NCX: 16,000 Miles & 9 Months on…



This is going to be nice and brief so you can get back to work, you probably shouldn’t be on this anyway! Tell the boss I said ‘Hi’!

So, I picked the bike up from Blade Honda, Swindon on the 8th June 2012 – I’ve owned it for just over 16,000 miles, 9 months and yeah I love it, I love all things with two wheels, though, you probably wouldn’t think that if you met me!

I have recently replaced the chain and sprockets, managed to get 15,275 miles out of them, but I have replaced them with a slightly bigger, 525 pitch D.I.D GOLD XRING, and W.O.W, what an improvement!

The difference I have noticed is smoother power delivery, better acceleration in terms of again, smoothness and comfort pulling from a standing start and generally an overall smoother bike! I love it.

It handles well, even with shoddy unchecked tyre pressures because to be frank you couldn’t be arsed to check (I’m anal and check them twice a week, Wednesday and Sunday), but then it is no performance motorcycle, more a donkey with a little extra kick & twist – I’m sure we can agree on that. It looks dopey but suddenly comes alive more than you expect when you pull on the throttle to accelerate, through the twisties and back down to 30mph because a cop is waiting for you in the lay-by with his toy laser gun, however the engine breaking, well it’s not there so you feel like you are constantly on the brakes after having a little fun!

It’s practical, if you have one, and you use the storage trunk, pretend it’s not there for a week and let me know how you didn’t cope because you rely on it so heavily now for the daily commute, for the dash to the shops to pick up some milk and eggs or into town and ‘quickly’ pop your helmet away as others watch in disbelief, trying to figure out why you are putting your helmet in the fuel tank… no love, it’s a storage compartment – honestly.

Fuel consumption – amazing. I said it would be brief, the past 16,000 miles have cost me around £1,423.58 in fuel based on £1.369 per litre of fuel and 70mpg on average, I’m a very laid bike rider… at times… 😉

So, to the important bits below:

Cost of Ownership – Official Honda Mechanical Services:

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First Service: 600 Miles

Date: 14/06/2012 – 6 days after picking it up 😉

Cost: £130.69

Where: Blade, Swindon

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Second Service: 8,000 Miles

Date: 15/09/2012

Cost: £189.49

Where: Blade, Swindon

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Third Service: 16,000 Miles 

Date: 16/03/2013

Cost: £224.48

Where: Blade, Swindon

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Cost of Ownership – Non official services:

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Other Service: Rear Tyre Change (Replacement BT023R)

Old Tyre retired at: 7,454 Miles

Date: 31/08/2012

Cost: £131.00 Fitted

Where: Independent Mechanic

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Other Service: Brake Pad Change (Rear Single Caliper Only)

Old Pads retired at: 11,537 Miles

Date: 11/10/2012

Cost: £37.86 Fitted

Where: Independent Mechanic

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Other Service: Tyres (New BT023 Set) & Chain & Sprocket (D.I.D Gold XRING 525 Pitch not the original 520)

Old Tyres & original Chain & Sprockets retired at: 15,275 Miles

Date: 15/02/2013

Cost: £355.00 Fitted

Where: Independent Mechanic

Notes; The second rear tyre got 7,821 Miles until retirement. The front was original so that got 15,275 miles of use, that’s pretty good going!

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Total Servicing Costs to date: £1,068.62

Total Fuel Costs to date: £1,423.58

 ** Overall: £2,492.10 ** 


Living with the NCX…5 Months, 2 days and over 13,000 miles later…

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! 

The First Encounter…

Trip Statistics / Costs:

Duration: 2 days

Mileage: 302.7 Miles

Fuel Consumption (UK IMP Litres): 19.95L

Fuel Cost: £26.02

Food: 2 x ‘Look What we found’ food pouches £2.00 Each

Accommodation: £6.00 (I paid £10, had no change)

TOTAL COST: £40.02

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Sat beside a torrent of raging water, I begin to write the story, the unwritten story of Emily, the already beloved 2012 Honda NC700X.

Honda NCX

Sitting here, with her by my side, already having covered 3,887 miles throughout Wiltshire, Cornwall, Gloustershire, and now she has brought me to Cwmnanthir Camping on the edge of the Breacon Beacons.

Navigating west through Welsh villages, lanes where you dread meeting an oncoming vehicles even on a motorbike and then onto the lanes passing through valleys with nothing but almost idealic countryside in either direction you look. Steep banks, wind turbines (People react to them like Marmite – I love it!) Horses, sheep, cows just as far as the eye can see…Purging along, feeling Em wanting to open up and gain some speed for the upcoming corners, passing through like we’re flying, no wind resistance, no cars, dry roads… I almost feel like I’m in heaven.

85 miles ticking over on the odometer, just 20 more miles and I’m there thinking to myself, although I didn’t realise I was going the wrong way at the time, laughing now about how many wrong turns I actually took, but, it adds to the adventure right? Right.

Cwmnanthir Camp, Wales.

Anyway, sat here now, having arrived from home 135 miles later, half a tank of fuel and a free headache I can’t believe where I am, so peaceful yet full of life, green green grass, trees packed full of leaves, the sound of water crashing over century old rocks so rounded and full of history, then you have the smell of waterlogged wood being burnt by a group of people who, quite frankly, have no outdoors experience but we’ll see if they manage the fire ok later on tonight…(reporting back, the fire was horrifically bad).

Looking into the Wye Valley 1 mile from Monmouth, UK.

So, the NCX, I love it if you wondered. I have ridden it on the road, about 20 miles of green lanes (stupidly on Bridgestone BT23R’s – Wouldn’t advise it) I am an experienced Mountain biker so could pre judge what was going to happen, however slippery tyres aside, the bike was compelling, handled remarkably, stood up on the pegs (I’d advise SW Motech aftermarket studded pegs for green lanes) I rode comfortably, as comfortably as that of the GL1600 the only difference being I was where that couldn’t get to but I brought the comfort of it with me.

NCX at Cwmnanthir

Waking up to the birds, as you would on any camping trip, well most. I got packing up my camping gear, using my Givi Tw01 40L holdall and Givi E52 topcase, fitting just about everything back in again with much room to spare. Steep gravel tracks with high ridges made exiting the campsite somewhat difficult, especially with the extra weight and at such an angle where I couldn’t touch the floor whatsoever, something I would have been uneasy doing on another bike but with the NCX, I have no problem putting faith into it. It’s a bike, a soulmate and one I hope to have many more adventurous trips on in the coming year!

Henrhyd Falls, Wales.

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 A map of my route:

Now then, where next…