Long-term bike: Honda NC750X

Car (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - DRIVER: Ni­col Louw Ni­col­l_­car­mag

CAN the Tourer hold its own in town? The Honda has sur­passed its half­way mark on mileage, the bulk of which was ac­cu­mu­lated on the open road. Lately, how­ever, the wings of the Tourer have been clipped and it had to join the rat race … and it ex­celled. Bulky ve­hi­cles, es­pe­cially large SUVS, are great on fam­ily get­aways but are akin to steer­ing an oil tanker when you use them in ur­ban ar­eas. The Civic doesn’t present sim­i­lar prob­lems.

The heated seats are a boon in cold, win­ter months, and the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is easy to use. Although I opted for the man­ual-gear­box ver­sion, the clutch is light to use and the short-throw gearshift ac­tion makes it bear­able in stop-start traf­fic con­di­tions.

The ve­hi­cle is no more dif­fi­cult to place on the road or in a park­ing bay than a reg­u­lar Civic. Best is to sneak into that elu­sive park­ing space be­fore a bakkie-based SUV can ex­e­cute a six-point turn.

An ir­ri­ta­tion that cropped up this month is that the fuel-flap re­lease is po­si­tioned way down on the dash close to your right leg’s calf mus­cle, which makes it dif­fi­cult to reach and too close to the bon­net re­lease.

With the seats folded down, the load­ing space is im­mense. It man­aged to swal­low two bi­cy­cles, roof racks and a rear bike rack dur­ing a re­cent fu­ele­con­omy test to cal­cu­late aero­dy­namic drag (see Why bi­cy­cles are a drag in Au­gust 2015). On one trip, I even man­aged to fit in a shower door...

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