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2012 Honda NC700X First Look

Friday, January 20, 2012
Honda offers U.S. motorcycle riders an affordable machine for 12 with the  6999 NCX700V.
Honda offers U.S. motorcycle riders an affordable machine for ’12 with the introduction of its $6999 NCX700V.
American Honda chose the New York International Motorcycle Show to reveal its NC700X. Big Red will bring the first of its new NC700 designs to the United States as a 2012 model, arriving at dealer showrooms this summer with a budget-friendly MSRP of $6999.

The NC700X is one of three bikes in the NC700 range which debuted at the 2011 EICMA Bike Show in Milan. All three NC700 siblings, as well as the Integra scooter (also revealed at EICMA), are powered by an all-new eight-valve 670cc Parallel Twin. The liquid-cooled, SOHC mill reaches its middleweight displacement via 73mm bore and 80mm stroke. A balancer shaft promises to smooth out the Twin, and the new ride makes use of Honda’s standard PGM-FI fuel injection.

The NC700 models expand Honda’s production development of its Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) technology. First deployed on the 2010 VFR1200F, the DCT system on the NC700 offers three modes: two automatic settings, sporty S and standard D, as well as MT – which allows riders to shift manually via switchgear buttons. Like the VFR, the NC700X will also be offered in a standard non-DCT system with manual six-speed transmission.

The NC700X offers a large compartment in front of the seat for helmet storage.
Fill-er up  under the pillion seat. Honda claims the 3.7-gallon tank will net a 240-mile range.
The Honda's 'fuel tank' houses a 21-liter storage area. The real fuel tank goes underseat with its 3.7-gallon capacity stretching into a 240-mile range
A steel “diamond-shape” frame anchors the chassis, mated to 41mm fork and Honda’s Pro-Link rear shock. The only suspension adjustment option is rear preload with Honda keen to tout the “long-travel suspension” with 6.0 inches travel up front and 5.9 inches out back. The new Honda incorporates a final chain drive and rolls on 17-inch wheels.

Braking features Nissin calipers and a single 320mm front rotor with 240mm rear. Honda’s Combined ABS (C-ABS) is available as an option. Curb weight is listed at 472 pounds for the standard version, 505 pounds for the DCT model.

Honda claims the NC700’s 3.7-gallon tank will net a range of “nearly” 240 miles. That’s more than 64 mpg by our remedial math reckoning. Riders will have to pop the seat, however, to fill up, as Honda repositions the fuel cell, allowing the area for a traditional ‘fuel tank’ to house a 21-liter storage area. (It’s a neat trick we appreciated when testing the Aprilia Mana 800, which seems most analogous with the DCT-equipped Honda.)

Touring friendly accessories will be offered for the new Honda including 45-liter top case and 29-liter saddlebags. Also available are crash guards, LED fog lights, heated grips, 12V DC socket and centerstand.

Honda first tipped its hand on the new NC700 lineup in the run-up to the 2011 Bike Show season by announcing its development of the 670 Twin engine platform. Spy photos spotted prototypes of the NC700 models and the Integra testing in Europe. (The Integra was itself teased the year prior as the Honda Mid-Concept).

So what’s the NC700X exactly? It looks a like head-scratching genre-bender of a bike (kind of like the similarly hard-to-pin-down Euro-only Crossrunner). Honda press material acknowledges as much saying: “What do you see when you look at the 2012 Honda NC700X? An adventure-style bike? An urban assault commuter? A country road explorer? A two-up getaway machine? Or perhaps all of the above?”

One thing that’s certain, the $6999 price tag undercuts many of its middleweight rivals (Update: Honda representatives confirm pricing for the DCT ABS version is $8999). So will the new 700 will deliver as a polished jack-of-all-trades, or be a muddled master of none? That’s what the test ride is for folks… Stay tuned.

2012 NC700X sports an MSRP starting at  6999.The latest trio of NC700 models  and the Integra scooter  run on an all-new engine platform - a 670cc Parallel Twin.The NC700 models expand Hondas production development of its Dual Clutch Transmission  DCT  technology.
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uechi45   August 23, 2012 07:42 PM
They ALMOST got it right. If they expect it to be used as an adventure tourer they should have never put the fuel filler under the passenger seat. It will almost always be heaped with "stuff" and will be a total pain to unstrap, unbungee, un-everything, any time you need gas. A deal breaker for me. Otherwise it seems like a fine bike. Oh, except for the measly 51 HP. Throw 100 lbs. of gear on and you'd wish it had 70.
FFF   August 19, 2012 06:59 AM
I'm just thinkin of all the places i'll be able to ride to!!!
like back in 71 on a then new CB-750(25,000 miles in 5 months)
Just riding for FUN!!!!!! is what it is all about!!!!!!!!
RUDA   March 19, 2012 12:36 AM
Can you take the Honda nc700 x off road?
j0seph   February 27, 2012 01:47 AM
This bike seems like the best sporty option out right now, that is bigger than a 250cc. Only, why isn't Honda selling the NC700S in the U.S. It looks so much better without that beak.
sloppy   February 19, 2012 06:22 PM
This bike is no doubt a bit gimmicky especially the placement of the fuel tank. It is also poorly positioned as an adventure bike. Having said that, dual clutch transmission IS NOT an automatic. If you never have tried one, go to a car or motorcycle dealer that will let you test drive one. They are incredible. Most of the DCT haters are ignorant because they feel you are more in touch with a manual than a DCT because the action they "think" is similar to an auto. This is totally false. The DCT actually is quicker and puts the driver more in touch and with the machine. Honda takes a beating about their interesting product offering. But their is no one else who is willing to go outside the "box" like them. I don't much care for this bike but I my hat is off to their vision to not bring out the same old boring thing.
Pavement   January 26, 2012 03:30 PM
Urban Mobility – our future is on two wheels
Pavement   January 26, 2012 03:28 PM
If you are still asking "why" then Google this: Urban Mobility – our future is on two wheels and read what BMW is planning for the future of transportation.
407guy   January 25, 2012 04:58 PM
Comparing current bikes to new ones will always happen.

The bottom line for me is this: I like it.

Just wish the manual came with ABS.

Either way, well done Honda.
Poncho167   January 25, 2012 04:44 PM
Get rid of the stupid beak in front and I would like this bike.
509MXFan   January 25, 2012 02:32 PM
phxrider, you're right. Aside from both feigning to be adventure bikes with 650 class parallel twins, six speed transmissions, 17" allow wheels with a 120 up front and 160 out back, 6 inches of suspension travel,and being in the $7-8k price range - they are entirely different. My mistake.
phxrider   January 25, 2012 01:35 PM
A good idea, but they should make the seat lower... If I only had a dollar for every time I've heard a woman say she'd love to ride but shifting intimidates her, I'd be stupid rich... but seat heights over 30" also intimidate most women, at least the shorter ones, so the advantage is lost there. Second, why does everyone want to compare this thing to the Versys? They are nothing alike. The Aprilia Mana is the only thing comparable.
ABN2nds   January 25, 2012 11:33 AM
I like the engine, but the styling is not good! Up to the tank area from the back it looks OK, then it just is way overstyled. I would guess that I will not see any of these on the streets here in Indy. As much as I like the Japanese bikes for their durability, I also dislike some of them for poor styling. When shopping for an Enduro, I looked at all in the 250 range and ended up with a brand new 08 purchased in 10 Husky TE 250, $4700 OTD. Better technology than the Japanese offerings, lighter weight, EFI and E start, street legal as well. My street bike was purchased in the smae way, a leftover 09 Aprilia DD 750 last year for $7000 OTD. Look for leftovers and don't forget the Euro bikes!
voileauciel   January 25, 2012 11:16 AM
@woodco100 Dude, seriously, we get that you are drinking HD's Kool-Aid. There are, however, many of us who do like the new style bikes coming out. They're more efficient, more reliable, have better handling and braking, they're more comfortable and easier to ride. That being said, I looked at this thing at the NYC bike show, and was not at all impressed. The NT700V isn't selling very well in my area (NJ/PA/NY) and I don't think this is going to do much better. I like the concept, but the execution leaves quite a bit to be desired. And that's the thing, Honda has become a sort of white goods manufacturer: bikes like this have about as much personality as a dishwasher.
Pavement   January 25, 2012 09:22 AM
All riders benefit from variety and innovation. In 35 years I have never ridden a "boring" bike - riding any bike is fun to me!
woodco100   January 25, 2012 04:35 AM
All I am saying is HD sales are up %5.9 lat year. In the throes of a crushing resession. Facts are facts. Yuo can rank me out, HD, Triumph, BMW, Ducati and Victory are all building bikes foks actually want and buy. In increasing numbers I will add. A concept the big 4, especailly honda, cannot seem to grasp. Many of us are old enough to remember the term UJM. Universal japanese motorcycle, form the 70s-80s. With few exception, most big 4 bikes were all alike and sales suffered. The Virago launched a new way of thining and the industry recovered. Building this look alike "bug" bike is not going to bring in folks who are ready to buy. That is why the big 4 is down %40 in the lst 3 years. Folks are still buying the bikes they want, they just do not want this style of bike in the USA.
uber.twin   January 24, 2012 05:56 PM
The unheard reliability and the impossible fuel economy won't make up for this Honda's particular mix of stupid looks and most likely boring ride(given the automatic transmission)
PowersportsBroker   January 24, 2012 02:55 PM
Since This is my Business to actually sell these Motorcycle Dealerships(All Brands), let me make it simple.
Metrics and Euros you "Live to Ride..Harley you Ride to Fix"!
Jim Jones showed us what eventually happens to Cults(Its not a slow death like woodco man says) It will be an instant Death.Eventually even the Ignornant see the light thur all the vibration and crap falling off...The Reality lens always shines True..EVENTUALLY!!

Pavement   January 24, 2012 08:39 AM
How did this discussion devolve into the tired and boring Harley vs. everyone else argument? Two different bikes, two different purposes, two different audiences. Might as well compare a Sportster to the CRF250x for all practical purposes.
MCUSA Bart   January 23, 2012 10:00 AM
After some confusion on the DCT/ABS pricing, American Honda reps confirm the DCT/ABS version will be $2000 more - $8999.
woodco100   January 22, 2012 07:40 PM
Scoot, who cares why we buy bikes, that is our business. HD will sell 1,000 Sportys (at full nut) for every 1 of these goofy looking bug bikes Honda can discout enough to convince someone to take home. If you really want one, wait 2 years, it will be at %60 MSRP. Just look at the back of the dealership, blow off the dust and ride it home. If you can find a dealer still open. Our local Honda dealer went under 3 years ago. They only sold Honda, Suzuki, Ducati, Triumph and Victory. Not enoung choices to stay open. I live in a city of 1.2 million people with no Honda or Suzuki dealers. Except at the extreme egdes of the next counties. At least Kawasaki and Yamaha are smart enough to build big, V twin bikes that look enough like Harleys so folks will buy them. On the last point, my SUV gets 9 MPG and gas is cheap enough. Hopefully we will soon (1/13) drill baby drill and the price will drop more.
Piglet2010   January 22, 2012 03:59 PM
@ Scoot - Agreed, with the stock pipe and can, I can even sneak out for an early morning ride on my CBR600F4i without anyone getting woken up by noise. If I had a longer mixed high and low speed commute, I would be in the market for NC700X (as it is, I live in town so my Honda NHX110 handles commuting and errands, while my Honda NT700V does the distance rides). The DCT option would be nice in stop-and-go traffic, as would the reasonable weight and low center-of-gravity.
Scoot   January 22, 2012 07:15 AM
If there was a nationwide ban on loud motorcycles then HD would be out of business. People by a Harley to show off with the loud exhaust and the pirate outfit. I'll take this Honda any day and enjoy motorcycle riding as an experience not as a venue to show off my over priced, over weight and loud Harley.
Piglet2010   January 21, 2012 09:44 PM
@ woodco100 - Are you posting here using an 8086 4MHz processor and a 300 baud modem; because that would go along with wanting to buy a new but obsolete motorcycle at premium prices? And why would you want to drive a pig of a SUV instead of riding on two wheels? It seems the motorcycle in the US has become the replacement for the cod-piece, instead of the horse as it has done in more civilized nations. Do you have fun polishing your bike as it sits in the garage, as all my neighbors do with their H-Ds instead of riding them places?
woodco100   January 21, 2012 07:31 PM
People buy Harleys for one very simple reason, becuase they want Harleys. HD, BMW, Victory, Triumph and Ducati have all shown sales increases, not decreases, increases over the last 2 years in this economy. An econmoy where MC sales have dropped almost %50. Motorcycle purchases in the USA (where I happen to live) are personal, emotional decisions. We buy the bikes we want, not the bikes we need. Besides, why would I commute or run errands on a MC, I have a 4 wheel drive SUV for that. Piglet, your Euro socialist utopia agenda aside, people in the USA (where I happen to live) simply do not want or buy these goofy looking bikes. Ask any Honda dealer how many VFR1200s they sell. Come on, an automatic transmisson on a motorcycle. Are you smoking crack. Minivans come with automatics, motorcycles have gear boxes. So keep living in your lala land, they will sell a few to the "gotta have the latest becuase the magazine told me so" crowd. The rest will die a slow death on ebay at %40 off in a few years.
Piglet2010   January 21, 2012 07:14 PM
@ woodco100 - People will ride a Sportster over the NC700X? Maybe around town for a bit on Friday and Saturday evenings, until the discomfort from the riding position and vibration get to be too much, then they will park the Sportster in front of a bar or back in their garage the rest of the time. Ever wonder why you see so many H-D bikes with low annual mileage for sale? Meanwhile, the NC700X owner will commute, tour and explore, and will sell the bike after 8 to 10 years with well over 100,000 miles on the clock.
Piglet2010   January 21, 2012 05:21 PM
@ woodco100 - People buy H-D motorcycles to join what is a near cult, which is why they sell poorly outside the US where the "Harley Religion" does not exist to the same extent, and merit trumps faith. BMW, Ducati, et al sell bikes as status symbol baubles, while Triumph sells on 1950's and 1960's nostalgia. Japanese bikes face the barriers of jingoism and racism in almost all markets outside Japan, so they have to sell on merit alone. Those who objectively evaluate motorcycles on comfort, reliability, quality, performance, utility and value almost always end up on a Japanese brand bike.
woodco100   January 21, 2012 03:46 PM
during the peak they sold 1,000,000 bikes a year in the USA. Mostly cruisers and 600cc sport bikes. But everyhthing was setting records. Last 2 years they sold 440,000 bikes each year. BMW, Ducati, Triumph and Victory are all way up. HD is holding steady with %60 of the markey. What does this mean, the japanese are down %50. Why, becuase all they can build is this hidious looking blob.
woodco100   January 21, 2012 03:21 PM
No one is going to buy this bug ugly motorcycle. No wonder sales are down so much. $7000 for this goofy looking thing! You can buy a nice used sportster for that! You know a bike you will actuallyirde.
509MXFan   January 21, 2012 10:12 AM
It's a Versys by Honda. Kudos to getting it under the Versys price tag (with the standard trans). I will be excited to see it.
Piglet2010   January 21, 2012 09:23 AM
Yeah, Honda eliminating defects and design flaws is pretty boring.
Rucuss54   January 20, 2012 04:26 PM
Looks like a BMW GS, the difference is it will run forever. Only Honda can make an advanced/high tech bike boring.
sessman   January 20, 2012 03:29 PM
And what's up with the single headlight bulbs on the new Honda's? As someone who uses their motorcycle night and day, good weather and bad, give me 2 bulbs. The road gets REAL dark at night when your last bulb blows.
Piglet2010   January 20, 2012 01:56 PM
Well, I get 55+ mpg on rural highway riding on my 680cc Honda NT700V, which is 90 pounds heavier with shaft drive, so the mileage claims do not look too unreasonable. The engine should be smooth, as Honda figured out in the 1970's how to make a smooth I-2 engine (at least my CB400T did not have annoying vibration).
Pavement   January 20, 2012 11:03 AM
This is a nice bike. My BMW F650GS (800cc twin) gets 60+ mpg at steady state 65 mph so the fuel mileage doesn't seem outlandish to me. Perhaps economical alternatives to cars don't get traction in the US marketplace due to the "danger" stigma? or the prestige of owning a car?
bikerrandy   January 20, 2012 10:23 AM
Image is everything. Make it look like an adventure bike and it will sell, even if it's not. 240 miles on 3.7 gal. = 65 mpg. My 250 MP3 gets 65-70 mpg. My MZ 660 single get's 65 mpg @ 65 mph. My 400 MP3 get's 60 mpg. My MG Breva 750 twin get's 50-55 mpg. @ 65 mph. I think they're stretching things on this 670cc twin bike.
MCUSA Bart   January 20, 2012 10:17 AM
You're right sessman. DCT/ABS pricing updated to article.
Piglet2010   January 20, 2012 10:10 AM
See if a bike oriented towards transportation instead of posing actually sells in the US - history would say no.
sessman   January 20, 2012 09:12 AM
$2000 more for the ABS/DCT model according to the Honda Powersports site. That's quite a jump. Add some bags, heated grips and a few other things to make it really useful and the cheap prices fades in the distance. However, I still want to try one out. I use my 06 VFR800 daily and on long weekend trips but that only gets about 39 mpg in city driving. And if they every let us lane-split in Texas, the Interceptor luggage is WIDE. Wider than an ST1300. This model looks pretty narrow even with the saddle bags. I have mixed feelings about the underseat tank. I like the front storage but for anything of size you'll want luggage or a tail bag. I'm thinking it would get a little old having to unload whatever is strapped on the rear seat at gas stops.