One of Honda’s success stories has been the NC 750 X. It started life as the NC 700 back in 2012, with NC being the abbreviation for New Concept. The parallel twin engine was economical and the riding position relaxed. Since then, the engine gained 75cc and the styling of the bike lent towards that of an adventure bike. However, the same ingredients that made it so popular from the start still remained. For 2021, Honda kept refining those core elements to bring us the new Honda NC 750 X.
As with other models updated this year, the first item to be addressed was the new Euro5 emission laws. Honda equipped the NC with a ride-by-wire system to control the updated engine. It has 2 kW more power and Honda raised the redline of the engine by 600 rpm. Not only did they boost the power, the bike also lost 6kg of weight. Combine that with a new slipper clutch and shorter gearing on the first three gears and you have a recipe for a far more responsive bike.
Because of the electronic throttle, Honda introduced selectable rider modes. There are three modes available and each one sets a particular combination of power, engine braking and traction control. There is also a User mode where you can customise these parameters and save them accordingly. Annoyingly, the bike always reverts back to the Standard mode once you switch it on. It does not remember the last mode you are in. I suppose Honda wants you to ride sensibly, but then they should not have made a bike that is so much fun to ride.
The seat height has been lowered by 30 mm to make the bike more accessible to a wider range of riders. Honda achieved that by reducing the front fork travel and by redesigning the frame. With the new frame they also managed to increase the volume of the storage area by 1 liter. As you know, the NC has a storage area where a normal motorcycle’s fuel tank would be.
The dash is also new as it incorporates the riding modes now. It is still only an LCD, but these are all items that keep costs down. Another cost saving item is the single disc up front, grabbed by a Nissin calliper.
When choosing your NC, you can opt for the manual transmission or the DCT version. Having ridden both versions, I can understand why more than half of NC customers specify the DCT version. This makes the bike so much easier to ride. It does add a fiddly handbrake system, but even that is a vast improvement on the previous design.
The NC 750 X proved a lot of fun to ride. Even with some spirited riding, the fuel consumption was exceptional. For only R126 000 for the manual and R135 000 for the DCT version, I cannot see why the NC 750 X will not continue to be a volume seller for Honda.