Be careful what you wish for…
For years, American motorcycle consumers have longed for the greener grass of European motorcycle models. For instance, Euro Honda buyers have an all-you-can-eat buffet of naked bikes, from the VTR250 to the bone-crushing CB1300. “Bring ’em here and we’ll buy ’em!” is the din arising from magazine readers and web surfers alike.
Done! For 2010, Honda brings us the NT700V. Dubbed the “Deauville” in European markets, where it has been available since 1998, the NT is a middleweight V-Twin “light tourer.” If you remember Honda’s NT650 Hawk, you’ll see some family resemblance: the NT’s motor shares a common ancestor, although the liquid-cooled, sohc 680cc now has four valves per cylinder, compared to the 647cc Hawk’s three. It also uses a steel frame (unlike the Hawk’s sexy aluminum design,) and convenient, much-requested shaft drive.
Don’t expect an adrenaline-pumping ride from the 700. The motor is in a mild state of tune, with horsepower in the 60s, and the bike is hefty at a claimed 566 pounds of wet weight. But it should be a great all-around machine, able to commute or tour for mile after mile. Locking hard luggage-with a pass-through between the bags to accommodate long objects-is standard, as is an adjustable windscreen, fuel-injection and combined brakes. ABS is a $1000 option. The package weighs in at 566 pounds and should prove an able touring companion with its 5.2-gallon tank. Pricing is $9999, and it should hit dealers in November.
That’s not all Honda has in store for the U.S. in 2010. The Fury chopper was received well by the public and press, so why not try a bobber? The Shadow Phantom gives us just that. It’s based on the Shadow 750, but uses a black-finish drag bar and lots of tough-looking matte-black and polished aluminum finishes to give it a tough-guy image. At $7999 (and also in Honda dealers in November), it should leave plenty of dough left over for fuzzy dice and skull tattoos.
Honda Shadow Phantom
The sportbikes weren’t left alone. The CBR1000RR gets a new, easy-to-remove license-plate bracket, new muffler cover and larger flywheel (presumably to smooth out power delivery a bit), plus some new paint schemes. Middleweight fans will have to wait another year (at least) for an updated CBR600RR: aside from the BNG, it’s the same as last year. Pricing and availability for the CBR models hasn’t been announced.
But don’t despair, Honda fans: two notable gaps in the 2010 lineup (in both the USA and Europe) are the Interceptor and ST13000. We’re pretty sure we’ll see a new (and rumored 200 hp) VFR, and maybe a new ST1300 as well.
MD Readers Respond:
- I recently sold my BMW 1150GS and am anxiously awaiting arrival of the new renditions of the VFR and ST1300.
I will definitely be buying one or the other as soon as they arrive in the USA.
Both bikes should have adjustable windscreens, handlebars, seats and footpegs as well as heated grips and removable hard luggage to compete with the
Kawasaki Concours and BMW K1300S. Go easy on the weight please. 200HP not necessary for me. I’d prefer better gas mileage of around 50 mpg.
Each in a nice Honda Red color scheme (maybe with a bit of silver accent), no Wineberry thank you…(my 1981 Goldwing had that 28 years ago!)
- I have always wanted a Silver Wing, with the turbo. I understand why the
manufacturers are wary of turbos but really, in this age of 160+hp
bikes they are missing the boat. The small displacement turbo engine is
the biggest trend in auto design today. Think. Bob
- What were they thinking? The choice between a $16,000 scooter with outlandish styling and no storage versus the $10,000 Deuville. Looks like the only real difference is that the Deuville doesn’t have an automatic transmission, comes standard with bags, and weighs less than the DN-01. Oh, and it will no doubt be a more comfortable bike as well.This is a bike they should have brought in when the awesome but ill-fated Pacific Coast was retired back in the late 1990’s. It’s always had the motor in common with their Transalp dual sport, torquey and smooth without overwhelming power but with plenty of touring potential. I look forward to seeing it on our shores! Adrian
- Didn’t you guys pontificate a while back on the importance of including fuel mileage stats in your articles? I may be in the minority but that is the FIRST thing I look for. Sadly, after drooling over your nice photo of Honda’s new “Light Tourer,” those stats, estimated or otherwise, are nowhere to be seen.I find it difficult to believe that the OEMs can’t build a decent bike that’ll best a Toyota Prius. My 65 mpg BMW F650GS single is a very rare exception. Ed
- The Honda NT700V looked like an interesting bike — until I saw
Honda’s redefinition of “light: 566 pounds wet!Buell, Ducati, and BMW all build bikes that shame the Honda and weigh
in more than 100lbs. lighter despite while making far more power in
more sporting, modern chassis designs. You could buy a Buell Ulysses
1200cc V-twin that pumps out over 100hp at the crank, a Ducati
Multistrada that makes 95hp, or a direct competitor: the BMW F 800 ST,
which makes 85hp and weighs over 100 lbs. less — and that’s full of
fuel and ready to ride. With any one of those, you get modern
suspension and chassis design rather than the outdated forks and old-
school chassis that the Honda has.
Yeah, the Honda costs less, but the sport-touring market is not
typically the Generation-Y dudes who are scraping to afford bikes.
Honda needs to drop a hundred pounds from that bike, add about a dozen
horsepower, and put some forks that don’t look like something taken
from a CB750 before it even starts to get interesting. Fred
- Boring! Obviously Honda doesn’t have a passion for motorcycles any longer. We need a full size super motard, a big displacement naked ala Kawasaki ZRX( may it rest in peace). There’s a lot of us riders 40-60 whom don’t want a touring bike, racer replica or cruiser. I would plunk down cold, hard cash for a 1200cc version of the NT650 GT. Come on Honda! Jim
- Yum, in ever boring “wineberry”. I am falling asleep already. This thing has been a drug in Yurp for a decade. How can it not be a huge hit here in the land of the cruiser? Faithful Reader, Wendy
- The Deuville, aka Dullville, aka NT700V, may be a great bike but like
the pacific coast before it, what is with Honda’s outrageous pricing?Its a decade old design: there are no tooling costs or design costs or
anything else to pay for. The part cost is only a little higher than
a VStrom (the bags, and a couple more parts for the shaft). So Honda
could make a profit at $6k.
And at $6K (and $7K for ABS), they’d sell em by the crateload.
But at $10K? Why would anyone bother: They can get a VStrom or
Versys, add luggage, and save $3K+. Or buy a super-scooter. Or buy a
BMW F800ST and get more power, lighter weight and better handling for
the same money. Nicholas
- AS a long time motorcyclist (45 years) I have long lamented the demise of the 250cc roadster models from the U.S. inventory. Even worse, the market in California has been limited to the exceedingly long in the tooth and anemic (at best) Honda Nighthawk 250. Sure, there have been a few roadgoing 250’s available over the years, but mostly stupid ‘cruiser’ types or the insanely uncomfortable Ninja 250. The wife has spent years riding the now discontinued Yamaha XT225 (actually a really good little bike) while we waited for something, anything attractive enough with enough punch and comfort for some mini touring. I have long drooled over the non USA Pacific Rim/Euro models out there; vainly hoping for something to make it to the US. I understand that the incredibly complex bureaucratic process for certification is a big part of the problem, and the mentality in the US is just as responsible, but it breaks my heart to see machinery as beautiful as this little Honda out of my reach , simply because it is too costly to get them certified for use in Kalifornia. Thanks for giving me a forum to express my disappointment over this- I really hope Honda USA does read this (I am down to only two Honda bikes these days though) and brings the naked VTR250 into Cal.- I would buy at least one immediately if not sooner. If they need a product evaluator I also volunteer to do that; they would get a twofer as my wife would give them a female perspective on it too — Charlie
- Careful what you wish for? I can assure you I did not wish for this. An overweight, underpowered, plane-jane looking touring bike for around the same price as the faster, lighter and sexier BMW F800ST? Seriously??? Oh, and just what the american motorcycle market needed! Another cruiser! With bikes like the Transalp and the new CB1000R (and presumably the CB1100F was supposed to be available this year as a production machine) under its belt, I find it hard to believe that Honda felt the NT700V was the answer to our pleas. The only thing it has going for it is that the middleweight touring scene is a sparse niche with arguably only the F800ST competing directly at that price-performance point.I remember when the Hornet 600 was brought over as the 599: a Honda spokes person said he wasn’t going to apologize for its price. It perplexes me why Honda was surprised when US consumers didn’t apologize for not buying any. I have been waiting quite a while for some of Europe’s excellent machines to make it over the pond. (Props to Kawasaki for brining the er6-n. It is fantastic but falls one performance bracket short of my needs.) My new-bike purchase has been on hold for two years now hoping for something like the CB1000R or CB1100F to come hither. I guess I may never see those bikes; because after the NT700V flops like the 599 and 919, Honda will assertain that it is the US market rather than its lack-luster product efforts that caused the losses. Unless Honda has no further announcements this year, I’m giving up on her. Triumph or Buell will be receiving my money. — Jeremy
- Bring it, forget the Rebel, we could sell the heck out of these if the price tag is not too out of sight. We also need the Trans Alp and Veradero at pretty much any price. Mike