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Old 01-14-2013, 06:45 AM   #109
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Formerly Shoreview, MN
Oddometer: 2,328
Originally Posted by jcbrandon View Post
I got to spend a week with the Honda NC700X recently. Put several hundred miles on it, including one long day of more than 370 miles.

I like the bike a lot. I ride a 2005 KLR650 and have been wanting something that is more comfortable and has better performance on the street, especially on mountain roads. Was thinking about getting a used Triumph Tiger 800XC. After the time on the NC700X, I'm more likely to get the Honda for the pavement and keep my KLR for real dual-sport kind of stuff.

The Honda is comfortable, looks to be well-built, very affordable, and really fun to ride. With the power down low in the rev range, and me being familiar with the KLR, riding the NC700X was an easy transition. I rode with some guys who have a lot of experience on bigger bikes with a lot more horsepower. On the NC700X they frequently bumped into the rev limiter at 6400 rpm. That only happened to me once. The sweet spot on the Honda seemed to be in the 4,000 to 5,000 rpm range. But with the torque curve fairly flat and coming on very low you can stay below 3,500 rpm and still get around just fine. If you do that you can expect to get more than 70 miles to the gallon (US) of fuel. That will give you a usable range of at least 250 miles on a tank of gas.

The NC700X weighs about 50 pounds more than my KLR. The DCT version is 80 pounds heavier than the KLR. But both feel lighter and more maneuverable than the Kawasaki. It feels like the weight is down between your ankles, rather than up above your knees.

The integrated storage is a great feature. You'll get used to it very quickly and then miss it when you get back on another bike. Honda offers a 12-volt power outlet that mounts inside the storage compartment so you can charge your phone and camera while you ride and they are protected from the weather. It would be trivial to add some USB ports in there as well. Having secure and hidden storage for your helmet when you stop for lunch is a really nice benefit.

I was lucky enough to ride both the manual transmission and the DCT version. Both are nice. I like the DCT a lot. That engine and transmission combination is a very sweet set up. It's really fun on twisty canyon roads. It let me shift gears in milliseconds which means I could give more mental energy to my riding technique, rather than the mechanics of operating the motorcycle. Here in the US the DCT version of the bike costs $2,000 more than the manual transmission version. That could be an issue for some buyers who are on a very tight budget. For $2,000 you could buy some really nice riding gear, or luggage and a camping setup, or a lot of fuel.

For what I would spend on that used Triumph 800XC I could buy the Honda with the DCT transmission, put some money into improving my KLR650, and still have some cash left over. I won't have a 90-horsepower motorcycle. But I will have two bikes that each do what I want them to do pretty darn well.

This feedback is awesome. I'm seriously considering this bike since it will be a commuter and an occasional dirt roader. Just exploring and not serious two track. I usually carry camera gear so having the extra storage would be nice.

Also... if you can share, how was your experience with the challenge??

Scott in Shoreview
'79 Suzuki GS550
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