New Bikes

WK 650 facelift revealed

New look for Chinese ER-6-alike

CHINESE firm CFMoto – which sells its machines under the WK Bikes banner in the UK – looks set to revamp its naked 650cc parallel twin offering next year.

CAD/CAM images of the redesigned machine have appeared today via the European patent office, showing a far sleeker-looking creation than the current, bluff-fronted WK 650i.

From the pictures, it appears that the engine, frame, suspension and wheels are identical to the current model, which is claimed to make 71hp to give performance that’s on a par with the similarly-designed Kawasaki ER-6n. The Chinese bike’s engine is near-identical to the Kawasaki’s in terms of dimensions and design, and even the chassis is similar, right down to the off-centre rear shock mounted on the right hand side.

The new styling, with a steeply slanted headlight, is more conventional (and, dare we say, more like the current ER-6n) than the current bike, which has a near-vertical pair of stacked lamps, not dissimilar to those of the original-generation ER-6n. However, it’s clearly not a straight copy of the Japanese bike in terms of style, with a very different design around the tank and tail. Both look rather sportier than the Kawasaki, suggesting that perhaps CFMoto/WK Bikes have plans to add a full fairing at some stage in the near future.

Of course, the Chinese machine is cheaper than the Japanese equivalent. The current 650i has a £4,199 list price, some £1,200 less than the ER-6n’s rrp, although even cheaper deals can be found online.

Another notable, and unavoidable, change is the addition of ABS sensors on the otherwise-unchanged brakes. All new models over 125cc must get ABS if they’re to be sold in Europe next year, with carry-over models needing to adopt the system by the start of 2017.

Given the timing of the patent filing, we’d be surprised if a finished face-lifted bike offering this look isn’t launched later this year as part of the 2016 range.

Would ABS and a sleeker look persuade you to take a closer look at the WK 650i rather than a more established Japanese brand? Let us know in the comments below.

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