Here’s another one of those pieces of ethereal moto-gossip that floats around this time of year: Supposedly, Honda is thinking about bringing back the Deauville NT700V sport tourer.
For those of you who don’t remember the Deauville, it was a mid-displacement motorcycle aimed at the touring market. Based on the Honda NT650V, it first hit the market in 1998 with a liquid-cooled 647 cc V-twin engine (making 55ish hp), and panniers that were integrated into the bodywork. It was intended to cover long distances, but not at the same high speeds as sportier machines. It was no Kawasaki Concours.
However, with shaft drive, lots of bodywork to break the rain and wind, a 19-liter fuel tank and a 45-liter set of bags that could carry longish items thanks to pass-through port in the bike’s tailsection, there was lots to like for many long-distance riders who wanted mile-munching capability, but not necessarily at hyperspeed.
The Deauville NT650V was revamped in 2002, with combined braking added and some changes to the luggage. In 2007, it became the Honda NT700V with a slightly larger engine (making 65ish hp), EFI, optional ABS and other practical updates (some markets got a GPS and audio system option). Honda ran the model in Europe until fairly recently, where it was commonly known as the Dullville, due to its mild-mannered nature.
Now, the hot gossip, seemingly originating in the French moto-mags, is that Honda wants to bring this idea back and introduce a new sport tourer, but there’ll be some changes.
The rumour is that Honda wants to base the new bike around the Africa Twin’s engine, which will probably be punched out to 1086 cc this fall. Just as with the Africa Twin, there would be a DCT version available.
And this is where the new bike would differ greatly from the old. The Africa Twin platform implies the new bike won’t be coming in at a mid-range price, just lower than the stratospheric MSRP of the revamped Gold Wing. Guess budget-minded tourers will have to keep buying the NC750X, or even the CB500X?