Top test: Honda NC 700 X
The all-rounder from Honda at a budget price
In line with the new driving license regulations (from 2013), Honda is already bringing a real all-rounder with class A2-compliant 48 hp. The inexpensive 700 not only provides fun savings but also driving fun?
You stand in front of it and hardly believe it: so much motorcycle for so little money. How do they do it? A mere 6000 euros for a really grown-up motorcycle, even including ABS as standard. Even on closer inspection, the new Honda works NThe C 700 X is by no means like a money box, but is dignified and solidly processed in detail.
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Top test: Honda NC 700 X
The all-rounder from Honda at a budget price
Frame: The tubular steel lattice frame, which is drawn far down, lowers the center of gravity and, thanks to the engine tilted forward by 62 degrees, creates space for the large storage compartment in the dummy fuel tank above.
Speaking of gear steps: the sixth gear was designed for a very long time and almost functions as an overdrive. Certainly also to reduce fuel consumption. On winding country roads in the speed range around 100 km / h it is better to leave the fifth in there if you want to get out of the curve quickly. By way of comparison: the 72-hp 650-series Suzuki Gladius can pull through from 100 to 140 km / h in last gear almost three times as fast. The last level is reserved for leisurely strolling or higher continuous speeds (the speedometer sometimes dodges significantly more than the specified, meager 160 km / h maximum speed) on the motorways. Incidentally, at such stages you would want a more effective protective screen – the standard part, which is height-adjustable in two grid positions (only with tools), takes hardly any wind pressure from the upper body. After all, it allows the wind to flow around the helmet without disruption or turbulence.
The upholstery of the driver’s seat, which with a seat height of just 825 millimeters is no problem for even smaller drivers, offers plenty of comfort for longer day trips. The arrangement of wide, comfortably cranked and not too high handlebars as well as appropriately mounted footrests, which allow a relaxed leg angle, also meet the requirements of a crossover bike suitable for everyday use. The front passenger is spoiled less, the passenger upholstery is not too spacious, slightly wider buttocks protrude except for the tight-fitting mounting brackets, the slightly high-mounted pegs require more angled legs.
Fortunately, the chassis is not impressed by the pillion load. The driving stability does not suffer significantly, nor does the loaded machine start pumping or spinning. Adjusting screws on the spring elements are therefore not missed.
Savings also had to be made on the front brake. In order to minimize costs, the two brake discs are stamped from one piece, the rear one fits exactly into the ring of the front disc. However, even under tough braking tests, the single-disc system proved to be very resilient and free of fading phenomena. In general, the braking system makes a very good impression. The hand / foot force required is low, dosing and transparency leave little to be desired. The CBS combination brake distributes the braking power sensibly, and the ABS regulates sensitively, quickly and reliably.
Braking in an inclined position does not reveal any naughtiness of the NC 700 X either, a righting moment is almost impossible to register. The fitted Bridgestone BT 023 “G” series tires go well with the new Honda all-rounder, they offer good grip and contribute to the neutral handling in curves and easy turning. In terms of driving behavior, the new one shines with laudable simplicity. Sure, with its relatively long wheelbase and weight of at least 218 kilograms, the 700 cannot offer the bustling handiness of a 160-kilo supermoto, but with its great neutrality in corners and its stoic straight-line stability, it will make many friends.
If all of this sounds terribly sensible up to now and marks the newcomer as a boring nerd candidate, it must be said in defense that the new crossover variant provides a lot of driving pleasure despite all the virtues and sensible solutions. Thanks to the passable lean angle and the praiseworthy bitch-free behavior, the pilot can concentrate fully on cornering and does not have to deal with the stubborn life of the bike. The motor must of course be moved in the correct speed range. Shifting gears early protects against unexpectedly fidgeting in the limiter at an inopportune moment (e.g. during a tight overtaking maneuver), namely at 6750 rpm. The bar-segment tachometer, which is difficult to read, is of little help when it comes to finding out which speed range the engine is currently in, especially in bright sunlight.
Practical: a full-face helmet fits easily into the large storage compartment.
And the cockpit does not provide any information about the currently engaged gear; the display, which is especially helpful for beginners, fell victim to the red pen, as did a consumption display. There is a fuel gauge for this, the individual bars of which only disappear very slowly. Because the advocated development goal was actually achieved, the twin sips very discreetly from the fuel supply. On the relaxed, but by no means stealthy, country road consumption lap, the X allowed itself a record-breaking stingy 3.5 liters / 100 kilometers, as only the BMW single-cylinder can keep up. In view of this economy, the tank volume of 14.1 liters, which does not seem particularly generous at first, is perfectly fine: A range of around 400 kilometers is undoubtedly commendable. The execution of numerous details and the processing as well. The 21-liter storage compartment in the dummy tank, which is known from scooters and is rather unusual in motorcycles, not only swallows a full-face helmet, but can also be used to store shopping, rain gear or luggage if necessary. Speaking of scooters: If you want to have your scooter shift automatically or change gears without clutching the handlebars, you can order the double clutch transmission (with which the Integra scooter model will already be equipped as standard) for an extra charge of 1000 euros. In the sense of even more comfort, even more everyday and beginner suitability.
Can the new concept be convincing, has the newcomer passed his economy and driving test? In any case, the offered performance is right, and the price is the absolute hammer anyway. If you don’t have high demands in terms of performance and driving performance, you get a very successful machine with interesting, practical features.
MOTORCYCLE points evaluation / conclusion
Gear indicator? Nothing. The bar segment tachometer is difficult to read.
With its gentle, inconspicuous characteristics, the powerful twin is a pleasant, stress-free drive source. The quiet long-stroke with its subtle V2-like sound does not convey the real emotional kick, but it shines with great running smoothness and very low fuel consumption. It owes the latter, among other things, to the very long geared sixth gear, which, however, also affects the torque measurements.
Despite poor adjustment options, the chassis is suitably matched to almost all needs. The Honda does not offer super easy handling, but it does have stoic straight-line stability and neutral cornering behavior, which quickly inspires confidence. The suspension elements have enough reserves for pillion rider use, series tires with good grip and an acceptable lean angle allow even a reasonably sporty driving style on their own.
Get on, feel good – everything fits: The NC 700 X can also demonstrate the proverbial Honda virtue. Comfortable seating position, easy handling, good workmanship – this is where the Honda scores. Range and load are practical, the NC has to take criticism at most because of its weak light and the rather poor wind protection. A main stand useful for maintenance and care work is at least available as an accessory.
Crisp effect, good controllability: the CBS composite brake does a very good job, despite the use of only one single disc at the front. The standard ABS controls sensitively and reliably, and the required lean angle and the neutral cornering behavior also contribute to the required driving safety.
Low consumption, low inspection costs – you can hardly drive an adult motorcycle cheaper. Saving doesn’t stop with the cheap purchase price.
A respectable number of points in combination with an almost unbeatable low price – the grade 1.2 speaks for itself.
|Max points||Honda NC 700 X||engine||250||107|
|landing gear||250||166||everyday life||250||149|
|security||150||107||costs||100||78||Overall rating||1000||607||Price-performance note||1.0||1.2|
Good doesn’t have to be expensive – the NC 700 X has provided impressive proof of this. The versatile all-rounder is not only a great entry-level bike, but also impresses more experienced, thrifty bikers who are simply looking for a cheap, good and everyday motorcycle with good brakes, a powerful and sophisticated engine and a decent chassis. Passed savings test.
Technical data / noticed
Tank trick: the filler neck is hidden under the fold-up pillion seat.
- In view of the low price of the NC 700 X, the on-board tool kit is pleasingly extensive and practical. This has been seen to be much more stingy, even with more expensive bikes.
- The storage compartment and the foldable pillion hump are unlocked by turning a common lock on the dummy tank to the left or right. Practical solution.
- Small, sensibly positioned hooks on the passenger retaining brackets make it easier to attach and lash the luggage.
- Unfortunately, the clutch lever and the brake lever cannot be adjusted. However, this will only bother drivers with extremely small hands.
- When it comes to the brake pedal, the urge to save costs becomes evident – the simply manufactured part turns out to be extremely careless.
- When driving at night, you want a brighter headlight that illuminates the road more widely. The light field is clearly limited, especially in an inclined position. Other Honda models prove that this can be done better.
Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, a balance shaft, an overhead, chain-driven camshaft, four valves per cylinder, rocker arm, wet sump lubrication, injection Ø 36 mm, regulated 420 W catalytic converter, 12 V / 11 Ah battery, mechanically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 43:16.
Bore x stroke 73.0 x 80.0 mm
Cubic capacity 670 cm³
rated capacity 35.0 kW (48 hp) at 6250 rpm
Max. Torque 60 Nm at 4750 rpm
Lattice tube bridge frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, front disc brake, Ø 320 mm, three-piston floating caliper, Ø 240 mm, single-piston floating caliper, composite brake, ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.5 x 17; 4.5 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 160/60 ZR 17
Tires in the test Bridgestone BT 023 “G”
Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1540 mm, steering head angle 63.0 degrees, caster 110 mm, spring travel f / h 154/150 mm, permissible total weight 427 kg, tank capacity / reserve 14/1 liters.
Service intervals every 12,000 km
Oil and filter change every 12,000 km 3.4 l
Engine oil SAE10W40
Telescopic fork oil SAE 10W
Spark plugs NGK IFRG6G-11K
Idle speed 1200 ± 100 / min
Tire pressure solo (with pillion passenger) front / rear 2.5 / 2.9 (2.5 / 2.9) bar
Two year guarantee
Warranty two years
Colors red, black, silver, white
price 5990 euros
Additional costs around 265 euros
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