Favorite driver's magazines

"Fast Bikes", May 1, 2013

HONDA NC700S

HONDA JAZZ UP THE WORLD OF COMMUTING

WORDS: SIMON ‘ROOTSY’ ROOTS

The fuel goes in the rear – and when Rootsy started at FB just over three years this garage was open – check the price out!

PIC: SIMON ‘ROOTSY’ ROOTS

Honda’s NC range is close to earning a sainthood in the eyes of many dealers. Thanks to its competitive pricing, frugal running costs and half decent looks, sales have soared as a sign of today’s times. We rode the adventure-esque NC700X on its launch out in Portugal and found it to be an earnest machine – much like its stripped brother here, the NC700S.

In this naked commuter guise, the NC makes perfect sense. Commuting shouldn’t be taxing, nor terribly engaging. It should merely get you from your home to your place of work. And it’s hard to imagine another bike doing this is functionally as the NC700S.

This bike makes life even easier by employing Honda’s clever DCT system (as a £850 extra). This automates the bike’s transmission, though not making it an automatic, giving you a bike that feels geared (because it is), but without having to waste all that time and energy of using a clutch. There’s a standard and a sporty mode (that holds on to the NC’s revs for longer), plus you can also use the gear paddles, either to knock it down for a quick overtake, or to use it as your main mode of shifting gears.

Like the concept or not, there’s no denying it works very well indeed. It’s super smooth, though retains that big bike feel rather than thinking you’re on a super scooter. You’ll have to think of what your left hand can do – after 30 years of use, mine still instinctively lurched for the clutch...

The 670cc motor (effectively half a Honda Jazz engine) is economical, we’ll give it that. But it’s not hugely engaging should you want to take the long route home – but maybe that’s the point with Honda wanting to reach out to swathes of new, potentially intimidated riders. For the more experienced, you’ll have to thrash it to get anywhere with any urgency, otherwise sit back and get comfortable between fuel stops...

The rest of the bike is well thought out and easy to use, C-ABS is standard, it seems all you have to do is fill it up and clean it as the rest of the bike is that simple.

You’ve got to put a bike like this into perspective. It’s never going to set the world on fire, but that’s why Honda build the Fireblade...

Highlights

670cc inline twin

DCT transmission

C-ABS brakes

Massive boot

78mpg

215kg

£6,300

TRACK 3

Should just keep you awake

FAST ROAD 5

Stretch that cable...

HOOLIGAN 1

As good/bad as it gets

NEW RIDER 9

Made for the job

DESIRABILITY 6

Do you like mpg or mph?

Verdict 7/10

A very worthy machine for the new or cost conscious commuter. For worthy, see a bit dull...

+ STATE OF THE ART TECH, ECONOMY, LOOKS

- SLOW, DCT EXPENSIVE, BLAND

CONTACT: HONDA UK 0845 200 8000 WWW.HONDA.CO.UK

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