WORDS: Aaron Frank
Our March issued introduced Honda’s new range of middleweight crossover motorcycles that prioritize practical fun over outright performance. American Honda recently announced that one of these three new bikes—the adventurous-looking NC700X—will be sold in America this year. Powered by an all-new, 670cc parallel-twin with either a six-speed manual or optional automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), the NC700X represents a new breed of versatile, user-friendly two-wheeler. And with a base price of just $6999 ($8999 with DCT), cost of entry might be the most accessible part.
The ultra-compact engine uses low-friction coatings, lightweight materials, innovative “branch” intake porting and optimized valve timing to deliver extremely low emissions and exceptional fuel economy—40 percent better than similar-sized engines, Honda claims. The second-generation DCT—available as part of a package that includes Combined ABS—delivers improved shift action and a new “learning function” that monitors driving conditions and alters gear changes accordingly. The nearly horizontal engine leaves room to carry a full fuel load and a full-face helmet under the bodywork.
Thoughtfully designed and cleverly engineered, the NC700X is more fashionable than Honda’s NT700V and more novice-friendly than the Kawasaki Versys or Suzuki V-Strom 650. It’s also surprisingly affordable, especially after you factor in class-leading fuel economy, which should make the NC700X an attractive option when it surfaces in Honda dealerships this summer.