2012 Honda NC700X Review

And that bike is the NC700X. Strictly speaking, that bike is three bikes. Accompanying the X in the range is a naked S and the Integra – a superscoot. All three bikes boast the same parallel twin 670cc motor and diamond steel pipe chassis. The modular design spreads to the wheels, tank, exhaust, radiator, brakes, headlight… the list continues. So it’s the Italian designed image of the NC700X that sets it apart from its brethren, capturing the crossover style that’s currently en vogue, and aimed at new and experienced alike.


And here's the bike. Well, three bikes actually

The NC generates some bamboozling figures. 51bhp from a 670cc motor sounds pretty average , but 62Nm of torque is enough to raise an eyebrow. A 6,500rpm rev limit sounds dull, but a 78.9mpg economy figure sounds class-leadingly impressive. The truth is, you can have power or you can have economy. You can’t have both, and in the NC, Honda is servicing a range of customers for whom economy and practicality is paramount.


Uchida-san, from the NC’s Development and Testing team neatly sums up the situation, “For many years, our goal is always to make more power than the last bike. But with the NC we started from a different perspective. Our end goal was not more power, but for the first time more economy,” and the target Honda set for the team was massive – a 40 per cent saving over the economy of a CBF600.


Three, two, one, cheese

To achieve this, Honda’s two-wheeled team listened to their four-wheel counterparts who have had a head start in efficiency technology. With the goal of power out of the window, advancements in head design and analysis of combustion efficiency dovetailed into the project. Maintaining a 14:1 air ratio throughout the rev range is important, and optimising valve timing helps achieve this at lower rev levels. Reduced friction loses play their part, as does intelligent placement of the catalyser and other components. A long stroke configuration helps to generate torque, which together with the 270-degree crank of the parallel twin gives the motor character.

Given the parameters, the NC700X works well within them

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  1. You ask two key questions here:

    Is this the future of biking? – probably yes for the majority of bikers who really would love the exotica but whose bank accounts and marital status suggest this as the only alternative

    What about those ‘fuck it moments’? – they are few and far between in this country where the state of the roads and the likelihood of licence loss mean that only the terminally befuddled would attempt them with any regularity. Personally I would rather see many, many more bikers on the road than in court.
    Thank you for a good honest report 🙂
    Peter (Cog) Clark

  2. An excellent report however, more effort from Honda please.

    Here we have a mid sized engine, designed for economy, but only reaching some 78mpg. We are now in the 21st century, where design from economy is paramount, and not a new concept. I have had over 50MPG from my Bandit 1250, and my new Versys 650 brings 55mpg. I admit, I am tight with the throttle and should I want a shot at the 10%, I would be looking at a good old RGV250 or even maybe the RD500LC. Regardless.

    Lets take a look at our 4 wheeled counterparts in this market place. The triple 1 litre from Toyota, 55mpg and thats pulling a car!. The 800cc from the Smart car….thats much more than 55mpg….much more. We have the might of Honda, creating a new solution for the fruggle rider, which brings at best, 78mpg. This is not good enough. The programme manager for the build should have stippulated high expectations. I would be looking for 120mpg…and this is not out of reach where Honda could really offer its customer, new, current, and up an coming, a true option to economical transportation. That said, if the same machine could do 120mpg, I guess the OTR price would be much more than the current NC700X, and probably out of reach of the economy driven motorist (I say motorist as this machine is trying to tease car drivens onto two wheels…..which is a great thing).

    This reminds me of my days at school……..Honda, a good try but you could do so much better. I will seriously be considering this bike as a replacement for my Versys in a couple of years.

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