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.
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.
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.
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