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Honda NC700SA

Honda NC700SA

4.3 from 10 reviews

Think of it as a turbodiesel bike

Another riding instructor here, replacing another aging gs500. This bike is used 7 days a week as my main mode of transport with the occasional student learning on it too.

Pros:
-Extremely good roadholding. Stable, quirk-free handling right to the edge of the tyre. Reminds me of my old bandit 1200. Low center of gravity makes it feel unintimidating between your knees.
-Takes big bike tyres so you get a wide range of high quality replacement options to suit your riding style.
-Solid build quality in every way - reliable, sturdy, the finish lasts even if you park it in the rain, and the quality runs deep even when you get into the guts of the bike/underneath the plastics
-Integrated frunk has all the utility of a topbox but without the daggy aesthetics or needing a seperate key
-12,000km maintenance intervals, some of the longest in the industry
-Extremely simple to maintain yourself, very minimal work required to keep it running perfectly
-Economy on par with a 300cc bike, averaging 3.5L/100km. Worst ever economy was 4.0L/100km on aggressive country riding
-Very cheap on consumables - single front brake disc, lightweight chain, only two spark plugs etc etc
-Back seat grab rails are great for pillions or securing luggage
-Very overdriven sixth gear ratio - pulls extremely low rpm on the freeway

Cons:
-Lacks a hugger and adequate front mud guard, so road muck from both wheels makes a mess of the front of the engine and the rear shock. Aftermarket items are available to remedy this.
-Heavy to push around the garage
-Steering lock on par with fullsize bikes, you need to use some body english to turn this bike around in tight city lanes etc
-Single balance shaft makes this engine quite rough when the revs get super low - apparently it's fine according to honda's recommended shift points, but it's disconcerting at first. Feels like a car engine with a worn out harmonic balancer.
-You will get dragged off by 300cc bikes if they keep the engine on the boil. Although this bike has significantly more torque, so you have nothing to worry about the rest of the time.
-If you have luggage tied down on the back seat, you will need to remove it every time you fill up with fuel (fuel filler is under the backseat)
-Probably the most anonymous looking bike that money can buy

It's a polarising machine. 50 hp is either enough for you or it isn't. A low revving engine is either for you or it isn't. If you value practicality and reliability, this is the bike for you. It's a very good overall ownership experience, especially if you ride a lot of mileage. If it disappeared today, I would replace it with the exact same bike tomorrow.

Date PurchasedJul 2018

Fantastic all rounder, wish I'd bought one years ago

Great fuel economy between 3.2 - 3.7 litres per 100km, cheap and easy to service, tank storage is super handy, torquey engine, steers, accelerates and stops well, have used for commuting, leisure and long distance trips. Different riding style required compared to big bore high revving sports bikes but easy to get used to.

Only minor gripes are access for replacement air filter, requires removal of tank side panels etc which takes time, care and attention; Horn and indicator switches different to other bikes; Front fork legs could use fork guards as standard to protect fork seal surface area however a pair of plastic triumph guards can be had for about $15 and easily fitted.

Date PurchasedJul 2017

Most underrated bike around

Bought one because my father in law had one in the UK , and all the road tests here in australia weren't that favourable. But this is because they didn't take the time to understand the bike.
This bike has the same torque of a CBR600 at real world rpm, and short shifting is rewarded with plenty of go.
add features like ABS, 40km per litre fuel economy and low centre of gravity this bike is a gem.

Date PurchasedJan 2018

Better than it has any right to be

I hired this bike to tour NZ for 10 days. I ride a FZ1 in Australia. Initially I was underwhelmed and thought this was going to be a big mistake. However, the more the KMs clocked over the more I liked and understood it. The linked brakes were a revelation. Entering a corner I counter initiatively used the rear first which had the effect of 'squatting' the bike, making it very stable. This than allowed me to modulate the front brake to make for a very fast and smooth entry and exit. The more I used them in this style the more enjoyable the corners became and there was an awful lot of them! I even got used to the relaxed power delivery which incidentally totally suits the bikes other characteristics. It is every bit a Honda, well made, functional, comfortable, well mannered and totally 'safe' and confidence inspiring. Very practical (thinking trunk where gas tank should be) and well thought out. It fits it's design philosophy to a Tee. I love the exhaust note, very V-twin like and talk about economical - nothing else gets close! Would I buy one - in a heart beat.

Date PurchasedJan 2016

Awesome

Prior to buying this as an urban commuter to work bike, I was riding a CBR1100xx.
The indicator and horn switches are back to front in comparison and the redline sits a roughly 6000rpm (compared to 11000rpm on the CBR1100xx). As a 2 cylinder, it also vibrates unlike the 4 cylinder CBR which is much smoother.
It's those three things that take a little getting used to.

I've had it now for 6 months and have done about 10,000km on it.
I also now take it out on weekends for long rides (500km+). I do not get sore on this bike, but I also ride every day.
My NC700SA is consistently getting me an average of 3.7 L/100km measured with an App on my phone on each fuel up. 3.5 L/100km when commuting and a top of 3.9 L/100km when thrashing it on weekends while others in a group rides with similar capacity 650-700cc bikes only just keep up with it racing through the twisties.

Very comfortable as a commuter, but not exactly "slow" as one would expect looking at the specs. This of course depends on how you ride. It's very nimble and handles well and can be very graceful in the turns if ridden correctly. The low center of gravity adds to all this. It has a very good upright seating position.
The frunk has been very handy aswell. No need for a topbox. My work bag and anything else I need fits in the frunk compartment.

The 14 Litre tank capacity easily gets me 350km, with just over a litre still in the tank prior to refueling.
Very cheap on maintenance. The ABS works like a treat when needed.
Narrow enough for lane filtering and splitting.
Enough torque to drag others off at the lights and give yourself a good distance from cars.
Doesn't overheat in city traffic like some bikes do.

It's definitely no fireblade, but it's definitely a good bike for beginner, intermediate and experienced riders to appreciate when returning back to basics who want to get from A to B efficiently and effectively and have some fun along the way and benefit from the practicality, reliability and economy.

I wouldn't say this is a good choice for 2 up riding. For that I would use a bigger bike. Also and you will not get your knee down like a sportsbike as the lean angle is limited by the footpeg height, centre stand and exhaust (40 degrees estimate). You still should be able to use the whole rear tire and still have some chicken strips close to the ends of the tyre surface.
Just put the ball of your foot on the inner peg on sharp turns unless you have toe sliders on your boots :)
Very few bikes can be ridden to capacity. On the NC700 one you can easily do so and safely.

I'm 5'10 and I can stand up at the lights with my bum off the seat with my heels on the ground. It is comfortably low.

Date PurchasedSep 2016

Low speed urban riding burnt out the clutch

Pros: good fuel economy (but not magnificent), torquey motor, carry space is great

Cons: low speed work (ie, peak hour riding) has burnt out the clutch in under 8500kms - apparently a common issue with this bike (http://www.nc700.co.uk/index.php?/topic/7441-clutch-problem/page-3). Unable to get this repaired under warranty

Recommendation: stay away from this model if you're looking for an urban commuter.

Date PurchasedJun 2015

honda

Beautiful bike. Love the ride and look. Shithouse service ffom local dealer. Well resolved by Honda. Local dealer ddid not k.ow how yo tune the bike anx took ages to fix leaking tires.
Internet site helped with diy tuning and since has been great. Would recommend the bike but not my dealer. Now go to Yamaha dealer.


Good, Cheap, Easy to Ride Bike

I am a riding instructor & needed to update my R class bike when LAMS was brought in, here in WA, in 2012. The old, reliable GS500 had to be pensioned off.
Then, along came the Honda NC700SA
$9,000 brand new, with fuel injection, water cooling, & ABS brakes
The great, torquey, relaxed engine, is also very frugal. The 270deg, off beat firing order helps here
As noted by the other reviewers, the seat is initially a bit firm. After a few months though, I find it quite comfortable
The only real issues I found were the lack of ground clearance. Watch your toes in corners
It now has over 70,000kms, & other than changing out both discs, & the usual pads, tyres & chains, has been very reliable. Especially when you consider this is a training bike
I have heard of some issues with clutches, but, as I`ve changed the gearing [15/46] on mine, & I haven`t had any problems. So if you want a cheap commuter, this is a great bike
I`m 80kg, & the bike also pulls a 150kg load [trailer with my RE bike on it]
30/04/16
Just replaced the clutch at 90,000kms. Wasn`t slipping but was getting difficult to change gears
All sorted now, & riding well again

1 comment
10/10/2016 Bike has now done 100, 000kms. I`ve sold it to a mate. Still going strong. One thing I forgot to mention, reroute the clutch cable. It does a real tight turn in behind the headstem, so Honda can hide it under the bodywork. But it makes the clutch really stiff, & chews out clutch cables. Run it down the side of the bike. It`s visible, but not ugly, & it`s a whole lot easier to use.

Great Bike, bad comfort

I've had my NC700SA for two months now, clocking up 2000 kms. It is my second bike and I've been riding bikes for 30 years. I'm 6ft and about 100 kg. The best aspects of this bike are the engine, storage and mileage. I find the engine wonderful, like a torquey Harley, it's really great around town and has a lot of zip. People used to power bikes won't think this as they ride it the wrong way, trying to wring it out rather then go with the pulse flow of the torque. Needles to say I can drag off most other bikes at the lights! Very surprising, but this is not why I like it. In town gear changes are minimal and there is heaps of low down torque to get out of any issues.
Storage is great. No need to buy a rack, although you could easily, just put everything in where the fuel tank should normally be. This is just so handy for taking your kit to work or popping into the shops. A great bike.
Fuel economy!!!??? My worst figure is 27km to the litre, and this was thrashing it a vibrant ride. My best figure is 32km to the litre. Pretty impressive.

Bad points now. Ergonomics....put simply these are a pain in the [censored word removed]. Your bottom will be very sore with this thing. For some reason the seat is high and the seat is hard. There is no getting over it. I love the character of this bike but the harsh seat and the harsh suspension (bad point number 2) means I am looking elsewhere as my daily commute is 170kms round trip. This bike is a great little bike but after a few days of these lengthy commute I quickly switch back to my main bike. I would really like to try the X version, the adventure style type of this machine. This is available overseas but not in Australia. I don't believe we are going to get it anytime soon, if ever though.
Apart from the ergonomics and the harsh suspension the bike has a lot of good points. The main ones I stated but too, it has a great instrument cluster, great range (over 340kms comfortably, more if you push it), is light and nimble and can really carve traffic. It also has a great grab rail at the back which my pillion likes, but who also complains of a harsh seat.
All in all, I like this bike but the ride character isn't to my liking. Other people however may not have an issue with this.
Great engine, great storage, very good range, wonderful through traffic,
A little harsh in the comfort stakes.


NC 700 mixed bag

I've just turned over 6000 kms on the NC but the ride (2500kms) out to Eromanga has confirmed that this is a bike that is better suited to a semi urban environment.
The good:
Wonderful torquey motor that will see off most things at the lights. If you think this bike is underpowered, then you're fundamentally buying the wrong sort of bike.
Brakes are superb and the linked ABS system is magnificent.
Fuel econonomy outstanding. I got 30kms per litre at best and generally about 28-29.
The Frunk enables you to carry a lot of gear or else store a helmet when you stop.

The bad.:
The set comfort is not good - not as bad as a DR650 but much worse than my R80.
The suspension is very basic and it seems that there is no preload adjustment available on the rear.
Any rough surface on the tar will deliver a jarring feel.
A fender extender seems to be a must. Damage to that radiator can easily occur and will be costly to fix.

I don't think it's a great bike for touring but others will disagree. In town it's great.
For the money it's a bargain.
motor, brakes, economy
seat, suspension

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