Every year, motorcycle enthusiasts eagerly await the new bike reveals at the annual EICMA show in Milan. This year, Kove Moto, an emerging Chinese brand founded in 2017, unveiled two exciting models destined for the North American market: the Dakar-spec 450 Rally Pro and the street-legal 450 Rally.
Kove Moto is a brand with a clear vision, led by CEO Zhang Xue, a former semi-pro MX rider with a passion for rally raids. The company’s goal is to bring the Chinese flag onto the world stage, and they’re off to a strong start with three of their Rally Pro factory bikes and Chinese pilots set to compete in the upcoming Dakar Rally.
The standard version of the 450 Rally, which is currently undergoing the process of full street-legal certification, is priced at an affordable $8,999. Its Dakar-spec’d Pro counterpart will sell for $13,999. Kove Moto has experienced impressive growth in its short existence, with sales exceeding 20,000 units in 2021 and a 40% growth rate.
The 450 Rally Pro model features a Zongshen 449cc liquid-cooled single engine producing 54 hp and 31 ft-lbs of torque, while the standard version offers slightly less power at 51 hp and 30 ft-lbs of torque. Both models have a dry weight of 320 lbs and come with three fuel tanks for a combined eight-gallon capacity, offering a claimed 300-mile range.
USA Motortoys, the brand’s US distributor, expects the first shipment of 70 Rally models to arrive in the States around May 2023, designated as “Competition Use Only.” With a unit currently being tested for street-use approval, fully street-legal versions of the 450R Rally are anticipated to land at 71 GPXMoto dealers by Fall.
The idea of owning a competitive, Dakar-ready Rally bike for less than $15k is undoubtedly appealing to many riders, especially if it proves its worth in the toughest rally on Earth.