably comfortable height and, with the adjustable rearsets in their middle setting, the riding position is far from extreme yet still offers plenty of ground clearance.

The 450SR is a blast in the corners and the standard tyres offer decent grip

Cornering is where it’s at on the 450SR. Tipping the scales at a lithe 179kg wet (claimed), throwing it into corners is easy, as is flicking it from side to side for quick changes of direction, such as between Turns 2 and 3 at SMSP.

Those CST Adrenos proved to be way stickier than I thought they would be and, with the mercury nudging 38ºC, they handled the high track temperatures well. Sure, the tyres looked a bit ragged at the end of the day but so did the Michelins on my Brutale.

The hardest braking zone at SMSP is into Turn 2 and, with only a single 320mm disc up front gripped by a Brembo M4 caliper, I wasn’t expecting mind-blowing stopping power and this was certainly the case. On the positive side, brake feel at the lever is good and, despite the heat of the day, braking performance remained consistent without any noticeable fade after repeated hard use. And the Bosch ABS is not overly intrusive.

Brembo radial-mount caliper grips a single disc up front

The non-adjustable 37mm USD fork could be a little firmer. I weigh 76kg plus gear and I experienced a fair bit of fork dive under heavy braking. It wasn’t excessive but I think heavier riders might find the front end a bit soft. I left the rear preload on its base setting throughout the day and it felt well suited to my weight.

What about those wings? With a top speed of less than 200km/h I’m sure the 450SR’s fairing-mounted wings are little more than a styling exercise, but that’s okay – they look great. In fact, I reckon the 450SR is a fab-looking bike, especially with the optional smoked screen and the fender eliminator. Sure, the sticker kit with its ‘Play to win’ and ‘More fun’ messages down each side of the fairings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they are subtle enough to be missed at first glance and didn’t draw any comments until they were pointed out.

The 450SR was swallowed up on the main straight but still managed a respectable 192km/h (indicated)

What did draw comment was the diminutive 450SR’s presence at SMSP on a rideday largely populated by trackbikes and big-bore sportsbikes. I had several riders come up to me ask about it, many of whom were in the green group and had seen me out on track on it. I think many were  surprised by the corner speed of the little 450SR and they were keen to know what it was like to ride. “More fun,” I laughed, pointing at the sticker.

I did three sessions on the 450SR and three on my Brutale. Despite a power deficit of around 82kW (110hp) I almost had as much fun on the little CFMoto as the MV Agusta.

I’m really quite fond of the 450SR, both on the road and on the track, and I reckon it would make a fine sportsbike for those starting out in their motorcycling journey.

It would work just as well for more experienced riders who want something light and nimble and who aren’t obsessed with power.

We have one of the CFMoto 450SR’s closest competitors booked in for a test ride soon (the Kawasaki Ninja 500) and it will be interesting to see how these two bikes compare.
We’ll let you know…

PROS: As much fun to ride fast as a motorcycle with more than twice the power. And a top speed of 192km/h
CONS: A quickshifter would be nice and some adjustment on the front fork, but that would raise the purchase price



Luckily, Deano didn’t mention his torque-setting concerns, so I wasn’t too worried as I rode out of the pits on the little 450SR. Having just completed a few sessions on a Ducati Streetfighter V4 S, the size and seating position were a bit of a shock to the system, and of course there was a massive difference in terms of power. From more than 200hp to about 46hp – and the Chinese bike is only about 10kg lighter than the Italian hypernaked! So it was clearly going to require a bit of rider recalibration.

However I found the 450SR fun and easy to ride from the start. Sure, it lacked power and the tyres weren’t as grippy as the Pirellis on the Ducati, but I felt confident in its cornering ability, and it felt so fun and flickable.

Yes, I got gobbled up by the big boys on the main straight, where my 188cm height made it impossible to get down under the screen completely (and I’m 90kg plus gear), but I still hit 188km/h. Probably best not to go any faster because the single disc up front needs some time do its work and the front end is indeed a bit on the soft side.

I was doing as Deano suggested and trying to keep the engine revs high and shift up around 10,000rpm. I didn’t quite master that on my short stint on the bike. It was only upon my return to the pits that the aforementioned (slightly grumpy) editor mentioned that he’d been following my progress on the CFMoto app and I’d been giving him conniptions with multiple over-rev warnings.

I just explained that to have ‘More fun’ you had to ‘Play to win’, and that meant pushing the limits of man and machine. That’s when he took the fun little 450SR away from me. But I enjoyed my short time with the CFMoto; it is an impressive little machine.   Sean Mooney


CFMoto 450SR

449.9cc parallel twin
179kg (wet)
$8290 ride away

Honda CBR500R

471cc parallel twin
192kg (kerb)
$9999 +ORC

Kawasaki Ninja 500

451cc parallel twin
171kg (kerb)
$7544 +ORC



Type Parallel-twin, 270° crank, DOHC
Bore & stroke 72 x 55.2mm
Compression ratio Not given
Cooling Liquid
Fueling EFI, Bosch
Transmission Six-speed
Clutch Wet, multi-plate, slipper
Final drive Chain

34.5kW (46.2hp) @ 10,000rpm (claimed)
Torque 39.3Nm @ 7750rpm (claimed)
Top speed 192km/h (on track)
Fuel consumption 4.4L/100km (measured)

Type Bosch
Rider aids ABS and shift light
Rider modes Not applicable

Frame material Chro-moly alloy steel
Frame type Trellis
Rake Not given
Trail Not given
Wheelbase 1370mm

Type CFMoto
Front: 37mm upside-down fork, non-adjustable, 120mm travel
Rear: Multi-link monoshock, adjustable preload, 130mm travel

Cast aluminium
Front: 17 x 3.0 Rear: 17 x 4.0
Tyres CST Adreno HS AS5
Front: 110/70R17
Rear: 150/60R17
Brakes Brembo, ABS
Front: Single 320mm disc, four-piston M40 caliper
Rear: Single 220mm disc, single-piston caliper

Weight 192kg (wet, measured)
Seat height 770mm (measured)
Width Not given
Height 1130mm
Length 1990mm
Ground clearance Not given
Fuel capacity 14L

Servicing First:
Minor: 6000km
Major: 24,000km
Warranty Up to three years, unlimited kilometres

$8290 (ride away)
Colour options Zircon Black (Black/Red) or Nebula black (White/Turquoise)