Honda NC700XD ABS - Long-Term Test Update #1

Practically extravagant.

Honda NC700XD ABS
Long-Term Test Bikes: Honda NC700XD ABS

We know what you're thinking: How could the as-tested price of Cycle World's long-term 2012 NC700X be $11,633? After all, when this middleweight parallel-Twin made its stateside debut last year, MSRP for the manual-transmission model was just $6999 (add $500 for a '13).

Actually, reaching that astronomical, relatively speaking, figure was easy. First, we requested the $2K more costly NC700XD ABS, which comes with a six-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission and linked anti-lock brakes. Then, American Honda outfitted the bike with every available factory accessory (10 total), including saddlebags ($1039.80), a trunk ($449.90), tall windscreen ($169.95), heated grips ($289.80) and a centerstand ($149.95). Grand total? $2634.09. Despite their combined 29-liter capacity, the most expensive of those accessories, the clamshell saddlebags, have been used least, whereas the 45-liter trunk, three-stage heated grips and centerstand have proven indispensable.

Non-Honda additions: 1) Touratech Mount V2.0 for a Garmin zumo 660/665 ($174.80; www.touratech.com); and 2) Barkbusters VPS handguards ($129.99; www.twistedthrottle.com). The former attaches to the handlebar clamp with supplied hardware, and locking, spring-loaded jaws hold the GPS securely in place. The latter, combined with the aforementioned heated grips, helped keep our hands dry and warm during the winter months.

One of the key selling points for this low-revving (6500-rpm redline), adventure-styled machine has been fuel mileage. The manual-transmission NC700X that we tested last year (Honda NC700X - Road Test) returned a terrific average of 63 mpg, with a high of 73. Our DCT model, however, has thus far averaged "just" 52 mpg, with a best of 61. We nearly always choose Sport mode for its more aggressive shift points, but 17 percent is still a big drop, especially if you're traveling off the beaten path.

SPECIFICATIONS
TOTAL MILES|5018
NEXT SERVICE|8000
MAINTENANCE COSTS (INCLUDING TIRES)|$0
REPAIR COSTS|$0
AVERAGE FUEL MILEAGE|52 mpg
PRICE AS TESTED (2012)|$11,633
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