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As The 2014 Honda NC750X Goes On Sale In Other Markets, We Lament The Missing 75cc

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When we tested the Honda NC700X, we found it comfortable, practical and neutral handling, but lacking in excitement … particularly with regard to engine power. Honda has seen fit to address this issue in other markets (not just in Europe, but in Canada, as well), by substantially increasing engine displacement by 75cc (from 670cc to 745cc). Horsepower and torque each increase by more than 10 percent, and the entire displacement increase was achieved with bore, not stroke, so the bike might rev a bit quicker, as well.

In the US, we get an unchanged NC700X for the 2014 model year, and will forgo not only the healthier, larger engine, but other improvements to the 745cc version, such as an additional balance shaft for more “refinement”, taller gearing, redesigned muffler, adjustable brake lever, and revised instrumentation that includes a gear position indicator, ‘instant’, ‘average’ and ‘range remaining’ fuel indication plus coolant temperature and ambient air temperature.

US emissions regulations are probably to blame for our (hopefully temporary) misfortune.

105 Comments

  1. Arlan says:

    Hi
    American Honda HQ is just narrow-minded and greedy for not brining 2014 Honda nc 750 bikes to USA – that is all. really sad and shame. They are just like US government. They are not as true bikers as other countries.

  2. The1&only says:

    Canada has received numerous “uprated” models over the years. Suzuki RG 500/ RG 250, Yamaha RZ 500, 1982 Suzuki 1100 Katana, 1985 Suzuki GSXR 750, more powerful Yamaha FL 1200′s, Honda CX 650E, Honda NSR 400, Suzuki DR 750/800 BIG, to list a few. Canadian markets seemed flexible to new models and therefore some of the hottest sport bikes of the days arrived earlier or only to Canada for the North American market. Grey market exports to America and even to Germany was a common event. First issue GSXR 750′s, and RG 500′s to America and I think about 400 Kawasaki 900 Eliminator models went to Germany.

    During the mid 80′s America motorcycle sales focused on cruiser and touring models more than hyper sport and adventure units, although Canada didn’t warm up as quick to the Adventure bikes like the DR BIG and Transalp the sport bikes really took off.

    Todays markets are more unified and few differences exist. Australian motorcycle sales really tapped into Japan models and in the early 90′s a Suzuki RGV 250 was the sportbike to have for the serious rider.

  3. Tom says:

    I don’t have any data about motorcycle sales, but I just can’t fathom how the Canadian market could be bigger than the USA market, and this is why I have long been annoyed by the fact that the Canadians usually get whatever bikes the Europeans get, and we do not. I have no idea why this is, but I know that it has been going on for decades. And like a lot of other people, the new bikes that Honda brings to us keep getting stranger every year. This also has been going on for a long time now. We were teased a little bit with the adventure-touring version of the VFR1200, with the unusual V-4, but there was something odd that happened in the way of dissemination of information in the USA when that bike first appeared in some show somewhere, and I suspect that the reason is that there was never, ever any intent or possibility that it would be offered in the USA. It is all a great mystery to me. I don’t know, but I suspect that the import company for Honda motorcycles is the same company that does Honda cars, and that they just have a very peculiar attitude about motorcycles. I would consider that CTX1300 if only the engine were turned the other way, like my V65 Magna from the 80s. But I’ve had a bike where my knew and shins were always banging into the fairings, and I just don’t have any tolerance for pistons sticking out like that. I’ve looked at the pictures of the CTX1300 several times and have talked myself into thinking that it would be similar to the old V65 Magna in terms of ergo, but I know that it just isn’t the same, and that’s before even taking note of the way the engine is turned.

    The 10% increase in bore is enough to make a difference, albeit not much. What interests me more is the addition of an extra balance shaft. I don’t know what they did, but if they added another shaft on the other side (backside) of the engine, i.e., such that there are two shafts in parallel with the crank but one on each side, then this fully cancels the unwanted component of the motion for the mass added to the crankshaft. Again, I don’t know if that is what they did. But if that is what they did, then the effect would be the same as what occurs with an in-line four (with conventional flat crank) with no balancing at all: full cancellation of piston motion at the first order, i.e., the frequency at which the crank is spinning, but no cancellation at twice that frequency or three times etc. etc. (which higher-order vibration is attributable to the asymmetry in the motion of the piston itself). Would be interesting to get more information about what they did exactly. It could be that they knew that Yamaha was following suit with the new parallel twin of similar displacement, and decided to stay a step ahead by putting another shaft on the other side. But I haven’t yet tried to find any information about it, because it likely would not be available even if I went looking for it.

    • MGNorge says:

      Did you get all that out in one breath? :)

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The Canadian market is less than 15% the size of the US market in unit sales. I’m also pretty sure that their emissions policy is intentionally aligned with the US EPA, so I doubt it is an emissions conformance reason that keeps some of those interesting bikes outside of our border. I suspect it is a capital investment issue: they need more interesting models in Canada to get a certain return / market share and that same formula in the US is optimized with a different product mix. Just a guess though.

    • Randy says:

      So, if the balance shaft reality met your, what would you call this – engine dream? – anyway if it was like you were saying, uh, honestly, I have no idea what you said up there. But if it was like that, and the bike was for sale in the USA, then you would buy it?

      • Tom says:

        Randy – Don’t know if I would buy it, but if it proved to be an exceptionally smooth twin, I certainly would find it compelling. I will to explain what I was trying to say. A weight placed on the crankshaft, spinning with the crankshaft, moves in a circle, whereas a piston obviously moves in a straight line. The weight on the crankshaft is actually in practice an unbalanced flywheel, in effect the same as a weight placed at one point. The circular path of motion for this weight, real or virtual, is equivalent in effect to two individual weights each moving in a straight line, but with the two straight lines oriented at 90 degrees to each circle. Hence, two virtual masses, one of which can cancel with the motion of the piston, approximately but still not perfectly, because the motion of the piston is asymmetrical, which refers to the fact that the average speed of the piston is not the same for the bottom half of the stroke as it is for the top half. Thus, even without that other, unwanted motion component of the crankshaft weight, i.e., the component that is straight-line but that is directed at right angles to the direction of piston motion, the motion of the piston still would not cancel perfectly with the motion of the crankshaft weight. But the bigger problem is that other, unwanted linear motion component. When you put a balancer shaft parallel to the crank and so that the plane defined by it and the crank is at right angles to the plane where the pistons move, then part of its motion can cancel fully with that unwanted linear component of the weight on the crankshaft. But, the rub is that if you were to do that exactly, you still would end up with an unwanted motion component left over from the balance shaft, which isn’t cancelled, just the same as the unwanted linear motion component of the crankshaft weight. So, instead of making the weight on the balance shaft heavy enough to fully cancel the unwanted motion component of the crankshaft weight, you make it so that it only partly does that, leaving some of the unwanted motion of the crankshaft weight. That’s what happens when a balance shaft is placed laterally rather than directly under the crank and spinning at the same speed as the crank, in opposite direction. Yamaha did the same thing in their new parallel twin. I do not know what Honda did in the new version of this engine that uses two balance shafts, but it alludes to the possibility that the additional shaft is similarly placed lateral to the crank, such that the crank and both shafts are all in the same plane, with the crank between the two shafts. In this case, one of the shafts spins the same as the crank and the other spins opposite, so that the unwanted linear motion component of each shaft cancels with the other shaft. The linear motion component of each shaft that isn’t cancelled with the other shaft instead is additive with the other shaft, and fully cancels the unwanted linear motion component that was leftover from the weight added to the crankshaft. With this setup, the cancellation of piston motion is perfect except only for the fundamental frequency, i.e., the crankshaft’s rotation frequency. At frequency twice that, and three times that, etc., piston motion is not cancelled, and this is due to the asymmetry in piston motion. Thus, what you get, if you use two balance shafts in this manner for a parallel twin, is the same class of balance or vibration that occurs inherently in an inline four, assuming that a conventional flat crank is used in the inline four. Again, I have no knowledge of what Honda actually did.

        • Randy says:

          Tom, I always look forward to one of your analysis – it’s like a puzzle brain challenge to read it all the way through and not start skipping.

          I know (I think) what you are saying. I think though if you ride the NC you will make a pretty quick decision about the engine, and it’s not really about the vibration. More the power, or lack of, coupled with the crazy high 6th gear. I made a deliberate decision to ignore my misgivings and see if the other positives ultimately outweigh the engine. I think the jury is in, and the NC is living on borrowed time.

          But back to the vibs. I’ve a fair amount of time on air and oil head boxers. Those bikes have more vibs than my NC. And more complicated vib spectrum. My particular NC is pretty darn smooth and I don’t really see why Honda feels the NC needs more “refinement”. Of course, a fair fraction of the owners ghost around shifting at 3000 RPM (!), so they might be intensely interested in these developments.

          I think Honda is blowing it. Instead of making the NC engine even more boring if another 1000 RPM was found that improved the max power for passing and such like, and provided a little (dirty word here) excitement, the bike would fall into the spectrum of a lot more riders.

  4. Panthalassa says:

    i’ll lament the missing 75cc, but not as much as i lament the missing 800cc … the vfr.

  5. Fred M. says:

    It’s because we Americans are so slender and lightweight that we don’t need the bigger engine.

  6. goose says:

    Not bring the 750 to the US is another in a long line of dumb moves by Honda NA.

    I rented a 700 last summer. If you aren’t horse power fixated it is a great little bike. The suspension shows it’s bargain nature in the bumps but otherwise the bike works far better than I expected. I think a better shock and some fork work and I could be very happy happy with an NC. I came pretty close to buying one but the news of the 750 leaked and I backed off. As much as I liked the 700 a 750 with a little more performance, even less vibration, (claimed) better gas milage and another round of Honda’s refinment was too good to miss. I’m still waiting, Honda.

    BTW, I (235 pounds, 6′ 4″) got 72 MPG riding at a sporty-touring pace over 3 passes, Angle’s Crest, CA 18 and CA 38. 218 miles to reserve with about 0.7 gallons left. I wouldn’t mind a bigger fuel tank but I no longer have a problem with the 3.7 gallon tank.

    Get it right Honda, bring the 750 to the US

    Goose

    • mickey says:

      Dang Goose, you’re a little fella, aren’t ya? Lol if I was that tall I’d be breathing different air.

      • goose says:

        The hight has been constant for a long time (40 years). I’m please to say the weight was a lot more ten years ago. I used to be heavy enough to be an NFL lineman. Just lacking the speed, strength and quickness to make it in the NFL. ;-(

        Seriously, my point was the NC was caring a heavy and high aero drag load and still got 72 MPG. People closer to average should do even better. This bike is really amazing, Honda set a goal as tough as building a superbike and did an extraordinary job on the NC-X.

        Goose

        • Norm G. says:

          what was your experience with vibes…? did you find them excessive…? liveable…? or did you find yourself lamenting, gee I could mix less paint with a BMW F650…?

    • Dave says:

      Re: “BTW, I (235 pounds, 6′ 4″) got 72 MPG riding at a sporty-touring pace over 3 passes”

      And that mileage figure is a modern miracle! If Honda could drive that point home more effectively they could seize some serious market share. That figure alone should be the thing that brings people back to motorcycles. If only they could broadcast it more effectively.

  7. Gham says:

    I wouldn’t panic just yet,Some US dealerships are blowing out the 700 for less than the 2014 CB500X.I can’t imagine Canada getting them and us not getting them eventually.Hell,even the Canadian Honda website specifies that the stock photo is the Euro version.That means they haven’t determined Canadian spec colors yet.I think mid-year…flame away!

    • goose says:

      How about an anti flame? Your scenario is pretty close to the “I hope this how it goes” I came up with. A 2014 1/2 or 2015 US NC750X would be great.

      Goose

  8. Gronde says:

    Full front fender and a beak! What’s not to like?

  9. mickey says:

    A buddy of mine traded in his GL 1800 for one. He loves it. I think the worst mileage he has gotten was 63 mpg, and he appreciates the light weight and easy handling. I rode it once for about 25 miles. It was ok. Not exciting to me, but beats the heck out of walking. I love my CB new 1100 and people call it a dog because it only has 88 horsepower. They make fun of my ST 1300 because it only has 125 horsepower and weighs over 700 pounds. All that matters to me, is that I like them, since I’m the one that paid for them.

    Everyone that owns one of these 700 seems to like them. Thats all that matters.

    • Gham says:

      Don’t sweat it Mickey,where your CB1100 is concerned.The only people that would scoff at those numbers read to much and ride to little.Life’s most memorable experiences are about going into a corner to hot,not going in a straight line wfo.

  10. John says:

    Could be EPA, but it’s not like Honda hasn’t run stuff by them every year for 40 years.

    I think it’s the fact that they immediately realized the need for more power, but because they don’t even sell that well in the US, and there is sill inventory of 2012 and 2013 models at dealers, they’re just going to bring in some token 2014 700s and evaluate whether to even bother.

    Put shaft drive on the 750 and then bring it over for $8000.

  11. vitesse says:

    What’s all this fuss? This is a strictly utilitarian, economical motorbike made up to look pretty, beak and all, and gets 70 MPG. It is what it is and it’s hardly worth getting worked up over. And don’t forget, its focus is the global market.

  12. RD350 says:

    Sorry .. but this thing is freaking lame.

    Honda has been building some really, really unexciting and ugly motorcycles these past few years.

    I know the economy is bad and all but geeez …..

    Bring back the Honda Hawk 650 or something. Anything but this.

    • denny says:

      I think you are really hitting on essence what means “progress” and if it is even desirable. I am in similar bracket like you are; I want to see motorcycles to be visually mechanical and exciting, kind of basic – like the Hawk you mention. Novadays they are somehow, eh, sterile.
      I had Super Hawk by the way – 4 seasons.

    • John says:

      WTH MD? I can’t say “po zer” or I can’t say “na ked”?

    • John says:

      Trying again….

      I think it’s only quasi-la/me. It has some good innovation, the fuel mileage is awesome, the f’runk (?) is great, the price is excellent. I just think it’s a pozer ADV bike when it SHOULD be a shaft drive commuter bike.
      Of course, I agree about the Hawk. Not to mention bringing back a CX650 classic roadster, a VT500 Ascot, a 750 Sabre, an ST1300 nekked power cruiser, a CB1, etc, etc.

    • Jason says:

      They did, it is called the Honda CB500F.

      CB500F: Standard, Twin, 420 lbs, 44 HP, only $6000.
      Hawk: Standard, Twin, 400 lbs, 37 HP, $4000 (in 1988!)

      I suspect you think the CB500F is “ugly” since it doesn’t look like a UJM from the 70′s

      • RD350 says:

        “I suspect you think the CB500F is “ugly” since it doesn’t look like a UJM from the 70′s”

        Ahhh … no. While I like the style of classic bikes, I also completely appreciate newer and even cutting edge styles. Good looks is good looks ….

        Incidentally, the 1988 NT650 does not in any way resemble a UJM from the 70′s. In fact, it was very cutting edge at the time and still looks fresh to my eyes.

        However, I am not suggesting that Honda bring back a replica of the the old Hawk. I am suggesting that they make an updated bike. That is, a good looking, decent quality, middle weight twin to compete with the SV650 and 650 Ninja and small Ducati Monsters.

        And yes, I think the new CB500 family of twins look foookin horrible. Budget parts, horrible styling. Honda need to hire some Europeans to design their bikes .. preferably Italian or Austrian.

    • Randy says:

      You just have to wait a couple more years till Yamaha gets the MT-07 here. That should generate some market pressure. But really, you’d think Honda would bring back the Hawk 650???? A bike that was DOA?

      • mickey says:

        Hawk GT had some neat features, ahead of its time, but it had a 2.9 gallon usable gas tank, had 37 hp, a single front disc, a 5 speed trans and cost within a few hundred dollars of a CBR 600F Hurricane. Readers on this board would kill that bike in opinions.

        • todd says:

          Right, but go buy a Hawk today and you’re looking at $3000 or more for a clean one. You can get a clean 600 Hurricane for around $1500 – if you can find a clean one.

          • mickey says:

            Its the fact that they sold in such low numbers and are rare that makes them valuable, not because they were a particularly good motorcycle. Same goes for GB 500′s, and many other bikes that were not popular when first released. I’ve seen CT-70s go for more than $3000 and they were neither state of the art or rare. I’ve seen sandcast Honda CB 750s go for 10 times that amount, and 1920s V twins with less than 10 horsepower go for 10 times the price of the sand cast 750′s.things are worth what people are willing to pay for them. Unfortunately for the Hawk GT not enough people were willing to pay the asking price when new when compared to other models they competed with, to justify continued importation.

          • todd says:

            They aren’t very rare. In fact I probably see ten Hawks for every one Hurricane. The type of people that bought them appreciated them more than the person just looking for the best bang for the buck. The CBRs are all good bikes but they have been the Toyota Camry of motorcycles. Meanwhile, the Hawk has become a cult bike with quite a following. Not because they are rare or have magical powers but because it’s just so darned difficult to find a good bike with a round headlight!

        • Les says:

          I bought an 89 Hawk GT (also known as NT650 or RC31) about 10-15 years ago. It was visually ahead of it’s time. Sexy single sided swing arm and ‘naked street fighter’ style and a shorty pipe.

          The motor was a boat anchor and performed best going down a steep hill or sitting in the back of a fast pick-up truck. It had a terrible muffler system with a ‘boom box’ contraption built into the pipes under the bike.

          The seat is absolutely terrible. It’s on an angle designed to grind your reproductive organs into the tiny tank. I could never get comfortable on it.

          The wheels are smaller than standard sport bike size which reduces options for rubber.

          I ended up crashing mine at high speed (stupid youth) and then got an ’04 Honda 599 (also known as cb600f or Hornet) which is about 500 times better than the hawk GT in every way except for that damn sexy single sided swing arm.

          I’ve been a honda customer all my life since my first indestructible ‘mini-trail’ 50cc tank, then xr75, then st90 (look that one up), then cr125…all the way up to cfr230 and 599.

          For my next bike is going to be a triumph triple or possibly the yamaha 800 because honda seem unable to raise my pulse above a coma with their offerings of the last 10 years with crap like this nc700. I would not be caught dead on this ugly ass bike.

          • Randy says:

            My current ownership of the NC700X is offset by prior ownerships of much cooler bikes! That said, I’m just marking time till something more, suitable, pops up.

  13. David Smallridge says:

    What I would really like to know is: Where, oh where, is the next generation ST?? You know the longitudinally mounted V-6, LED light festooned, bumper ready, technologically advanced, bluetooth enabled and air bag packaged BMW K1600GT, Yamaha FJR1300 and Triumph Trophy SE serial killer….

    • John says:

      CTX1300…..

    • Tom says:

      Given that space for your knees and shins is a very big issue with longitudinally oriented V-four, and even V-twins longitudinally oriented, I’m not looking forward to any V-6 that is oriented longitudinally.

  14. Bones says:

    I took one of the 670 versions on a test ride in BC last summer. The motor didn’t do much for me (it’s not an RR bike, is it?) but it was light and flickable and the frunk is a fantastic feature. Not the bike for me, but it would make a great commuter.

  15. Kevin White says:

    How could it rev more quickly? The stroke is the same, so the acceleration and deceleration forces and velocities inside the engine are the same. The marginally heavier piston should increase momentum a little which might actually slow revving marginally.

    If I’m wrong in my understanding, I welcome a better explanation.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      More force to push the piston the same distance. So long as the increased reciprocating mass isn’t too much to offset that, you rev faster.

    • jim says:

      with a bigger bore you get a bigger bang thus more acceleration for the pistons rods etc. the fly wheel may be less and that would allow for quicker revving

    • Daytona James says:

      A greater moment of force acting upon the same fulcrum length will have a capacity for faster acceleration than a lesser moment of force.

    • Kevin White says:

      Thanks everyone!

      I suppose redline would be (everything else being equal) unaffected due to what I mentioned (same internal velocities for the same stroke) but the quicker revving potential makes sense now (although a lighter flywheel is a different story).

      • KenHoward says:

        Regardless of it’s ability, theoretically, to rev more quickly, Honda gave the trans taller gears, in order to rev more slowly – to subdue it’s enthusiasm to keep hitting the rev limiter.

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: How could it rev more quickly?”

      re: “I welcome a better explanation.”

      A: he mis-spoke.

    • Tom says:

      People who actually studied physics at the college level (probably less than one-tenth of one percent of the general population or of all motorcyclists) are either perpetually amused or perpetually annoyed, depending on the demeanor of the individual. In my case it is both at the same time. The observation that Kevin made would be true if all there were to it were the acceleration that the piston would undergo when the engine is being turned over by the starter motor. The answer to his question is that a significant part of the force that a piston experiences is due to compression of air pulled into the engine, and to the ensuing combustion, for which there is no any simple, geometric relationship to the length of the stroke.

      The mere fact of the increase in displacement implies greater force on the pistons, which to me seems rather apparent, given that an increase in displacement generally implies greater torque, which implies greater piston force. That’s the part where I want to tiptoe but just can’t find a way to do that. To say it more overtly to make the point more sharply, an increase in torque very obviously implies an increase in piston force, and if an increase in bore did not imply an increase in torque and in piston force, what advantage would a larger bore ever have over a smaller bore? Why not just use in infinitesimally small bore?

      I truly am not trying to be flippant or anything of that sort. Just trying to point out some basic stuff that is meaningful.

      There is always a question asked on the one hand, and a more meaningful question implied on the other hand. I’m never sure which one is best to answer. The lack of change in stroke implies that the same crankshaft is used: a change in stroke requires a different crank throw distance. Because bore only is changed, the overall shape of the torque curve likely has not changed much. Probably, engine torque will have increased by a slight, uniform percentage throughout the engine’s operating range, to a strong approximation at least. This implies a slight, uniform percentage increase in piston force, throughout the rpm range. The percentage increase in power will similarly be uniform throughout the rpm range, for whatever that’s worth. The bike will certainly rev quicker, but that’s implied by the mere increase in displacement, unless you are talking specifically about its inertial resistance to acceleration. Inertial resistance to acceleration will increase due to the increased piston mass, but will more than compensated for by the increase in piston force. It is difficult to think of how any increase in displacement would not result in quicker revving, i.e., whether accomplished by increase in bore or in stroke. An increase in stroke, brought about by an increase in the length of the crank arm, would shift the torque improvement slightly to lower rpm. Torque would increase everywhere, most likely, but would likely increase more at low rpm than at high rpm, with the torque peak likely shifting slightly to lower rpm. That might be perceived as even greater improvement in quickness to rev, since the engine would be given a strong kick at lower rpm. But for me to point that out would risk taking something away from the much more important fact: than most any improvement in displacement will result in an increase in piston force and therefore an increase in willingness to rev. It is not correct to think that you can sense the engine inertial resistance to revving, i.e., to mentally isolate that from the effect of piston force that is due to combustion. There just isn’t any way that it is possible to isolate one from the other, through casual observation.

      I hope that at least one person has found this at least somewhat useful and that I haven’t just spent the last ten or fifteen minutes on this when I could have spent my time more productively, watching television.

      • Kevin White says:

        Tom, your quip about those who actually studied physics at the college level is right on — I’m a high school senior. Well done, sir.

        I am surprised to read that an increase in stroke should also result in quicker revving, as in that case the piston is having to move faster and further, i.e. accelerate and decelerate harder for any given RPM.

  16. Neil says:

    I have a Suzuki TU250 with a one tooth larger front sprocket. If my TU has enough power to get to 70 mph easily on the highway, then this 700 is fine. I test rode it by the way and I thought it was excellent. It would be great to have the improvements. But they must have leftover bikes in their warehouse that they need to get rid of. Unless they are running two assembly lines. – The new bike gets a bit better MPG so that takes care of Europe. The big problem is that most of the USA liked cruisers now and after cruisers they cannot tell what we want. I’d take a CB1100 myself though though with a Corbin the NC would be nice too.

  17. Ty says:

    Doesn’t matter how much power it gets, it’s still a pig.

    • KenHoward says:

      With the manual trans, it is not a “pig,” and what weight it has is carried extremely low.

      • Ty says:

        I guess we have different ideas on what is acceptable mass on a 700cc parallel twin designed and built after the first decade of the 21st century. Nothing wrong with that I suppose.

        • Dave says:

          Indeed, in hoping for this to be a sportbike you are missing the point of it entirely. Honda might have done better in keeping this bike’s displacement a secret because it’s engine size could be the most unimportant parameter on the whole bike.

          Add 75cc or 300cc. It’s never going to be “fast” and it was never supposed to be. What it is, is usable and efficient.

          Gas is still way too cheap for Americans to appreciate this apparently

  18. Monty Hall says:

    It’d be interesting to compare USA vs. Euro sales of that model. There’s a potential article for you Dirck; take a sample of 3-4 specific models and see if US market really deserves 2nd class treatment, or not.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “take a sample of 3-4 specific models and see if US market really deserves 2nd class treatment”

      stand down, fall back. we don’t need the Supreme Court for this one. i’ll take this.

      despite our staggering wealth, cheap fuel, cheap bikes, and cheap freedoms, we still resist coming off the dime. see, can’t hide from the accountants. they loiter over the battlefield with “look down/shoot down” capability. you don’t see them, but trust, THEY SEE YOU. think of them as the fiscal equivalent of PREDATOR DRONES.

  19. Tom R says:

    Look around. Other bikes don’t the extra displacement in order to get a lot more power. This thing is just designed/tuned to be a wuss.

  20. Dargo says:

    if it doesn’t move you, don’t buy it, move on

  21. endoman38 says:

    They also need to put a 19″ tire up front and add a gallon or two to tank capacity.

  22. MGNorge says:

    One thing that’s not mentioned is the extra cost that these upgrades will naturally bring with them. Remember, these bikes are in the category of starter bikes here. The idea is to get people started in riding, set the hook and hopefully bring them back as lifelong customers.

  23. Gary says:

    Honda’s probably just retagging 2013 models into 2014 to get rid of the slow selling NC700′s. Maybe once the backstock is gone, then we’ll get the larger engine. Or, maybe I’m all wet.

    • MGNorge says:

      I think that may be part of it.

    • denny says:

      That’s most likely. If Honda as much as others are keen to sell in nearly hopeless market such Canada is, I do not see why they would deprive much larger one just South.

      • Craig Jackman says:

        Some countries have taste and are open to new ideas. Some countries insist on Harleys. Wonderful that some/all motorcycle companies realise they can sell new ideas here in Canada, so we get the bikes that are selling in Europe.

        • denny says:

          True, but even here we get them with delay and not all of it what is available at source, such as say in EU is.

        • KenHoward says:

          +1

        • EZMark says:

          You nailed that Craig. I’m surprised the Japanese bring any new models here. The Harley drones won’t consider any other brand. If they did, they wouldn’t be allowed at the cool kids table at lunchtime.

      • MGNorge says:

        Hopeless market? Seems some of those most avid motorcyclists I’ve met come from up north. Riders that aren’t afraid of a little cold and wet. Let’s face it, we here in the US live in the land of Harley and as long as they remain on a lot of people’s A-List to be seen on that will remain to be the case. Because of that I admire those who branch out from the herd.

    • George says:

      This is what I think is happening. Honda likely has too many 670 engines already built so they are dumping them on the US for 2014 and 2015 we will get the 745 motors.

      That said, the bike has a place in the market but no place in my garage for it.

  24. billy says:

    Why are we so low on the totem pole? Fewer model choices, fewer color choices, and now this.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Why are we so low on the totem pole?”

      this is rhetorical I trust…? you don’t really need me to answer this right…?

    • Dave says:

      Re: “Why are we so low on the totem pole? ”

      We (the US) purchased fewer than 500,000 new motorcycles last year in the most fertile consumer market on earth. We’re a pretty minor motorcycle market, globally speaking.

  25. Randy says:

    I actually bought one of these strange bikes (700X) a few weeks ago – used, of course. I like it a lot but the engine is probably the part I like least. I doubt we are missing much with the new model as the best things about this bike, we already have.

    10 percent more of not much is still not much.

    It does pretty well as an all around bike for me. I was surprised how easy it is to do feet up 2nd gear power slides in the dirt! It cruises really well at whatever speed you want that’s quasi legal. The part I don’t like is not being able to pass cars on a mountain road at will – I’ve been day dreaming of a turbo mod… or nitrous…

    • todd says:

      I don’t know if I’ve ever ridden a highway-capable bike that couldn’t pass cars on a grade. I’m talking even 250s and 350s. That’s really terrible if that’s the case with this bike.

      Or maybe it’s just a case of being in the wrong gear…

  26. Todd Hancock says:

    I own a NC700 and I think it is a great bike. If Honda ever gives it more power they better upgrade the brakes so it will stop better.

    • Randy says:

      Todd, if the rear brake seems really weak, look to the see if the caliper is mounted tilted to the disc, known problem on many, mine is that way.

  27. Hateraide says:

    You know, when Europe gets good stuff it’s almost ok because they’re so far away. But when they give Canada something we can’t have, that hurts.

    • denny says:

      I recall a dealer in one of Southern States saying just that (… you guys in Canada you get the better stuff). I did not give it much credence than. Now I think differently.

  28. WillieB says:

    There is a scooter version of this engine in Europe specifically made to meet new EU power limits for driver license category A2. Our version has a few more hp but not much. From Wikipedia: The Integra will be available with two different power outputs, one version develops a peak power output of 38.1 kW (51.1 hp) at 6,250 rpm and 62 N·m (46 lb·ft) of torque at 4,750 rpm, while the other has a lower output of 35 kW (47 hp) and 60 N·m (44 lb·ft) to meet 2013 A2 European licensing regulations. So I think the engine was originally designed with that regulation in mind, along with high fuel economy. They did their best to make it fun, but it is an economy engine.

  29. Jeremy in TX says:

    It would still be a pretty lame engine even with the extra cc’s. And I just can’t excuse not putting hydraulic lifters in such a low revving engine. You would save more money on valve adjustments than you would fuel.

    • MGNorge says:

      Or do valve adjustments yourself and not worry about it! On this bike it doesn’t look all that daunting.

      • Provologna says:

        Ditto.

        Modern bikes seldom require valve lash attention. IIRC, excessive noise/clatter = excessive valve lash clearance (loose)…hard starting, “popping” on deceleration = too little valve lash clearance. The above rules are universal except for Ducati’s strange “Desmodromic” valve actuation system. I can remember why, but seem to remember the above rules don’t apply, and hence the only method to confirm valve lash clearance (or lack thereof) is to actually check it.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I am not familiar with any modern, solid lifter bikes that don’t require attention at some point. I have certainly adjusted more than a few valves on modern bikes in my days. Enough that I routinely check clearances at the appointed times. With virtually all of the lubrication properties of modern gasoline now removed (at least in the US), I’d say attention to valve lash is more important than ever. I have never found those “sound checks” to apply to any motorcycle, and I’d go so far to say that is urban myth – you’re paying for head work by the time your ears tell you something is off. The ridiculous Sportster-based engine on my Buell always sounded like it dropped all four valves into the combustion chambers, but it is the only bike I ever owned that I KNEW would not need a valve adjustment.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        There was a time when I enjoyed working on bikes. Now with time being so scarce, I only enjoy riding them.

        • MGNorge says:

          Understood. I don’t crawl around on the garage floor as much these days either! :)

          But when I was younger that is what I did simple because I enjoyed it, knew the job was getting done right, plus couldn’t afford shop rates. I wonder if today’s young riders tend to share that passion? I have a feel not!

  30. bru says:

    well,,lets look at this closely,,Honda ..its their fault,,they are all over the world,,they can afford to make them legal,,look at the crap they bring here and is useless..alot of these small scooters and that new one called the grom or something,,face it,,Honda doesn,t have the passion in the motorcycle industry,,if they did it would show,,thats ok,,i,ll take my business elsewhere,,maybe we should look at it at another angle,,maybe Honda isn,t doing that great,,how come all other manufacturers are bringing into the states a lot of different types of bikes,,so in the end..they lost my business along with thousand more ones here in the states..now supposedly a rumor has it they have patent rights for 2014 for the “Africa twin” in the united states.. that was a bigger transalp adventure bike they had till 2003,,maybe they are going to bring that over,,in that case that would be a big hit here and give all other bikes a run for the money..

    • Butch says:

      Indeed, Honda has long since lost their way as a manufacturer who once created a host of exciting, innovative, high performance machines across the spectrum of motorcycle styles. Like you bru, I have taken my business elsewhere after years of being a solid Honda fan and customer. They now build Civics on two wheels.

      Here’s a good article on the subject from another MC blog:

      http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/oped/honda-rc51-concept-nicolas-petit/

      • Dave says:

        Re: “Honda has long since lost their way as a manufacturer who once created a host of exciting, innovative, high performance machines across the spectrum of motorcycle styles.”

        They are still very much that manufacturer and this is a very high performance motorcycle, just not in the performance parameter you prefer. The US version of this bike had a large trunk and gets ~70mpg. That is an incredible mileage figure for a full size motorcycle. The new forthcoming VFR, the CBR500 and the Grom are all excellent products to attempt to reach the demographics that used to buy motorcycles but don’t any longer (make the pie bigger instead of fighting for a piece of a pie that’s shirnking). If you want traditional performance, their super sport bikes are still among the best out there.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I agree with Dave. Honda has invested a lot to introduce a host of bikes that are exciting, just to a different kind of buyer. Time will tell if it plays out well for them.

    • MGNorge says:

      I choose to not look at it from the negative side as you but more the positive side. It’s market driven and we’ve seen this before. In this land 0′ Harley we just look at and use bikes differently than in many other parts of the world. If sales of this bike stay up I think you’ll see it in the catalog here

      • Butch says:

        I won’t argue with anyone who also owns a Norge, :-)

        I’m actually a very positive side guy. I used to be a died in the wool Honda fan, having owned many Hondas. Granted, their strategy is obviously a different demographic than me at this time.

    • John says:

      The “grom or something” is arguably Honda’s best selling bike right now and nearly impossible to find at a dealership. You may not be excited about it but a lot of other people who write checks are.

      • motowarrior says:

        You just gotta love guys who slam bikes they have never ridden. I really don’t get that. I’ve owned nearly 60 motorcycles over the years, including exciting bikes like the MV Agusta F4, and I’m having a blast on my new Honda Grom. If you are a true motorcyclist and not some elitist, you can find fun and/or excitement in almost any two wheeler. Lighten up and enjoy the ride.

        • Butch says:

          @motowarrior

          Nearly a million road miles, thousands of track miles, thousands of dirt miles, on as many bikes as you’ve owned qualifies me as a true motorcyclist with enough experience to offer an opinion on what I do and don’t like. If you don’t want to read differing opinions, stay off the internet. And I happen to think the Grom is pretty damn cool.

    • Jason says:

      I find it funny that you used the Grom as your example of Honda losing their way. The Grom is a run-away sales success. Dealers can’t order enough of them and people are paying thousands above MSRP to get one.

      Honda has released a wave of new bikes in the last couple of years. New scooters, Grom, CRF250L, CB500 triplets, NC700X/CTX700, CB1000, CTX1300, Valkyrie… They haven’t done much of anything with their supersports but that is a declining market worldwide. Their only big miss is ignoring the adventure touring segment. They didn’t bring the Varadero Adventure bike to the US but I suspect we will get it’s replacement the African Twin.

      On the technological front they have introduced automatic transmissions across their model lineup and made ABS an option on almost all of their street bikes.

      I have the complete opposite opinion on Honda, I feel they are coming into their own and showing more innovation than the other manufacturers. The difference is that they have focused their efforts on creating new market segments and bringing new riders to the brand instead of simply updating their existing models / segments. The CTX700 and 1300 are a fresh new look at cruiser styling and one that I personally like. We will see if it works for them, it is plain to see that old motorcyclist don’t appreciate the new direction.

  31. david f says:

    I thought European emission requirements we more stringent then ours.

  32. WillieB says:

    This engine was made for Europe, not for us. I have to think if Honda put a performance oriented engine in this bike in the US market, instead of a fuel economy engine (maybe 75hp instead of 45) they would sell a ton of them in the US. I think I would buy one. The BMW 800 parallel twin bikes have 85 hp and get > 50 mpg.

    • Jason says:

      Yes it was. The NC700 was made for people that use their motorcycles as transportation not weekend toys. The BMW F800ST is a fantastic bike and I had one as a rental. Great bike, but I don’t think I ever turned the throttle past a 1/4 turn so the extra 40 HP was not needed in my case. Also 50 mpg isn’t the achievement that it once was, my car gets 50 mpg, motorcycles should be able to do better.