Originally Posted by kamikazekyle
Hrm...are you selling your GS550? If I could only have one bike and was choosing between the V7 Stone and NC700X, I'd go for the Honda. And this comes from being a totally satisfied V7 Stone owner without much desire for the Honda. The NC700X is simply built from the ground up to be a utility and budget touring bike. New liquid cooled engine tuned for street-legal torque and economy, modern geometry, modern tires, long service intervals, better braking, etc. I believe it puts out a good bit more power at the wheel. Plus the base model is significantly cheaper. I wanna say the charging system will also support more accessories, but I haven't looked up the actual alternator output (the V7 Stone can't support much).
That said, to me the NC700X does lack a lovable character that the V7 oozes. There's something to be said for that irreplacable character and charm that tingles from the V twin as it tries to buck from beneath your legs and toss the bike during turnover. Though I already do own two late model year Japanese sportbikes that are there if said charm ever gets annoying at times. And if you're into working on your own bikes, the V7's smallblock is pretty dead simple. A shaft drive is a bit of a boon for touring, too.
The Stone will certainly serve all your intended purposes including off road -- though the NC700X will have more off road/dual sport oriented tire options stock, and more pure-sport oriented tires available. The V7's are largely limited to touring (or touring-oriented sport/touring) tires, though you can get a little creative and slap on practically anything. I've seen some V7 Classics converted into pure dual sports without too much effort.
I can't vouch for any hard luggage yet since I'm still trying to source options. Outside of the OEM bags and one set I saw on here (but dunno where to purchase), I don't have a line for any. The OEM hard bags are priced high enough to make your mind laugh with obsurdness. No windscreen yet, either, but it's on the to-get list.
Mileage wise, I'll quote myself:
All that is without a windscreen. I've heard of 2013 V7 Racer owners getting upper 50's during warmer weather with highway mileage. The NC700X gets better mileage, IIRC. Some reveiwers were getting upper 60's to 70's if they were playing nice with the throttle.
Anywho. Both bikes will fit your needs just fine, assuming the V7 Stone has a compatible seating position. The NC700X will probably do it better stock and for less (baseline model). But most people *DO* choose to ride motorcycles for more than utility -- to get that bit of enjoyment from being open and to experience that little *something* that a motorcycle can give -- and the V7's will do that in spades. Test ride both, and if you feel that ping of excitement with the Guzzi and understand it's features and quirks, go for it.
One of the reasons I purchased my Stone was due to my girlfriend's interest. She didn't want to ride my sportbikes, but was all for an old school styled classic. The V7 will also stand out a bit in a crowd -- any Guzzi will with the longitudal V twin -- so long as someone doesn't confuse it for a Harley (already happened to me).
Oh, and Honda is coming out with an CB500X -- styled after the NC700X -- using their new 500cc twin. From what I've read, the 500cc twin will still match (or even exceed) the Guzzi small block performance, but deliver much better mileage. And the CB500X MSRP should be right around $6000 and can use some of the NC700X's accessories.
I'm the only V7 Stone owner I know on this forum so far, but for the most part, the older V7 Classics are interchangable with the Stone. The 2013 engines are improved over prior models and te Stone has cast wheels with tubeless tires, but for general feedback there are owners here with older V7 models that have many more seat hours than I who would have better long-term feedback.