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2014 Honda CTX700 DCT ABS: MD Ride Review

Why is it that motorcycles have almost exclusively employed manual transmissions as other forms of personal transportation, such as automobiles and scooters, have embraced automatics so completely? Why does a bike like the CTX700, with one of the most sophisticated automatics available on two wheels, receive smirks, and even derision, from some of motorcycling’s “old guard”?

Many years ago, Honda asked me to test its Silver Wing Scooter, a large, heavy and relatively powerful 600cc two wheeler that happened to fit within the scooter category and feature an automatic transmission.  I essentially concluded that automatics don’t have to take away the fun associated with riding on two wheels, and can even provide an interesting new sensation to an old dog like myself.

Which brings us to the subject of this test, Honda’s 2013 CTX700.  This bike comes with a standard six speed transmission, but we tested the optional version with Honda’s sophisticated automatic transmission and ABS brakes.  Honda’s DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) found in the CTX 700 is a second-generation design of a transmission technology introduced by Honda several years ago.  It features six speeds and, by incorporating two clutches, it can pre-select the next gear for quick, almost seamless changes.  Honda claims its second-generation design of this DCT results in a very light and efficient package that delivers an estimated 61 mpg.

The DCT can be used purely as an automatic in one of two modes, Drive or Sport.  In “Drive”, the transmission focuses on fuel efficiency and upshifts at low rpm levels, and downshifts less aggressively while coming to a stop or entering corners.  In “Sport” mode, the DCT hangs onto the gear as the revs rise for a more aggressive acceleration, and almost seems to read your mind as it downshifts aggressively while you attack a corner.  Finally, you can turn off the automatic nature of the transmission and shift manually up and down with paddles adjacent to the left hand grip.

We found that the DCT performed as advertised.  All of the options can be a bit confusing at first, but once you learn how to use it the DCT reacts quickly, and predictably.

A 670cc parallel-twin engine powers the CTX700, and it adequately moves Honda’s claimed curb weight of 516 pounds, although you won’t be winning many drag races against other motorcycles.  Nevertheless, in town, particularly in Sport mode, you will dispatch most cages with ease.  The bike launches aggressively off the line without any snatch or judder . . . just a quick, seamless escape.  Likewise, the bike downshifts very quickly when you ride it aggressively to squirt through holes in traffic.

The CTX700 has fairly simple, non-adjustable suspension and only a single disc brake (with two-piston caliper) in front.  Nevertheless, our bike stopped impressively short and sure, partly due to the very low center of gravity (you will feel the same sensation on some scooters).  The added weight and placement of the DCT concentrates the mass of the bike very close to the ground, largely eliminating any squat under acceleration and dive under braking.  The more even weight distribution under braking also allows the rear brake (also a disc) to do more of the work.

As you can see from the photos, the CTX700 has a very low seat height and forward-placed pegs.  The seating position is reasonably comfortable, and the seat itself is firm enough to provide support for longer rides.  The “feet forward” position does not appeal to everyone, but it somehow feels right on this particular bike.  The weight distributed by the rider seems to balance the machine well, given the already unusual weight distribution resulting from the automatic transmission placement.  The bars should be comfortably within reach for most riders, as well.

The CTX 700 has a long wheelbase, and does not turn in quickly.  It is one of the most stable bikes I have ever ridden in a straight line, however, and the relatively wide bars make turns a low effort affair, if you don’t rush things too much. You can have some fun in the corners, although ground clearance becomes an issue too quickly.

The suspension settings chosen by Honda worked pretty well for our test riders, including one close to 200 pounds, and one approximately 160 pounds.  I wouldn’t call the fork or the shock plush, but the fork soaks up big and small bumps without too much complaint.  The shock, however, does feel like it is carrying too much unsprung weight . . . similar to the feeling you would get riding a scooter that mounts part of the engine/transmission on its swingarm.

If you are in the mood to relax and simply commuting, for instance, the automatic transmission is a nice feature.  Wind protection at elevated speeds on the highway is adequate except at helmet level, where the ultra-short windscreen allows too much wind and buffeting.  Among several other accessories, Honda offers a much taller windscreen (which you can see in one of the photos), although we did not get a chance to test it..

A small storage compartment above the gas tank is a nice feature, although it is small (allowing room for your wallet, gloves, or mobile phone, but not much else).  Fuel capacity is 3.2 gallons, and we recorded 52 mpg during our test (riding the bike quite hard).  This does not provide huge range, but a more relaxed right wrist could easily net 150 miles or so between visits to the gas station.

Accessorized CTX700

Honda recognizes that the CTX700 DCT ABS offers some natural appeal to beginners.  In one of its brochures, it makes the case fairly plainly: “While clutch manipulation and shifting are second nature to experienced motorcycle riders, some potential new riders find that mastering these steps can be intimidating at first – enough to cause them to walk away from the sport before they’ve even begun.”  DCT is Honda’s answer to this problem.

But can the CTX700 DCT ABS, with it’s U.S. MSRP of $8,799, offer an attractive alternative to some experienced motorcyclists, as well?  We think it can.  Those riders who are looking for a relaxed, comfortable commuter, that can still be fun in the twisties, might be candidates, particularly if they no longer feel the need for excessive horsepower.  The CTX 700 is a bike that feels lighter due to its extremely low center of gravity, and as a result does provide plenty of entertainment together with ease of use.  These days, however, $8,799 will find many alternative, higher performance machines that will likely steer the “old guard” away from this unique motorcycle.  For additional details and specifications regarding the 2014 Honda CTX700 DCT ABS, visit Honda’s web site.

 

167 Comments

  1. EZ Mark says:

    Just sat on one at the dealer today.
    Fit and finish is typically great Honda.
    Bars are about where they were on my 96 Magna.
    Pegs are much farther forward. Could be a problem for shorter riders.
    Tiny storage area and attendant access to storage would have been more useful as an extra 1/2 gallon or so of fuel.
    Felt lighter than 500 pounds.
    Overall I liked it. Going to ask for a test ride later.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Overall I liked it. Going to ask for a test ride later.”

      excellent. report back when cash has changed hands.

      • Yoyodyne says:

        So his impressions from a test ride don’t matter, his opinion of the bike only counts if he actually buys it?

        Gosh, by that standard all of the opinions rendered in this thread are irrelevant.

        Oh wait… ;)

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “So his impressions from a test ride don’t matter, his opinion of the bike only counts if he actually buys it?”

          basically. you and I both know talk is cheap. it takes money to buy land.

  2. paul A says:

    OK, so maybe it isn’t the best looking bike in the world. At least Honda is trying something different. I’ve had my fill of Harley clones and sport bikes that can go 150 mph. Now bring back the CB750 with hydraulic valves.

  3. Randy says:

    This is so (ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ). I don’t know why Honda keeps cropping up bikes that are like this. Honda has this negative little corporate neurosis that insists on devoting a certain amount of resources to ugly slow bikes that appeal to maybe one out of 100 riders.

    • jake says:

      I repeat, this bike is as significant as the CB’s of their day. Just as the efficiency, reliability, and low cost of the in-line 4 revolutionized bikes back then, this auto tranny will do the same. It is so easy to see. Can’t believe most are so blind to it.

      Yes, the bike is not exactly pretty, but this was obviously Honda’s intent. Hey, this is a do everything bike with a state of the art tranny and hi-tech, high mpg engine for only 9,000 bucks. If Honda styled this bike more attractively, then who the hell would want to buy anything more expensive at a latter date. There is a reason why inexpensive auto’s are styled with less care than their more expensive siblings – it’s the auto industry’s way of telling you that if you want the style you are going to have to spend more dough. They are going to give away style for free, you know.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “If Honda styled this bike more attractively, then who the hell would want to buy anything more expensive at a latter date…”

        (that blade cuts both ways)

        …or, who the hell would want to buy the thing in the first place…?

        (double edged sword this)

        • jake says:

          Honda believes even with this handicap, this bike will still sell to an acceptable degree, to the degree it desires. As someone already mentioned, if Honda wanted to sell as many bikes as it possibly could, then it would offer this DCT in their new 500′s and sell these bikes like hotcakes.

          Honda is just a different sort of motorcycle company. Sure, it tries to sell enough bikes to keep its dealerships open, but it obvious has other things in mind than simply selling the most bikes it could. Bike making seems like it is more of a hobby for Honda than a cold blooded, completely practical minded, money making endeavor.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “As someone already mentioned, if Honda wanted to sell as many bikes as it possibly could, then it would offer this DCT in their new 500′s and sell these bikes like hotcakes.”

            which would then shift these vehicles out of their price point defeating the whole purpose of their existence. so no they’re not going to do that. hotcake out of pan, onto kitchen floor. ftr neither the 500′s nor 250′s are selling like “hotcakes”. not in this market anyway.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I don’t know why Honda keeps cropping up bikes that are like this.”

      neither does the dealer network.

  4. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    When its accessorized, it kinda looks ok. For some reason, it reminds me of the Pacific Coast (a cult bike)

  5. Rocky says:

    I think the Honda design team got all distressed by that outrageously wild bike, the Deauville, having far too much character with its v-twin engine and, like y’know, gears that you have to actually change yourself. They decided on this design so that the most neglected motorcycle-buying demographic – those people with absolutely no interest in motorcycles – can finally buy a bike that suits their needs.

    • Tommy D says:

      Perfect!

    • jake says:

      Sorry to say, but Honda believes it knows you better than you know yourself. All macho riders say they want to shift and enjoy the interaction between man and machine, but Honda obviously believes that deep down most riders regard shifting old style as a pain in the ass, at least some of the time.

      As someone who started on a motorcycle and then experienced the joys of shiftlessness on a mega-scooter, once this auto tranny catches on (and it will) there simply will be no going back. More and more people will finally admit the truth about their man and machine relationship, want a divorce, and and join the rest of us non-macho people and demand an auto tranny. Manual transmission will slowly go the way of the kick starter.

      • Dirck Edge says:

        “the joys of shiftlessness”. I like that phrase.

      • Rocky says:

        In a sense I agree Jake, but I think that battery technology for electric bikes will have improved enough by that time that gearboxes will be largely obsolete anyway. Certainly on bikes like this, anyway. This bike is crying out for an electric motor with a (as yet undesigned) battery that will give it a +200km range.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “All macho riders say they want to shift and enjoy the interaction between man and machine”

        wait, is that a “macho” thing…? or is that simply a greater than 90% reality of the experience…?

        re: “Honda obviously believes that deep down most riders regard shifting old style as a pain in the ass”

        again let’s take a step back from reaching. if “most” is what they believed…? then logic dictates this technology WOULD be offered on high penetration/legacy models like the wing, the blade, the shadow, etc. you don’t need to incur the risk/expense of R&D and manufacturing A WHOLE MODEL, when an option code and check box will do.

        • jake says:

          Give Honda some time. I don’t know about an out and out sport bike, but in time this DCT tech will be available on most of their models.

          Logic can go many ways. It makes no sense for Honda to spend the money to develop a ground breaking tranny if its only intent was to use it in their inexpensive, beginner models.

          This is Honda’s deal. They know they have a game changer with this DCT, one which will change biking forever. They are deciding the pace of change. Bikers can be a stubborn lot. Honda has bet big that eventually in time the DCT will win most bikers over.

      • Tim says:

        Yeah, well, Honda believed that we’d buy Runes, DN-01′s, Ascots, Hawk GT’s and HondaMatics. How’s that working out for them?

  6. Jeremy in TX says:

    That is one silly looking bike, and the ergos make the pilot look just as silly riding on it. I am sure plenty of people think it is a work of art, though, so to each his own.

    And how did we get to a point where a $9,000 bike is considered a budget bike? So sad. :-(

    • jake says:

      “And how did we get to a point where a $9,000 bike is considered a budget bike? So sad.”

      Since the Fed’s so called quantitative easing for the past decade or so. The dollar just ain’t worth what it used to be. A 9,000 dollar bike probably is the equivalent of a 5 or 6K bike 5 or 6 years ago.

      • Norm G. says:

        Q: “And how did we get to a point where a $9,000 bike is considered a budget bike?”

        A: i tender to you this is NOT a rhetorical question, but in fact a less complex, but far more omnipresent reason exists. we just don’t want to know it…

        INFLATION.

        what that means is, even if by some herculean ability (read magic) one WAS able to neutralize the myriad of other factors dictating item cost…? the price of the “item you love” was always (and is always) going to go up.

        this doesn’t sit well with the psyche. see entry for stamps, a gallon of gas, quart of milk, etc. these items we don’t have any particular affinity for so they sneak under the radar (well maybe not fuel).

        brace yourselves, the next info may come as a shock…

        motorbikes aren’t any more EXEMPT from market forces than any of the aforementioned sundry items. motorbikes aren’t special. we just liked “thinking” that they would be. we’ve been living in a dream world neo.

        • Dave says:

          Motorcycle volume is also shrinking here in the US, which can’t help with the landed cost of them.

          The bigger problem is that generally people’s earnings haven’t climbed with inflation so a $9k bike is a $9k bike, not a $5-6k bike from 5-6 years ago so far as the buyer is concerned.

        • CL77 says:

          The biggest reason is the change in the yen/$ rate. Just think what these bikes could be selling for if the $ still bought 360 yen, not just 100 (after dipping into the 70s for several months). Honda is to be commended for bringing in this bike at this price.

  7. ABQ says:

    Those narrow panniers would not meet my needs. At least use some leather saddle bags to attract the American market. And, maybe use pegs in the standard position, along with highway pegs. I like to be able to move my legs.

  8. Jay says:

    Oh, please. I just bought a Road King.

  9. Martin B says:

    Handsome is as handsome does. I ride (when I can) an old sort-of adventure type bike based on a Suzuki DR650SE (not sold in America) but with a proper seat, lower suspension, and a fairing. The half fairing causes a lot of turbulence against my legs, like being beaten lightly with a stick. Although I love the long travel suspenders and superb handling, this new Honda looks like the “floating barca lounger” of my dreams, drifting along in calm, peaceful air, relaxing along the highway. No gear shifts so my toes can just sit there, nice steady progress so my mind can unwind. The ride position would probably require a rest every hour or so, time to gas up anyway. Perfect for destressing. On other days when I’m feeling a bit more aggressive, maybe a sport bike of some stripe. Hey, it’s my dream, I can have what I want.

  10. Norm G. says:

    can live with the wave runner tail, but gotta lose that upper. reminds me more than a lil’ bit of the defunct K12RS. I say this because that thing didn’t do well either.

  11. mechanicuss says:

    1. Why go to all that trouble to design a complex plastic fairing and then put a miniscule flyscreen on it that buffets your helmet?
    2. Feet-forward without floorboards is awkward – your feet are too locked in…
    3. Put floorboards on it, a tall realistic usable windscreen to keep the sand out of your face, and some panniers, and you might have something…

    As-is it seems doofus…

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: Why go to all that trouble to design a complex plastic fairing and then put a miniscule fly screen on it that buffets your helmet?”

      (note, I’ve already covered this.)

      A: ’cause then what would the dealer have to sell you from the genuine accessories catalog…? see entry for next to last pic from the bottom.

  12. TimU says:

    Butt ugly and stillborn. Nuff said.

  13. skybullet says:

    When I see this bike I want to run, not walk, the other way.

  14. todd says:

    This will sell in huge numbers, just like the CB750A and 400 Hondamatic, not to mention the wildly successful VFR version…

    Really, it takes all of a few hours to learn how to ride a motorcycle with a manual transmission. Millions of people have been doing it since day one. Why do we assume it’s more difficult to master now?

    I believe cars have automatic transmissions because it allows the driver to hold a hot cup of coffee in the morning – or apply makeup, use the phone, etc. Those typically aren’t the behaviors of the average rider.

    People buy scooters because they are cheap and are not motorcycles, not because they are automatic. If you look at the highest-ever selling scooter, the Vespa, it used a manual transmission!

    This bike will need to appeal to consumer’s taste buds. If they don’t like the look of it then forget it – auto tranny or not.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “This bike will need to appeal to consumer’s taste buds. If they don’t like the look of it then forget it – auto tranny or not.”

      and there it is. packaging is job 1. same as choosing a mate, we are visual creatures. a woman’s ability to cook or a man’s ability to change a flat tire are not, repeat NOT what triggers the first date.

      Tenet Nosce, Know Thy Self. (oracle voice)

  15. Ran says:

    This “new” bike reminds me of Honda’s DN-01…which, according to some dealers, stands for “Do Not Order One”.

  16. kawzies says:

    OMG-No chrome!!! No wonder the haters hate it.

  17. jake says:

    Agree with the person who said Honda hit a homerun with this thing. This has got to be the most innovative bike I have seen since…well forever. A bike that can do it all (with a full fairing), a low seat, with a state of the art auto tranny (one not even available in the most expensive of bikes costing 3 or 4 times as much), high mpg – all this for less than 9,000 in today’s dollars. Are you kidding me? Only an idiot with no foresight and his head stuck up his butt would ridicule a bike like this.

    This is a groundbreaking bike. Certainly in a different way but this bike is as significant as the CB750 was in its day. Get over its looks already. This bike along with the Dn-1 will be revered as classics in due time, as forerunners to a whole new generation of bikes and bikers.

    And no, I am in now way affiliated with the Honda marketing dept.

    • Daytona James says:

      “And no, I am in now way affiliated with the Honda marketing dept.”

      Wow… you should go apply Jake. Honda needs people like you.

      For a bevy of reasons, I’ll give it a ‘meh’.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “this bike is as significant as the CB750 was in its day.”

      okay, i gotta put a stop to this. now you’re reaching. :)

    • Randy says:

      You are just trolling – you are, right?

  18. Ziggy says:

    Testicles not included or required.

  19. Yoyodyne says:

    FYI, two important points that people seem to be unaware of:

    1) DCT w/ABS is also available in the highly-regarded NC700X adventure-style bike, at a retail price of $8499.

    2) There is a “naked” version of the CTX (known as the CTX700N) with DCT and ABS which retails for $7999. It is quite a bit better looking than the faired CTX, though still no beauty queen.

    Yes, the CTX700 is ugly, but it is hardly the only option for someone who is intrigued by DCT.

  20. ibking says:

    All was good till the 3.2 gal thing, WTH 3.2 gals? On any long trips you’ll always be looking for gas stations. I think this bike will flop, but i’ll buy one when the price drops to $4600.00 OTD.

    • kawzies says:

      The bike gets 62MPG which translates into about a 200 mile range

      • ABQ says:

        So, how about a 324 mile range from a five gallon gas tank?
        Where is it written that 200 miles is all a motorcycle should go?
        Put a five gallon tank on a model and call it the ‘Ranger’!

  21. thoppa says:

    I guess it is the very low seat height and Honda build quality that will make this bike attractive to some.

  22. BlackCayman says:

    who gets a Vanson without the shoulder patch???

    Motorcycles come and go – but a Vanson Leather is Forever!

  23. Richard says:

    Gee, this bike doesn’t seem to appeal to the boomers lost in fond reminisces of the wonderful bikes of the 1970s…exactly the market this bike isn’t aimed at. I take the negative responses as a good sign, funny how blind people are to their own fossilization after the age 40. I don’t know whether this bike will succeed or not, but it won’t have anything to do with the folks on this board.

    • kawzies says:

      Totally agree. Amazing how one spoiled brat generation thinks they can define everything. This bike is the right bike for right now.

    • Louis says:

      You may be correct in your comment. However, using my experience of the history of new ideas coming from the various manufactures, especially Honda, let me offer an opinion. Automatic transmissions have been offered before and have never caught on, except in scooters. I’ve never heard anyone state the reason they didn’t get into motorcycles was because they couldn’t figure how to shift gears and operate the clutch. Usually the excuse is not wanting to ride in traffic. Many dirt-bike only riders will never ride on the street for fear of a collision with a SUV. Some people don’t ride because they can’t control themselves, and know it. Honda has a history of making bikes that don’t sell really well, like the Pacific Coast, the Hawk GT, the GB500, the Rune, and others. I hope this bike does well, I wish all of the motorcycles offered sold well. I think the CB1100 and the new 500cc twins will sell great. This one I’m not sure, but I will be keeping an open mind. (Your second sentence, aimed at me actually, encourages me to think outside the box. Thanks!)

  24. beasty says:

    Hmmm, so aside from the wind on yer helmet, how did it perform on the interstate?

  25. VLJ says:

    This bike will not sell in any significant numbers on these shores. It will die on the vine and, like someone said earlier, Honda will then conclude that its lack of popularity had to do with the auto tranny.

    Nope. The problem here is that this is two diametrically opposed concepts in one bike, and those opposites tend to loathe one another. It’s the most unfortunate combination ever: a plastic-wrapped cruiser. Cruiser riders tend to despise plastic anything, and many riders of bikes with full fairings think cruisers and the whole feet-forward riding position is nothing but an anti-function joke of a fashion statement. With this bike we see the worst of both types, the result likely alienating both buyers.

    Although I have no desire for one, there is nothing wrong with the auto tranny concept. Honda just needs to apply it to the proper type of bikes. A VFR is not the right test mule. An underpowered cruiser that looks like a tube of toothpaste…ditto.

    It belongs on a Goldwing, or the FB6, or the next version of the ST1300.

    This bike? It’s way too bulky-appearing and just plain goofy-looking to appeal to first-time buyers who are typically driven almost solely by the lure of the motorcycle aesthetic, of which this bike has no real benchmark. It doesn’t look like anything they ever imagined themselves riding, and that will seal its fate.

    • sl says:

      I think you are correct. I would add this. The newbie riders seem to like cruisers. That is where I think this tranny could be best implemented.

    • Hateraide says:

      Hmmmm, You make a good point until you suggest where they should have placed the DCT and then you jump the shark IMO. If I were a brand new rider who’s afraid of the manual transmission I wouldn’t want a $20,000 scooter like the DN-01 nor this ugly $10,000 (after taxes, financing, bs dealer fees) mess of plastic and cheap parts bin components(nor an expensive 1300 or gigantic and even more expensive GW). Now if they can manage to put the DCT in a CBR500R at a reasonable price the streets of California will look like the streets of India or Vietnam in no time.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “If I were a brand new rider who’s afraid of the manual transmission”

        it’s been my experience, human beings don’t jump over hurdles to do things they fear. brand new riders don’t fear manual transmission, they are INTRIGUED by the manual transmission and relish the challenge of mastering it.

        anybody who fears manual transmissions, likely fears the entire concept of motorcycle riding itself. you know what we call those people…? car drivers.

    • norton says:

      You said it well. I was slightly excited about a decent bike with an automatic. I have aging arthritic hands and carpal tunnel and could use all the help I can get to keep riding. Don’t like the forward controls!

      • Yoyodyne says:

        DCT is also available in the adventure-style NC700X.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I have aging arthritic hands and carpal tunnel and could use all the help I can get to keep riding.”

        no offense, but maybe you DON’T need help. it’s okay to stop riding. there’s a greater issue of public safety to consider (needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or in this case, the one).

        remember, operating a motor vehicle is a privilege not a right. motorcycling (like operating an aircraft or an 80,000lb tractor-trailer) is a whole ‘nother tier of privilege ABOVE that. if it were easy, everybody would do it. again, no offense, just something to consider.

  26. Tom R says:

    Honda is trying to generate interest in twenty-somethings that have a very different outlook and perspective than most “traditional” motorcyclists (age 45+). I suspect that the auto trans, styling, and riding position are fundamentally more attractive to entry-level riders.

  27. swami says:

    Don’t quite understand why Honda hasn’t brought the DCT to the automobile lineup where it’s sorely missing, instead bringing it to the motorcycle side where it’s reception is lukewarm at best.

  28. TomS says:

    I think the DCT is a great innovation and could probably be used in a number of platforms. I have no problem with bikes that are not performance oriented. My issue with this particular bike is that it’s just plain ugly. Something just looks off with the whole thing. And the riding position, with the feet so far forward, looks very uncomfortable.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I have no problem with bikes that are not performance oriented. My issue with this particular bike is that it’s just plain ugly.”

      that’s what’s know as the “deal breaker”.

      re: “Something just looks off with the whole thing.”

      the term break dancing on the tip of your tongue is “wonky”.

  29. denny says:

    How should we call this? Her Majesty Ugliness?
    I am not sure but it looks that age of motorcycles is slowly closing down. A sunset of era, you may say.

  30. Michael_H says:

    That bike looks much better with thee optional windcsreen and bags. It looks less DN-like and more motorcycle-like.

    Honda will do okay with this motorcycle, although this may be the lower selling version of the 700 series models. On other sites, the owners of the NTX700 absolutely rave about the bike, including those who popped for the DCT version. A lot of those drivers are pople who just don’t want to shift anymore, or who have physical limitations that prevent shifting.

    Porsche is dropping manual transmissions from its product line in favor of dual clutch gearboxes. Some race cars have gone to semi-automatic transmissions (shifters on the steering wheel; clutch for launch only). It should come as a surprise that DCT technology will expand into motorcycling. As in many automotive advances, Honda will be the forerunner.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Porsche is dropping manual transmissions from its product line in favor of dual clutch gearboxes. Some race cars have gone to semi-automatic transmissions (shifters on the steering wheel; clutch for launch only). It should come as a surprise that DCT technology will expand into motorcycling. As in many automotive advances, Honda will be the forerunner.”

      ironically, Honda has seen fit to not only treat it’s latest generation 2013 accord with a traditional manual, they’ve gone and upgraded it to 6spd and created a sport moniker. not talking a 2-door, but a full saloon here. jump to 2:38 and 3:40 for sound under load…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYUoawMzb5Y

  31. MGNorge says:

    Oh boy, here we go again! Not my sort of bike but there must be something in Honda’s marketing data that keeps them producing these types of bikes? It’s not cheap to bring a bike to market so there must be something compelling enough to keep them trying. I think Dirck makes the point, most traditionalists won’t see much, if anything, for them. The newer riders just getting into motorcycles may?

    I knew before I read the article and responses what would come to be, I wasn’t disappointed.

    As one responder said, we did it to ourselves.

  32. paul A says:

    I was more impressed with the Grom.

  33. Gronde says:

    HONDA will sell 3 of these bikes at retail. The rest you can purchase in 2017 as left-overs for $4000.

  34. Stratkat says:

    man you did a good job of shooting multiple angles for a good view of the machine, problem is i cant find one the flatters it, its so… sooo…. meh!

  35. Norm G. says:

    re: “Honda recognizes that the CTX700 DCT ABS offers some natural appeal to beginners.”

    just not in image conscious America. image is everything. thus, I repeat a statement I made a few months ago. nail the aesthetics of the shipping box and you can sell the masses dog poop. as long as it looks good, whatever else is going on under the skin doesn’t matter. it’s the reason you can sell a Ferrari with an automatic transmission. why…? BECAUSE IT’S A FERRARI…!!!

  36. Ralph says:

    When this doesn’t sell Honda will conclude that there is no market for automatic motorcycles. I will conclude that there is no market for feet forward riding style outside of the cruiser kingdom.

    It is like Honda is setting up the auto tranny for failure. Put an auto in the Goldiwng and I’d bet they sell tons. Or even a regular standard.

  37. John A. Kuzmenjo says:

    It’s an ugly bike with an automatic transmission, something I don’t want on a motorcycle.
    I’m hoping that the good-looking and proper sport motorcycles don’t eventually all go away and all we’re left with is crap like this.

  38. david says:

    what do you do when theres a really bad bump in the road? take it up the spine? never understood the feet forward thing.

  39. sl says:

    Looks like a half brother to the chopped up Goldwing that was Around the net a while ago. If they expect this new tranny to get momentum it better be introduced in some addtional bikes. This is a shock and awe design. Get attention for the new technology with an outrageous design then put it in a VTX1800. Not that this bike doesn’t have merit, but is definitely a bold design.

    • Dave says:

      I think shock and awe was achieved with the DN-01 (similar layout to this, more expensive). I believe the transmission is also available on the VFR1200. I don’t know how well it’s selling against the standard model though.

      One day they’ll get these transmissions good and lightweight enough and manuals will go away. There is no good reason to shift manually anymore with auto technology where it is.

      • Tim says:

        No ‘good’ reason? How about – fun? That’s a good reason, in my opinion.

        • Dave says:

          What’s ‘fun’ about shifting gears? It’s another chore that distracts from the ride. Seamless, perfect acceleration seems more fun to me (a 30yr rider). Motorcycles and semi trucks seem to be the last bastions of manual shifting. Let’s get past this already…

          • stryder says:

            What’s fun about shifting gears? What’s *not* fun about shifting gears? The sounds, the sensations, are all accentuated when shifting is done well. I love the pissed-off sound my bike makes as I gear down to set up a corner, and the way the intake snorts when I shift up under strong acceleration. If you want comfort, and convenience, drive a car. BTW, how is this not a DN-01?

          • Tim says:

            So, Dave. If shifting is such a distracting ‘chore’ for you, maybe you should just ride pillion.

        • zwreckr says:

          DCT is an anti fun, anti hooligan device. No wheelies, no burnouts,and no rev matching on downshift. Clutching/shifting was one of the most fun things for me to master as a novice.

      • Daven says:

        One of the facets of riding that I have always enjoyed is being in full control of the drivetrain. To deny that many enjoy this is simply ignorant.

        Personally, I will never own an automatic transmission motorcycle as long as my clutch hand and shifting foot continue to function. How, as you state below, manual shifting “is chore that distracts from the ride” is beyond me. With enough riding, manual shifting becomes second nature, and requires little conscious attention from an experienced rider. That skill is achieved by using a manual transmission. Using an automatic transmission, a rider will never gain the skill or experience the pleasure of being in full control of their vehicle’s drivetrain.

  40. Mike Simmons says:

    Sad to say, but the American market has corrupted motorcycling worldwide. Why you would want to ride in an unnatural foot forward position is totally beyond me.

    Mike

  41. Dingerjunkie says:

    I ride a motorcycle because it engages and stimulates me. There has to be a visceral excitement to the ride, even when commuting. A little bit of engine vibe, the tone of the exhaust on acceleration or the rush of the powerband hit/surge (at legal speeds)…something. This review indicates that the bike has about as much personality as a washing machine. It completes the package with an ergonomic setup that is less than optimal for quick reactions and control (cruiser slouch/feet-forward). No thanks.

  42. Ax1464 says:

    With a low seat height your feet have to go forward, otherwise the knees are forced to bend uncomfortably. I like this bike. Wish it had better suspension and cornering clearance. I think DCT/automatics will eventually start winning over all the “real” bikers once they realize what a performance advantage they offer.

  43. clasqm says:

    Honda has been chasing a nonexistent market, a demographic of people who want unthreatening, low-mpg motorcycles, for the last 50 years. They got it right once, in the early 60s, but that was a unique historical moment, with the Baby Boom hitting late adolescence. Since then, the CX500 was, at best, a qualified success, while the Pacific Coast and DN-01 were miserable failures. Not bad bikes, necessarily, but not what the market wanted.

    I don’t see this working out, once again. Dedicated bikers want more than this. Non-bikers who want cheap transport buy Chinese scooters.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Non-bikers who want cheap transport buy Chinese scooters.”

      or give up on the whole “wanna-be-biker” notion and end up staying in their cars.

  44. richard says:

    Looks to me like it has the same chassis as the NC700 line. But I agree that Honda have gone ape with the ugly stick !

  45. paul A says:

    Not a bad bike, but why the feet forward?

  46. ross anderson says:

    Man that is one ugly motorbike

  47. Bill Neander says:

    As someone old enough to miss kickstarters, the styling seems odd. I would rather spend an additional $1,000 and buy a CB1100. That, at least to me,looks right.

  48. Sean says:

    I know this is not a super sport but for 9k I would need more of, well…everything.

  49. kawzies says:

    I think CTX 700′s are a home run, with or without the automatic. Low prices, awesome mileage, great quality and decent appearance make it a no brainer for lots of people. First new Honda I’ve liked in a long time. There will be lots of these on the road soon.

  50. Tom K. says:

    I always wondered what happened to the guy who designed the Pontiac Aztec….