Kove 800X Super Adventure: A Chinese ADV With Impressive Specs

The stereotype of the Chinese motorcycle industry is that their bikes are heavier and less powerful than their Japanese and European counterparts. But if that was different, would you buy one? You might be about to get your chance with the Kove 800X Super Adventure.

Who is Kove?

Kove is a Chinese manufacturer that previously sold motorcycles under other the Colove and Excelle brands. Kove doesn’t seem to be an offshoot of Lifan, Loncin, Zongshen, Shineray or any of the other Chinese mega-manufacturers that dominate their industry. Kove doesn’t seem to mind borrowing styling influences from other manufacturers, which is hardly surprising, since everybody does this to some extent (early Japanese success came from copying Brit bikes, and some of Harley-Davidson’s most famous models borrowed heavily from the custom scene for inspiration). However, Kove does seem to put more of an emphasis on in-house development than other Chinese OEMs, and has been showing off a four-cylinder 400cc engine over past months, an engine that it developed itself, reportedly, instead of borrowing, copying or licensing a design from elsewhere.

What is the 800X Super Adventure?

However, with the 800X Super Adventure, we see what appears to be a twin-cylinder 800 twin based on KTM’s old 790 design that CFMoto now produces. To be clear, we really don’t know what the deal is, as we haven’t seen any official confirmation of the engine’s origins and we certainly haven’t seen one taken apart.

Could this be an engine purchased from CFMoto? That seems the most likely, as Kove apparently intends to sell this bike world-round; it’s filed paperwork to protect the 800X across all continents, even in Canada and the US, which are very hard markets for the Chinese. Would they come here with a bike that would be slapped down by both KTM and its new partners in CFMoto? Seems unlikely.

Whatever the case, it does not seem this engine is the exact same version that CFMoto builds for the revived KTM 790 Adventure, Kove claims max output of 95 hp at 9,000 rpm and 60 lb-ft of torque at 7,500 rpm—the most powerful 800-class adventure bike, Kove claims. For what it’s worth, those numbers are about the same as the old Austrian-built 790 engine, but we’re not sure what the new Chinese-built 790 will do. Either way, it’s hard to imagine Kove has an edge on the engine coming from CFMoto.

Kove also claims a 363 lb (165 kg) dry weight, though; that would mean a power-to-weight ratio we’ve not seen before in a Chinese ADV. It also claims the 22-liter tank is good for 400 km of riding.

However, a manufacturer can claim whatever they want; until press and customers ride the bike, it’s all just talk. Also note that the grainy press images show a machine that looks a lot like a scaled-down Africa Twin; in other words, it lacks the low-slung fuel carrying capacity of the 790/890 KTM series, which is what made those bikes work so well. That doesn’t mean it won’t be fun, though.

Would you try one?

It seems silly to ask if you’d buy one of these when all we have is some crude renderings, but given the spec sheet (see the complete list here), if this bike was available locally—would you at least want to test ride it?

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