Top 10 Value-For-Money Hondas

Honda’s current motorcycle lineup is packed with value

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Honda NC700X

062714-2014-honda-nc700x

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.

2012 Honda NC700X Review + Video

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!

The Honda NC700X represents affordable two-wheeling, suitable for almost any kind of riding.

The Honda NC700X represents affordable two-wheeling, suitable for almost any kind of riding.

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.

Honda NC700X vs. Kawasaki Versys + Video

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.

2012-Honda-NC700X-Beauty-Accessories

Fully accessorized with a tall windscreen and luggage, the NC700X goes from a daily commuter to a long-distance traveling companion.

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.

2014 Honda NC700X DCT ABS Review

+ Highs

  • Incredible fuel mileage
  • 21-liter storage compartment is really handy
  • The Universal Japanese Motorcycle is back
- Sighs

  • Engine runs out of steam fairly quickly
  • Seat height may put off shorter riders
  • ABS only available with DCT
Honda NC700X Specs
MSRP $7,799 / $8,799 w/DCT and ABS
Engine Capacity 670.0cc
Engine Type Liquid-cooled, SOHC, four-valve, parallel-Twin
Bore x Stroke 73.0mm x 80.0mm
Compression 10.7:1
Fuel System EFI
Transmission 6-speed
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Final Drive Chain
Frame Steel
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
Front Tire 120/70ZR17
Rear Tire 160/60ZR17
Seat Height 32.7 inches
Wheelbase 47.2 inches
Curb Weight (claimed) 472.0 pounds
Fuel Capacity 3.7 gal
Colors Black, Red
Warranty Transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty;
extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.
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  • Craig Hoffman

    Yamaha is giving Honda good competition in some areas. The new FZ09 has a gem of an engine for 700X money and they are just coming out now with their twin. Hopefully Yamaha take a cue from Honda and offers their new bikes in a variety of formats. An FZ09 powered ADV variant with a roomier feel and more fuel capacity could be a big winner. Yamaha needs to get with it and produce a WR450R version of it’s excellent 250R already too.

    Good to see the manufacturers realizing we are not all made of money. The auto manufacturers seem to have completely lost the plot. Unlike cars, motorcycles are not vehicles to lease. There has to be an affordable value oriented option in the new market, or the used market becomes the whole market.

    • Jason

      The FZ-09 and FZ-07 are interesting bikes but they have one glaring omission: no ABS. This is 2014 and ABS should at least be offered as an option especially considering that ABS is standard on these models in Europe.

      • The People’s Champion

        i heard the FZ09 is limited to a 132mph… that’s N650 territory and the bike is shod with poor suspension for its engine.

        • Jason

          Limited to only double the speed limit? I think that should be adequate for public roads.

          • The People’s Champion

            by that logic we should all be riding those 80-90mph capable 250s no?

          • Jason

            Top speed, engine displacement, power, and acceleration are all very different things. I have no need to go more than 132 mph but that doesn’t mean that I want to ride a 250.

  • octodad

    purchased CTX700n w/ABS-DCT. having a blast on this scoot. pal w/ the street glide always wants to take mine for a spin. I enjoy riding his cycle, but prefer my little Honda. slow speed handling is superlative, and it can snap my head back as I roll on the throttle. get a lot of compliments on the cool look and ergonomic seating. big Red is dominant force w/awesome motorcycles. I am a fan…

    • Sarang Borude

      How does it do on freeway speeds, Is it easy enough to pass vehicles?

      • Michele Amason

        I have the CTX700D w/ABS-DCT and have no problems on the freeway. It is heavier than the Naked and is very stable when trucks fly by.

  • sgray44444

    Thinly veiled advertising? Not hardly- there’s no veil at all!

    • Steven Holmes

      Advertisement or not, it’s pretty nice to see that “Big Red” has so many cost effective options out there for me to try. Be nice if the other major manufacturers had similar lines to choose from. It’d make for good competition if the rest of ‘em had comparably cost effective product lines.
      Something to be said about Honda’s reliability and longevity though… that’s pretty hard to beat.

    • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

      You see many negative observations in advertisements? Like slow to accelerate, limitations of its suspension, etc? How about actual measured MPG instead of OEM claims? I see them in this set of short reviews, which also happen to echo the full reviews done previously on Motorcycle.com when Honda wasn’t an advertiser at all.

      • sgray44444

        That’s what is so distasteful about the whole article. It has the appearance of genuine journalism, but it really is just an advertisement for Honda.
        Of course you can find negatives for any motorcycle. They are all built to a price point and application, so saying a cheap motorcycle does not have good suspension is just stating the obvious. Everyone knows manufacturer’s MPG claims are done under more ideal conditions.
        Hey, I don’t care if Honda is a huge sponsor and you take this route. I still like to read about motorcycles of all kinds. It doesn’t speak well to your credibility though.
        Do I believe the reviews were biased? No, actually I don’t. But, I do think that the review being about a single manufacturer’s entire product line says something.
        Everyone knows that Honda makes a good reliable bike. It’s just odd for a magazine to focus completely on one manufacturer’s product line without the word “advertisement” being on the top of each page.
        The word disingenuous comes to mind as I read this thread and the article.

        • http://norimek.com/blog Robert C. Barth

          I have yet to obtain Honda’s specified fuel economy on either of my two Hondas. I always get much better! (no kidding)

    • JP

      Reading this again, part of me agrees with you. Honda is obviously advertising all over the website.

      Then again, I really haven’t heard anything bad about the new Honda bikes either. Everything I’m reading about the new 250, the 500′s, the NC700x, and the new VFR are very positive. I’m actually impressed by Honda being “all-in” with all of the new models they are selling here in the states.

      A good friend of mine has a CBR250 and a ZX6r and he still rides the 250 because of how well made it is.

      Creating the CBR650F and the VFR800 takes a lot of balls in my opinion. They are obviously not sportbikes, but they are also not cruisers. They are basically just well built motorcycles without a lot of the new gizmos like traction control.

      I tip my hat to them, but again, this is definitely a little brand friendly.

      • sgray44444

        Good points, JP. I agree with you. I’m not big on Honda’s non-sport models (ugly to the hilt), but the 250′s and the 500′s are really great bikes for reasonable money. I would seriously consider a VFR800 or CBR650F, but I don’t think the value is really there on those models, as good as they are. I’ve already said my peace about the apparent conflict of interest, so I’ll leave that alone.

  • Piglet2010

    Will a Rebel really go 80-mph – most reports I have seen put top speed at less than 75-mph?