Honda NC750X

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test -

Great, just not very ex­cit­ing

Af­ter rid­ing the NC for a few hun­dred miles you re­alise it has very lit­tle in com­mon with the other two twins here. In fact, it’s very dif­fer­ent from al­most any other bike. For starters, the ‘fuel tank’ is ac­tu­ally a large stor­age space com­plete with tool kit. It’s in­cred­i­bly use­ful and just about fits a full-face lid. The fuel is ac­tu­ally stored un­der the rider’s arse, and the fuel cap lo­cated un­der the pil­lion seat.

Then there’s the 750cc, wa­ter­cooled, par­al­lel twin en­gine, which only revs to 6500rpm. It’s like driv­ing a diesel car – all the go is at low to mid-rpm. You have to re­cal­i­brate your brain, es­pe­cially af­ter rid­ing the rev-happy Suzuki. On the Honda you short-shift around 5000rpm, be­fore

the colour­ful rev counter changes to or­ange, then red. This makes it sound te­diously de­void of pace, but at just over 4000rpm in top it will hap­pily cruise along at 85-90mph. I did one long ride hov­er­ing be­tween 80-90mph, which the NC dis­patched with ease, while man­ag­ing a re­mark­able 76mpg. And it’s that fuel econ­omy that lets you do 180 miles be­fore the fuel light comes on, de­spite only pack­ing a 14-litre tank.

The only down­side is this makes the Honda a tad un­event­ful if you head away from the mo­tor­way search­ing for fun. It’s quick enough, has de­cent brakes and sta­ble han­dling, and is pre­dictable and se­cure in the wet – but it’s just not very ex­cit­ing. Its big­gest sell­ing point is also its big­gest weak­ness: It’s al­most too good at mak­ing life easy, which in turn makes it dull. The fuelling is per­fect, there are very few vi­bra­tions, and vir­tu­ally no noise from the low-revving en­gine – it just does the job, but it’s as ex­cit­ing as Love­joy.

But on the flip­side, the NC is an in­cred­i­ble town bike. Once you’ve re­moved the small pan­niers, the Honda is at home on the city com­mute. It will pull from 1000rpm in any gear, and is so smooth that it’s al­most scooter-like, es­pe­cially if you opt for the DCT model.

There are times when you might hate it; when you want to have real fun it sim­ply doesn’t de­liver. But for the rest of the time you’ll love it. Con­tin­ued over: Ver­dict, stats, ac­ces­sories and typ­i­cal PCP deals

‘The fuelling is per­fect, but it’s about as ex­cit­ing as Love­joy’

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