Chinese WK Bikes Shows K400R Budget Adventure Machine that Looks Decent

WK K400R 5 photos
WK K400RWK K400R has optional aluminium panniersWK K400R has bik-bike looksWill the WK K400R withstand the rigors of adventure riding?
There’s a high chance that the name WK Bikes doesn’t ring a bell in your ears, but things might just change. The Chinese manufacturer is slowly making inroads in the European markets and the ongoing Motorcycle Live show in Birmingham, UK has just seen a new model which might shake things up a bit. WK has unveiled the K400R machine, a trail/ adventure/ dual-purpose bike which comes with a really neat price and whose presence will definitely animate the under-half-liter segment.
There’s not much info on the K400R right now, as it is not even listed on WK’s website, but this model is definitely aimed at filling in a gap in the business. So far, WK’s motorcycles where in the 124, 250 or 650cc classes, so adding one more intermediate displacement will draw a new type of customers… which other manufacturers seem to ignore at the moment.

Small-displacement adventure bikes are really rare

The motorcycle industry sort of lacks such bikes, and that’s why this apparition is a most welcome one. It may be the signal that the small-displacement adventure bikes segment has just become interesting enough to invest in it.

Right now, we can only rely on machines such as the Honda CRF 230L/250L, Suzuki’s quarter-liter dual-sport DR’s if we are to choose a bike. Unfortunately, none of these is offering enough touring comfort, being derived from off-road models, and technically being simply upgraded with street-legal parts.

The WK K400R however, seems to be more in the vein of M1nsk’s TRX 300i machine, itself a Chinese Zongshen RX3, also sold as CSC Cyclone RX3 in the US. And even so, these are also quarter-liter bikes, with significant differences separating them from the 400ers.

This new bike is said to produce 27 horsepower and 24 lb-ft (32.6 Nm) of torque from what it looks like a parallel twin engine, and this might just do for casual adventure riding without too much hardcore factor. At the same time, in case the transmission is a 6-speed model, it could effortlessly do highway speeds even when fully loaded.

Thanks to the air cooling, the WK K400R posts a 151 kg (333 lb) dry weight which should provide great maneuverability even on very rough terrain. The beak and the headlight casing involuntarily make us think about BMW’s older F650GS, but such resemblances are definitely not uncommon with Chinese motorcycles.

No price was so far mentioned in relation with the all-new WK adventure bike, but visordown estimates that it could arrive under the €4.400 in the UK, possibly lower in other EU countries, and even lower if the K400R makes it across the pond.

Like always, it’s the reliability and parts availability which play the leading role in the success of any Chinese machine. Some of them turn out to be decently reliable, while others are useless junk. Wonder if this type of roulette will ever be done with… Until then, however, it’s one more Chinese machine to withstand the test, and when it comes to adventure bikes, it’s not going to be an easy one.

The aluminium panniers proudly display a Taklamarkan Rally screen printed badge, and it would be interesting to know whether the K400R was in the middle of the action in this grueling desert challenge.
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