Want to buy a genuine rally raid racebike at your local dealership? That’s going to be possible in the US (and possibly Canada?) in coming months, as GPX Moto brings the Kove FSE 45R Rally to North America.
Kove is a Chinese company that appears to be shooting for the top spot in that country’s market. It’s been selling motorcycles under the Colove and Excelle names in its home market, and now it’s gearing up for a major expansion to global markets. It’s selling a big-bore 800 adventure bike in some countries under the name 800X Super Adventure. We have seen no confirmation that bike is coming to North America, but we do know another highly interesting machine, the FSE 450R Rally, is slated to arrive in the US in 2023.
Note that we have no confirmation this machine is coming to Canada, but it will be sold at GPX Moto dealerships, so maybe there’s hope. The importer is based in the States, though, so don’t get too excited.
The machine does look very interesting, though. It’s based on a liquid-cooled 450cc DOHC single. Electronic fuel injection and a six-speed gearbox are standard, and while the engine is built by Zongshen, Kove says the top end is its own design, extensively tuned and tested for power. And while this is a racebike (not sold as street-legal in the US, although Euro customers may get a street legal version), Kove does promise 8,000-kilometer maintenance intervals. If you’re racing all day long in the dust of Dakar, no doubt you’d be more fussy about your oil changes, but for a weekend warrior in the wilderness, you have some leeway here.
The suspension is often the weak point on Chinese bikes, but on this bike, it seems like effort was made to match it to the task the bike was built for. A Scott stabilizer comes fitted as standard, and front and rear suspension are both adjustable.
In the US, MSRP is expected to be $9,000 USD. In a straight conversion, that would work to about $12,300 CAD, but often we do a bit better than that on our bike MSRPs, due to the vagaries of international commerce.
No doubt there would be a limited-but-interested market if this machine did come here. While rally raid is not a mainstream event in Canada, there is certainly growing interest, especially considering the amount of opportunities in the US and Mexico are getting better all the time. But would it be worth it for Kove to import these machines here, for sales of only a few dozen bikes at best? That depends on how much hassle and expense it is to bring in “competition only” cycles, probably.
If you’re curious about the bike, keep an eye on the Dakar Rally standings next month; Kove will be running this bike in a factory team effort.
See more specs and other information at GPX Moto’s website here.