Honda NC700 Integra ride review

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by MODNROD, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    Pretty easy to sum up, what a ripper maxiscoot! :clap

    It looks good in the paint, the dark gunmetal blue (my description, not Honda's) looks deep and flawless, lots of plastic like everything else these days (my favourite colour is chrome.........), but well-fitted and solid. Instruments easy to read at a glance while riding, and they looked cool too, I'm not a huge fan of electrickery displays as they're sometimes hard to read in the sun, but this one works well. Controls are intuitive and fall readily to hand, as you would expect in a quality bike. Mirrors remain clear, apart from full throttle at higher ranges, then they blur only slightly.

    Riding position is comfy, and felt relaxed, but not slouched. I'm 6ft1 and 80kg, legs fell easily either under my bum, flat on the footwell, or stretched out forward. The seat does slope forwards towards the bars slightly, but I never felt cramped at all, in a comfy spot I still had over 2" from my knees to the leg-guards on the bodywork. The screen is simply excellent, I normally get a lot of buffeting due to my height on most bikes (apart from Roadkings of course!), Burgies, Tmax, Piaggio X-Evo, all of them, but not on this bike. The area behind the screen is a nice quiet stable place to be. If I rode it all through the winter, I might consider getting add-on wind deflectors to the sides of the standard screen, as the wind just touched my shoulders, but I'm nit-picking really, overall it is very good. If you added a set of Barkbusters (handguards), you could ride this thing in Antarctica.

    The performance is good. Bare in mind my last three bikes have been a KTM Supermoto with mid-50rwhp, a tweaked 10sec Ducati 996, and a big-NO2 boosted Kwaka cruiser, and although it's not QUITE as quick as my old Vmax I have at the moment(:lol3), it is really very good for what it is. No, I don't have definiitve times clocked on a track by timers, blah, blah, blah, but counting it off in my head it gets to 100kph in a touch under 6secs. This makes it easily as fast as any other maxiscoot out there (apart from maybe the big-armed Gilera), Burgy 650, Tmax with J.costa and pipe, this thing has them equaled in stock form. The best thing about the acceleration though is the sound she makes, the induction noise is really cool, and very addictive! Good onya Mr Honda for making a bike with noises to stir the senses, it's a great note through the airbox, I loved it! The Dual Clutch Transmission is simply excellent, off the line it just goes, no waiting for a second for the electronics to kick the motor up (Burgy650), no waiting for a second for the revs to climb enough to make the belt work hard (Tmax), twist it and it launches, then keeps pulling hard down the road. While doing 100kph, I simply whacked the throttle and it kicked down 3 gears and took off in a split-second, no delay, just go, and pulled hard past 150kph easily with plenty left.

    Which leads me to the brakes.......HOLY CRAP!!!!!! :eek1 One finger braking is the rule here, anything more and you will hurt your chances of children in the future. There is none of this locking tyres, sliding sideways nonsense though, the Combined-ABS sees to this. They are very sensitive, I think almost too much, but in time you would adjust easily. It is easily the best braking bike I have ridden, including the KTM SM and Ducati with Brembos mentioned above. Just grab the levers on both sides, then brace yourself mightily, it STOPS RIGHT NOW. I didn't think I would like the linked brakes, coz I trail brake everything, especially slow speed stuff and mid-corner for stability, but to be honest I still trail-braked happily and didn't even notice the difference, which surprised me a bit.

    The handling through corners and sweepers is bloody good. It rolls in and under very easily, with full stability and control. It's easy to adjust lines mid-corner for errant f@&kwits in V8 Commodores with race-team stickers and brain-dead blondes in hatchbacks, and just SWEEPS through corners with ease, minor push-pull on the bars is the order of the day here, just sit back in comfort and steer the thing everywhere, the steering response is excellent. If you need to go in deeper coz you go in too hot (not that I would do that on a test-ride of course.......), just steer the bars a bit more and down she goes, beautiful. I still had a few millimeters left on the tyre edges to go, so I could have gone further I rekn! :freaky

    The only negative is the slow-speed control, under 20kph. The DCT and the throttle combined was a bit snatchy at these low speeds, making very small throttle inputs difficult, and when combined with the "holy crap OMFG" sensitive brakes, made the usual tiny throttle/tiny rear brake trick to control walking pace speeds a PITA. I haven't heard anyone else report this though, so I suspect it is an issue with this particular 250km old race bike, uhmm, sorry, demo model!

    Most of the people who have bought one have reported fuel consumption around town in the low-30s km/L, which goes to show the benefits of using a proper clutch coupled drivetrain compared to a belt CVT for efficiency, so they return amazing fuel economy. Here in Oz they go out the door for $11G ride-away, compared to $13000 for a Burgy650, and $14000 for a Tmax, so comparatively cheap as well.

    I have a ride coming up to the other side of Oz in October (Casey Stoner's last ride at Phillip Island in the MotoGP, WOO!HOO!), so I have a choice of the Vmax with 15km/L and questionable handling, braking, comfort, well, everything really!
    Or get a new Integra.
    Damn, where can I scrounge $11G from? What a ripper bike.:clap

    Ride safe peoples.
    #1
  2. scooterspirit

    scooterspirit Ilovekitty

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    Nice review, thanks! I knew that thing would rip, time for a scooter smackdown.:evil Bring it BMW...
    The real prize seems to be the handling, and you're pretty tall, nice to know you fit on there.

    I wonder about the slow speed action with the transmission, it does engage a clutch to go, maybe using manual in second, at slow speed, would keep it smooth. On our Fit car, the gas pedal overrides the shifter paddles, like it won't short shift if you have it wide open.
    #2
  3. Discojon75

    Discojon75 Been here awhile

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    I really wish they'd sell the scooter in the US. I'm looking for an alternative to my K1200LT for cold weather riding.
    #3
  4. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    Pics?
    #4
  5. Dranrab Luap

    Dranrab Luap E-Tarded Super Moderator

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    There is a lot to like about that scoot. If it comes to the US priced below the Burgman, I may own one. My two complaints about the bike are chain instead of a belt and limited integral storage.
    #5
  6. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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  7. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    #7
  8. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    No sorry mate,I originally just went to the dealership on the off chance they had one, so I could do a sit-on test. These guys have also sponsored our bracket at the drags for years (Rockingham Powersports Honda, West Australia), so I went to see what they had in the way of helmets, getting one off them seemed good to me after all their support for my racing bracket.
    When I started looking at it in the showroom though, he suggested a test ride if I gave him honest feedback.
    Hence the ride review, but no pics.
    #8
  9. ferrix

    ferrix Been here awhile

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    You'll find a couple of real world pictures taken by a member of our forum on his test ride here
    #9
  10. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Thanks for the review!

    I just test rode a NC700X and was hugely impressed by it, and these 2 bikes
    share almost everything, but I tried the manual version.

    It was shockingly nimble and light, closest thing I would say is the KTM
    Duke 690 which is at least 100lbs less. The engine is amazing, and something
    completely different all at once. Smooth from idle, linear to the limiter
    (which is impossible not to hit).

    It has more then enough power (some 50hp), virtually no vibrations,
    sounds like a V-twin, and has a great 6th overdrive gear (probably
    the same with DCT, except it has 7 gears).

    This was seriously the first bike that impressed me in the last 5 years
    and I've ridden a lot of stuff, mostly more expensive, twice as powerful
    bikes, and this is the only one I could live with right now, and not own
    a scooter for around town!

    That said, the fugly Integra makes even more sense now and it made
    me instantly forget about the half the MPG figure Tmax, and it's even
    cheaper then Tmax too.

    The cousin I borrowed it from got over 60MPG on his first tank, and
    he was not taking it easy! He "upgraded" from a CB600F Hornet with
    twice the power and never looked back.

    This thing is a riot.
    It SHOULD NOT be that good at that price range!

    Anyone looking for an entry level bike, or a great maxi scoot should
    put these on the top of their lists, I guarantee 2/3 will buy one if they
    try one!

    Here's a pic I took:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cortez_cro/7173713097/" title="Honda NC700X by dB_Croatia, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8018/7173713097_c53b0329ce_z.jpg" width="640" height="426" alt="Honda NC700X"></a>
    #10
  11. elamofo

    elamofo Been here awhile

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    Cortez, how was the helmet storage area in the front? Was it big enough for a full face helmet? How did the acceleration compare to the tmax? This is on my short list for my next bike, probably next year. I think I'd be more interested in the DCT version since I do a lot of driving in traffic but I love the looks of this bike and the light weight.
    #11
  12. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    I am with you. This just might be my next bike. I really want the DCT and ABS!
    #12
  13. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Just a tiny little problem..
    I didn't actually ride a Tmax.. :D
    And the storage space seemed huge, the owner of the bike said
    his rather large Shark helmet fits fine. I didn't have my Schuberth flip-up
    with me so I didn't pay much attention to it.

    It should be faster then the Tmax on specs alone, and a lot of youtube
    vids confirm that.

    I'd also probably get the DCT version, but it would be hard to decide if
    I wanted the Integra or the 700X.
    #13
  14. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Thats cool! Sounds like a nice bike.

    These 700-750 range bikes is very versitale in general. Its the sweet spot for most motorcycling needs.

    Like my old 85 Shadow 700. Its a great bike. Like a little of everything. Has some of that Milwaukee style. But its small enough to be fun around town. Yet has 60 HP if you rev it up, and drop it a few gears it'll suprise you for what it is in acceleration. Cruises at 3,900 RPM at 70 MPH, and only 4,750 RPM at 80-85 MPH. Add MAC exhaust it sounds badass! Its comfortable for me, can ride all day 600+ mile days easily. Yet it handles pretty well for a cruiser, it's a lot more ground clearence than most cruisers. With the right rider it can be fun in the twisties. It doesn't get Harley like MPG though, I average between 55-65 MPG, depending on conditions. 2-up riding ain't a problem. While the main power is around 6K+, it has great low end torque for a 700 honestly, in the 2.8-3.5K range it pulls great in any gear. Smooth and great on the Highway. Heavy and big enough to be comfortable on 75 MPH. Sweet spot is an indicated 75-80 MPH, about 70-75 MPH GPS. Overall, its a hell of a bike.

    The new Shadows ain't so versitle. They's nice, and look great, but they's slow for there size.

    The 700 cc motorcycle is a great size. Sounds like this integra 700 is versitle like my Shadow is. You can't go wrong with 60 MPG and 60 HP!
    #14
  15. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    It sounds a lot like a different package of the same way of thinking.
    Only one thing though.

    The NC700X (and probably the Integra too) feels lighter then a 250cc
    cruiser I recently rode (kymco venox). Once it moves off the spot, it's
    a freakin' WR250X I swear.
    #15
  16. Hardguy

    Hardguy Adventurer

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    I would love to see the NC700S naked bike make to the U.S. in the future. I'm not digging the beak of the NC700X at all.
    #16
  17. ferrix

    ferrix Been here awhile

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    That would probably come down to the ergos (700X would be taller still, wouldn't it?) and how much you care about storage space - 700X and S have that faux-tank and actually offer more storage space there than the supposedly scooter-like integra has under the seat. I find that rather odd!

    I've been thinking that perhaps 700S would be the best choice of the three, combining lower seat with larger storage. Sadly it looks like we are getting S as manual only at this stage and if I were to get this bike it would definitely be DCT.
    #17
  18. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Everything is "strange" about those 3 bikes, I find it hard to compare them
    to anything I've ridden before, but it's strange in a good way, thankfully.

    If I were to judge based only on looks, the S looks cheap and I'd assume
    the suspension and brakes were awful, the performance specs somewhat
    suggest a nice torque torque curve but I had better in the 650R.

    The X looks like a cheapo poor man's cross tourer and also cheap with
    that tiny swing arm etc.

    The Integra looks wrong all together.

    Thankfully, after riding just one of them, you get the picture and now
    I'm interested in all 3.

    Considering I've put the biggest available SHAD topcase on my scooter,
    which has class leading under seat storage, I guess I like storage. :D

    I'd really have to try the Integra to figure out if I like the way it rides,
    and to see how that transmission works. After that ride, it would be
    easy to figure out how the X would feel with DCT.

    Common sense tells me that the Integra is better in every way for
    what I need, but it's probably not nearly as fun as the manual
    700X.

    I've got a common-sense ride right now, and it's border line boring,
    but I just have to remind myself how pissed I was riding the 650R
    around town and it goes away.
    :lol3
    #18
  19. MODNROD

    MODNROD Decisions, decisions

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    You'd be surprised how much fun can be had by cranking the Integra over hard, squeezing the rear brake just to the point of sliding, then whacking the throttle wide instantly.............MUCH nicer (and quite controlled) response thatn when I did that last on my old Vmax!
    :lol3
    #19
  20. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Stop that.
    :D
    #20