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New Honda NC700S and NC700X Revealed – Efficient, Practical and Fun

NC700S

We showed you the scooter-like Integra, and now Honda has revealed two motorcycles featuring the same, new 670 cc, 8-valve, parallel twin engine.

The NC700S Naked will be available in Europe with both a six-speed manual gearbox and an optional dual clutch transmission.  The engine is rated at 48 hp, and is designed to provide excellent fuel mileage and strong low-end torque.

Both the Naked and the NC700X (pictured below) share this engine and a steel trellis frame.  Both have a conventional fork and Pro-Link rear shock, 17″ wheels and 320mm single front disc brake.

Both bikes locate the fuel tank under the seat and feature a huge storage bin (large enough to hold a helmet) in the location of the traditional gas tank.

Both bikes feature this large, lockable storage bin.

The NC700X is distinguished by unique styling, more upright riding position, taller seat height and slightly longer suspension travel.

Although both bikes will be available soon in European markets, it does not appear that either model will be available in the U.S. for the 2012 model year.

NC700X

80 Comments

  1. Charles says:

    http://www.ashonbikes.com/content/honda-nc700x-0
    Kevin Ash thinks this could be the most significant Honda bike since the Fireblade. Check out the dyno chart, which shows that the NC700 engine makes more power than the CBF600 right through its range, and absolutely stomps all over it for torque. OK, it’s all over at 6500, but as most riders use fewer revs than that 80 percent of the time and travel at 140 km/h (the NC700’s top speed) or less 90 percent of the time, who cares?

    THANK YOU HONDA for being the only company who still remembers what a motorcycle is — a practical, efficient means of transport that just happens to be a lot of fun, not a rich man’s toy or a piece of rideable jewellery.

    • Charles says:

      Whoops, 140 km/h is far from the NC700’s top speed — that’s around an indicated 185 km/h (115 mph). Sorry Honda…

      I get the impression this is going to feel like a small cruiser engine in a street bike. I just hope it doesn’t go the way of similarly powered bikes like the Hawk GT or VX800 — great everyday bikes that now have cult status because they never sold. But then they didn’t have the NC700’s fuel economy.

  2. Robbyson says:

    LOVE these new bikes and am glad to see more mfr’s going with a parallel twin designed for torque rather than a top end rush.. I just wish they would use the same powerplant and do a modernized yet retro version of the GB500.. Something along the lines of the Triumph Thruxton.. That’s a bike I’d buy!!!!!!

  3. andyfaeperth says:

    Underpowered, pah. Just heard it’ll do 0-100 km/h in under 5 seconds. That’ll give a supercar a run for it’s money. That’s plenty for us commuters….

  4. Tommy See says:

    Honda you were resting but not sleeping !
    This new platform will sell and I`m excited to test ride the x.
    I hope that the price range is not out of the park.

  5. Michael says:

    The bikes are designed to have a 40% improvement in mileage,low end torque is all about normal ridding performance, they are commuters not performance bikes.

  6. bob says:

    I currently own one of those under powered hawk gts but with a few upgrades mine isnt so under powered and for my uses its great . So who leaves a bike stock anyway with a few tweaks you will probably get 65 horses out of these and have a practical fun bike . Not every one needs 100 horse power and from what i see out there most riders skill leval is not up to the number of horses under them besides its more fun to ride a bike to the edge of its performance envelope , do that on your high horse power road burner on the street and you will soon lose your lisence or you life

  7. oldfart says:

    Just confirmed they are coming to Canada as 2012 models.

  8. RC says:

    My 1986 Cagiva Alazzurra is rated at 56 HP!! why would I buy this under powered motorcycle?

    • Carlos says:

      I will.
      With torque 60nM, fuel 3,5L/km, acceleration 0-100km/h in 5 seconds and top speed above 190km/h seems like the bike for me.
      Do you know the engine is exactly the Honda Jazz’s 1.4 liter cut in half?

  9. Chas says:

    So where has all the new technology got us? My 1980 XS 650 makes about 55 HP (with some minor mods), weighs in at 428 lbs and is fun to ride. As a bonus, it’s simple enough to fix myself and I get a free butt & foot massage whenever I ride it!!

  10. Ninou says:

    You guys don’t get it do you?

    It’s fine to do a 670 cc bike that makes 47 hp and is efficient and practical. Just don’t make it as heavy as a 1200 cc touring bike!

    Make it reasonably light. It will be more fuel efficient, have better handling and have the potential to be a little fun if you want to have a little fun! Just look at the BMW G650GS for example.

  11. Neil says:

    Europe is full of backroads that are narrow and slow. Gas is very expensive. These bikes are fine over there. And even here, we have huge unemployment and people are getting less paying jobs to replace the ones lost. Even here we cannot afford what we used to. I just sold two bikes and then had two cars break, requiring thousands in repairs. I would love a CB1000R but cannot afford it. So these bikes fit nicely into the just get out and ride category. Yes they could be lighter, but engineers think about that. Light is expensive too with the use of titanium and other expensive metals. Honda always thinks about new technology. This 700 engine is all about a new technology. We have the other manufacturers if we do not like these bikes. I like em.

    • mxs says:

      Well, there’s a lot of room between light (compared to NC line of bikes) and powerful CB1000R and NCs. Honda just chosen something which a lot of enthusiast disregard and do not look for. Fair enough … but enthusiasts are usually who are willing to pay the higher price (I don’t think that these bikes will be exactly inexpensive … somebody has to pay for the new technology). The developing markets will not even look at the bike, it’s just too expensive for them. Just saying ….

  12. Tom says:

    you are such idiots -.-
    this machine maybe got less hp than the other bikes but you got lot more torque from the bottom and your bike doesn’t have to squeal like a pig!
    I ‘m really curious for this new concept.

    • Kagato says:

      Agreed–there are plenty of hot sportbikes for all the squids. Cut old men like me a break and let us have a small bike that ISN’T a Gold Wing. I have no desire for wheelies and stoppies or to go around curves dragging my knee.
      I have no prob with you guys doing that if that’s what you like, I know it’s fun, but not everybody is into that.
      I just want to ride.

  13. mxs says:

    Great job … 47hp, 44 lbs•ft, 474lbs …. on the low power and very porky weight. LOL

    I applaud them for trying, and I also realize that there’s a euro cc restriction coming I understand, but it’s really to be excited about this bike.

    I always claimed that there’s far more things to a bike than power figure, but common this 1:10 ratio achieved here is just bad for any kind of rider. Terrible.

  14. Yeah just finished reading the press details from Honda about these and the other 2012 lineup. Some minor changes, and some nice additions.

  15. shorty says:

    I’d like it a lot better in a Bonneville style frame. Long flat seat, round headlight, room for luggage rack and windshield. These style bikes leave no room for the family jewels. The only good thing is the auto trans. Bleh….

  16. Kagato says:

    I am digging the engine on this bike! How about a CT700 : – )

  17. Chris says:

    I saw 700S in the title and was hoping for a new Nighthawk…

  18. Ninou says:

    Let’s see… 47 hp and 500 pounds with the DCT and ABS options! Errrr… No thanks!

    So that you know, the 47 hp is not a number they pulled out their a**. Starting in 2013 all new riders in Europe will be limited to bikes making a maximum of 47 hp.
    But 500 pounds for a 670 cc bike? Really Honda? As heavy as an R1200GS or Multistrada 1200 with all options and the side cases? 50 pounds heavier than a KTM 990 SMT? 150 pounds heavier than a KTM 690 Duke? That’s the best you can do?

    • Dave says:

      For several thousand dollars less than any of the bikes you listed, yeah, it probably is the best they can do. Standard-type bikes of this displacement have hovered around that weight since the 70’s.

      • Ninou says:

        Price has nothing to do with it. The bikes I listed are not in the same category. I was just listing big bikes (the 3 first one at least), hence a different category than this new middle-weight (ironic name), that are lighter than this 670 cc bike.

        And Honda is certainly not known for being cheap either! So it definitely won’t be “thousand of dollars” cheaper than other bikes in the same category (middle-weight).

        As far as weight of middleweight being around 500 pounds “since the 70s”, that’s BS. A kawasaky Versys 650 weights 450 pounds. The SV650, the F650GS, the F800ST, the CB500, the Fazer 600, the you-name-it middleweight have all hovered around 450 pounds, not 500.
        I mean, if it was making 60 or 80 hp… but if it’s gonna make 47 hp out of 670 cc (and I mentioned the reason for this power output), make it reasonably light, not porky beyond measure!

        Now I remember why I commented, it was because of the title: efficient, practical and fun! Efficient and practical it might well be. Fun, it certainly won’t, at least compared to any other bike in that class.
        Somebody mentioned the BMW Scarver in this thread: 650 single cylinder, 50 hp, 440 pounds. That was a fun bike.

  19. Scooby says:

    Oh look, Honda has finally knocked off the SV650… ;D

  20. John says:

    OTOH, at least it has a place to permanently store the helmet for the sexy woman passenger that will never get on the back of it ;^)

  21. John says:

    It’s what you would call a mildly interesting bike. For someone else.

    If the price is very low, it will sell, but look at the new Dullville at $10K, about $3000 over its value.

    If it had shaft drive, a bit more power and some saddle bags under $8K, mebbe, but still. It’s hard to find a bike less mildy interesting. I’ll take the Moto Guzzi V7 in black, please!

  22. ben says:

    it had better get some truly awesome fuel mileage to justify the measly 48 hp. looks nice, though. I had been wondering why no major manufacturer had attacked the fuel mileage issue with a real bike rather than 250cc wheezy junkers like the 250 rebel. what a selling point 70mpg would be. particularly the next time the government-media-corporate complex decides to jack up oil prices through the roof again. They would not be able to make them fast enough

  23. Paul says:

    Looks like a wannabe Aprilia Mana with less power, less styling, single disc brakes but it is a Honda so there are dealers everywhere… Aprilia has had the faux trunk automatic nailed for years, this is nothing new!

  24. Tim says:

    I like the looks of the X more so than the earlier announced Cross Runner but the extra oomph and the smoothness of that sweet Honda V4 would win out – if either of the bikes were available in the US.

  25. Roger says:

    what alot of you are obviously missing is the fact that these are built for the Euro market. Where a great percentage of riders use them for commuter purposes only. so get over it. The manufacturers have been at this long enough to know what their market is.

    • MGNorge says:

      That was a refreshing answer and one that is closer to reality here than many postings. I come here interested in what people have to say, pro and con, but it’s just sooo negative. Unless it fits within someone’s narrow focus of a bike, it’s junk. Has anyone actually ridden one? Until that time can anything specific to its nature be known? As far as power goes, I’ve had loads of fun on many bikes with less. Simple suggestion, if it doesn’t do “it” for you and hits all the wrong buttons..don’t buy it! Move along.

  26. John says:

    I like ‘em, both would make great starter bikes. The only question is can Honda keep the price reasonable? It needs to sell for about the same as the EX500 and GS500 which have similar horsepower.

  27. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    The naked bike styling held promise for me at first glance, but then I realized the bike is supposed to be some kind of putt-putt commuter and not a naked sporting bike.
    I’d like dual front discs and serious, non-ABS or linked brake calipers, sport-sized wheels and tires, more power from 670cc, non-budget suspension, and I wouldn’t even mind the fuel tank up where they usually are found.

    This bike some kind of modern equivalent to a 1984-1986 CB-700SC Nighthawk S?
    No way.
    That bike was sold as a sport bike with shaft drive.
    This is a yawner to me.

  28. Randy Singer says:

    This bike looks to me as if it is missing two rear cylinders set at a 90 degree angle to the existing front two cylinders.

  29. Joey Wilson says:

    THIS is the Honda I think of: Elegantly different engineering making an effortlessly simple product that anybody ‘gets’, whether you know about motorcycles or not. Remember, all of these people on scooters now are going to want something bigger and longer legged . . . and not a TMax or Burgman or Silver Wing. And here it is. They’ve spread the engine/transmission package into the Integras that look scooter-like, and then this motorcycle, that ALSO has a trunk and an automatic transmission. I thnk this or maybe it’s follow-on will be a landmark. You can’t just keep making bigger and faster sportbikes, and how much longer will the H-D influence keep selling to a generation raised on i-pods and organic groceries. Bravo. As the cost of everything keeps going up, motorcycles are going to increasingly become necessities and not ‘powersport’ toys for posers. And this motorcycle is waiting at that fork in the road.

  30. ziggy says:

    I’d take that over a scooter any day.

    • BoxerFanatic says:

      That seems to be the thing. A motorcycle alternative to the new overgrown mopeds. At least it has a proper gearbox optional, and the “auto” is an automated dual-clutch, not a CVT.

      And I echo that sentiment. For light commuter duty, I’d take this over a step-through any day.

      The caveat being, having a better machine for real enjoyment.

  31. Irv says:

    Will emissions spell the end of the v-twin? The latest generation of v6 cars have a cast-in exhaust manifold with the cat and o2 sensor inches away. The v-twin has separate exhaust ports which means doubling up on the expensive cat con.

  32. EZ Mark says:

    All you critics are missing the point. You have hundreds of bikes to choose from already. The average driver today has never driven a car with a manual transmission, much less a motorcycle. You have obviously forget how intimidating and dangerous it is to learn to shift on the street.
    These bikes could bring thousands of new riders into the sport, which is good for all of us. As for myself, as I get older and my arthritis gets worse, I am looking forward to a selection of automatics to choose from. I ride a Tmax now, but I’m not a fan of the CVT transmission.
    Big congrats to Honda for thinking outside the box. I’ll probably own one soon.

    • Justin says:

      Meanwhile, many of the people these bikes will attract probably have no business on a motorcycle to begin with. If a person can’t be troubled to bother learning to operate a clutch, why am I to believe they’ll bother to learn anything else that goes with riding? These aren’t soccer-mom mobiles. You have to actually have some skill to be safe on them. If learning those skills is too much trouble, you don’t have any business on one.

      As for the arthritis….what happens when it hits your knees?

      • Fat Old Man says:

        Once the studies are done, be prepared to pay more in insurance for NOT having an automatic, because apparently you drive one of those dangerous gear shifting things.

      • Dave says:

        I’d rather deal with careless drivers on 500lb motorcycles than in 8000lb SUV’s. Dummies are dummies, no matter what they drive. As for their own safety, that’s up to them but we’re all free to ride if we choose.

  33. RobC says:

    Sadly it looks like they are repaving the same road they did with the Hawk originally: Awesome styling and handling with an underpowered engine. Please Honda at least don’t throw on a 3 3/4 gallon gas tank too. Lose the autotranny as well, it will only lose you market share and put a bunch of non-riders on the ride, leave it for the scooters, please. You know 75 – 90 reliable horsepower can still be found along with gas mileage. Give us what we are really looking for, the Hawk redux, with a 100 hp engine, single sided swing arm, and a 5 gallon tank to match. We’ll take care of the week shocks….

  34. Coconutmilk says:

    The NC700S looks to be a great practical commute bike. It has good storage and gets good gas mileage, so this will most likely not sell well in the US since no one would seriously ponder to commute on a motorcycle. It is usually too hot, too cold, too wet, and/or inconvenient to gear up to ride to work, plus there are amble parking at work and/or there is no time saving compared to driving a car. So why bother?

    However, I would put this in my future buy list since I have a rare commute that’s 2 hours round trip through traffic clogged freeways. I give it a thumbs up.

    • JJ says:

      Apparently you don’t know any US riders. I ride in the rain and down to just above freezing, with no windshield, and the only reason for that is once it get s that cold, we have snow that does not melt away. once we get snow, it stays till spring as ice. last I checked, 2 wheels do not do ice very well. Sure a lot of riders are fair weather riders but so what, a lot are probably more hardcore than you are.

      That aside, this bike is overweight and underpowered. My cb750 from the 70s has more power, but does weigh more. Still, why would I spend thousands on a bike that barely outperforms something over 30 years old?

  35. Pattie says:

    I love them both. I really hope they come to the USA so I can get one!!!

  36. KnightOfAmerica says:

    Wonder how the new big electric bikes from Zero compare in performance.

  37. Tom says:

    I’ve been looking for the spiritual sucessor to the 84-86 Nighthawk 700 and the naked bike looks like the closest thing to it. Not quite the hot rod that the old Nighthawk 700 was but at least it is the elemental naked bike.

  38. Mike says:

    I hate budget bike elements! Conventional forks when we’ve been taught via racebikes that upside down forks are better. And I bet they are non-adjustable! Single disk brakes. Tubular handlebars instead of clip-ons. Uninspired exhaust can style and placement. Bargin basement swingarm. Ninja 650 is a more interesting design than this.

  39. blackcayman says:

    I can’t get used to the beak on the X. Maxi Scooters have great wind/weather protection and storage…these two don’t have much of latter and almost none of the former, so it must be a distinct new category. The one thing I like about them is they should bring new people to the two-wheel experience, with the automatic.

  40. Roadrash1 says:

    Very cool. I like the bin. What a great grocery getter!

  41. Mike says:

    BMW did this ten years ago with the F650CS and it was a remarkable failure. I doubt that an automatic transmission will help it sell, though it seems it isn’t destined for the US anyway.

  42. BoxerFanatic says:

    Not as slick as my Hawk GT 650, but not too bad.

    I don’t mind the parallel twin engine arrangement, and the stowage in the “tank” is a good idea.

    But it needs a single sided swing arm. :D

    And a half-faired street bike version might be nice.

    The thing is, I am looking for something bigger than my current Hawk GT… I wish they’d make a new Superhawk.

    But for this class of bike, these hondas look good.

    • RedFZ1 says:

      I agree with the new Superhawk. I had one and loved it. Why Honda didn’t improve on that bike is beyond me. EFI , 1200cc and a larger fuel tank would have made the Superhawk a strong seller.

      • Dave says:

        Still have one, still love it. My dream bike would be a new Hawk (not super), 650cc twin (70hp), Sub 400lb wet, mid level suspension (late 90’s CBR F3). Basically an upgraded SV650, but Honda.

        • BoxerFanatic says:

          I have the original in my garage. As they have allowed Suzuki SV650 and Ducati Monster 6-800cc models eat their lunch on that, after Hawk GT started that segment, I am not sure how much hope there is for that.

          That has a been a long wait for a train that hasn’t come, and I am ready for my next bike to be a bit bigger in size. I wouldn’t mind an 750-999cc bike with 90-120hp or so, in that mold, that fit me, and didn’t feel only slightly larger than a pocket-bike, but doesn’t conversely weigh a quarter-ton. If 1000-1299cc range is where I have to go to get that, then that is fine, too.

          They had a knock-out Super Hawk upgrade, with the NAS1000 concept quite some time ago, and they let that go by, as well.

          If it doesn’t say CBR on it, I am not sure honda is interested in other motorcycle real world motorcycle performance.

    • joe b says:

      the engine has a 270 degree crank, if you look, and that makes it act like a V twin.

  43. Dave says:

    What a fine pair of practical motorcycles. Could stand to have a little more HP (this is a 650 twin after all) but otherwise really nice standard bikes at the right time. Like others, I hope they see fit to bring them to the US and US customers see fit to buy them.

  44. GixxerGary says:

    Those would be great commuter bikes here in the U.S. Why doesn’t Honda think so? Or would they be overpriced like the VFR? I love the storage bin.

  45. Motocox says:

    Looks like it will go head to head with my beloved Versys. I like it. I hope they bring it to the states.

  46. Ed says:

    Now maybe Suzuki will bring back the SV650 standard …. and lose the Gladius name please.

  47. Shannon says:

    Wow, they could’ve had me in mind when they designed these. Now I just need to move to France.

  48. Mikehn says:

    They are gorgeous. I want one.

  49. ko0616 says:

    Now we’re talkin’. Now, if Honda will only import these to the US.

    • Patti says:

      Agreed. I love these and I really hope they come to the US with the automatic version of either!!!

  50. Thumprr says:

    OK, I give up. Where’s the gas cap?