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        Review: 2021 CFMoto 300NK

        A naked bike with the oomph of a sportier one
        by Agnes Uzochika Aja May 5, 2021
        PHOTO: Mark Jesalva

        CFMoto is changing the country’s perception of Chinese motorcycle manufacturers. In fact, the Hangzhou-based brand is already known for sneaking luxe features into its bikes at a great discount.

        Going for P158,000, the 300NK follows CFMoto’s formula to the letter—it’s marketed as a naked bike with the oomph of a sportier one. It also has some special features that allow it to break out of its practical form and bring in a little spice.

        Read on to find out how it rides.

        Styling

        CFMoto 300NK LED headlight

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        The 300NK comes in two colors: black and silver. The silver version is hands down the attention-getter. The silver bodywork and ice-blue detailing draw your eyes to the bike.

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        Our demo unit in black is better suited for staying undercover. There’s no particular feature—apart from the decals— that tells you what brand or model it is. It resembles what you expect a modern sporty naked to look like: insect-like LED headlight design, tiny LED signal and taillights, a tire hugger, a beefy front half, and a slim monoshocked rear.

        The saddle

        CFMoto 300NK Saddle

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        We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: CFMoto is great at making big bikes fit smaller people. The 300NK has a 31.3in seat height, but the narrow seat and frame allow me (5’1 with a 28in seam) to get a firm foot on the ground at stoplights. There might be more room to go lower if the suspension settings are dialed down to your weight.

        The seat padding is standard for the bike’s sporty design. It’s thin and firm, so expect some discomfort on extended rides (four hours or more, in this example). Like a true naked, the sitting position is upright. The rearset pegs add sportiness, but are neutral enough to give you the option to tuck in or stand on the pegs.

        Engine performance

        CFMoto 300NK Engine

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        Milled with four valves, the 300NK’s liquid-cooled DOHC engine exhibits good performance. Peak numbers for the fuel-injected single-cylinder reach 28hp at 8,800rpm and 25Nm of torque at 7,200rpm. CFMoto also designed a balancer shaft for the engine, canceling out some of that characteristic single-cylinder vibration. The result? A smooth-running engine with decent power and eager acceleration.

        The bike takes a bit of a hit in the exhaust, as its Euro 4 rating makes it sound muted. This sacrifices some of the bike’s potential performance and sound for fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions.

        Ride and handling

        CFMoto 300NK Wheelbase

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        At a curb weight of 151kg, the 300NK doesn’t need to be muscled. A lightweight steel alloy frame gives the right stiffness, as it keeps weight down. The bike’s small footprint and short wheelbase keeps steering light and tight.

        Wide bars and grips give plenty of room and leverage for your hand to move and keep the bike stable. And the hand controls show off the brand’s Asian fit layout. Even with smaller hands, the controls are easy to reach and operate at the same time. The clutch, while firm, doesn’t require all the finger strength you can muster to keep it pulled in.

        Upside down forks and a monoshock ensure that the bike’s suspension stays sporty and stiff. That being said, the system is average on uneven roads but a delight on smooth tarmac. The CST radial tires (140/60 at the rear and 110/70 at the back) lend lots of traction and width for confident cornering.

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        The J. Juan calipers provide impressive brake feel to the lever and pedal. And stopping power is present, even when you don’t trigger the dual-channel ABS. A closer look at the brake system reveals why: CFMoto treated the 300NK to steel braided brake lines—a feature prized in racing machines for long-lasting brake responsiveness.

        Extra features

        CFMoto 300NK Instrument Panel

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        Consider this: CFMoto also builds bikes for KTM elsewhere in the world. With that in mind, it makes sense how the 300NK got decked out like a more expensive bike.

        Take the instrument panel. It’s a full-color TFT display with two riding modes (Rain and Sport) and enough information to satisfy the data-obsessed. Speed, mileage, fuel consumption, service warning lights, battery voltage, current gear, and even the time of day are on there. The display also has a light sensor that automatically switches it to dark mode when you ride in low-light conditions, like at night or through a tunnel. Nifty.

        The Chinese manufacturer also lined up a decent selection of aftermarket parts. Our demo unit came with one pre-installed: a set of crash bars to protect the engine and plastics. It meshed with the bike’s lines and aesthetics so well that we had to double-check that it was an add-on, and not, in fact, part of the stock bike.

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        Other practical and ride-enhancing parts include a muffler cover, bar risers, an adjustable shifter rod, and a wider pedestal for the side stand.

        Verdict

        CFMoto 300NK

        The CFMoto 300NK is an affordable bike that’s light, exciting, and practical to ride. It promises premium access at a fraction of the usual prices. You can make it your commuter, take it country riding on the weekend, or use it to try out track riding. Sure, it doesn’t have the name recall and prestige of bigger brands, but the quality of the ride and components deserve serious thought.

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        SPECS: 2021 CFMoto 300NK

        CFMoto 300NK

        Price: P158,000
        Engine: 292cc DOHC single-cylinder
        Transmission: 6-speed manual
        Power: 28hp @ 8,800rpm
        Torque: 25Nm @ 7,200rpm Seat height: 31.3 inches 
        Score: 16/20

        CFMoto 300NK

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        CFMoto 300NK Handlebar

        CFMoto 300NK

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        CFMoto 300NK Suspension

        CFMoto 300NK

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        CFMoto 300NK Riding Modes

        CFMoto 300NK

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        CFMoto 300NK

        CFMoto 300NK

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        Man riding the CFMoto 300NK

        Man riding the CFMoto 300NK

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        Man riding the CFMoto 300NK

        Man riding the CFMoto 300NK

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        PHOTO: Mark Jesalva

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