Honda NC700X

Motorcycle manufacturers agonize over a lot of things, chief among them is how to bring new riders into the sport and how to encourage those who have left to slap down the old Visa card and jump back in. Honda’s recent success on this front is the CBR250R, an utterly conventional motorcycle that happens to be dead cheap and unexpectedly well built. That it’s scads of fun doesn’t hurt at all.

Honda is blurring a lot of lines with the NC. The basic architecture is, in fact, almost scooter-like, with a low-slung steel-tube frame encircling a lay-down parallel-twin engine. Careful packaging of the drivetrain allows a massive central storage compartment in the place normally used for fuel and an airbox; it’s big enough to swallow all but the largest full-face helmets. Fuel, 3.7 gallons of it, resides in a steel tank beneath the seat and rear bodywork you flip up the passenger saddle to find the filler cap.

 

 

And now we have the NC700X—the NC standing for “new concept” and the X denoting the adventure-bike version of it. A world model, meaning that it was developed in and for other markets, the NC-X is elsewhere joined by a fully naked version and a quasi-scooter called the Integra. Because ADV bikes are selling well here, American Honda selected the X to launch the line.

Honda is betting big that the NC700X’s low base price will lure people into dealerships. Once they arrive, they’ll be surprised by the bike’s very good fit and finish, complete feature set and extensive selection of accessories that Honda proudly says were developed during the basic design of the bike, not as afterthoughts. That the NC700X has such a gentle, forgiving nature should certainly help seal that deal.

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Comments
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