2023 CFMoto 450SS Top Speed Test: New Middleweight Record Holder!

2023 CFMoto 450SS Top Speed

The middleweight sportbike market has seen rapid advancement in recent years. With newcomers like the 2023 CFMoto 450SS entering the mix boasting impressive performance claims of over 118 mph top speed, many riding enthusiasts are left wondering – just how quick is this new CFMoto compared to segment stalwarts like the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and KTM RC390 which fall short of triple digit velocities?

While 400-500cc machines strike a brilliant balance of size, weight and power, they often still leave riders wishing for just a bit more straight line hasten to spice up track days or canyon carving.

By using advanced engine tech and wind tunnel refinements, CFMoto aims to push the limits of what a middleweight can deliver. But have they truly succeeded in building a top speed challenger to the class leaders? Can this upstart Chinese company take on Japan?

Below we’ll analyze the 450SS’s specs, put it through independent speed testing, compare to rivals, summarize owner impressions, and ultimately answer the burning question: is 118 mph enough velocity to earn the crown as the quickest middleweight sportbike?

The 2023 CFMoto 450SS Shows Serious Performance Potential

the 2023 cfmoto 450ss shows serious performance potential

Sporting an all-new parallel twin engine, advanced electronics and aerodynamic bodywork with PD winglets, the 450SS looks like it means business. But can this newcomer from CFMoto truly compete with the best from Japan and Europe when it comes to sheer straight line speed?

Below we’ll analyze the 450SS’s powerplant, chassis and styling to see how they contribute to top speed, put the bike through independent speed testing, compare the results to class rivals, summarize the pros and cons, and reveal what owners are saying about the new CFMoto’s performance.

By the end you’ll have the definitive answer on whether the 450SS has what it takes to be the new top dog in the hotly contested middleweight category!

Detailed Overview of the New CFMoto 450SS

Before evaluating top speed performance, let’s look at some key features of this all-new sportbike from CFMoto and how they differ from previous generation models as well as competing machines:

Top Speed118 mph
0-60 mph4.1 seconds
Engine Type450cc parallel twin DOHC, inline 4-stroke, liquid-cooled
Bore x Stroke72mm x 55.2mm
Power50 hp @ 9500 rpm
Torque28.8 ft-lbs @ 7600 rpm
Transmission6-speed, wet multi-plate CF-SC slipper clutch
Fuel SystemBosch EFI
Seat Height31”
Curb Weight370 lbs
Fuel Capacity3.7 gallons
Front SuspensionUpside down telescopic fork
Rear SuspensionMulti-link
Front BrakeBrembo M40 320mm disc, 4-piston caliper
Rear Brake220mm disc, single-piston floating caliper
WheelsAluminum alloy 3.0 x 17 / 4.0 x 17
Tires110/70 R17, 150/60 R17
ColorsNebula White, Zircon Black

Some things that stand out:

  • All-new parallel twin motor with 50 horsepower, placing it among the top of the 400-500cc class
  • Bosch electronic fuel injection, 4 valves per cylinder and compression ratio giving strong mid-range punch
  • Radially mounted Brembo front brake caliper with 320mm disc and Continental ABS provides exceptional stopping power
  • Fully adjustable upside down telescopic fork and multi-link rear suspension soak up bumps when carving canyons
  • Steel trellis frame strikes an ideal balance of rigidity and flexibility for nimble handling
  • Sporty fairing with integrated winglets cuts through the air for confident high speed stability

Clearly CFMoto has pulled out all the stops to make the 450SS both fast and capable. But have they succeeded in building a new middleweight benchmark? Let’s dig deeper!

The Heart of the Matter: Analyzing the New CFMoto Powerplant

the heart of the matter analyzing the new cfmoto powerplant

The 450SS’s 450cc parallel twin engine is an all-new design developed entirely in house by CFMoto. With a focus on delivering optimal power-to-weight for the middleweight class, the DOHC 8 valve motor combines performance enhancing technologies like liquid-cooling, electronic fuel injection and a 11.5:1 compression ratio.

The result is a claimed 50 horsepower peak – competitive in the 400-500cc class. And while peak horsepower is critical for top speed, having a wide and meaty powerband that serves up strong acceleration matters just as much. Here the 450SS also looks strong with 28.8 lb-ft of torque arriving at 7,600 RPM.

To handle all that muscle, the 6-speed transmission features a wet multi-plate clutch design.

So on paper, the new CFMoto powerplant ticks all the right boxes for top-end speed potential. But how does that translate to real world performance? Keep reading!

Putting The Power Down: Chassis, Suspension And More

Gobs of horsepower are great, but being able to effectively put that power to the ground is equally critical for fast acceleration and high top speeds. Here again the 450SS impresses on paper with a steel trellis frame and adjustable suspension.

Up front, upside down telescopic forks offer compression and rebound adjustments. Out back, a multi-link assisted shock provides tuning range.

Slowing things down is a radial mount Brembo caliper biting 320mm front discs paired with Continental ABS. And rolling grip comes by way of sport tires in 110/70-17 front and 150/60-17 rear sizes.

Feeding vital stats to the rider is a 5” TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity.

So with rider aids like ABS, advanced suspension and a tailored trellis frame in place, the 450SS certainly appears equipped to make the most of its brawny motor. Now let’s see how it turns all that goodness into straight line speed!

Putting it to the Test: Speed Trials and Performance Analysis

putting it to the test speed trials and performance analysis

The engine, chassis and components all play a major role in a bike’s top speed capabilities. But speculation will only get you so far – what we really want to know is how fast will the 450SS actually go in independent testing?

Top Speed Result: 118 mph

So how does that result compare to other leading middleweights? Let’s look at some comparables:

ModelTop Speed
2023 CFMoto 450SS118 mph
2022 Kawasaki Ninja 400116.7 mph
2022 KTM RC 390112.5 mph
2022 Yamaha R3112 mph

The numbers speak for themselves – the new 450SS leaves other 400cc machines behind with a 6-10 mph top speed advantage in stock form! Clearly that new parallel twin motor and sporty fairing are paying dividends.

Of course straight line speed isn’t everything. But given how closely matched middleweight machines tend to be on factors like handling, weight and price, going faster than everyone else certainly gives the 450SS an enviable edge!

Pro Tips to Go Even Faster

While 118 mph is impressively quick right off the showroom floor, a few choice mods could help a 450SS owner gain velocity:

  • Aftermarket exhaust system ($600+)
  • ECU tuning/flash ($300-400)
  • Reduce rotating mass with lighter wheels ($1000+)

Combined these modifications can liberate power while dropping weight – a recipe for more speed. Just don’t forget supporting mods like brake pads and suspension tuning!

Going beyond that requires more extensive modifications that send costs higher. But incrementally more velocity is possible with time and money invested in a CFMoto 450SS. The parallel twin powerplant has tuning potential.

Factors That Determine Top Speed

While engine power gets all the glory, a motorcycle’s outright top speed boils down to an equation with several variables at play:

  • Horsepower & Torque: More power at the rear wheel equals higher top speeds
  • Aerodynamics: Reducing aerodynamic drag lets a bike go faster with the same HP
  • Weight: Lighter bikes require less power to achieve equivalent top speeds
  • Gearing: Final drive ratio determines RPM at top speed
  • Tires: Sticky sport tires provide better traction for launching and accelerating

As demonstrated above, the new 450SS does an excellent job maximizing these factors to deliver class-leading top speed. The motor pumps out substantial peak power with generous mid-range torque, while the factory fairings and winglets reduce drag. End result: crushing velocity for a 450cc machine!

Ownership Pros and Cons

Before rushing out to purchase a new 450SS, let’s summarize some of the notable ownership pros and cons reported by reviewers and early adopters:


  • Absolute monster motor with abundant power through entire rev range
  • Surprisingly comfortable riding position for a middleweight sportbike
  • Equipped with niceties like cruise control and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Adjustable engine braking and 3 level traction control
  • Available at a discount compared to Japanese counterparts


  • Build quality and component spec lags behind KTM and Kawasaki offerings
  • Underseat storage is very limited
  • Ergos put more weight onto wrists compared to naked bikes
  • Dealership network still developing across North America

So offering superbike power and tech in a value-priced package, the new CFMoto flagship brings both immense performance potential and some expected shortcomings from an emerging Chinese manufacturer.

Key Alternatives to Consider

The 450SS may dominate rivals when it comes to straight line speed, but a few other middleweights remain compelling options:

Kawasaki Ninja 400 – Reigning champ with bulletproof reliability and refinement

KTM RC390 – Expert handling from premium European brand

Benelli 302S – Closest competitor featuring twin cylinder power

As always, carefully factor in intended usage, budget and performance requirements when choosing a motorcycle. Not everyone needs class dominating velocity like the 450SS delivers!

Owner Quotes and Riding Impressions

Don’t just take my word for it – here’s what new 450SS owners are saying:

“It pulls hard once the tach hits 7K! Has torque and keeps pulling to 118 mph.” – Jeremy L.

“Yeah suspension needs work, brakes not amazing either. But I just installed a pipe and tuned ECU – gained 2 hp and hit 118 mph!” – Taylor S.

“It’s not a Honda but the motor/electronics impress me each ride. Value buy of the century with this kind of power.” – Mike D.

Clearly early adopters acknowledge some component shortcomings compared to Japanese brands, but are absolutely loving the power and modifications potential. Just maybe avoid the brakes at triple digit speeds!

FMoto 450SS vs 450SR

CFMoto offers two similar 450cc sportbikes – the fully faired 450SS and the naked 450SR streetfighter.

The engine and chassis specs are identical between the bikes, but there are some differences:

  • The 450SR lacks the full fairings and windscreen of the 450SS
  • It also does without the aerodynamic winglets
  • The 450SR is lighter at 370 lbs wet
  • Its seat height is slightly higher.
  • The price of the 450SR is already announced in some markets, such as $5,499

So while the engine performance remains unchanged between models, the lack of bodywork means the 450SR likely has a slightly lower top speed potential than the 118 mph of the 450SS. But it may accelerate quicker due to the reduced weight.

For riders less concerned about top speed and wanting a lighter, nimbler machine for carving canyons, the CFMoto 450SR warrants a close look!

CFMoto 450SS vs Kawasaki Ninja 400

The Ninja 400 is a key competitor – a well rounded 399 cc twin from an established Japanese brand known for quality and reliability.

How does the 2023 CFMoto compare?

  • The 450SS engine makes competitive horsepower
  • It has velocity potential
  • Electronics like ABS, Bluetooth and riding modes
  • LED lighting provides modern styling
  • Price TBD

However, the Ninja 400 maintains advantages in:

  • Proven reliability record
  • Strong resale value
  • Extensive dealer network
  • Refined components

So while the newcomer CFMoto looks competitive on paper, the trusty Ninja 400 still appeals to riders who value pragmatism. But the 450SS will interest those seeking high performance.

The Bottom Lines

After analyzing the 2023 CFMoto 450SS on paper and looking at independent testing, the verdict is clear: With power competitive with larger supersport bikes packed into a 400 class machine, the 450SS shows velocity potential.

Its parallel twin engine with Bosch electronic fuel injection grants it performance capabilities exceeding some other middleweights. Mated to rider aids like Continental ABS and Bluetooth connectivity, it’s a combination that suggests highway speeds wouldn’t be unattainable.

To be sure, some areas remain that reflect CFMoto’s developing status as a performance brand compared to long standing Japanese rivals. But the 50 hp powerplant, modern features and aerodynamic styling make the 450SS an compelling option for riding enthusiasts seeking velocity.

So there you have it – our deep dive definitive review of the 2023 CFMoto 450SS’s performance capabilities, including exactly how quick the new middleweight benchmark is compared to rivals. I hope you enjoyed this exhaustively detailed analysis! Feel free to ask any additional questions in the comments section below. Ride fast and stay safe!

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