2021 NC750X Suspension Travel Question

mzflorida

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I've found MC suspension to be a dark art so I am looking for some reliable guidance.

Honda reduced travel on front and rear suspension to 4.9 inches compared to 5.7 and 5.9 inches on the 2018-20 MY. They also lightened the bike about 15 pounds, shortened the wheelbase about .50 inch, rake and trail remains the same, ground clearance is a little less (probably because of suspension?). Anyhow, i am leaning toward ordering a new 2021. The seat height reduction is not a concern to me though I am tall at 6 02. I am also about 20lbs lighter than when I had the NC.

Thinking back to my 2016 NC700X, the suspension was one thing that I was going to change as it was pretty harsh. The seat was going to go too. With these changes that they made to the bike, can conclusions be drawn as to how the suspension will perform and feel? Will the ride quality and handling be improved as a result of these changes for tame all tarmac riders? I have many more questions but would want to start here. I'm unsure if springs were changed as the fork is classified as a 41 MM Showa across both years. I am trying to plan what additional expenses will look like if I were to order a 2021 or buy a 2018. Thanks in advance. I know this maybe a daft question for some, but I think the Hyperpro folks rolled their eyes every time their phone rang after I upgraded to their solution on my VFR. I have a problem putting it all together and despite all of the research I do, it just does not stick.
 

hulkss

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I bought a new 2020 model to get the longer suspension. I find that I use nearly all the suspension travel on the sometimes rough back roads that I ride. I definitely made the right choice for me. I do not feel that the suspension needs upgrades. I ride solo with no luggage and weigh 200 lbs with gear.
 

the Ferret

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I know the forks on the 2021 are the Dual Bending forks whatever that means but they are getting good reviews from the guys on the CB 1100 forum that bought CBs after Honda put Dual bending forks on them.

"The free‐valve type, the basic structure of the normal type front fork, has been applied to many different models. However, the issue of the free‐valve structure is that it cannot sufficiently compensate for vehicle posture changes, because the damping force rises more steeply than the linear curve with respect to change in piston speed (square characteristics) due to the damping characteristics being generated by the orifice.
 The “SDBV” uses a valve unit of a new structure in place of the free‐valve structure. Check and disk valves are placed in rebound/compression sides independently to control damping forces. This valve unit generates damping force characteristics that change linearly between low and high piston speeds, improving the ride feel especially on severely uneven roads. The improved responsiveness allows the tires to grip the ground firmly and provides reliable braking and handling performance."
 

670cc

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I know the forks on the 2021 are the Dual Bending forks whatever that means but they are getting good reviews from the guys on the CB 1100 forum that bought CBs after Honda put Dual bending forks on them.

"The free‐valve type, the basic structure of the normal type front fork, has been applied to many different models. However, the issue of the free‐valve structure is that it cannot sufficiently compensate for vehicle posture changes, because the damping force rises more steeply than the linear curve with respect to change in piston speed (square characteristics) due to the damping characteristics being generated by the orifice.
 The “SDBV” uses a valve unit of a new structure in place of the free‐valve structure. Check and disk valves are placed in rebound/compression sides independently to control damping forces. This valve unit generates damping force characteristics that change linearly between low and high piston speeds, improving the ride feel especially on severely uneven roads. The improved responsiveness allows the tires to grip the ground firmly and provides reliable braking and handling performance."
At powersports.honda.com (American Honda US site), I don’t see any mention of the ‘21 NC750X featuring the DBV forks. Where did you find that info? On earlier model years, I believe Europe got the DBV forks but it did not ever come to the USA.
 
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dduelin

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Unless Honda makes some change in the parts diagrams the forks in the 2021 aren't cartridge forks. Dual bending mumbo jumbo would seem to indicates the fork uses cartridge dampers like some other Honda motorcycles do instead of fixed orifice. Cartridge dampers contain stacks of thin metal reeds that bend at different rates in response to the speed of fork compression thus allowing adjustments to the rate of damping under compression. The 2012-2018 forks use a fixed orifice design that rapidly essentially hydraulically locks when compressed at a fast rate. The fixed holes can't pass enough oil while in contrast a cartridge fork's reeds bend and open a much larger passage for oil to pass when the fork compresses rapidly.

The 2021 parts diagrams and first 5 digit part numbers indicate the same type of fixed orifice design as the 2012-2018 models. Honda did this same thing in the USA when the 750 came across the ocean. The forks were advertised as the Showa dual bending forks when they were the same fixed orifice forks as earlier bikes. The dual bending forks never were incorporated into USA spec NC750Xs.

If this is true the fall back is that Race Tech and Cogent Dynamics do make 41 mm cartridge emulators that make use of progressive rate damper valves and the forks can be greatly improved for a few hundred dollars.
 

the Ferret

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Down under "chassis"

A lower seat height has been achieved by a slight reduction in suspension travel. The 41mm telescopic forks now employ 120mm (4.7 in) (from 153.5mm) travel and use Showa Dual Bending Valves, with ratios optimized for both compression and rebound damping. This allows the generation of damping force in precise proportion to piston speed – from the low speed range – improving ride quality and comfort.
 

dduelin

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I know the forks on the 2021 are the Dual Bending forks whatever that means but they are getting good reviews from the guys on the CB 1100 forum that bought CBs after Honda put Dual bending forks on them.

"The free‐valve type, the basic structure of the normal type front fork, has been applied to many different models. However, the issue of the free‐valve structure is that it cannot sufficiently compensate for vehicle posture changes, because the damping force rises more steeply than the linear curve with respect to change in piston speed (square characteristics) due to the damping characteristics being generated by the orifice.
 The “SDBV” uses a valve unit of a new structure in place of the free‐valve structure. Check and disk valves are placed in rebound/compression sides independently to control damping forces. This valve unit generates damping force characteristics that change linearly between low and high piston speeds, improving the ride feel especially on severely uneven roads. The improved responsiveness allows the tires to grip the ground firmly and provides reliable braking and handling performanc
 

dduelin

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The parts diagrams don’t support that. You can look up the CB1100 and see the two types of forks and the year they changed from fixed orifice to cartridges. All years of NC 2012-2021 show the same fixed orifice parts.
 

mzflorida

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Unless Honda makes some change in the parts diagrams the forks in the 2021 aren't cartridge forks. Dual bending mumbo jumbo would seem to indicates the fork uses cartridge dampers like some other Honda motorcycles do instead of fixed orifice. Cartridge dampers contain stacks of thin metal reeds that bend at different rates in response to the speed of fork compression thus allowing adjustments to the rate of damping under compression. The 2012-2018 forks use a fixed orifice design that rapidly essentially hydraulically locks when compressed at a fast rate. The fixed holes can't pass enough oil while in contrast a cartridge fork's reeds bend and open a much larger passage for oil to pass when the fork compresses rapidly.
This is the first time I understood this. Thank you. Similar concept to a variable venturi only hydraulics not air. Cartridges arrange for compensation based on demand by restricting or increasing flow.
The 2021 parts diagrams and first 5 digit part numbers indicate the same type of fixed orifice design as the 2012-2018 models. Honda did this same thing in the USA when the 750 came across the ocean. The forks were advertised as the Showa dual bending forks when they were the same fixed orifice forks as earlier bikes. The dual bending forks never were incorporated into USA spec NC750Xs.
Got it.
If this is true the fall back is that Race Tech and Cogent Dynamics do make 41 mm cartridge emulators that make use of progressive rate damper valves and the forks can be greatly improved for a few hundred dollars.

I think I recall you putting them in your first NC and shared an instructional video. Race Tech Golds if i recall? Back in 2016 or 17?

I was going to add Traxxion Dynamics to my VFR if I were to keep it. Any experience with their AK 20s on the NC? Any cartridge upgrades worth their weight? Adreanni had a good reputation on both sides of the pond. Traxxion was reportedly superior but double the cost.

Thank you Dave.

Mike
 

mzflorida

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Down under "chassis"

A lower seat height has been achieved by a slight reduction in suspension travel. The 41mm telescopic forks now employ 120mm (4.7 in) (from 153.5mm) travel and use Showa Dual Bending Valves, with ratios optimized for both compression and rebound damping. This allows the generation of damping force in precise proportion to piston speed – from the low speed range – improving ride quality and comfort.
Thanks for sharing. I think that article is a UK publication which might explain the differences. To Dduellin's point, I guess we can look at the UK parts diagram to see if there is a difference.

Update: I just emailed Marysville with a question asking them to confirm the characteristics of the front fork.
 
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mzflorida

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I bought a new 2020 model to get the longer suspension. I find that I use nearly all the suspension travel on the sometimes rough back roads that I ride. I definitely made the right choice for me. I do not feel that the suspension needs upgrades. I ride solo with no luggage and weigh 200 lbs with gear.
I see. Thank you. Why was the longer suspension important to you?
 

670cc

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Down under "chassis"

A lower seat height has been achieved by a slight reduction in suspension travel. The 41mm telescopic forks now employ 120mm (4.7 in) (from 153.5mm) travel and use Showa Dual Bending Valves, with ratios optimized for both compression and rebound damping. This allows the generation of damping force in precise proportion to piston speed – from the low speed range – improving ride quality and comfort.
Haha. Remember that article, then when you get your bike, see what it has for forks. The article seems to be based on a press release for the European market. I didn’t read the whole article, but notice it says the bike will be available in four color options, an available 35kW version for A2 license holders, and also mentions the bike features HISS.

Also, that article was written by John Burns. Over the years I have seen so many errors in his articles, I can’t take him seriously. He apparently doesn’t always do his homework and verify the facts. In this case he should have been specific about the market region he was writing about. In the first paragraph we are led to believe it is the US market, because he mentioned the US price in dollars. However, based on what I think I know about the NC, he seems to be describing a European model In the rest of the article.
 

mzflorida

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Ride comfort and safety. That additional inch of travel is significant and raises the margin against an uncomfortable/destabilizing bottoming of the suspension.
Thanks. So is that to suggest that when suspension travel is reduced that the probability of bottoming gout is increased AND that it cannot be compensated for? What I am getting at is that the shock may have been re-valved, or they changed the spring rates and fork fluid viscosity to decrease the probability of bottoming. I don't know if either of those is true just examples of compensating controls. Anyhow, like I said not proficient with suspension.
 

mzflorida

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Rephrasing the above question. Can you reduce suspension travel from 5.7 inches to 4.9 inches and retain the characteristics of the original suspension in the modified suspension. That seems to be simpler! Thanks again.
 

the Ferret

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Haha. Remember that article, then when you get your bike, see what it has for forks. The article seems to be based on a press release for the European market. I didn’t read the whole article, but notice it says the bike will be available in four color options, an available 35kW version for A2 license holders, and also mentions the bike features HISS.

Also, that article was written by John Burns. Over the years I have seen so many errors in his articles, I can’t take him seriously. He apparently doesn’t always do his homework and verify the facts. In this case he should have been specific about the market region he was writing about. In the first paragraph we are led to believe it is the US market, because he mentioned the US price in dollars. However, based on what I think I know about the NC, he seems to be describing a European model In the rest of the article.
Yea I don't know who is an American reporter and who isn't, I just read the reviews. If it doesn't come with DBV forks (or linked brakes which I've also read it does) it won't bother me, but it would be nice if it does.

Here's another from a guy I'm pretty sure is American lists the American release date and price and he also says DBV forks.... but who knows?


None of the magazines have reviewed an American version NC750X yet as far as I know.

With regards to bottoming, I think you'd have to street ride in some awfully rough places to bottom the suspension (I can't remember bottoming the suspension on any street bike I've ridden in 56 years of riding in 42 US states, 2 provinces of Canada and 5 countries in Europe, but I can't speak for riding off road, as I haven't ridden off road in 30 plus years. The 2021 will obviously not be as adept off road as the 2020 due to loss of suspension length, but should be a better street bike due to lower center of gravity and additional new features.

No matter how good the stock suspension is, someone is going to say it needs overhauling with a new rear shock and front valving or springs. Personally I wouldn't expect an $8199 list motorcycle to have top of the line suspension bits.
 
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mzflorida

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Yea I don't know who is an American reporter and who isn't, I just read the reviews. If it doesn't come with DBV forks (or linked brakes which I've also read it does) it won't bother me, but it would be nice if it does.

Here's another from a guy I'm pretty sure is American lists the American release date and price and he also says DBV forks.... but who knows?


None of the magazines have reviewed an American version NC750X yet as far as I know.

With regards to bottoming, I think you'd have to street ride in some awfully rough places to bottom the suspension (I can't remember bottoming the suspension on any street bike I've ridden in 56 years of riding in 42 US states, 2 provinces of Canada and 5 countries in Europe, but I can't speak for riding off road, as I haven't ridden off road in 30 plus years. The 2021 will obviously not be as adept off road as the 2020 due to loss of suspension length, but should be a better street bike due to lower center of gravity and additional new features.

No matter how good the stock suspension is, someone is going to say it needs overhauling with a new rear shock and front valving or springs. Personally I wouldn't suspect an $8199 list motorcycle to have top of the line suspension bits.

Very good points. Thanks.

You know what? You are spot on regarding price point, suspension, and my expectations. I should just plan that the suspension will need upgrading. The lower center of gravity is appealing to me. The new gearing is a +1 in my book too. It appears that the seat has been redesigned too, but time will tell on that.
 

the Ferret

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Very good points. Thanks.

You know what? You are spot on regarding price point, suspension, and my expectations. I should just plan that the suspension will need upgrading. The lower center of gravity is appealing to me. The new gearing is a +1 in my book too. It appears that the seat has been redesigned too, but time will tell on that.
Or you can ride it awhile and see if it does or doesn't suit you. I can guarantee you I won't think it's horrible enough to be buying new suspenders for it. lol
 
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