Is NC700X a Dual Sport bike. Yes, it is. And, no, is not.

Afan

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
541
Reaction score
82
Points
28
Location
Iowa
Visit site
Last weekend I had an opportunity to ride off-road with some dual sport/adventure bikers. All day long, gravel, sand and B roads. To be exact, I rode only Saturday, Sunday was my "day off" in the campground. But more about that later...

So, it was 12 of us, if I remember well, 1 Tiger 800, 1 KLR, 1 KTM, my Honda and the rest were BMWs, all sizes and shapes but mostly GSs.

The ride started with the sand section. Actually, more powder than sand. Anyway... I was dancing left and right, unprepared (they were talking about gravel roads and some not-so-bad B roads), scared as hell, I almost crapped myself. A minute or two (it was an eternity for me though) I got behind one experienced guy - my idea was to follow him because he knows the best line, right? WRONG! He was looking for a bit tougher line to play and test himself. When I realized that, I tried to change my "lane" but hit hard some hard of the sand, and went down. My camera flew off, my handlebar broke... And my pride too. No bones broken though. I continued and made it somehow to the end of the sand section. And also made the decision to tuck my tail between my legs and take the first paved section back to the campsite.

But, the guy who organized all this, a smart and experienced guy, told me if I want to learn - this is the way, not watching YouTube. So I continued - and didn't regret it. We continued on the B roads, gravel (not sand anymore, phew), I was right behind the guy, following his tracks. We both had Senas so he was navigating me the whole time. That made my ride sooooo easy. And the ride was beautiful. There were a couple "saves" I can't believe I did, nor people behind me. Partially thanks to the DCT for not stalling the bike. And not thinking too much about the gears. I was in D the whole time. DCT was smarter than I. Several hours later, at the lunch break, I decided to go back to the campground. I forgot the plastic inserts for my street boots - my feet were killing me. I used my knees like never before, standing on the pegs for a long time and jumping around - they were killing me too. I found I got tired and lost my concentration... I think it was a good decision to stop before I did something stupid.

By the way, I dropped the bike 4 times. Twice while parking. First time, with full gear, when looking for a place for my tent, and the second time when trying to find the best place (it was very sloppy) to park in front of the bath house. Third time I described above. Fourth time when I was on the above-mentioned slope road to the bath house, I hit 1st, then 2nd, then 3rd rut on the road, and finally went down.

So, back to the topic title...

Is the NC700X dual sport bike?

Yes, it is.
Because if I, an inexperienced off-road rider, did it, and fell only once, then it should not be any problem for any experienced rider. It's doable. Especially with a few modifications. And of course, the right tires (I have a Shinko 705).

No, it is not. Because it has 17" front tire and the smallest rut was a challenge. Because it has a bit low ground clearance (I hit the bottom a couple times). And it's much harder, tiresome, more muscle pain... than "real" Dual sport bikes. The joy could easily change into pain.

Conclusion.
I know, when on a trip, if there is some scenic view, scenic gravel road, or a shortcut... I'll do it, I know my NC can do it without any problems. But purposely using this bike for B-road trips - I don't think so.

Also, in my inexperienced opinion, the DCT was a big help when on the gravel roads. D will maintain in 90% correct gear, and if in the wrong gear - it's sooo easy to change it. And such a smaller chance to lose the momentum compared to throttle-clutch-gear shifter-clutch-throttle action. D is the least jerky of D, S, M options.

Opinion?
 
Last edited:

Janus

Active Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
267
Reaction score
217
Points
43
Location
Washington
Visit site
Sounds about right. I have a DRZ400, which sits about 4 inches/105mm higher. It feels a lot more stable on gravel and bumpy dirt roads. I have not yet dropped it, but it will be a lot easier to pick up than the 218kg/480lb (without accessories) Honda.

Fatigue really does a number on mental acumen in addition to your physical strength. Lessons that come difficult are the ones that stick the most. Seems like you learned the right things.
 

Griff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
2,054
Reaction score
200
Points
63
Location
Wicklow Ireland
Visit site
The NC is a road bike with dual sport clothes. Like any road bike it will handle mild gravel roads and the like. So will an R1

I took my former NC700X offroad once and almost wrecked the exhaust system. Lesson learned and it didn't go on anything other than graded gravel roads thereafter. For offroading it has insufficient ground clearance, the wrong sized wheels and unsuitable suspension.

My X-Adv is a similar type of bike albeit it points one even moreso at offroad, but it is no better in that regard than the NC, albeit it has better front suspension.

Nowadays my offroading is done either on my Dominator or my CRF250L but mostly the latter.
 

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
8,021
Reaction score
1,013
Points
113
Location
USA
Visit site
No, the NC is definitely not a dual sport bike. A dual sport, being basically a trail bike with some extra baggage, will run through rough stuff with much less effort than a street bike (the NC). Taking it a step further, a run through rough trails on a true dirt bike will totally amaze you in how the bike can fly through and eat up sand, ruts, roots, and boulders like they aren’t even there.

While you “can” ride an NC off road, a ride through the same trail on a good dual sport or dirt bike will tell you that the NC is the wrong tool for the job.

Also, if someone wants to learn dirt/trail riding skills, I’d advise learning on a 125 or at most a 250 that weighs half what the NC does. You can properly learn the skills more safely without wrestling an oversized street machine.

Lastly, and this is just my personal standard to live by, I consider dropping a bike to be a total failure, the ultimate screw up. If, during a storyteller‘s ride review, I read that a bike is dropped multiple times, it is, in my opinion, clearly the wrong machine for the job, or the rider needs to go back to basics and learn the skills needed on a proper machine for that type ride.
 
Last edited:

bamamate

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2012
Messages
2,337
Reaction score
14
Points
38
Location
Allford, FL/Dothan, AL
Visit site
Oh now I've had tons of fun riding my NC as an adventure bike in Arkansas and Colorado. She never failed to go wherever i wanted to go. She is a great pack mule for camping. The extra weight never fazed her. Is she a dual sport? Nope too big and heavy for that classification. Is she an adventure bike? I say yes she is a small street leaning adventure bike.
 
D

Deleted member 5383

Note that the dualsport moniker is typically applied to skinnier machines with a dirtbike-like seat, while the "adventure bike" is a perhaps a heavier variation with a seat a bit wider and lower at the expense of clearance. Better highway speeds and less vibes typically, with and more body work to get broken. Also usually better range on a stock tank. But there is some gray area between the two, especially since the Yamaha Tenere 700 and AJP PR7 came along, both being more rally/dualsport influenced but also well-suited for long trips that involve highway.

The Kawasaki Versys-X 300 took another approach yet with smaller displacement, and that's perhaps been improved upon with the 384-pound KTM 390 Adventure which can pretty much do anything a NC can do on pavement with a similar power-to-weight ratio for a 200 pound rider. It's lot better off it, also with plastics more like found in dualsports. Service intervals not too bad, but remains to be seen if it comes close in reliability.

Nobody has mentioned suspension yet. A typical dualsport or adventure bike usually doesn't have stellar suspension, but it's better than the stock NCs.
 
D

Deleted member 5383

Also, dualsports have a spoked 21" front wheel, adventure bikes may have either 19' or 21", spoked or not.
 

melensdad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,079
Reaction score
439
Points
83
Location
usa
Visit site
While you “can” ride an NC off road, a ride through the same trail on a good dual sport or dirt bike will tell you that the NC is the wrong tool for the job.
I drive a highly tuned and customized Audi A6 sedan. It has the Quattro drive system which is superior to most 4 wheel drive systems on the market. Its a demon that looks like a luxury sedan.

I ride an NC750x. Its stock suspension, alloy wheels and "ADV/Touring" plastic panels betray the idea that it is a mild mannered commuter bike and make it look very sporty.

I also own a Jeep.

My Audi will not do what a Jeep will do off-road. Having a great 4wd system is not enough to make it an off-road vehicle.

Hell, I don't think an NC750x will do what a Jeep will do.

A Jeep will do what a Jeep does just as a true Dual-Sport bike will do what a NC won't.
 

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
8,021
Reaction score
1,013
Points
113
Location
USA
Visit site
Also, dualsports have a spoked 21" front wheel, adventure bikes may have either 19' or 21", spoked or not.
In addition to that, dual sports have high mounted front fenders to keep from clogging them with mud or wedging in a rock. Adventure bikes, like the Africa Twin, Himalayan, or BMW GS, have closely mounted front fenders common on street bikes. .
 
D

Deleted member 5383

However, you can find KTM 790 Adventure R with high fenders. AJP PR7 is high, high fender kits for Yamaha Tenere 700 and others...
 
D

Deleted member 5383

...Besides taller front wheels, the bikes with them tend to have tires with a rounder profile, good to keep the rim a bit more out of the worst of it as well as giving a slimmer cross-section which for most uses has a big advantage.
 

drdubb

Site Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2014
Messages
1,818
Reaction score
107
Points
63
Location
Raleigh, NC
Visit site
I've ridden my NC down many gravel roads and just smiled. I've even thought about the MABDR on the NC. Back in the spring, I hit a deep gravel spot with some running water. Went down easy, but my knee turned into a volleyball. No more gravel for the NC. I had Shinko 705's on it, but I'm going back to PR's.
I bought a Himalayan and she'll be my gravel bike.
 

ld_rider

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2014
Messages
911
Reaction score
48
Points
28
Location
New England
Visit site
Also, in my inexperienced opinion, the DCT was a big help when on the gravel roads.
Right up to the time you hit a deceasing radius, off-camber turn with a drop off a bit "warm" (not even hot!), and try to bleed some speed with the brakes. At which point the ABS kicks in and you well, have no brakes. Don't ask me how I know this ;-)

That is why most dual sports w/ABS have a rider controlled switch in easy reach.

90% (or more) of the time I agree the DCT is fine for gravel roads.
 

melensdad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,079
Reaction score
439
Points
83
Location
usa
Visit site
Right up to the time you hit a deceasing radius, off-camber turn with a drop off a bit "warm" (not even hot!), and try to bleed some speed with the brakes. At which point the ABS kicks in and you well, have no brakes. Don't ask me how I know this ;-)

That is why most dual sports w/ABS have a rider controlled switch in easy reach.

90% (or more) of the time I agree the DCT is fine for gravel roads.
Pretty much agree but remember as of '18 there are multiple levels of traction control so does mitigate some additional issues. I'll admit I've never used my traction control, I do ride gravel roads but not windy gravel tracks, which is really where the traction control would actually come in handy.
 

ld_rider

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2014
Messages
911
Reaction score
48
Points
28
Location
New England
Visit site
Pretty much agree but remember as of '18 there are multiple levels of traction control so does mitigate some additional issues.
Possibly, but traction control does zero for braking on gravel. When the ABS kicks in, the brakes release whether you have traction control or not. Not a fun experience. Honestly, traction control on a quarter-ton + motorcycle w/50 hp is kinda.....unusual ;-)
 
Top