Short for “New Concept,” the Honda NC700X is a utilitarian motorcycle forging a unique path in this landscape. Speed isn’t its main focus. Instead, being the one bike capable of many things is where its value lies. Its narrow profile makes it capable of slicing through traffic, and its 670cc parallel-Twin engine has enough grunt to easily outpace cars trying to jockey for position on the road. The on-board storage compartment proves especially nice if you need to make a small grocery run. Fit the optional luggage (saddlebags and top case), and you almost have enough room for a trip to Costco! Conveniently, at $7,799, the NC700X won’t break the bank, allowing you to splurge at the aforementioned bargain warehouse on 83 rolls of toilet paper.
The NC stands out in a few ways, as its undersquare engine (73.0mm bore x 80.0mm stroke) is situated in the frame almost horizontally. Since the 3.7 gallons of fuel are stationed under the seat, all that room above the engine frees up 21 liters for storage. The punchy little engine may not win many drag races, as our test bike put down only 47.7 hp, but its 42.6 ft-lb of torque at only 4,700 rpm is more than capable of hauling you and a passenger to places unknown. The NC is incredibly miserly on gas, too. The worst mileage we could muster with our heavy right wrists still tickled 50 mpg. When not being thrashed, we could get 10 miles a gallon better. Our best effort to save gas almost returned a whopping 80 miles to the gallon!
Befitting its New Concept name, the NC harkens back to the days of the Universal Japanese Motorcycle. Its upright seating position places you in a comfortable stance to not only go to work during the week, but to escape the 9-to-5 on the weekends. Plus, with its long(ish)-travel suspension, some mild off-roading is entirely possible as well. A negative result of the generous suspension travel is a relatively tall 32.7-inch seat height, which, combined with a slightly broader mid-section, can be a stretch for short legs. On the plus side, the NC easily accommodates taller riders.
While we’re on the topic of suspension, the budget-spec components used here are part of the reason for the low price tag. Despite this, both ends still provide a comfortable ride at the expense of true sporting composure. A single 320mm front disc and twin-piston caliper is partnered with a 240mm rear disc and single-piston caliper. Braking performance is fine for a 427-pound motorcycle in most situations, especially if both ends are applied at the same time.
For the rider with only enough cash (or room) for one bike, give the NC700X a good look. It lives for the daily grind or a vacation full of long, flowing roads. From a value perspective, the NC700X really is a do-it-all motorcycle at a reasonable price. If using your foot to shift is a bit too cumbersome for you, an extra $1000 will get the Dual-Clutch Transmission option, which allows for true push-button shifting and not bothering with a clutch lever, plus it includes ABS.
|Honda NC700X Specs|
|MSRP||$7,799 / $8,799 w/DCT and ABS|
|Engine Type||Liquid-cooled, SOHC, four-valve, parallel-Twin|
|Bore x Stroke||73.0mm x 80.0mm|
|Front Suspension||Telescopic, 41mm. fork, 5.4 in. travel|
|Rear Suspension||Single shock, 5.9 in. travel|
|Front Brakes||320mm disc with two-piston caliper|
|Rear Brakes||240mm disc with single-piston caliper|
|Seat Height||32.7 inches|
|Curb Weight (claimed)||472.0 pounds|
|Fuel Capacity||3.7 gal|
|Warranty||Transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty;
extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.