500lbs and $8,000 for a beginner bike?
Honda might have saved a few pounds and dollars going with a cvt instead of a trendy dual clutch. They've been selling great beginner level bikes and scooters in Asia for years, decades even. Ever ridden a Vario, or Blade, or Air Blade? Decent bikes, and far from 8 grand.
Electric motorbikes by Brammo and Zero are already beating these for power and weight, and even price.
Why would anyone want to buy this?
18th February, 2013 @ 8:44 p.m. (California Time)
There aren't many other motorcycles that offer an automatic transmission.
The NC700X won some awards in 2012 but the combination of being 500 lbs and having a 32.7 inch seat deters some of the new riders that might have been interested in it for the transmission. The seat on the NC700X is also a little on the sporty (hard) side without much for the passenger to sit on. It does a few things right and a few wrong.
The lower seat in the CTX700N makes the weight a little more manageable for a new rider and it's still 100 lbs lighter than a Harley. The 60 MPG and 3.7 gal tank isn't great (222 miles per tank) but it's still more than a 600RR or a Sportster.
Every time gas prices climb there seems to be more demand for commuter motorcycles and there aren't that many to pick from.
The downside of the new 700's is they seem to omit the best feature from the original NC700, the storage compartment in the NC is large enough for a full face helmet: http://i.imgur.com/tsKzREg.jpg
The new CTX offers a smaller (glove box sized) storage compartment but keeps the same 3.7 gal fuel capacity. The NC kept fuel under the seat so I assume adding a more cushioned, lower seat required moving fuel back up to the standard tank location. That is kind of a tragedy.
18th February, 2013 @ 11:46 p.m. (California Time)
"Only 36 KW" still translates to almost 160KW per ton. For a beginner it is plenty fast and offers something few motorbikes can deliver - real world fuel efficiency.
19th February, 2013 @ 1:38 a.m. (California Time)
Being a rider for almost 3½ decades I advise all new and beginning riders to not get a bike because of fuel economy, it's only a side benefit. Make sure you will like this machine for a long time because your going to have to live with it and make sure it will suit your needs and not be unsafe or even become to boring for you quickly? It's AMAZING how much money you can end up throwing at a motorcycle? Fuel economy is almost an afterthought in my experience over the years? :-)
19th February, 2013 @ 3:12 a.m. (California Time)
Bikes need streamlined bodies like cars have. Then comes supreme fuel economy, and high-speed cruising that isn't just the rider fight air. Anything else is a joke, this isn't the '70's and there's no excuse for this technology stagnation.
19th February, 2013 @ 10 a.m. (California Time)
@mookins for most motorcycles people purchase fuel economy is an afterthought.
Part of the reason I assume is there is a huge difference in cost between a car that gets the job done and one that will do 10 second 1/4 mile times but with a motorcycle for $2k or $3k more than the price of entry you can buy one of the fastest street legal vehicles in the world.
When even absurdly fast machines like the BMW 1000 RR get 41 MPG the amount of money people spend on gas for a motorcycle isn't a major concern.
Generally the people reckless enough to get on a motorcycle in traffic with cagers are reckless enough to want something faster than they need (and/or loud enough to be heard).
Certainly there is a lot to be done with making more practical motorcycles but the lack of products is more reflective of a lack of consumer demand than it is lack of talent at the companies making products.
I welcome an influx of people looking for bikes like this because of high gas prices though because right now it feels like the industry either makes race bikes or cruisers and doesn't focus on that much else. There has been more focus on adventure bikes lately but > $15k, 600lb bikes with 36" seats seem pretty common in that segment.
It is a little worrisome that 600 super sports are probably still the most common bikes for beginners.
19th February, 2013 @ 2:28 p.m. (California Time)
A few years ago I looked at bikes for transportation and the cost of a new bike was too much. If this was available then I think I would have picked it up. Right now it's more than I'd feel comfortable spending. Maybe there should be a model between moped and this? Note I've only ever rode a dirt bike and that was only one time so I don't know what the difference is between that and a full bike.
19th February, 2013 @ 9:25 p.m. (California Time)
Having owned and ridden motorcycles since my first bike, a Harley XLCH in 1973, I can say the only reason to purchase one is for the enjoyment of riding. My current Honda CB750 gets 48mpg but I put on $250 worth of tires every 10,000 miles. The US needs the same high mileage diesel cars that sell in Europe and elsewhere.
19th February, 2013 @ 10:23 p.m. (California Time)
Boring and Ugly.
Honda have no imagination, and a beginner should not be using a "automatic" for their first motorbike. No one should have an automatic motorbike, where's the fun in that, may as well get a scooter.
20th February, 2013 @ 3:20 a.m. (California Time)
If they make a modernized v4 750cc magna, I'd buy it in an instant. There is nothing close or similar to it.
20th February, 2013 @ 6:10 a.m. (California Time)
If we're just worrying about mileage, it's hard to beat a scooter. I ride a Yamaha scooter that is capable for all riding except interstate and average 85mpg. I'm not as fast as these bikes, but I'm sure I have as much (or more) fun as they do and I fill my 1.8 gallon tank less than once per week. As gas prices continue toward $4.00/gallon in my area, I think we'll be seeing more two wheel commuters.
20th February, 2013 @ 7:51 a.m. (California Time)
Not real impressed with the article or some comments.
A "comparable" bike should do a sub 12.4 1/4 mile? There are few bikes at all that can do that. Apparently a comparable bike for this comparison is a 600cc+ crotch rocket. Maybe some Ducati or BMW touring bike with 50%+ more displacement and costing more than $15,000 could do this. And they ARE comparable, they cost at least $8,000 more, there's your comparison.
As far as the 60mpg x 3.17 touring range equation goes the author of the article "cheated" a little bit and failed to consider what he was specifically addressing. First, the mpg estimates are more like 65mpg for AVERAGE consumption. For touring purposes at legal speeds, it will be more. I know 1 person that bought the nc 700x. He told me he got ~55mpg during the break in when he was doing a lot of urban riding and changing engine speed a lot. He measured over 70mpg doing exclusively freeway riding from Ohio to Kansas, then decided to quit wasting his time doing any more calculating with mileage that good. I've ridden bikes since 1968 and have rarely encountered anybody who wants to ride over 2-1/2 hours non-stop. With the extra attention riding a bike requires, I suspect it is not smart to ride over 2 hours. I have a Bonneville and Sportster and may sell the Sportster to buy the CTX "beginner's" bike.
Why? I want a reliable, low-tuned water-cooled touring bike. Even though I'm a Harley guy, I don't want to struggle with a 700+# water buffalo. There's 2 kinds of guys who ride the very heavy touring bikes - guys who admit having dropped their bikes a couple of times a year and sometimes needed other people to help them pick it up...and liars.
1st April, 2013 @ 5:41 a.m. (California Time)
I've been following what experienced motorcyclists have to say about these new entries from Honda, and it is almost comical, because many have these preconceptions of what "they" think a bike should be. These bikes aren't for you...They're for folks that have passed on motorcycles so far and for those who can physically no longer ride for the exact point of what these new motorcycles ain't. They're not chromed-out cruisers where one feels like he or she must wear leather to fit in, and they're not super sporty or fast but still plenty fast in regular traffic with a high range of usable power and torque. They are affordable, un-intimidating, reasonably transportating, and for the first time, I'm looking at motorcycles.
Anything slower than 5 seconds 0-60 is a bad thing....really...do they realize what they are saying. The average modern car is just under nine seconds and this is in a power-obsessed society where eleven seconds would fit the bill in nearly all traffic situations.
There are millions of American motorists out there who would be willing to try out power two wheels if only affordable, dependable, and practical products became available instead of OEMs catering to the most risky in our society. I shopped and bought a powered two wheeler last June. I needed something for a highway commute 55-65 mph along state highways that would be easy to maneuver, easy on the wallet, and easy to maintain. I ended up with a scooter (Piaggio BV350). The scooter is great but comes with a CVT and that's a bad thing with respect to maintenance. If Honda offered the CTX700 and the new 500s back then, I would now be on a Honda. These bikes are for the masses; not for those who have built this irrational biker culture that exists today.
18th April, 2013 @ 2:52 a.m. (California Time)
I am 60 years old. Long time ago I used to restore and ride various models of bikes (NSU Quick 98, Adler MB 250, Honda C71 250, and my favorite fun bike: a Yamaha 750XS - I toured all over Europe). Now I am contemplating to return to biking. The Honda CTX700N seems to be the adequate bike - after 25 years of abstinence on a two-wheeler.
My compliments to the designers and marketing people of Honda: At this particular stage of my life - this design satisfies my needs (at least on paper) – it provides (almost) enough power, plenty of comfort and reliability I am looking for. It should ease my re-entry in the world of motorcycling – I think.
However, I would like to suggest few alternative options to the marketing department. In order to boost confidence for us “older” guys - standard on this particular model should be:
1. 10%-15% more horsepower,
2. Larger rear wheel,
3. Belt instead of chain drive,
4. A second brake disk in front,
5. Larger fuel tank / 5-6 gallons.
Available / optional accessories:
1. Larger rear-seat for my Honey!
2. Heating for both seats.
10th May, 2013 @ 12:43 a.m. (California Time)
I for one as a new rider certainly don't want a motorcycle that takes more than 5 seconds 0-60. The average "modern car" one poster writes is just under 9 seconds?? I don't know what he/she drives, (A Honda Fit maybe? A Bluebird? Maybe a Groundhound?) but thank god its not what I drive. My "modern" car does 0-60 in right at 4 seconds and is quiet portly at over 5,000. pounds with no passengers. I was hoping these new bikes from Honda would give me some equal performance but guess I have to just be one of those newbies that buys a 600cc crotch rocket like the Honda CBR600 :)
28th May, 2013 @ 6:25 p.m. (California Time)
Come on!, 7-8 grand for a novice's motorcycle? Where is the bargain? A new economy car is under 13 grand [WITH AIRBAGS], & how many peeps need automatic? get an old hondamatic if your testing the thrill of being killed on todays roads, Why pay this amount plus the insurance to start riding? Used/ recycled rides are the way of the planet, If it doesn't have a trunk buy one or tow a trailer get a backpack, anything! , After 30+ years on my $3600. 83`CB1000c @ 600 LBS, 6 GAL, 89 HP, DOHC, 4 VALVE ea.cyl., Avg. 45 MPG, & O-62 in 7.0sec. WOW! Oh,... Well that's because it's a true 'Cruiser' not a crotch rocket, [I GOT 'RID' OF THE '72 H2 750cc KAWASAKI, shoulda known it'd be worth 15k Dammit!] I say HONDA I was really saddened by the NOVICE and the million dollar+ Bike on gizmag for 2013, Yes 2013, WHERE/WHAT IS ALL OF HONDA'S  decade, INNOVATIVE TECHNICAL ADVANCEMENT? the 'EFI'? that's all? I mean besides your profit? This is what I had to add as a consumer & this bikes eventual premature eBay motors fodder. ...... no.soup4u
8th June, 2013 @ 6:48 p.m. (California Time)
I have been a scooterist since September of 2005 (with over 35,000 miles of riding experience to date) and I have an entirely different philosophy of riding than the average biker-boy (or babe)/crotch rocket kid: I am looking for gas milage, environmental friendliness, real touring capability and also something for the daily, year-round, commute. Being "cool" isn't on my list nor is going from 0-60 in 5 seconds flat, either. My aim for over the last eight years has been to get a away from the "car culture" by ridding myself of the passenger automobile altogether with something that doesn't wallop my wallet at purchase time.
The scooters I have ridden have allowed me to pull away from the car -- but not nearly enough. Right now I own both a 2013 PCX 150 Honda motor scooter and 2013 Fiat 500. I'd love to ditch the Fiat. I ride the Honda most of the time - except when snowy, icy or stormy conditions prevail.
Now it seems that Honda has decided that biker-boy crowd and speed freak folks are not the only market out there. They are willing to take a risk and sell their bikes to the more sedate practical set who are not into showing off a class chromed bike or show how fast they can go (or how much noise they can make). They just want to get from point A to point B efficiently - whether commuting across town to work and the store or traveling from New York to L.A - without the nuisance of shifting gears. I am glad to see this.
But I have to be a bit cautious - I've been through a whole hell of lot with scooter dealers whose market and availability goes up and down depending on the gas prices.
I'll be looking into the Honda CX700. I hope I find in it the final solution to the arrogance of the Big 3 and it allows more people to become as regular on the roads as the big bore chopper riders who believe that the joy of riding on America's little-known highways and byways belongs to them alone.
13th October, 2013 @ 3:56 a.m. (California Time)
A little late but...
I've had my CTX700 for almost a year now and have put about 6k miles on it. Here is my opinion...
This is one of the best bikes for in town riding because it's effortless to ride and handles like a much smaller or sportier bike. On the days that you want to rack the highway miles on, it can do that very well too. All the while, it is very comfortable.
What it is not is a hot rod nor can it compete with larger bikes on those large stretches of road for comfort. Looking at it from another direction, it's more than fast enough to deal with normal traffic. In real world (legal) riding, it can pretty much keep up with any bike made.
I can't think of any bike (that I've ridden) that is as good as an all around performer as this one. I also have an 1100 that is much faster and rides a little better on those long stretches, but it's also a pain to ride in town (comparatively speaking) and handles far worse than the CTX (it's top heavy).
I've been riding since 1968 and I've ridden my share of different bikes. Most of them were more powerful than the CTX, but the CTX is, hands down, the most fun bike I've owned. It could use a few more ponies, but unless I want to race, it's more than enough.
As for the DCT, it's a complete game changer. I've never had an issue with gear changes and clutches, but now I never want to go back to that.
7th January, 2016 @ 7:10 a.m. (California Time)