HONDA NC700X

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Rocker66
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I was most interested to read Kevin's report on this bike as I may soon be looking for a replacement for my NTV 700 to use on my 75 mile round trip to work each day. When I go to the NEC show tomorrow I want to have a good look at the Integra version as it has more weather protection. If the price is right (the NTV 700 is becoming V expensive for an everyday bike) then I could be very interested although the chain drive would be a bit of a minus point

ewaikit
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Re: HONDANC700X

Wow, from a complete missed to a possible hit. Traits of a genius bordering madness. With gas prices hitting 1.6 USD at my side of the planet, the NC700X or it's variants is compelling. Now if only the dealers would trim their profit margins and retail it at prices comparable to UK.

shuggiemac
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Re: HONDANC700X

I read the review on the NC700 over brealkfast this morning and am mightily impressed. All the more so as at EICMA I found the bike a bit underwhelming. Nothing wrong with it but it did not grab me particularly.

Lets take a look at the overall message at this bike and it would appear to answer a lot of questions that people have been asking for a long time and quite frankly could not understand why they had not been answered. I can move my seven seat family car, with missis, two curtain climbers and all the associated crap and still average out 5.3l/100km, if I don't drive mad. So why is it such an issue to get a decent sized bike to return good figures? I don't want to get into a debate about that here but the efficency figures of bikes are an easy target for the ne'r sayers as they are not as good as Joe Public would expect.

The review explains quite well what Honda had to look at to get this to work but I still wonder why it had not been done before. Irresepcective the fact remains that they have done it and good for them. Like Rocker I have a significant commute every day and have long been searching for something that I want to use to do it. The bottom line is that cost wise, regards fuel consumption, I am cheaper using the Alhambra than I am my ST2 or Diavel, in the real world. If I take the Monkeystrada then it sips fuel but at 140cc and its small size then it is not the most suitable as far as exposure on the motorway is concerned.. I also want a bike that I can use twelve months a year through the cold winters too. This could very well be the answer. My only difference to Rocker's opinion is that I prefer chain drive to shaft so this ticks a positive box for me.

The price looks like it will be great and with practicality thrown in then what's not to like? I do however wonder what the line between a scooter and a motorcycle is, taking this machine and the integra into consideration.

I am genuinely eager to see this bike and I can't tememebr when I have felt this way about anything other than my much favoured Ducati. Well done Honda, hats off to you.

rocca
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Motorway cruise-ability + weather protection + >50 m.p.g. + on-board storage for full face helmet or two bags o'shopping + appliance-like reliability and ease of use/ ownership. And a dash of style/ fun. That's my formula for an "everyday" machine and the reason why, for the past couple of years, the Yamaha TMAX has had a home in my garage. And over that time has seen a fair bit more use than the other occupants-

The TMAX is a ruthlessly honed piece of design, beautifully made and utterly dependable. But it's expensive to buy and not that cheap to run (it consistently does more than 50 m.p.g., but often only just). The new Honda clearly has the better of it economy-wise and looks like it may match it on a number of other criteria. Appliance appeal would have been enhanced by use of belt drive, though that's probably more of a negative in relation to the Integra version, where the compromises forced by platform-sharing start to look a bit uncomfortable (it looks like a maxi scooter but has hardly any on-board storage).

More than anything the sticker price will probably tilt me towards a variant of the Honda when it's time to change the T. I'd love to think I'll then be standing in line with a queue of other eager intending buyers because the bike (as Kevin hints in his reference to the Cub) articulates such a strong a case for the motorcycle as mass transport for the New Depression era. Sadly I doubt that'll be the case because, in the UK at least, expectations of what a bike can and should be are largely so conservative and deeply ingrained.

gjw1992
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Re: HONDA NC700X

That power output of just 47hp in the UK - a good 10% less than elsewhere (rest of Europe? Or outside Europe?). I noted MCN had said the nc700s would be 47hp, but they indicated the x and the integra would still be over 50hp. Not much difference I know, but as there's little power to start with a few more does count. Who is correct - is all this range going to be restricted to the impending new licence-power limits? That would be understandable, but these bikes are more than just learner specials.

blacktiger
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Honda have done it again. Only 3.1 gallons of fuel? That sounds OK if you achieve their 78mpg prediction but who ever does that in the real world? And as Kevin wrote, he only got 64mpg out of it which'll mean you're hunting for fuel after only 150 miles. You'd have thought they would have learnt from the VFR12 debate.

gjw1992 wrote:
That power output of just 47hp in the UK - a good 10% less than elsewhere (rest of Europe? Or outside Europe?). I noted MCN had said the nc700s would be 47hp, but they indicated the x and the integra would still be over 50hp. Not much difference I know, but as there's little power to start with a few more does count. Who is correct - is all this range going to be restricted to the impending new licence-power limits? That would be understandable, but these bikes are more than just learner specials.

There's a big market for "just passed the test riders" who will be restricted to 47bhp if this new law is passed throughout Europe.
As for lack of power. I think you're one of those, along with some of the Journos, that has missed the point as Kevin pointed out in the write up.

kevash
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Re: HONDA NC700X

blacktiger wrote:
Honda have done it again. Only 3.1 gallons of fuel? That sounds OK if you achieve their 78mpg prediction but who ever does that in the real world? And as Kevin wrote, he only got 64mpg out of it which'll mean you're hunting for fuel after only 150 miles. You'd have thought they would have learnt from the VFR12 debate.

I think my 64mpg is likely to be the lowest you'd get and most riders will be closer to 70mpg, but even 64mpg is a 200 mile range, that's perfectly acceptable I reckon, you'd only be looking to refuel from 170 miles. It's more than the VFR!

kevash
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Re: HONDA NC700X

The power stated in the specifications in my review is correct: Honda UK hasn't yet confirmed the power of the NC700S but says the NC700X manual will be the 47bhp (35kW) version and the DCT option will have the 51bhp output. I suspect the S will be the same but don't know for sure yet.

Honda has created the lower power version to make the bike available in the A2 novice rider category. While the peak power is down, the torque lower down the range is unaffected, so I don't think it will make a big difference as you're riding on this most of the time anyway. I will try the 35kW version early in the new year though to confirm.

kevash
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Re: HONDA NC700X

rocca wrote:
... such a strong a case for the motorcycle as mass transport for the New Depression era. Sadly I doubt that'll be the case because, in the UK at least, expectations of what a bike can and should be are largely so conservative and deeply ingrained.

I completely agree, and it's another reason why I suspect a lot of UK journalists won't get this bike, if you look at it from a UK-centric view, it might well struggle to get on the radar of people thinking about utility transport simply because motorcycles generally don't register with the general public. In countries like Italy and Spain though I think it wll be a big hit, especially as the DCT auto transmission will encourage existing scooter users to switch without any gearbox intimidation (or potential scuffing of their brogues...).

gjw1992
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Re: HONDA NC700X

That doesn't sound too bad - that it doesn't sound as if performance to 85 is really affected. And I suppose that low down torque meaning early gear change helps there.

Will the scooter have the standard output? That A2 category hasn't affected the BMW 600 scooters nor (apparently) uprated t-max, but I suppose these are not really considered learner specials.

vroum_ninou
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Re: HONDA NC700X

There is no law to be passed, it is already a European directive and has to be implemented in all EU countries by January 2013. It has already been implemented in Spain 2 years ago already. Here, all new motorcycle riders have the A2 license, which limits them to motorcycles of 47 hp with a max power to weight ratio of 0.2 (expressed in kW and kg). If the bike is limited to this power from a more powerful model, the original model cannot make more than 95 hp.
This is the reason why the BMW G650GS (the old F650GS single cylinder) now outputs 47 hp instead of the 50 it used to output. This is also the reason for the reduced power output of the Street Triple, now at 95 hp, so that it can be legally limited to A2 licenses in Europe.
Unlike the old system in most of Europe, that limited new riders to 34 hp for 2 years but then automatically let them ride any bike after those 2 years, the A2 will have the new riders limited to 47 hp all their life, unless, after 2 years of A2, they elect to take the exam to get the A license. This one will give them access to all other bikes.

The directive gives some leeway to individual states in its application. France for example, just announced its implementation of the directive and one crucial difference with Spain is that riders will have to go through the A2 license only if they are less than 24 years old. In Spain there is no consideration for age and you have to go through the A2.

But back to the subject of this topic: the N700 honda motorcycles.

First, Kev, there is a typo in the wet weight figure: you state 128 kg (now, that would be nice!) but it is in fact 228 kg.

228 kg!!! Really? As heavy as a fully fueled R1200GS??? Are you serious honda?? As heavy as a Touring MTS 1200?? How do they manage to cram so much weight in a 700cc, 47 hp motorcycle?

The parts in the article about their technical solutions to "save weight" made me snigger...

Sorry but honda have lost it completely. Except for their CBRs, all their bikes in all other categories are porky beyond measure.
For me honda's slogan should be: "Honda, we will make you love cars..."

My girlfriend has the famous A2 license but I would never buy this bike for her.
I did get her a honda though. But a honda from the time they used to make motorcycles, not 2-wheeled cars. I got a honda VTR 250 from 2002. It looks like a mini Ducati monster, makes 30 hp and is light: 170 kg wet.
Now, THAT's a learner's BIKE!
The KTM mini Duke 125 is a learner's BIKE.
Their 200 cc version too.
And I can't wait for them to get a 350 version of the mini Duke.

A beginner's bike cannot weigh as much as an R1200GS, especially for a 100 pound woman!

And I am honestly not that impressed with the fuel efficiency figures. They're not much better than the ones for the F800ST that I know from experience. And the F800ST is a real BIKE, with 85 hp and 200 kg wet weight.

As far as "getting the bike", sorry but I don't see that as the problem. I rode a Buell XB12S and I loved it. It too had a redline at 6500 rpm.

I've had plenty of Hondas and I used to love them. But in the last few years I have come to loathe most of their production. They are the ones who committed the crime against motorcycling of actually creating and producing the DN-01! Nuff said!

Honda now produces 2-wheeled cars, not motorcycles. That this bike's engine is basically a car's engine says it all. What is happening to their motorcycles is what happened to cars over the past 30 years: we went from 800 kg fun little cars to 1.5 ton dull rolling salons.

Let's see, on one end of the spectrum of bikes for new riders we have KTM mini Dukes (hopefully they will have a 350/450 soon) while at the other end we have the honda dull porker. I really hope that the KTM philosophy will convert most new riders! But KTM is far from having Honda's clout, unfortunately...

Honda is killing motorcycling! They almost killed motoGP...

There already is a market for utilitarian 2-wheeled transport: it's called scooters! Stick to that!

Honda, we will make you love cars!

Navy Boy
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Re: HONDA NC700X

I have to say that I'm in favour of this machine and I'm really glad that Honda have taken the plunge. I suspect that our European cousins tastes have helped persuade Honda that it was worth their time, effort and money creating this range of machines.

In essence we have at long last got ourselves a motorbike which fundamentally alters its design priorities in favour of real world importance. Whether you like the looks or not (I do) or its weight (Which I agree could be a little trimmer) it's what this bike represents which is the bigger point here.

BMW have been onto a good thing with their F800 bikes for some time and I reckon Honda have simply taken this philosophy one step further. I for one will be taking one for a test ride when I can as I'm genuninely curious to see just how it feels on the road.

My Silverwing scooter represented the ideal 2 wheeled transport solution for me in a number of ways but it's inefficiency was the disappointing (Though not really surprising) element in the equation. Similar practicality but with a torquier and more efficient powertrain would be the answer to an awful lot of questions for a large number of people.

rocca
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Re: HONDA NC700X

vroum_ninou wrote:
Honda, we will make you love cars!

At last!  A worthy successor to "You meet the nicest people...".

Their strategy is pretty consistent though, and can easily be summed up in one word: accessibility. This applies as much to the behaviour of the CBRs as it does to their persistent efforts to lure the uninitiated onto lesser machines with friendly and, yes, sometimes car-like features.  Far from killing motorcycling you could argue that this in fact gives the smaller, more specialised manufacturers a bit of a leg-up by growing the overall market.

On the subject of 'porkies', the quoted wet weight of the GS has been the subject of past debate on these pages and elsewhere.  The conclusion seems to be that BMW's definition of "wet" excludes fuel and probably the items of equipment specified by most buyers (i.e. ABS and the electrical toys) too.

vroum_ninou
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Hi Rocca,

Making learner's friendly bikes is absolutely fine... don't make them porkers! There is no need for a 700 cc bike to weigh more than most 1000 cc bikes! And this 700cc bike follows in a now loooong line of Honda motorcycles that seem to be all 20kg heavier than they ought to be.
"Mass centralization" has been a honda mantra in the past few years. I guess that their solution to have very centralized mass it to stick a 20 kg lump of lead near the bike's center of gravity... :-)

Lighter bikes are better for learners.

And for people who can't deal with switching gears and the like, there are scooter really. By definition a motorcycle is not a rational means of transportation, trying to make it rational is to kill the very essence of it, in my opinion.

As far as wet weight, 229 kg is the wet weight of the R1200GS with at all fluids at at least 90% of their respective max capacity, but for the base model, so, without options.
Of course, as I commented recently in the Diavel thread, on the road you would be hard pressed to find a base model: they almost all come with ABS, cases, etc... making the average wet weight of an R1200GS as you would see it in the street closer to 250 kg or more (those cases ain't light!).

But going back to the new honda weight, just for the sake of it, compare it to a bike of a similar engine capacity, the KTM Duke 690: less than 160 kg wet. That's a 70 kg difference! The honda is almost 45% heavier!
I won't mention here that the single cylinder engine in the KTM outputs 70 hp against the 47 hp of the twin honda, since this 47 hp output was the goal of the design to meet some European regulatory constraints.

So yeah, these bikes are not in the same category except for engine displacement. The Duke is much more radical, less frugal... etc. But still, without getting to the extremes of the Duke's low weight, I think that 200 kg would be quite a reasonable weight for 700 cc, learner friendly bike no? That's still 40kg heavier than the Duke and as heavy as some 1000...

The KTM mini Duke 125 has been on top of the sale charts here in Spain recently, even selling better than scooters. I really prefer seeing the next generation of riders get introduced to the world of motorcycling on those than on dull porkers.

By the way, I started riding on a honda.It was a 600 cc Transalp and it weighed 200 kg... and it was a real motorcycle.
I ride my girlfriend's VTR 250 from time to time. The engine is anemic at 30 hp when coming from my SMT obviously, but it's a decent output for a 4-stroke 250 cc, and at least it's light! Which makes it somewhat fun.

sutty
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Re: HONDA NC700X

I'm with v_m here, it looks like a good idea with all the fun taken away.
Surely a lighter bike would be cheaper to produce, within reason?
And much nicer to ride?

A quick scout of the net (ok Motorrad website!) shows they're excited by the price, expected to be 5.5 or 6k euros model dependant.

These new Hondas just show how good the BMW 800 engine is I think.

These things will sell, but I am not having any of Kevs fantastic build quality stuff, it's just Honda owners wash em, and get em serviced. A quick showroom tour suggests Yamaha as best finished Japanese bikes, to my (old) toolmakers eyes anyway.

roundincircles
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Re: HONDA NC700X

If you want a view on each brands quality of finish ask a tyre fitter as they get up close and personal. They will say Yamaha are best by some way, surprised me as I would vote Honda.

shuggiemac
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Well this has certaily put the cat amongst this pidgeon's.

Nothing has been said to disuade me from looking forward to trying this bike out. I know that it is not going to set the heather on fire performance wise but my commute is done in real world, everyday conditions and this sounds like where this machine shall be at home. If it is cheap and reliable then for those every day tasks it sounds like it will be a real contender.

The one thing I am surprised to read though is that some are stating that it will be biking with the fun sucked out. I am sorry and maybe it is just me but I find every bike fun, no matter what it is. The very act of being on a powered two wheeler lights my candle be it a moped through to a whizz bang hyper sports bike. I am not just saying that either, I really do mean it. So I can get why people will comment on power, weight etc etc but I will never see the point of view that says any bike can not be fun.

vroum_ninou
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Riding is always fun, by definition... So if it was between a car and N700 I would go for the N700... but we are not restricted to one choice of bike, fortunately, and if you compare riding a 200 kg, 100 hp bike to a 100 kg, 50 hp you should find that the lighter bike is a hoot compared to the bigger one despite the similar power to weight ratio, and that is to say nothing of a 100 kg, 100 hp bike...

If I was looking for a commuter, I would still want it to be fun, but may be that is just me. If I was just looking for a SENSIBLE commuter I would look at a car or a scooter... or a honda, by the looks of it...

Anyway, for a commuter I would rather have a fun 200 kg ER6 than a bloated, castrated pig of a N700. Or an F650GS. Or a G650GS. Or a used F650CS (Scarver). Or honda own CB500. Or < insert here any motorcycle >.

Sorry but honda has been sucking all the fun out of motorcycles in the past few years (as compared to other motorcycles).

kevash
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Re: HONDA NC700X

vroum_ninou wrote:
First, Kev, there is a typo in the wet weight figure: you state 128 kg (now, that would be nice!) but it is in fact 228 kg.

228 kg!!! Really? As heavy as a fully fueled R1200GS??? Are you serious honda?? As heavy as a Touring MTS 1200?? How do they manage to cram so much weight in a 700cc, 47 hp motorcycle?

Thanks, typo corrected... It's far easier to ride and much lighter feeling than GS or MTS, partly because it has an unusually low centre of gravity, and also I suspect the Honda's figures might be as real world as its engine. But Honda does also penalise itself with its own standards and quality: the underseat fuel tank for example is steel with especially strong impact properties, as Honda says it's not possible to get plastic tanks mounted here to meet its crash standards. The bodywork and its mountings are heavier and offer additional crash protection to the rest of the bike that others tend not to bother with, so it's inevitably going to weigh more, but it will also be more durable. BMW's final drive shafts might break less often if they were made more solidly...

vroum_ninou wrote:
A beginner's bike cannot weigh as much as an R1200GS, especially for a 100 pound woman!

I wouldn't get hung up on the number, that's all it is, a figure. In practice - which is what does matter - the NC is one of the easiest and most forgiving bikes to ride, much more so than many lighter ones, and I'd certainly not hesitate to recommend it to a novice.

vroum_ninou wrote:
And I am honestly not that impressed with the fuel efficiency figures. They're not much better than the ones for the F800ST that I know from experience. And the F800ST is a real BIKE, with 85 hp and 200 kg wet weight.

I was a bit disappointed in those too, although I don't doubt they'll comfortably beat the F800 in the same conditions. But this still makes the NC the most economical large motorcycle available, much more so than most scooters right down to 125cc, and what's very important is the fundamental change in philosophy. Many traditional bike riders will hate it, like you do, but it's reaching out to an entirely different group of people, and I think it will be very successful. Far from killing off motorcycling, this stands a good chance of bringing in fresh blood, it's not as if Honda or anyone else is going to stop making more conventional bikes - this is as well as, not instead of.

vroum_ninou wrote:
They are the ones who committed the crime against motorcycling of actually creating and producing the DN-01! Nuff said!

Can't argue with that...

vroum_ninou wrote:
Honda now produces 2-wheeled cars, not motorcycles.

Fireblade review going live later today... Nope, definitely not a car!

vroum_ninou
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Re: HONDA NC700X

kevash wrote:

Fireblade review going live later today... Nope, definitely not a car!

Yeah, I excluded their CBRs in my first comment. It would not fly for them to make a 220 kg CBR 1000 obviously...

CBRs are great bikes... but they are not the most exciting superbikes. RSV4? 1198? Panigale? RC8R? S1000RR? ZX10R?
May be the best sportbike for the road but as a pure sportbike it's not the most inspiring.

I would love to be able to include honda in the list of brands I consider when looking for a new bike, be it a sport bike, a road bike, a commuter bike... but it's definitely not the case. Too heavy, too dull... too "DN01 is the future of motorcycling and we'll shove it down your throat model after model"...

MP1300GT
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Judging by motorcycle sales in Italy, they do like their scooters! Funny how the 50cc segment has really lost ground to the bigger and bigger cc scooters. Who would have thought about an 850cc scooter 15 years ago?

Manufacturers eventually build what the market wants. Scooters are practical - with their automatic transmissions, good weather protection for year-round riding, low centers of gravity which hide their weights well, and built-in storage compartments. Many will find this funny, but I know someone with a 650 scooter who said his wife is OK with him riding a scooter but not a real motorcycle. Maybe this also plays in a bit to their appeal.

It will be interesting if Honda's gamble with the NC700X will succeed? I wouldn't bet against it.

Shuggiemac - "I will never see the point of view that says any bike cannot be fun" - I agree.
Vroum-minou - "If I was looking for a commuter, I would still want it to be fun" - I agree, but we all have different priorities don't we?
Vroum-minou - "Honda has been sucking all the fun out of motorcycles in the past few years" - What about their CBR125/250? They continue to build fine motorcycles albeit with shortcomings which I personally find unappealing. But their scooter sales top the charts!
Roundincircles - I would have never thought Yamaha to lead in quality. Just assumed Honda was best. Always learning something new.

I'd like to see more 350 or 450cc bikes made, just like the old days. Anyone now looking for a cheaper/smaller bike get sucked-into the scooter segment IMO.

Cheers.

Captain Scarlet
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Re: HONDA NC700X

"In essence we have at long last got ourselves a motorbike which fundamentally alters its design priorities in favour of real world importance. Whether you like the looks or not (I do) or its weight (Which I agree could be a little trimmer) it's what this bike represents which is the bigger point here."
...+1 The delivery of a turbo-diesel without the clatter never harms

Weight? Hhhmm, light is right, but weight can feel reassuring. Good job we don't ride motorcycles on paper!

This sort of bike might ironically be most appreciated by ageing experienced riders with a long commute, more than newbies?

It's certainly hard to argue that if Yamaha still produced low and light bikes like their SDR200 'whippet', they might actually sell a good few to first timers.

It'd be ideal for my wife, who has just past her test, but being so petite she is struggling to find something low and particularly light enough for her to feel comfortable with. And I think this will be no different.

A shame, as Honda might think they are aiming the N700 at her. And I'd like them to be. But on paper its difficult to tell if she could manage to ride it.

In recent years I've really begun to get turned on to lighter bikes with strong real world delivery. Machines such as the BMW F800ST and Triumph Tiger 800. They show me that you don't have to ride a whale of a bike to have a lot of fun; often more than their more powerful bigger brothers. They are the difference between need and want if you like.

As an ex multiple Honda owner, I have at last got something to praise them for after many years of being lost in the wasteland. That is, the recognition that they are seemingly openly acknowledging that the vast majority of riders spend 80% of their time or more below 85 mph.

So if bike manufacturers aren't concentrating nearly all of their time on addressing the top 20% of current problems with regards to what is happening below 85 mph, then they are really barking up the wrong tree in terms of actual rider usage.

To help focus on the right improvement areas, Pareto defined the 80/20 principle; that 80% improvement could come from addressing the top 20% of problems. It seems Honda is applying this principle to real world usage and given time I would expect that to yield better results. Lets just hope they remember that weight is definitely in that 20%! ;-D

kevash
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Re: HONDA NC700X

roundincircles wrote:
If you want a view on each brands quality of finish ask a tyre fitter as they get up close and personal. They will say Yamaha are best by some way, surprised me as I would vote Honda.

I think I've mentioned elsewhere that when Ducati got their man in from Audi to head up the quality control department, he's started using Yamaha and not Honda as the benchmark that Ducati needs to be striving to achieve.

vroum_ninou
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Re: HONDA NC700X

MP1300GT wrote:

Vroum-minou - "If I was looking for a commuter, I would still want it to be fun" - I agree, but we all have different priorities don't we?

Well, if you had quoted my whole sentence, you would have had your answer: "If I was looking for a commuter, I would still want it to be fun, but may be that is just me." ;-)

MP1300GT wrote:

Vroum-minou - "Honda has been sucking all the fun out of motorcycles in the past few years" - What about their CBR125/250?

Well it was a sweeping statement obviously. As you say they still produce fine bikes, but the models I usually anticipate have tended to disappoint me, to be overweight and dumbed down (dull, bland).
The CBR 250 might be fine, although I think the Kawi Ninja 250 is more fun. Still, I think honda does not make "exciting bikes". The CBR 250 might be fine, but at 161 kg, it is the same weight as the KTM Duke 690! And 30 kg heavier than the new Duke 200.
I mean, they don't have to go to these extreme of lightness but still...

MP1300GT wrote:

I'd like to see more 350 or 450cc bikes made, just like the old days. Anyone now looking for a cheaper/smaller bike get sucked-into the scooter segment IMO.

Agreed! And it's been refreshing to see the stats for the Duke 125 recently in Spain. They are now launching the Duke 200, but I'm not sure it will come to the European market. I just can't wait for them to put their 350 single cylinder engine, or the 450, in one of those!
Brands like Ducati and BMW have been putting a lot of effort into producing lighter bikes. It's always been in Ducati's "genes", just like KTM, but this was not so much the case for BMW just a few years ago. I wish other manufacturers, like honda, would do the same. They just seem to do the contrary.

vroum_ninou
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Captain Scarlet wrote:

It'd be ideal for my wife, who has just past her test, but being so petite she is struggling to find something low and particularly light enough for her to feel comfortable with. And I think this will be no different.

Hey, that's great! Congratulations to her!

My girlfriend got hers in February, the infamous A2 license, that was implemented in Spain 3 years in advance. She is also petite, so finding a bike low and light enough while matching the power limit requirements was a challenge... at least if you want to avoid the cruiser type of bikes. Well except if there was a mini Diavel... ;-)

We got a 2002 Honda VTR 250. It looks like a mini Monster and she loves it! It's reasonably light and reasonably low so she can manage it reasonably well, but she's on the tip of her feet if she wants to use both feet. So yeah, she dropped it a few times, but less and less. The bike takes the drops pretty well, with just bent levers and light scuffs on the exhaust to report (we installed crash bungs).
Power is a measly 30 hp and the brakes need to be violated to produce any kind of reasonable stopping, but she loves the bike and has clocked 7000 miles of twisties on it over the Spring and the Summer!

Hope you find a good bike for your wife and she enjoys riding!

blacktiger
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Unsubscribed.

kevash
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Captain Scarlet wrote:
It'd be ideal for my wife, who has just past her test, but being so petite she is struggling to find something low and particularly light enough for her to feel comfortable with. And I think this will be no different.

The weight might be a problem though as I've mentioned, the bike is exceptionally well balanced and easy to steer. But note the NC700S is similar but without the off-road looks or stance and its seat is a fair bit lower.

Plantboy
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Perhaps this is the sort of thinking Piaggio should be doing with the old technology small block Moto Guzzi motor. I have no doubt they could come up with something lighter and with a lower seat height than the Honda. Another plus for the target market would also be the welcome lack of a chain. Don't know for sure but I think MG showed a slightly more powerful 4V small block at EICMA as well. However, no-way will the Italians match Honda in the marketing department, but they could benefit from it if they thought smart.

Captain Scarlet
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Thanks Kev and Vroum. Two options to consider. She'd like something new so is veering towards the ZX250R at the moment.

The Guzzi V5(?) 500 used to be a favourite with the ladies and short of leg. Guzzi could have done more, particularly marketing wise, to appeal to the historical side, issue some specials and generally concentrate on niche as much as mainstream. I'd love them to survive and want them to, but I can't help thinking they're not going to.

Got to love KTM and BMW's, of late, weight loss obsession. Colin Chapman would be proud.

shuggiemac
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Captain, I would say that MG are doing exactly what you say. The latest V7 and V7 racer Classic lines, as unveiled at EICMA are really nice looking bikes and definitely tilting to the past. Their line up is actually pretty well spread. The danger is that maybe they have seen what happened to the Sport Classic line from Ducati, which had a fairly short lived life span. There was nothing wrong with the bikes but I have to assume that commercially they were not the entire success that the manfacturer had hoped.

I don't have a crystal ball but I would have thought that if Piaggio was looking to get rid of Guzzi then they would have done so already but rather, if my memory serves me well, they have committed to investment in the brand. Like you I very much want them to survive.

It would have to be said that this is definitely a platform for marketing potential to excel, though as an outsider I believe that the people in Piaggio are definitley more than aware of what needs to be done and how they want to do it.

Now if only they would build a bike with a chain !!!!!! (Takes cover)

Captain Scarlet
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Re: HONDA NC700X

Shuggs, I just don't know my friend is the real answer. I can't really comment further on what I've said or you've said; they're different views, but I'm not convinced either of us are right! ;-D

The one thing that I can categorically say is that a friend who is a sales manager at a multi-franchise dealership I frequent have just cancelled both their Guzzi and Aprilia marques. They sell a lot of machines in that shop, but have every Guzzi in the range on show and he tells me that they haven't sold a single MG bike this year. :-(

The quality looks better than most to me and a chief mechanic told me they are no problem whatsoever when properly serviced. The dealership blames Piaggio's lack of investment in marketing. Again I don't know if they are right or not?

I do sometimes look at the some manufacturers web sites and think to myself 'what a complete mess, how on earth do you expect to sell anything?'. It's not just KTM, MG or whoever either, people like Honda need a good slap with a half decent web-monkey too!

All manufacturers grossly underestimate the power of the web, it's forums and how easy it is to sell desirability if they just got their head out of their derriere's. I once remember asking a senior Triumph rep (factory visit) why they didn't have large (desktop background worthy) pictures on their web site of all the bikes they sold in all the available colours? I was politely put in my place with a terse "why would we want to do that?". This was said in front of 20 other people! When I enquired about progress on a well known production problem I was also treated to blank faces and raised eyes, the way my old maths teacher used to look at me if I'd forgotten (accidentally on purpose) to complete my homework assignment. I'm not knocking Triumph, they've improved in both respects and I rate them as a top manufacturer. It's just a clear example whereby if manufactures begin to think along the lines of what they are doing is all about them, then they've already lost an intelligent segment of potential customer base.

Getting off topic, apologies. It's nice to see Honda release this bike and bikes like the CBR250 ABS, AngryJogger and X-FactorTourer. We have to assume a Pan 12 V4 is an EOY 2012 launch. And well, frankly it's just nice to see them doing anything remotely new and semi-interesting. They're talking in terms of 'character' (how long did that little penny take to drop?) in everything they do of late. And quality, if anything, is moving firmly back to the good old days of (RIC imbued) 'white gloved lab assembly'. Liking your latest work Mista H. Must weigh less... must weigh less... must weigh less (me, not the bikes! ;-D).