2012 Honda NC700X

First Look Review

At the New York stop on the International Motorcycle Shows tour, American Honda is unveiling an all-new model, the 2012 Honda NC700X. First seen at the EICMA show in Italy last October, the NC700X features adventure-bike styling, a new engine, and nimble handling. In addition, the NC700X offers the option of a six-speed manual transmission or Honda’s second-generation automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) with Combined ABS.

Whereas the NT700V, dropped from Honda’s lineup for 2012, was powered by a 680cc 52-degree V-twin, the NC700X gets a liquid-cooled, eight-valve 670cc parallel twin tuned for low-end and midrange torque. An undersquare 73mm x 80mm bore/stroke and a high-inertia crankshaft are designed to provide smooth, tractable power. Canting the cylinders forward 62 degrees allows the single 36mm throttle body to be positioned vertically for ideal intake port position and shape, while the combustion chambers are designed for clean burning and optimal power production. Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) continuously monitors numerous variables to ensure the correct fuel mixture for riding and atmospheric conditions. An engine balancer shaft reduces vibration for smooth, comfortable operation.

The base-model NC700X features a manual six-speed transmission; the NC700X DCT/ABS features Honda’s second-generation automatic six-speed Dual Clutch Transmission that uses two hydraulically controlled clutches to deliver quick and smooth gear changes in three modes: Manual (MT), which allows the rider to shift gears using buttons, and two automatic (AT) modes—S for sport riding and D for everyday use. The DCT model also features Honda’s Combined ABS, linking the front and rear calipers and providing safe antilock functionality.

A rigid, compact diamond-shape steel frame, low center of gravity and long-travel suspension are said to provide responsive and agile handling. A 41mm fork provides 6.0 inches of travel and the Pro-Link rear shock offers 5.9 inches of travel. Adventure-bike styling, a protective windscreen and bodywork, and roomy ergonomics provide comfort and versatility for any type of riding, from the city to the badlands.

The NC700X’s 3.7-gallon fuel tank is located under the seat, centralizing mass and lowering the center of gravity. Similar to the Aprilia Mana, in the traditional fuel tank location is a 21-liter, lockable storage area that’s large enough to hold a helmet or other gear.

Available accessories include a 45-liter rear trunk, 29-liter saddlebags, saddlebag liners and panels, touring windscreen, luggage rack, cowls and deflectors, LED fog lights, heated grips, 12V socket and centerstand.

The 2012 Honda NC700X will be available this summer in Silver Metallic with an MSRP starting at $6,999.