Kove Moto, a Chinese manufacturer, made quite an impression earlier this year when they entered three unproven 450 Rally Pro factory bikes in the Dakar Rally. It was the first time a Chinese manufacturer had ever competed in the motorcycle division of the prestigious race, and it turned out to be one of the most challenging editions in over a decade. Despite the odds, all three Kove Moto bikes finished the grueling two-week race, exceeding expectations.
Now, Kove Moto is gearing up for the upcoming Dakar Rally with renewed determination. CEO Zhang Xue recently unveiled their latest creation, the Kove 450 Rally EX, at the EICMA motorcycle show. This new bike is not just about finishing the race; it is designed to compete for the win.
What sets the Kove 450 Rally EX apart from its predecessor? For starters, it is more powerful, more maneuverable, and lighter. The new 449.9cc liquid-cooled DOHC single-cylinder engine produces a class-leading 65 horsepower and 36.14 ft-lbs of torque, with a top speed of 112 mph. In comparison, the previous model offered 54 horsepower and 31 ft-lbs of torque. The increase in power is due to a larger bore and quicker stroke, as well as innovative applications and lightweight materials throughout the drivetrain.
The Kove 450 Rally EX features a double-cradle frame made of high-strength steel, providing both durability and agility. The frame contributes to the bike's lightweight design, weighing in at just 282 pounds dry. Kove achieved this impressive weight reduction by scrutinizing every detail of the bike and using lightweight materials wherever possible. Magnesium alloy was used for the cylinder heads and side covers, while advanced plastics were utilized for the fuel pump rotors. Titanium was chosen for bolts, the exhaust pipe, and the muffler, further reducing weight. Carbon fiber and CNC machined parts are also incorporated into the design.
Handling and stability have been improved in the Kove 450 Rally EX, thanks to the repositioning of the fuel tanks. The bike now carries an additional .98 gallons of fuel, for a total capacity of 8.98 gallons. The tanks are positioned lower and more towards the center, optimizing mass centralization. Riders can manually select which tank to use or leave it in automatic mode.
Suspension-wise, the EX features fully adjustable 49mm USD forks and a progressive link mono shock, providing 12 inches of travel in the front and 11.8 inches in the rear. The bike is equipped with a floating single, 2-piston caliper front disc and a single-piston rear disc for reliable braking. Additional features include a new roadbook turret, hand guards, adjustable risers with dampers, and an Akrapovič exhaust.
Exciting news for motorcycle enthusiasts and aspiring privateers is that Kove Moto will produce a limited run of 50 units of the factory race bike used by their pro riders in the upcoming Dakar Rally.
For those considering the existing Kove 450R Rally ($8,999) or the Rally Pro ($13,999) that performed admirably in last year's Dakar Rally, worry not. Both models will continue to be available in 2024 at the same pricing.
With their determination, innovation, and commitment to producing high-quality motorcycles, Kove Moto is making waves in the world of off-road racing. The Kove 450 Rally EX is a testament to their dedication to pushing boundaries and competing with the best. It will be exciting to see how the Kove Moto team performs in the upcoming Dakar Rally, and we eagerly await the release of the limited-edition production models for enthusiasts to experience the thrill of riding a Dakar-inspired machine.
Refer to https://www.eicma.it/en/kove-450-rally-ex-ready-to-compete-in-the-dakar-rally/