As for slowing down, the single, two-piston caliper and 320mm disc up front provide good but not great stopping power with decent feel. The single-piston caliper biting a 240mm disc at the rear, however, requires a hearty pedal-stomp and doesn’t offer particularly good feedback for detection of impending lockup. But unless you’re planning to make an elapsed-time record run on your favorite curvy road, the NC’s braking is perfectly adequate, especially for a workaday machine.
Ergonomically, the 700’s riding position is upright and comfortable, with a wide handlebar, good footpeg position, decent wind protection from the little adjustable flyscreen and a roomy saddle. The seat foam is pretty firm, though, so your butt may want a break long before you reach the potential 260-mile fuel range. The seat’s 32.7-in. height may also scare off some buyers, but at least it’s well-shaped and tapers at the front, which should help many short-inseam riders touch the ground securely. Because the fuel tank is under the saddle, Honda doesn’t offer an optional lower seat.
Just about the time you’ve convinced your friends that the NC700X is a “real” motorcycle, you’ll open the locking storage bin where the fuel tank is supposed to be, and they’ll all yell “scooter!” But then they’ll ask you to carry their water, jacket liner and sunglasses. That “trunk” will swallow a full-face helmet or a six-pack or a bag of groceries, so there’s room for your buddies’ stuff, but you really should make them retract their scooter comments before carrying it. An interior-mounted 12-volt outlet ($114.85) is an option, but you’ll have to be creative if you want it to power a GPS or other device outside the compartment, since there is no obvious opening for a cord.
Honda has an extensive list of accessories available for this machine. At the bike’s press introduction, we rode two fully accessorized NC700s and were impressed by the quality of the 29-liter saddlebags ($949.85) and 45-liter top case ($599.85). Heated grips ($289.84), a centerstand ($149.95), lightbars ($149.95), a tall windscreen ($169.95) and air deflectors ($89.95 for upper or lower) are among the options.
While it is clear that Honda has changed the game with the NC700X, company reps also assured us that this is not an entirely new route for the company’s future or a move away from its high-performance heritage; it instead is a means of attracting new riders and getting those who used to ride back on board to ensure that motorcycling is in good health well into the future. It’s simply a new application of Honda’s technological and engineering leadership.
“One day, we woke up and the world had changed,” said a Honda executive.
He’s right. So, don’t blame the NC700X for fitting the times and redefining the modern all-round motorcycle.
|Warranty||12 mo./unlimited mi.|
|ENGINE & DRIVETRAIN|
|Engine||liquid-cooled, four-stroke parallel Twin|
|Bore & Stroke||73.0 x 80.0mm|
|Valvetrain||sohc, four valves per cylinder, threaded adjustment|
|Valve adjust intervals||8000 mi.|
|Induction||36mm throttle body|
|Oil capacity||3.3 qt.|
|Tank empty||451 lb.|
|Tank full||474 lb.|
|Fuel capacity||3.7 gal.|
|Seat height||32.7 in.|
|Ground clearance||6.7 in.|
|Load capacity (tank full)||430 lb.|
|SUSPENSION & TIRES|
|Claimed wheel travel||5.4 in.|
|Claimed wheel travel||5.9 in.|
|Front||120/70ZR17 Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact|
|Rear||160/60ZR17 Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact|
|1/4-mile||13.86 sec. @ 94.23 mph|
|0-30 mph||1.6 sec.|
|0-60 mph||4.9 sec.|
|0-90 mph||11.9 sec.|
|0-100 mph||17.3 sec.|
|Top gear time to speed:|
|40-60 mph||6.9 sec.|
|60-80 mph||8.7 sec.|
|Measured top speed||111 mph|
|Engine speed at 60 mph||3229 rpm|
|Avg. range inc. reserve||233 mi.|
|From 30 mph||35 ft.|
|From 60 mph||142 ft.|
|30 mph indicated||30 mph|
|60 mph indicated||60 mph|