Help With First Bike Decision

nordbjorn

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Hi, Everyone.

I'm not 100% on where to put this. I'm assuming newbie q&a is a safe place, but please move it if it needs to be elsewhere.

I am taking the MSF course in a couple of weeks and will be purchasing my first bike soon afterwards. I've ridden a little bit in dirt on small bikes, but that was 25 years ago. It's safe to consider me a complete novice.

I was leaning heavily towards a 2014 NC700x DCT. The local Honda dealer has one priced at $8400 that I liked when I sat on it. Unfortunately, I just stumbled across a brand new 2013 V-strom ABS Adventure for $8100 at another dealership. I really like the NC, but the Suzuki has most of the accessories I will be buying in the next year already installed for less money and has ABS with a manual transmission, which is what I am pretty sure I would prefer.

Once I get comfortable, I will primarily be using the bike to commute 70 miles daily. About half 2 lane roads and the other half 4-6 lane highway. I'll also be going on a few 500-1000 mile camping trips with some friends every year and riding for fun on weekends. I will be on pavement 95-99% of the time, and the odd gravel road when I am not.

I guess I am looking for some advice on which bike is going to be more suited to my needs. Complicating the issue even more is that I could pick up a slightly used manual NC for 5-6k, add accessories and come out cheaper than either of the new options. I am pretty safety conscious and feel like ABS is important but the cost difference is making for a tough decision.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
 

Old Can Ride

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Hi, Everyone.

I'm not 100% on where to put this. I'm assuming newbie q&a is a safe place, but please move it if it needs to be elsewhere.

I am taking the MSF course in a couple of weeks and will be purchasing my first bike soon afterwards. I've ridden a little bit in dirt on small bikes, but that was 25 years ago. It's safe to consider me a complete novice.

I was leaning heavily towards a 2014 NC700x DCT. The local Honda dealer has one priced at $8400 that I liked when I sat on it. Unfortunately, I just stumbled across a brand new 2013 V-strom ABS Adventure for $8100 at another dealership. I really like the NC, but the Suzuki has most of the accessories I will be buying in the next year already installed for less money and has ABS with a manual transmission, which is what I am pretty sure I would prefer.

Once I get comfortable, I will primarily be using the bike to commute 70 miles daily. About half 2 lane roads and the other half 4-6 lane highway. I'll also be going on a few 500-1000 mile camping trips with some friends every year and riding for fun on weekends. I will be on pavement 95-99% of the time, and the odd gravel road when I am not.

I guess I am looking for some advice on which bike is going to be more suited to my needs. Complicating the issue even more is that I could pick up a slightly used manual NC for 5-6k, add accessories and come out cheaper than either of the new options. I am pretty safety conscious and feel like ABS is important but the cost difference is making for a tough decision.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
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I would advise sitting on both of the two motorcycles. If you are short like me, you will not be able to ride the Suzuki. Folks will give you a lot of advise, but that usually is what fits them. The bike has to fit you. Buy what fits you!

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agia

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You are going to get a ton of opinions on this -- mine included... I know nothing about automatic transmissions on bikes and have never ridden one. Seems a lot of people here like the DCT model. I've ridden both bikes (manual transmissions) -- both are great machines. However the major influencing factor for me was the lower center of gravity on the NC. If you're "short", you might like the fact the NC feels lighter. I'm OK with not having ABS at this time. I had it before and it was nice.
 

Fuzzy

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ABS got me off the fence between DCT and manual. Now that I have it I am glad I got the DCT.

Before the NC came out I was close to buying several used V-Stroms but was either a day late or a few dollars short of what the seller would take. It is also a great bike.
 

cvca

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I was in a similar situation last fall -- novice rider, wanted bike for commuting (90 mi each way), wanted to do some touring. Main factors in my decision for the NC700X manual included Honda's reputation for reliability, fuel efficiency, and the bike's reputation for being easy for a novice. My alternate choice was the CB500X, but friends suggested that I'd outgrow it quickly and that the larger engine would not be too much for me. Regarding DCT/ABS, ABS would be a nice feature, but I definitely wanted manual -- I felt it would give me a more full sense of the bike's operation.

Now I ride nearly every day (northern California), and the NC700X has met all my expectations. The "frunk" has proved to be enormously practical; I didn't anticipate that. The range is adequate for my round trip. Regarding accessories, personally I prefer making all my own choices, doing installation myself, making the bike more personal to me.

No experience with other motorcycles, but in your shoes I'd give that lightly used machine a close look...
Best of luck,
 

nordbjorn

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Thanks for all the responses!
I am 6'1", but I've got a 30" inseam, so I may as well be shorter. =]
I was initially wanting a KLR650, but was on my tiptoes on it so I ruled it out pretty quickly. The V-strom felt manageable but still a little tall. The NC was definitely the most comfortable to sit on.
 

Old Can Ride

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Thanks for all the responses!
I am 6'1", but I've got a 30" inseam, so I may as well be shorter. =]
I was initially wanting a KLR650, but was on my tiptoes on it so I ruled it out pretty quickly. The V-strom felt manageable but still a little tall. The NC was definitely the most comfortable to sit on.
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Sounds like you just found your own answer!

Many happy trails !

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Now ride'um cowboy!

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kjang

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I was looking for a bike and it came down to: BMW gs / Kawasaki versys / Suzuki Vstrom / Honda nc.
What made the difference for me was the dct from honda. No other bike had that.

Very easy to ride and enjoying the bike. Low center of gravitiy and the seat height for me was perfect (not to high and not to low).

Ken
 

Mike Cash

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ABS is only an expensive option the 99.9999% of the time it is just sitting there like a bump on a log not doing a damned thing.

The other times, you count it among the wiser purchases you've ever made.

I got a manual with ABS, simply because in Japan we can order them that way if we want and because I didn't feel like paying an extra $2000 for the DCT. But if I were in a market where I couldn't choose, I would get the bike with the ABS, even if it meant buying the DCT. From what I hear from forum members who commute on their DCT models, it makes life much easier.
 

SergeantChuck

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Welcome to the forum and good luck on your choice. The NC is great for commuting. If you really think you want a manual I'd go with the used option and personalize with the exact farkles you want.
 

RNBOB

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I have owned both the Vstrom and the NC700XD. I lowered the Vstrom 3/4 inch and at 5'7'' it was still a little tall and top heavy with the almost 6gal tank.
I lowered the NCXD 1 3/8 inch and can almost flatfoot but it is much easier to handle because of the low center of gravity. I have commuted to work on both, The Vstrom clutch would kill my hand and wrist in stop and go traffic but the NCXD is very comfortable to commute on. I have gotten used to the DCT and realy enjoy it in all riding situations.
Just my 2 cents.
Bob
 

Brillot2000

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You are going to get a ton of opinions on this -- mine included... I know nothing about automatic transmissions on bikes and have never ridden one. Seems a lot of people here like the DCT model. I've ridden both bikes (manual transmissions) -- both are great machines. However the major influencing factor for me was the lower center of gravity on the NC. If you're "short", you might like the fact the NC feels lighter. I'm OK with not having ABS at this time. I had it before and it was nice.
Greetings from SoCal...

I'm a 27 year riding veteran and I have riding both types of bikes over that length of time, even the Hondamatics from the 70's. The DCT is a "Great" system and does not take away from the riding experience, like some people might say. I found out having the DCT "Increased My Riding Pleasure" with several things that I do not have to worry about, such as working a clutch and shifting gears. Being stuck in traffic is not "Fun" anywhere. Your left hand will not get fatigued with the DCT, if you will be riding in traffic everyday.

Everything about the NC700X mentioned above in previous quote is true.

You do not have to pay the dealers listing price at anytime, that is full negotiable. I bought my through the Costco Vehicle Buy Program and save over $2,300 off the entire purchase, which included 13 Honda Accessories. Through the Costco Program, you also get 15% off retail for all accessories that you will be getting. You might want to check out this option, Costco Vehicle Buy Program

You could turn yours into something like mine, see below image.

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nordbjorn

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I am leaning heavily towards a DCT based on what everyone here is saying. The NC definitely fit better than any other bike I've looked at. The only complaints I can find about the DCT are that some people like manual better and there is a lot of praise for it being terrific from everyone else.
The Costco route never occurred to me. Looks like the closest participating dealer to me is three hours away, but the trip would definitely be worth it if I save enough money on the cost of the bike. Besides, the in-laws live up there so it would be easy to talk the wife into driving up. =]

Thanks, everyone. I appreciate all the help!
 

NCfanboy

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For commuting the NC700 with DCT is the best, obvious choice for all the reasons mentioned. I haven't owned a V-Strom, but I have owned a Versys which is very similar in characteristics. The more powerful engine is only apparent if you rev the engine high, in which case there goes your gas mileage. In normal riding situations the NC will fell more powerful because the power is available where you normally ride/commute. Maintenance apart from oil changes on the V-Strom is a nightmare, where the NC is very easy. I think the NC700 DCT will be a wise choice with good resale value down the road, although that is always dependent on geographics.
 

Brillot2000

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I am leaning heavily towards a DCT based on what everyone here is saying. The NC definitely fit better than any other bike I've looked at. The only complaints I can find about the DCT are that some people like manual better and there is a lot of praise for it being terrific from everyone else.
The Costco route never occurred to me. Looks like the closest participating dealer to me is three hours away, but the trip would definitely be worth it if I save enough money on the cost of the bike. Besides, the in-laws live up there so it would be easy to talk the wife into driving up. =]

Thanks, everyone. I appreciate all the help!
You will not "Regret" getting the DCT model. I had been heavily involved with a thread regarding the "S-Mode", with me only owning the bike a few weeks at the time. I suggest that you read through that entire Thread, http://nc700-forum.com/forum/nc700-general-discussion/5666-dct-s-mode-question.html

With the Costco Progarm, you will not pay both the "Freight & Setup Charges" that most dealers try to charge the unsuspecting buyer. Plus they will take some addition amount off the "List Price" of the bike too. I save almost $1,900 on both the "Freight & Setup Charges" and an additional $470 off the "Listed Price" of the bike.

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Then you can put those saving into accessories and save an additional 15% off the prices listed below...

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I suggest that you request a quote through the Costco website, like I had. You will receive a reply back from that dealer with most likely a quote. Then take that quote down to your local dealer to see if they will match it. I do not see a reason why they will not, unless they are "Truly Foolish" and want to lose a sale over those amounts.

This is as far as I can coach you on this subject. Now it's up to you go out there and make it happen... :D
 

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nordbjorn

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Thanks!!
I am working with the dealer now, via the Costco website. He's willing to send me prices via email, so I will definitely hit my local dealer with what they are quoting me. Maybe I can get them bidding against each other...
 

bamamate

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On the manual vs DCT…….I like to shift. If I have a choice in any vehicle between manual and some form of auto I choose the manual. That is only my personal preference. From all the reports on the DCT you lose nothing going that route and you actually gain some advantages especially in an urban commuting scenario. Keep in mind that most high end sports cars (think Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc) have moved to DCT with several models not even offered in a manual. Their DCT sales are way higher than manual. That is how good DCT technology has become.
 

Brillot2000

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Thanks!!
I am working with the dealer now, via the Costco website. He's willing to send me prices via email, so I will definitely hit my local dealer with what they are quoting me. Maybe I can get them bidding against each other...
That's the first step. They will mostly "Meet" that quoted price, which is not a "Bad Thing". "Beat" is a bit optimistic... :rolleyes:

I bought my from another dealer than the one called out on the Costco website. The dealer I went to was owned by the same owner, so they had to match the price exactly and all the other "Perks", such as the 15% off accessories. I saved over $200 off the acccessories in additonal to all the offer discounts I received. Besure to communicate what accessories you want as well, like I did. Then it's a "Slum Dunk" and the "Out the Door Price" is known.

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I paid $11,138 with 13 Honda Accessories, Tax, License, and a 5-Year HondaCare Warranty. I give myself a "Pat On The Back" everything I bring it up to anyone.

FYI: I will be getting the First "600 Mile Service" done on this bike this week...
 

nordbjorn

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So the Costco dealer highballed me...

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Trying to see if I can whittle him down. He is over what I was priced here with the discount thrown in.

Accessory quote seems high too. Crash bars, honda luggage, center stand, windshield and bark busters.

I am crossing my fingers and hope something pops up used. =]
 
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