Honda CTX700N


Is Honda’s CTX700N a cruiser without chrome and leather or a standard with a cruiser’s seat height and riding position? We don’t know, but Big Red’s idea of attracting new riders, who may not fit into motorcycling’s usual tribes, to the sport seems like a good idea. The equation is a simple one: Take a friendly 670cc parallel-Twin, put it in a smart-looking chassis with a low seat height, make it easy/fun to ride, and give it a $6,999 base price. Who cares if the bike doesn’t fit in traditional categories?

With a low, 28.3-in. seat height, the CTX700N makes it easy for even the shortest riders to flat foot both boots at a stop. The feet forward, cruiser-style riding position puts the rider’s upper body in an upright position perfect for viewing the road ahead. The pulled-back handlebar places the grips where the rider’s hands would naturally fall. While the seat feels perfect for shorter riders, taller ones may find that its shape prevents the pilot from sliding back far enough for long-distance comfort.

2014 Honda CTX700 First Look

The cylinders’ 62-degree forward tilt means there is plenty of room for the 3.17-gallon tank to ride low in the frame above the engine, which aids Honda’s long-standing mass-centralization goals. The resulting low center of gravity (CG) means that, even at a standstill, the CTX feels much lighter than its claimed weight of 478 lbs. would suggest. At speed, the low CG translates into neutral but responsive steering, allowing the CTX to turn in or change lines without any fuss. Ground clearance is above average for a bike with similarly mounted pegs. Low-speed, parking-lot maneuvers are handled with aplomb.

The filler being set low and to the rear of the “tank” tells you that the weight of the fuel is carried low, under the seat. So, you get a tiny bonus storage compartment for your cell phone or garage clicker.

The CTX’s linked brakes shorten the learning curve of new or returning riders, but as they progress in their skills, riders will appreciate the decent power provided by the 320mm front and 240mm rear discs.

2014 Honda CTX700/N Review

The parallel-Twin’s low- to mid-range torque combine with an easy to modulate clutch, making pulling into traffic a no-stress affair. Shifting gears – both up and down – is remarkably slick for a budget-priced motorcycle. While the CTX wasn’t designed to win any races, it can easily best the traffic typically found in city riding. While the CTX’s delivery of smiles per hour is off the charts, the gas range is more than reasonable. With a thrifty 57.3 mpg, riders can expect to get around 180 miles out of a tankful.

The narrowness of the seat front assists in the easy reach to the ground. Taller riders may find themselves sitting on the curved rear portion of the seat.

The narrowness of the seat front assists in the easy reach to the ground. Taller riders may find themselves sitting on the curved rear portion of the seat.

With this much motorcycling competence for just $6999, the CTX700N tips the value meter in a very positive way. For riders who want a little more help when riding, Honda offers a Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) with included ABS for $1000 extra. When you consider that the DCT removes intimidating clutch work from the equation and allows the CTX to do all of the mundane shifting for you (while still allowing for manual shifting when desired), the upgrade price seems like even more of a bargain on top of the already budget-conscious MSRP.

While the CTX700N may not fit into the traditional cruiser or standard categories, it certainly excels in the amiability and fun factors. Honda may be on to something by bending traditional styling and giving a low entry price in an effort to convert folks from being motorcycle-curious into full-fledged riders – which is a good thing for motorcycling’s future.

2014 Honda CTX700 and CTX700N Revealed

+ Highs

  • Surprisingly good handling
  • Torquey engine
  • High value for the dollar
– Sighs

  • Seat can be cramped for larger riders
  • Polarizing styling
  • ABS only available with DCT
Honda CTX700N Specs
MSRP $6,999
Engine Capacity 670cc
Engine Type Liquid-cooled, SOHC parallel-twin, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 73mm x 80mm
Compression 10.7:1
Fuel System PGM-FI with 36mm throttle body
Transmission 6-speed
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Final Drive Chain
Frame Steel
Front Suspension Telescopic, 41mm fork, 4.2 in. travel
Rear Suspension Pro-Link single shock, 4.3 in. travel, ramped preload adjusmtent
Front Brakes Single 320mm disc with two-piston caliper
Rear Brakes Single 240mm disc with single-piston caliper
Front Tire 120/70-17
Rear Tire 160/60-17
Seat Height 28.3 in.
Wheelbase 60.2 in.
Curb Weight (claimed) 478 lb.
Fuel Capacity 3.17 gal.
Colors Candy Red, Black
Warranty One year, unlimited miles
  • 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.

    • 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 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.

        • 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?

  • fastfreddie

    Best value hondas were in the early ninties when you could get a honda nt 650 gt hawk ridicilouly cheap after it bombed in the sale room.Had one,and am kicking myself still for selling it.