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2014 Honda CTX700 First Ride

Monday, May 13, 2013

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2014 Honda CTX700 - First Ride
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Go for a ride at the controls of Honda’s latest entry-level street bike and see if it really is as easy and fun to ride as Big Red claims in the 2014 Honda CTX700 First Ride Video.
Have you ever wanted to reap the benefits of motorcycling but have always been intimated by the art of riding? Honda has the answer with its 2014 CTX700 (starting at $7799 plus $310 destination fee). The CTX blends some of the finer attributes of both cruiser and sport motorcycle genres while infusing new technologies, creating the ideal two-wheeled platform for those who have ever dreamt of swinging a leg over a motorbike.

Ease of operation is at the core of the CTX. With its low 28.3-inch seat height, road hugging center of gravity, and optional fully automated Dual Clutch Transmission ($1000—also includes anti-lock brakes) it is tailored to people who don’t have a whole lot of experience behind a handlebar. With its five-foot wheelbase and 494 pound curb weight this Honda is a full-sized machine, making it a perfect fit for riders who still seek a sturdy-feeling mount too. But plop you butt into the seat and it feels more diminutive than the aforementioned specs, and in motion it feels even more svelte. We’ll talk about that in a minute…

Flip the key, thumb the starter button and the CTX’s 670cc Parallel Twin engine fires to life and immediately sets into idle. It’s both quiet and smooth running. Since it’s fuel-injected and liquid-cooled this Twin runs perfectly whether you’re riding in the mountains or at sea level, day or night, hot or cold. It comes equipped with a manual-style six-speed transmission that’s controlled through a cable-actuated clutch lever mounted on the traditional left-side of the handlebar. The set-up is refined and about as friendly as they come, but the real magic lies with its automated DCT.

(Top) The cockpit of the CTX is comfortable with a deeply swept handlebar. The forward fairing does an admirable job of shielding its rider from excess wind buffeting at speed. (Center 1) Honda’s optional DCT/ABS package deletes the clutch and shift lever and replaces it with a series of buttons on the handlebar controls. The DCT continues to impress us with its smooth, seamless functionality and is worth every penny of its $1000 option price. (Center 2) This flip-up compartment in front of the rider’s seat houses the gas cap and a small storage pocket. (Center 3) Despite employing only a single brake rotor at the front, the Honda CTX700 stops with authority. The optional ABS functioned well too and will be a great feature for inexperienced riders.

The optional gearbox removes one of the biggest hurdles for a new rider: learning how to shift gears using a clutch. The DCT set-up deletes both mechanical components and replaces them with a series of pushbuttons on the handlebar controls. There’s also a lever-actuated parking brake. The electronic drive mode selection toggle engages the drivetrain at a standstill and offers two automatic riding modes: D mode (upshifts into the next gear based on vehicle speed) and S mode (sport mode—holds onto gears longer before upshifting and downshifts earlier for more engine braking). It also allows the rider to select gears manually via a pair of videogame like triggers on the left clip-on.

When you press either the up- or downshift trigger, the ECU engages the clutch that operates the requested gear (see sidebar). This shifting exchange happens within a fraction of a second thereby achieving smooth, seamless acceleration. DCT allows this Honda to be ridden with the simplicity of a scooter yet still delivers enough speed for overtaking maneuvers on the expressway. Another plus is how refined the powertrain is with no lurching or clutch shutter when launching from stop signs.

The technology does come with a weight penalty, the set-up adding 22 pounds and increasing its fully fueled curb weight to 516 pounds. But considering how well it functions and the potential stress savings for those who aren’t familiar with the mechanics of working a clutch, riding the DCT option will be a big convenience, allowing them to better focus on their surroundings and the road ahead.

In spite of its heft the CTX’s brakes get the job done and provide easy and surefooted stopping. Braking hardware is comprised of a perimeter style 320mm cross-drilled disc clamped by a twin-piston caliper. A single-piston caliper pinches the smaller 240mm rear disc. Unlike some of Honda’s other street bikes the brakes aren’t linked and can be applied independently of one another-- a feature that we like. We had a chance to ride a model outfitted with ABS and it functioned flawlessly and will be a welcome safety feature for all riders.

The engine complements the up-spec gearbox offering a smooth spread of power with peak torque arriving at 4750 rpm, but it lacks the punch of a sporty middleweight or big bore cruiser riders expect. Although you won’t win any stop light drag races it does have enough power to keep up with automobile traffic. We also appreciated the engine’s subdued V-Twin like power pulses, a product of its uneven firing order that just makes it plain more fun to ride. It’s pretty easy on fuel too netting just over 60 mpg during our slower paced ride netting a range of nearly 200 miles based on the 3.17-gallon capacity of its fuel tank.

The way in which the engine is positioned within the chassis further contributes to the handling of the motorcycle. With the cylinders sporting a 62-degree forward cant it has an exceptionally low CG which is evident the first time you swing it into a parking lot or bust a U-turn. It’s simply incredible how agile the CTX is which will be a boon for those that routinely ride in and out of traffic and tight parking spots. With just over four inches of travel the suspension glides over asphalt and delivers a comfy ride. The CTX’s forward fairing offers some degree of protection from wind and road debris, helping to reduce fatigue on longer trips. There are also passenger grab handles and a small storage compartment in front of the rider adjacent to the gas cap.

The ergonomics of the CTX are relaxed similar to that of a cruiser. The handlebar has a deep rearward sweep that is not only cozy but functional too, especially during low speed steering maneuvers. The forward position of the footpegs is also very cruiser-ish and while we appreciated the leg room it hindered ground clearance in steeper turns. The front brake lever also doesn’t offer any position adjustment which could make it more difficult to use for those with smaller hands.
2014 Honda CTX700N Starting at $6999
Whether youre on a strict budget or seeking a more traditional riding experience you should take a second look at the N variation of Hondas CTX700. This motorcycle shares the same running gear as its brother including its 670cc Parallel Twin engine and quick handling chassis but deletes the forward fairing and passenger grab handles. It also carries an  800 less expensive price tag with it priced under seven grand  plus  310 destination charge . Of course  its available with the safety and simplicity of Hondas fabulous DCT and ABS for a  1000 upcharge.
Whether you’re on a strict budget or seeking a more traditional riding experience you should take a second look at the ‘N’ variation of Honda’s CTX700. This motorcycle shares the same running gear as its brother including its 670cc Parallel Twin engine and quick handling chassis but deletes the forward fairing and passenger grab handles. It also carries an $800 less expensive price tag with it priced under seven grand (plus $310 destination charge). Of course, it’s available with the safety and simplicity of Honda’s fabulous DCT and ABS for a $1000 upcharge.

Although the new CTX700 is comfortable, nicely assembled and of course easy to ride, it certainly isn’t for everyone. It lacks the handling and acceleration performance for fast-paced folks and doesn’t have anywhere near the character of an American or metric cruiser. Still for those that have always lusted over the idea of riding but have up until now been tentative to fulfill their fantasy because of the mechanics and coordination required, the CTX could be the machine that finally enables them to experience life first hand with the wind in their hair.
Honda CTX700 Highs & Lows
  • Easy to ride; agile handling
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Fantastic automated DCT drivetrain
  • Mundane engine acceleration performance
  • Could have more cornering ground clearance
  • The Honda Civic of motorcycles

2014 Honda CTX700 Photos
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Inside Honda's DCT
As opposed to a standard manual transmission, Honda's Dual Clutch Transmission utilizes twin independently operated inline clutches. The first/outer clutch controls the engagement of first, third, and fifth gears, while the second/inner clutch manages second, fourth, and sixth gears. Both clutches are bathed in the engine’s oil supply and are actuated hydraulically based on information received from the ECU. Additionally the system employs an auxiliary oil filter. As far as maintenance is concerned, Honda says that the clutch is no harder to replace than a conventional motorcycle. Instead of replacing one set of metal and fiber plates, there are two.
Shoei J-Cruise Helmet
Shoei is an established leader in motorcycle helmet technology. And for the cruiser rider it has released its all-new Shoei J-Cruise Helmet. This open-face helmet features a conventional flip-up style clear shield. Inside a smaller tinted shield can be flipped up or down via a small button on the left-hand side of the helmet. The optical clarity of the sun shield is fantastic and on a comparable with a piece of high dollar eyewear. The helmet comes in seven different colors (Wine Red is pictured) in sizes X-Small through 2X-Large.
2014 Honda CTX700 Technical Specs
This 2014 Honda CTX700 with the optional DCT ABS is priced at  8799 plus  310 destination charge.
Engine: Liquid-cooled 670cc Parallel-Twin
Bore and Stroke: 73.0 x 80.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Fuel Delivery: PGM-FI, 36mm Throttle Body
Clutch: Wet multi-plate or Hydraulic Dual Clutch
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: Chain
Frame: Steel
Front Suspension: 41mm Telescopic Fork, 4.2 in. Travel
Rear Suspension: Pro-Link, 4.3 in. Travel
Front Brakes: 320mm single disc with twin-piston caliper
Rear Brake: 240mm disc with single-piston caliper
Curb Weight: 494 lbs / 516 lbs. (DCT Model)
Wheelbase: 60.6 in.
Rake: 27.0 deg. Trail: 4.3 in.
Seat Height: 28.3 in.
Fuel Capacity: 3.17 gal.
MSRP: $7,799 / $8,799 (DCT Model)
Colors: Cool Candy Red; Pearl White
Warranty: One Year, unlimited-mileage
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Steven0111   May 12, 2015 08:47 AM
I own a CTX700 DCT and all I can say is that it's very easy to ride in town and takes to the highway as easy as any bike I've owned and is smooth as silk. In comparison, Harley is a clunker. As for looks, if you've seen one Harley, you've seen them all, at least in my eyes. The CTX looks much better. As for acceleration, it's not that fast, but in real world riding, it's faster than most cars and within 1 (+/-) seconds in a quarter mile than any Harley. The CTX is one of the best "all around" motorcycles ever built. Sure, it won't beat a crotch rocket in the quarter mile, nor ride as smooth as a Goldwing, but here's the bottom line... Harley's don't hold a candle to this bike except for possibly looks and that is a personal opinion depending on who's looking. Frankly I think this looks much better than any Harley. Beyond looks, there is nothing that Harley produces that the CTX doesn't do better. The only exception to that might be that the larger Harley's might ride a little better on the highway, but that's only a matter of mass.
rocky9599b   September 13, 2014 03:20 AM
How about instead of arguing the better brand you realize that Honda is making a much needed product and not HD. All of my family and friends ride HD and i used to. Would love another but they don't have an automatic. Why automatic? because my left hand no longer works. Perhaps this bike isn't my best bet but I'll look into all bikes that are automatic before I give up riding. I'm not giving up riding at 30 because my left hand doesn't have fine motor skills and spasms. Its bad enough that I can't use a hand clutch anymore but its taken me a year to look into automatic (like my husband suggested) because its so ingrained in me that automatics are laughable and just not motorcycles. I think I don't care anymore I just want to ride.
Estaban7x   September 19, 2013 06:38 PM
I bought one three weeks ago. I'm 54 and gave up my bike when the kids were born. Now they are gone and I wanted a no BS bike to get to and from work 20 mi each way. The bike is a blast. My only bitch is that its so new there are no customization options. I hate the seat and cannot wait till corbin makes one. Windshield - not available yet - really?? Stopped in traffic today and a guy in a porsche yelled - cool bike. I got a woody. You guys can barf out all the techno crap comparisons till hogans goat dresses in drag. At the end of the day an old fart is having some fun and reliving his "back in the day" - today. Stay safe there is a lot of wickedness in the world. The guys in Charlestown MA think the bike is wicked pissah.
BlueMoon   June 20, 2013 07:58 AM
@woodco100 -- "But nothing is more important then how a MC looks in the parking lot. That is why most of us ride." This statement makes little sense to me. All of the riders I know ride very long distances and do not worry about what their bikes look like in a parking lot -- if ever they are parked. We worry that they work and get us across 3 or 4 states at a time. I ride a 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, been to all 50 states and have over 420,000 miles on this 13 year old rock solid Honda. 6 Iron Butt awards and have over 1 million miles on 4 different rides. All Hondas.
Piglet2010   May 23, 2013 10:45 PM
@ gregsfc - Yes, Honda should consider a belt drive so as to reduce maintenance and mess. As for locking storage, that is why I would definitely choose the NC700X over the CTX700 - the latter has a huge glove-box (most full-face lids will fit) and optional hard panniers and top-box.
woodco100   May 23, 2013 12:24 PM
Come on, get real. Put this meatboat next to a Duc 696 Monster. Which cost about $9k. You will see why Ducati sales are going thru the roof.
gregsfc   May 22, 2013 03:31 AM
Lets take a look at the LOWS listed in the article: #1 Mundane engine acceleration and performance. The NC700X with the same power train has been tested by the motorcycle media and returns 0-60 in around 5 seconds. Maybe slow for a MC but equal to an average late model sports car. Considering the market Honda is trying to reach, this is not a LOW. #2 Could have more ground clearance. Refer to #1. The people considering this bike are not looking for high-speed cornering abilities. Again this LOW is not a lower for potential buyers. #3 The Honda Civic of motorcycles Refer to #1 and #2. This is who Honda is trying to reach. Another review states that potential buyers will be urbanites, many of which are women, that will be weighing options; should I buy a three or four year old Honda Civic just out of college and starting my new job, or this new bike. This is actually a HIGH. Now for some real LOWS. Negatives that potential buyers will see as negatives. #1 No built in storage #2 Chain driven. Potential buyers are not the type that will want to perform periodic preventive maintenance on a chain. #3 Fuel tank is too small for a touring bike @ 3.17 gallons to allow for a decent touring range even at 64 mpg. #4 With two wheels, it can still easily fall over and hurt me. One HIGH that's totally missed. Honda's price point. Look at other cruisers on the market; how much more they cost; they don't come with an auto option; and they lose in the mpg comparison by about 10. The Honda Shadow, the Suzuki C50, and the HD Super Low come closest. The first two are shaft driven for a decent price, but the still start at about $1500 more. The latter doesn't offer anything more except a little more torque but is air cooled and costs about $2K more.
gregsfc   May 22, 2013 03:18 AM
Some have kind of hinted on it, but the bottom line is that these reviews are being done by motorcycle purists/journalists, and many of the readers posting comments are also motorcycle purists who mostly share lots of hate for such a product as Honda is proposing in this machine for America due to the biases they've developed over the years by what they've seen come and go in the market; but none of this matters to Honda. They are trying to reach Americans who do not have these preconceived notions of what a motorcycle should perform like or what it should look like. While I agree that HD has slowly eaten up more and more market share in nearly all American demographics over the years, the industry is in trouble in the long run, because the next few generations do not see any merit in any of these choices including the low-tech offerings HD keeps shooting back to us and the copy-cat machines many of the Japanese companies have to offer as well. The super dealer I've been in contact with says that they are going to get in as many as Honda will send them; up to 20 at a time, because interest is so high. I'm not saying the CTX700 and CTX700N will succeed in the American market. All the interest might just be on the front end, and after that, the market for them will die. What I am saying is that it's an attempt by Honda to reach the next generation to rejuvenate the American market which will soon be on life support for all companies. One thing is for sure, more of the same ain't going to work for any of them in the future. HD may be able to survive as the market fades away, but if they do not find something that attracts the younger generation, they'll too will feel the pain.
woodco100   May 21, 2013 04:00 AM
I do not own a Harley, I like to study sales trends. I am just dealing with facts to counter you comments. You constantly say HD sales are down and they only sell to aging baby boomers. The facts prove otherwise. ALL DEMOGRAPHICS IN THE USA PREFER HARLEY. When you remove the under 500cc numbers from the mix, HD simply sells 0ver %60 of all MCs in the USA. Believe it or don't. No one cares what they do in Europe or how many 125s are sold in Asia. I do not know anyone who rides a MC but cannot use a clutch.
Piglet2010   May 21, 2013 03:49 AM
@ woodco100 - By your "logic" the best motorcycle ever, hands down, no argument, is the Honda Super Cub - 65+ million sold and still in production. The only thing that H-D may ever sell 65 million of are window stickers for wannabee owners to put in the rear windows of their pick-up trucks. By the way, I do not hate Harley-Davidson, just ignorant H-D fanatics. The real haters, as comments here on MotoUSA show, are those that trash Honda for trying something different from yet another "me too" motorcycle.
Piglet2010   May 21, 2013 03:42 AM
@ dirtcheap - "I know quite a few people that would love a paddle shifting sport bike, seems like Honda maybe the first to dip their toe into those waters." Uh, that is called the Honda VFR1200FA, and has been around since 2010.
Piglet2010   May 21, 2013 03:39 AM
@ woodco100 - Whoop-de-doo. Justin B**b*r sells more songs than most others - are you going to claim he has a better voice and more musical talent based on that (har, har, har)? Sales figures/popularity prove squat about quality in many cases. Marketing and image rule in the cases of motorcycle sales in the US. And I doubt that most H-D buyers even cross-shop or consider other brands - just as well for them, as they would feel ripped off if they tried something of better value for the money.
dirtcheap   May 20, 2013 08:40 PM
Ugh...the trollish HD circle-jerk...but but but HD sells more "in the US", HD has a "soul" and on and on. We get it HD dudes. You don't need to keep telling us how great your motorcycles are, or are you just trying to convince yourselves? Cows in a herd I guess. Anyway.... This new Honda is odd yet refreshing. I cannot figure out whether to love it or hate it, its looks comfy, would probably be an excellent around town or short jaunt cruiser. I know quite a few people that would love a paddle shifting sport bike, seems like Honda maybe the first to dip their toe into those waters.
woodco100   May 19, 2013 05:34 AM
Just to make my point one more time--------- In 2012, Harley sold nearly twice as many new street motorcycles to young adults as its nearest competitor, according to the Polk data that included all engine sizes. ----------The company sold more new street motorcycles to women in the U.S. than all other brands combined. H---------arley sold nearly half of all new street motorcycles purchased by African-Americans and Hispanics in the U.S. in 2012.-------
woodco100   May 19, 2013 05:14 AM
Piglet, you are so clouded by your hatred for HD that you refuse to look at the facts. This was posted 3 weeks ago.--- -- Harley-Davidson Inc. was the No. 1 seller of new street motorcycles to U.S. adults ages 18-to-34, women, African-Americans and Hispanics, according to 2012 data released Monday from the market research firm R.L. Polk & Co. It's the fifth consecutive year the company could make those claims. Harley also was the top-selling street bike to white males ages 35 plus. But sales to young adults, women, African-Americans and Hispanics grew at more than twice the rate of sales to white males 35 years and older. In 2012, Harley sold nearly twice as many new street motorcycles to young adults as its nearest competitor, according to the Polk data that included all engine sizes. The company sold more new street motorcycles to women in the U.S. than all other brands combined. Harley sold nearly half of all new street motorcycles purchased by African-Americans and Hispanics in the U.S. in 2012.
Piglet2010   May 18, 2013 05:34 AM
@woodco100 - Again, you miss the point. Honda could afford to not sell a single motorcycle in the US, and it would barely show up on the bottom line - after all Honda sells more Civics in a year in the US than H-D sells motorcycles worldwide. And H-D does nothing but sell the same old tired bikes to the same aging "baby boomers"; their customer base is dying out. Try not to take such a short-sighted view of things. And H-D certainly does not own the over 600cc dual-sport, adventure touring, street-fighter, sport-touring, and sport-bike markets where they do not even try to compete, since actual performance is valued over appearance, Heritage™ and Lifestyle™ considerations.
woodco100   May 17, 2013 03:33 AM
Piglet, expand the market, are you insane. NO ONE buys these bikes unless, as in your case, they are 2 years old and discounted %25. There are new, 0 miles 2010 vfr1200s on ebay for $12500 right now. HD, who you love to rank out, OWNS the entire market over 600cc. Everybody else splits up the remaining share. Honda seems happy to get a small share of a shrinking market. If it wasn't for the Goldwing and dirt bikes most dealers would close.
Piglet2010   May 16, 2013 06:02 PM
Many of you are missing the point. Honda (unlike say H-D) can afford to take chances on a bike not selling in an attempt to expand the market, especially if the frame and power-train are shared on models sold in many different markets. The CTX700 is *not* aimed at the traditional cruiser rider - Honda has other models that do that - but at the potential rider who is not tempted by what is currently on the market. It is why Honda is arguably the most successful motorcycle manufacturer in history, and a few misses will not hurt the bottom line much (unlike again H-D, whose survival depends on strong sales in the heavyweight cruiser market).
JSH   May 15, 2013 08:26 PM
You don't have to buy the automatic version of the CTX, Honda has a manual shift version too and as a bonus it costs $1000 less. If you want more wind protection or storage you can use that $1000 you saved to buy the touring windscreen and saddlebags. - Why buy this bike? Because it doesn't look like every other bike out there. I like the looks of the CTX, is reminds me of the Gurney Alligator.
woodco100   May 15, 2013 07:24 PM
Seriously, I am not trying to be negative. Just real. Auto bikes have never sold well. When you see what you can get for $8-9K I just see no reason to buy this bike. Can someone give me one? Looks? Power? Storage? Wind Protection? Honda just seems bent on building high quality, unattractive MCs and selling not very many of them to a niche market. Hope it works out for them.
JSH   May 15, 2013 07:16 PM
@ gkp: If the boomer generation doesn't like the looks of this bike Honda hit their mark. This bike is aimed at bringing new and young people into the dealership. Gen Y isn't looking for bike modeled after the UJM's from the 70's and 80's. They are looking for a new and modern look. Riders that want a classic cruiser have dozens of models to pick from.
Piglet2010   May 15, 2013 06:54 PM
@ woodco100 - Popularity is not necessarily positively correlated with quality. One only needs to look at the commercial success of "reality television", pop "music" (e.g. J*st*n B**b*r), etc to see that the opposite may be true. Face it, Harley-Davidson sells on image and a cult-like following (hey, Willie G. Davidson called it a cult, so flame him and not me), not superior technology, quality, performance.... So the great unwashed masses prefer H-D, while the most discerning of us would rather have something better. :)
gkp   May 15, 2013 06:14 PM
Honda got it right with the new CB 1000, but they missed the boat with this bike. It looks like a mini-Vaquero, but uglier. I have had all sorts of bikes, currently I ride a HD Ultra. If Honda wanted to sell this bike they should have patterned it after the Nighthawk 700S. Now that is a bike I'd like to buy. As for shifting, if you can't figure that out you really shouldn't be on a motorcycle. We don't need to dumb-down motorcyclists.
Linny   May 15, 2013 12:22 PM
Woodco, dont be so negative, we have the NC700 x. Great bike, esp for me a girl who loves bikes but hates to shift, I know this makes no sense. Looks good also
woodco100   May 14, 2013 08:44 PM
"dealer knocked $2K off MSRP after having it sit in the showroom for over a year." Funny, our HD dealer ran out of Roadkings. Sold his entire allotment at full pop. I can't speak for our Honda dealer, he went under years ago. Yes I live in a major city with no local Honda dealer. Can't imagine why building selling these meatboats.
JSH   May 14, 2013 08:33 PM
I'm not a cruiser guy but I like the looks of this bike. It is a modern take on what a cruiser should look like. I would still purchase a NC700X over this bike simply because like all cruisers the CTX700 has limited ground clearance. By my count these are the 4th and 5th bikes Honda has built on their new 670cc parallel twin platform. They have the NC700X, NC700S, CTX700, CTX700N, and the Integra.
Piglet2010   May 14, 2013 07:23 PM
@ woodco100 - I think a Road King looks olde, just like a 1950's automobile, and I am too young to have nostalgia for either (my nostalgia is for 1970's UJM's). Sorry, but the Harley-Davidson (and/or biker/cruiser) esthetic does nothing for me emotionally, and I have no wish to buy into a lifestyle. Besides, my furry helmet ears and hi-viz yellow 'Stich just do not go well with a H-D. But I would not buy a Honda CTX700 - rather I would get the more practical NC700X, add locking hard bags and top case, and put some semi-knobby tires on it and ride it on everything from freeways to dirt roads for a couple of hundred thousand miles. Who cares about resale value when the plan is to ride the bike until it wears out?
Piglet2010   May 14, 2013 07:14 PM
@ woodco100 - I care more about what I see when riding, than what I see in the parking lot. I will take the easily read gauges on my NT700V over a silly tank mounted speedometer and blinding reflections off a bunch of chrome any day. And the silver paint hides dirt quite well, and I can get it semi-clean with a hose in less than a minute - I would rather ride than clean (unlike some cruiser owners in my subdivision who wash their bikes more than they ride them). Just did a ride a couple of day ago across the entire Wisconsin-Iowa driftless area on secondary highways, which the NT700V is nearly perfect for - comfortable, fast enough to pass in the very short spaces in the hills, frugal on fuel with over 200 miles of range, smooth riding over broken pavement, yet handling well enough to get after it in the corners (as long as one is not ham-handed about it), and with enough locking storage I could carry all I needed for a multi-day trip, and have it locked away from casual thieves when parked. But silly USians (Adam Waheed excepted) did not recognize a good thing when they saw it. My gain, since my dealer knocked $2K off MSRP after having it sit in the showroom for over a year. :)
Piglet2010   May 14, 2013 07:03 PM
@ woodco100 - Funny thing is, I have a 7th generation Honda Civic EX sedan. Seems to be invisible to traffic cops, but with just the addition of Potenza RE961 tires I can really get after it on the back roads at a pace that would have any of the olde vehicles you mention flipped over in the ditch. And the suspension compliance and ground clearance is sufficient I can run down our local gravel and dirt roads at a decent clip too. If it was a motorcycle, it would be a Wee-Strom and not a cruiser.
steveofthenw   May 14, 2013 03:18 PM
Motorcycles for me have always been about bang for the buck; I like the notion of out-accelerating-braking-cornering-running a hundred-thousand-dollar sports car for less than 9k. I couldn't really give a rat's ass how the bike looks (long as it isn't, say, pink or something) as long as the performance is there. As such, I never really got the whole "Dig me I'm on a Harley" thing; it seems to be the new mid-life crisis mobile du jour. I rented one in Maui last year & even my girlfriend riding on the back was commenting on how slow it was. As for the handling: All I can say is if I can ride that dump truck over those rodes I can ride any machine anywhere on this island Earth. Harleys don't go, don't stop, & don't turn. Sure are shiny, though.
Poncho167   May 14, 2013 03:03 PM
This is part of the reason for the first time in Honda's history that they lost overall sales to Kawasaki last year.
Poncho167   May 14, 2013 01:24 PM
The is horrendous looking. It wouldn't appeal to me if it were $6,000. I don't see this last more than 5-years. Good luck with sales Honda.
ZedX1441R   May 14, 2013 08:31 AM
This year I rode down to Daytona and I was riding south along A1A just before the right turn on Main Street, and I was sharing the right lane with an HD cruiser and was to his left. We were both looking at a lady walking on the side walk, whose thonged rear end left little to the imagination, rather than the road. I Then saw the HD rider grab a handful of brake… a car ahead of us had slammed on its brakes and stopped, even though I braked a second or two later than he did, I stopped well short of the car, but unfortunately the HD hit it, and went down. If this is how you like to have fun and harken back to a simpler time, then have at it.
woodco100   May 14, 2013 08:03 AM
"kind of an Oxy-MORON don’t you think?" Not in the least. Most folks ride for fun and recreation. To escape the pressures of modern life and harken back to a simpler time. I like making vroom vroom sounds when I get on my bike. Just like the Honda Civic it is compared to, this is a throw away commuter bike.
ZedX1441R   May 14, 2013 07:43 AM
I think this is a fine looking bike, much nicer than all the HD cruisers, and look a likes, that I see parked most of the time and not ridden much. Weird comment “But nothing is more important then how a MC looks in the parking lot. That is why most of us ride.”… kind of an Oxy-MORON don’t you think? My” bug” will out accelerate and stop much faster, than these “tractor-like” motored things with the 1940’s design, and that would not out run my grandma’s Rambler or probably this new Honda.
woodco100   May 14, 2013 06:45 AM
What can I say, I am a sucker for the classics. Right now, today, you can build/buy a brand new 1932 Ford roadster, a 1955 Chevy 2 door post, a 1947 Chevy/1956 Ford pickup truck, a 1940 Ford coupe, a 1969 Camaro or a 1968 Mustang fastback. All with modern running gear and not one OEM part. It is a lot cheaper, easier and safer to buy a Honda civic or new F150. Next time you ride to work park all the way across the lot. When you walk out, tired from a long day look at your bike from a distance. If just the pure joy of looking at your bike does not make it all worth it you are on the wrong bike. Or we ride for different reasons. Silly as it sounds rent PeeWee's big adventure. The scene when he looks at his bicycle and quietly, shyly says "I'm here". All 3 of my vehicles give me that feeling. This bike likely never will for anyone.
JSH   May 14, 2013 06:07 AM
" nothing is more important then how a MC looks in the parking lot. " Really? Here I thought riding motorcycles was about riding them, not staring at them. Feel free to feel sorry for me but I'm not in awe of a Road King's classic beauty and I certainly don't like how they ride. I rented one from Eagle Rider for a couple of days and was unimpressed. It didn't go, stop or turn but I guess if it is all about the look those things don't matter. When I got back from my trip a co-worker that owns one asked me how I like it and I told him. His reply was of course it isn't right straight from the factory. You just need to replace the forks, shocks, brakes and transmission then add a Screaming Eagle engine kit and exhaust and then it is great. I replied that I expect an $18,000 motorcycle to be right from the factory.
woodco100   May 14, 2013 03:43 AM
Piggy, I do not drink so I am not sure where that came from. What storage space does this bike have? Most cruiser have saddlebags. And the wind protection is minimal. A basic cruiser windshield gives much more. Cruisers handle, brake and accelerate fine. That is why they sell so much better than the "Boy Racer" bikes you mention. Certainly better than this compromise on wheels tested here. I will finish with 2 statements. To any one thinking of spending $9k on this meatboat that will lose %40 of its value is the 1st year. Ride a Ducati Monster 696 or a Sportster (or any $9k cruiser) before making your choice. You will run from this bike. and as far as styling goes. If you cannot just stand an stare at a Roadking (whether you own one or not) and be in awe of its classic timeless beauty I feel sorry for you. If you want to ride a bug, ride a bug. But nothing is more important then how a MC looks in the parking lot. That is why most of us ride.
Piglet2010   May 13, 2013 07:48 PM
@ woodco100 - Unnecessary weight and cost? You must be referring to most cruisers. For the same money as my Honda NT700V in the cruiser world, you get a bike with no storage space or wind protection, slower acceleration (except maybe for the first 50 feet), and poorer brakes and handling. Or for the price of a large-displacement twin cruiser, you could get an Aprilia RSV4 APRC, BMW S1000RR, Ducati Diavel or Multistrada, Honda VFR1200F, Yamaha FJR1300, BMW R1200GS, and any other number of other bikes with much more technological content and performance. But I guess they do not look as good parked outside a bar while you are drinking with your "land pirate" buddies.
Piglet2010   May 13, 2013 07:39 PM
For new riders put off by a conventional motorcycle, not having to deal with finding a clutch friction zone and no risk of stalling during low-speed maneuvers will be of much more benefit than eliminating having to shift gears at speed. And who needs a clutch to shift, anyhow?
Brian426v   May 13, 2013 11:48 AM
It looks like something that fell out of a bull's nose.
woodco100   May 13, 2013 04:50 AM
"The Honda Civic of motorcycles" you nailed it. Boring, safe, not particularly good looking. Loaded with options you don't need that add weight and cost. meh.