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Kove 800X Headed to US

Kove will bring three versions of its 800X to the US market, including the Standard, Pro, and Rally versions. (Kove/)

Chinese upstart Kove made a strong impression when we rode the 450 Rally model last year and now the company’s bigger 800X is heading to the US market to bring the brand into the adventure bike scene.

Kove’s own US market website lists the 800X as “coming soon” but the company has now filed paperwork with the NHTSA that suggests no fewer than three variants will reach these shores, including the 800X Standard, 800X Pro, and 800X Rally. Those versions match what’s currently offered on the Chinese market, and essentially reflect three tiers of different off-road capability.

We were impressed by the 450 Rally when we rode it last year.

We were impressed by the 450 Rally when we rode it last year. (Jeff Allen/)

All variants of the 800X share the same recipe and styling, with a 799cc parallel-twin engine that puts out 95 hp at 9,000 rpm and 59 lb.-ft. of torque at 7,500 rpm. Even at a quick glance it’s clear that the engine bears an uncanny resemblance to KTM’s LC8c parallel twin, a similarity that continues inside where the 88mm bore and 65.7mm stroke exactly match the measurements of the original “790″ version of the KTM engine, now itself manufactured in China for the 790 Duke and 790 Adventure (but designed, developed, and assembled in Austria) as well as CFMoto’s 800MT and 800NK models. Kove does suggest it has a higher compression ratio than the KTM and CFMoto machines at 13:1. Like the LC8c, the Kove engine has an unusual 285-degree crankshaft rather than the more common 270-degree layout, essentially replicating the firing interval of a 75-degree V-twin rather than a 90-degree V-twin.

The chassis is also shared across the three versions, with all featuring the same “diamond” frame, 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wire-spoked wheels, and KYB suspension, adjustable for preload and compression and rebound damping at both ends on the Pro and Rally models while the Standard version gets preload adjustment only.

Suspension travel on the Pro and Rally is much more suited for off-road exploration.

Suspension travel on the Pro and Rally is much more suited for off-road exploration. (Kove/)

The biggest differences between the three tiers can be picked out from the dimensions, with the Pro and Rally getting progressively longer-travel suspension for additional off-road clearance when compared to the Standard variant. The Standard sits on a 59.1-inch wheelbase and has a seat that’s 33.3 inches off the ground. The Standard’s ground clearance comes in at 9.6 inches.

With around an inch of extra suspension travel, the Pro version’s wheelbase grows to 59.4 inches and the seat height rises to 34.5 inches. It’s also around four pounds heavier than the Standard with a curb weight of 408 pounds in Chinese-market spec, and the ground clearance rises to 10.8 inches.

There is not a time frame yet on when the three models will go on sale in the US.

There is not a time frame yet on when the three models will go on sale in the US. (Kove/)

Step up to the Rally version and the suspension rises further still. You get 10.6 inches of fork travel and 9.8 inches of rear on offer, along with 11.5 inches of ground clearance. The seat is taller too, at 35.2 inches, and the longer fork means the wheelbase stretches out again, to 60.8 inches.

While all three models use 90/90-21 front tires, the rear rubber size differs, with 150/70-18 on the Standard and Pro, but a 140/80-18 on the Rally. That suggests more off-road-biased rubber for the Rally variant, which is also likely to be why its certified top speed is limited to 114 mph while the two other models are rated at 130 mph.

#Kove #800X #Headed

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