What would you be able to do with a 160 kg and 68 horsepower wriggling sports car?
December 7, 2022
PWe Italians were like chimeras: their existence was fabled and wonders told about them but few had seen them live. It was there 400 four cylinder Japanese bikes from the 90s, refined motorcycles and small-scale copies of the respective maxis that were present here – and how – on the roads while the 400 ccs arrived with a dropper. But it was to be understood that a sporty 400 like the Honda NC 30 (small copy of the SR 30) had a production cost that made it comparable to the top of the range, but with necessarily lower performance. Doing the math, the Italian motorcyclist would hardly have preferred the screaming 400 to the mighty 750.
In Japan, the 400 engine has always enjoyed a relative ease in obtaining a driving licence, which is why the four sisters have invested heavily in their production for years, creating a segment – with due proportions – such as that of the 125 sports in Italy in the same 90s, with a resounding success at home and models – such as the aforementioned NC 30 – which have also become sought after and iconic for their refinement and uniqueness.
Anowadays the 400 cc four-cylinder have practically disappeared from the price lists, decimated by a market that no longer likes sports cars as they once did and by the anti-pollution regulations that have made engines less and less full-bodied at low and medium revs which already by their nature must turn high to deliver the best of their performance.
Therefore also put in the archive Honda 400 Superfour And Golden Super Bowl (smaller scale sister of the CB1300 Super Four/Super Bold’Or out of our price lists at the end of 2012) so all that remained was to place our hopes in the several times hypothesized but never yet revealed (nor confirmed) Kawasaki ZX-4Runtil the Chinese manufacturer Kove (also known in other markets under the name of Excelle or Colove) first presented the engine and then the entire bike that we show you in this article, the Kove 400RR.
StThis is a model which, for the reasons we have mentioned above, we assume may not arrive in Italy (but we would be happy to be proven wrong), even if we saw it at the stand Kove a EICMA 2022 where did he dominate theAdventure 800X which has aroused great interest and curiosity for its weight/power/price ratio and of which we await further news on its distribution in Europe.
The 400RR is equipped with a liquid-cooled, sixteen-valve, 4-cylinder in-line engine, for which the Manufacturer declares 68 horsepower at 13,500 rpm and peak torque of 36 Nm at 12,000 rpmnumbers that already declare the four-cylinder’s propensity to rev high. The frame is a steel trellis, with a banana swingarm to make room for the exhaust.
The line is personal with a dynamic front air intake in the center of the fairing and aerodynamic appendages, while the suspension features a USD fork, triple disc braking system and rear monoshock. The declared performances speak for 220 kilometers per hour and 4.2 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h, performance certainly favored by a weight equal to 168kg.
Pgiven that the 400 sports may have a certain popularity in the Asian markets, is there room on the Italian market for this category of motorcycles? Maybe, even if the power of 68 horsepower cuts it out of the bikes intended for novice drivers and a possible reduction of power to 48 hp to make it suitable for the A2 license would be little in line with the sporty nature of the 400RR. Let’s wait and see and await official communications from Kove.