It’s only been 5 months since I left the Blade Honda dealership in Swindon with my NC700X.
I feel I’ve owned the bike for well over a year already, I’ve spent many hundreds of hours in command, both two up and on my own and still I’m pretty pleased with it, but some niggles have shone through about it, nothing bad and certainly not ticks against it!
Summary: I’ve ridden the bike in various scenarios, singular, two up and within groups (though the latter, not much). Daily commutes on the dual carriageway, beating down at breakneck speeds, sitting behind a lorry on the cold days or flowing around the traffic on those sunny afternoons, the bike offered and never failed to offer a smooth, steady ride and generally good accelerating and braking. I jumped at a chance late fall to take her up to Scotland on a solo tour of the ‘wonderful’ country. Loaded up topbox, panniers and dry bag over the rear off I went, 900 miles of motorway, 1,200 miles of country roads and not a sore bum, joint or wrist later I had a beaming smile, but really, a bike for circa £6,000.00 can really offer me such a joy at such little cost?
Yes, this isn’t just a bike it’s an all rounder in it’s own right, you won’t take it off road, that’s a big no no, but for the daily commute, the ‘grabbing a few bits from the shop’ and blasting off for the weekend, this bike can do that, that’s why it should be looked at as an option for those that munch the miles during the week and still enjoy the weekends away. Even a ride from Uig on the Isle Of Skye to Swindon, a total of 570 miles that I did in one run, a total time of 12 hours on the bike still had me getting off like I had only got on it 5 minutes earlier. It’s incredibly comfortable!
Ride and Handling
Smooth, forgiving, wanting, gentle yet aggressive, are just some of the words I would use to summarize the NCX. It’s a weird bike, it does cater well for most riding scenarios, of course just not that of a speed demon because you become rather restricted with the 6,500RPM limit on the engine, though this does make for a few interesting overtakes when you forget, like me rather a lot when the adrenaline is running. This does cap the fun factor for speed but this is balanced by the fun of the engine on the winding roads, urban riding and long runs.
The riding on the motorway / dual carriageway is adequate although the protection, well that’s it, there is no protection on your knee / thigh area which is a head wind is present can become rather annoying and uncomfortable. The wind starts to push your knees out and thus the uncomfortable riding starts. This is my only real nag about the bikes ride comfort and happens rarely, but a Honda accessory is available to deflect the wind before your knees for circa £80.00 so if I was to keep the bike I’d look at this as an option!
Country roads, a real doddle, the bike is forgiving and gentle yet has an aggressive edge that offers the fun factor. I found riding around the local Wiltshire / Dorset and Somerset roads was good fun, although when I took the bike to Scotland, fun turned to excitement, blasting through Glencoe and Fort William, the bike just wanted more and more, up in the highlands, roads that needed serious TLC, again the NCX just played ball, took the bumps, pot holes and utterly trashed coastal roads in its stride, providing me with a great experience.
The only equipment I have added to date is the Givi 1111FZ Monorack arms and Givi PL1111 Pannier holder.
To these I have a fitted a Givi E52 Maxia Topbox with rear lights and 2 x Givi E45 Pannier. This combination works well and you have the added luxury of the ‘boot’ up front!
I think the essential modifications for this bike when purchased should be, a rear hugger as without the bike does get awfully messy! Secondly a Fenda Extenda to keep the front flick off the radiator, without, you face a nice bill from Honda for a replacement, go and get one. The front of the bike is too exposed not to, and a Radiator guard if you want extra protection.
Servicing costs to date
First Service (600 Miles): £130.69
Second Service (8,000 Miles): £189.49
New Rear BT023R (7,454 Miles): £131.00
New Rear Pads (11,537 Miles): £37.86 (EBC Sintered HH)
TOTAL: £479.18 – Very happy with this considering the amount of riding I have done, no complaints! Just happy riding!