2024 CFMOTO 450MT (launch ride)

Adventure bikes continue to grow in popularity and the latest addition is CFMOTO’s impressive 450MT. Positioned as an entry level offering, we took the new model into the Victorian high country to test it out as part of the Australian media launch.

Now before we get too far into the story of riding in parts of Victoria that we couldn’t tell you the names of, let’s address the elephant in the room. These bikes are made in China. If that instantly turns you off, then you need to get over it.

The build quality is great, and the price point ensures CFMOTO bikes are accessible for the average punter. Now back to the riding. We were lead throughout the three day launch by the expert team from All In Dirtbike Adventures.

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These guys knew the trails like the back of their proverbial hands, and had us out on stock bikes, with no modifications. The only change to what you’d buy off the dealership floor was the 26psi tyre pressures.

2024 CFMOTO 450MT
2024 CFMOTO 450MT

It’s a pretty impressive bike, out of the box, with a fully adjustable KYB front fork, and a rear shock that allows preload and rebound adjustability. There’s also LED lighting, tubeless tyres, a 5.0-inch TFT display, switchable traction control and rear wheel ABS deactivation.

The CFMOTO 450MT also comes packaged with the bike maker’s TBOX system and Ride app. And so it was that we kicked off our initial day of riding, in freezing conditions, leaving CFMOTO headquarters for Yarra Glenn, via the highway.

This first stretch gave us an opportunity to become familiar with the bike, before taking on more challenging off road terrain. Ergonomically, the 450MT feels good, and there is a nice, relaxed rider triangle, even for larger riders.

The bike appears to be well suited to touring too, and as an added bonus, its optional aluminium panniers can be removed and utilised on the 800MT, if you decide a bigger bike is required.

2024 CFMOTO 450MT
2024 CFMOTO 450MT

The manually adjustable windscreen is super easy to use on the fly and provides reasonable head buffeting protection. The 450MT is powered by the same 449cc parallel twin that can be found in the 450SR and 450NK.

It produces 32.5kW of power and 44Nm of torque, making it easy to cruise comfortably at highway speeds. The exhaust gives a pleasant thumping note as you wind on the throttle and power is delivered nicely across the rev range.

There’s just a hint of hunting in the bottom end, but it is more than manageable. Our first off road session saw nice dirt trails morph into rocky terrain and sandy surfaces, before we hit some slippery mud.

It was probably some of the most challenging terrain of the entire ride and the durability and toughness of the 450MT was put on show as a few bikes ended up on their side. From there, we made our way out of the trails as the light started to fade.

2024 CFMOTO 450MT
2024 CFMOTO 450MT

It was here we found ourselves on one of the few roads we were familiar with in Victoria; the Black Spur. As we tipped in and out of corners, constantly changing direction as we weaved our way towards our accommodation for the night, the 450MT handled itself well.

The only downside was that at times you could notice it may have been a touch top heavy (not unusual on adventure bikes). After some sleep, we were greeted by icy seats and 1-degree (Celsius) temps.

Despite putting on as many layers of clothing as possible, the idea of riding in the cold wasn’t absolutely appealing (the pub sounded way better). Duty called though and we headed straight into the dirt, tackling the bush less than a kilometre from our digs.

Another day of mixed terrain lay before us, with fire trails, steep rocky terrain and more mud. We flicked the bike into off road mode, accessible from a single button on the TFT display to deactivate the rear ABS and traction control, and we were away.

2024 CFMOTO 450MT
2024 CFMOTO 450MT

For us, Day 2 was an absolute highlight, spending more time with the bike off road through a range of varying conditions and tracks. The bike shone for the sheer fact it’s not intimidating to ride, and nor is it hard to handle.

The bike is perfect for novice adventure bike riders, while still being a great experience for those who are more accomplished. That’s helped by the fact the front and rear suspension offers some 20 clicks of adjustment, allowing it to handle all terrain types, really well.

If we had one wish, it would be that the front brake (which has a span adjustable lever, as does the clutch), had more feel. It’s just not quite there. Back on the road, we eventually arrived at Bonnie Doon, but not before dodging some kangaroos at dusk.

It had been a big day, and after filling our bellies, a few refreshing beverages and a good night’s sleep, we were headed for home via a final day of riding. A more even spread of dirt and tarmac would again showcase just how capable the 450MT is.

2024 CFMOTO 450MT
2024 CFMOTO 450MT

That day included travelling to a beautiful lookout above Murrindindi in the State Forest, across a variety of surfaces, before our return to where we started, at CFMOTO’s Victorian HQ. It was a round trip of just over 458km, according the the smartphone app.

That works alongside CFMOTO TBOX system, which provides smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth and navigation. You’ll find ride stats, remote vehicle status, and a fuel indicator. It also allows the ability to conduct over-the-air software updates.

Priced from $9,490 ride away in either Zephyr Blue or Tundra Grey and backed by a 3-year warranty, the 450MT is learner-legal and represents exceptional value. It’s already popular, with more than 500 examples sold in pre-sales alone.

All-in-all, it’s an adventure bike that weighs less than 200kg in full running order, with a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear and 220mm of ground clearance – packaged up to be rider friendly, above all else.

2024 CFMOTO 450MT
2024 CFMOTO 450MT

Whether it’s better than the Royal Enfield Himalayan 450, we’ll leave up to you to decide.

Our test bike was provided as part of the Australian media launch by CFMOTO Australia. Images courtesy of Fstyle Photo.

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.

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