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Slow bike fast

salishmoto

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There is such truth in the saying that it is far more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. It's counter intuitive to me, since I love acceleration. But I've been riding my wife's NC750 since she doesn't commute on it, and that darn thing is so much fun to throw around and wind up and zoom with. It has such a nice throb and moves surprisingly well for it's HP and size. Truly, it's like a go cart to me. A fine little machine. My wife is loving how easy it is too, and the power on the freeway for cruising or passing, since she doesn't know what it's like to ride an FJR or Concours 14!
 

670cc

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I never did get much thrill from acceleration and currently it gives me almost no thrill at all. It obviously has an appeal for some (notably motorcycle journalists). I’m glad Honda stepped up and built a motorcycle outside the mainstream that shines in the areas you noted, mainly along the lines of “fun to throw around”.

Motorcycling is not always about horsepower and acceleration.
 

salishmoto

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True that riding is not always about horsepower and acceleration, but it is certainly sometimes all about horsepower and acceleration! This is why there are many flavors of ice cream, and many types of bikes. There are hordes of folks out there on HD's and I would no more ride or own one that chop off my legs. Expensive ways to turn fuel into smoke and noise in my book, and slow at that. The NC750 is a truly wonderful all around little play thing that can do a bit of everything. It's nowhere big enough for my 6'2" and 34" inseam, to my taste, and the lack of power when already going 70 will never make me feel safe or happy on long trips, but it does for many.

There are those who crave speed. There are those who crave safety. There are those who crave acceleration. There are those who crave reliability. Wonderful! To quote the timeless Walt Whitman, I am not contained between my hat and boots. And neither am I satisfied with any one bike, least of all one that lacks real punch, but that doesn't mean I don't have flesh and bones, or enjoy the heck out of toodling around on the little NC!
 

Bskicrash1

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I started my road riding on a 2004 ninja 250. I then added a gsxr 750 to the stable. I used to smile ear to ear with 14,000 rpm’s and me moving only 30 mph before shifting. I felt like a gp star. I would only ride the gsxr on sunny weekend rides and if I ever went above 10k on the tach in anything other than 1st gear, it was beyond legal limits. I thought it so goofy to accelerate fast then when I hit 60 mph to shift from 2nd through to 6th gear. It was as if I couldn’t use the bike for it’s designed purpose. I commuted on the 250. I liked the maneuverability, the quick turning radius, and the gentle acceleration (still faster than all but the highest end sports cars), and the fuel economy. Two up was more comfortable on the 250 and it was capable of just creating triple digit speed. Granted the last 15 mph crept slowly in relation to the first 85 mph.

Overall, I owned a 2004, 2008 and 2009 ninja 250, then a multitude of small displacement dual sports.

Some of the most fun I ever had on a motorcycle was racing pit bikes. So small and slow, yet so many adults and big kids with knees to the chest wide open throttle almost the entire track!
I also agree that it is more fun to ride a small bike fast than a large bike slow.
 

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Totally agree with the OP. Like most, in my youth I couldn't get enough acceleration and HP. Nowadays however I just love to ride smoothly and carve bends. I occasionally take my Strom out solo, and while it isn't in the same power league as some bikes, it still reminds me what its like to accelerate hard out of bends etc. My priorities nowadays are good handling and moderate power. My NC (variant) has all of that.
 

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I hear ya. A week ago I traded in my Goldwing DCT for my new 2022 NC750X. I am loving the NC. The Goldwing was like driving around in a Cadillac Escalade. Smooth, powerful and comfortable ride. No complaints if I was driving on the interstate. The NC is like driving a Mini Cooper. Quick, agile and engaging. I like riding twisty country roads or in more congested towns and the NC seems to be the perfect bike. Well, almost. Just ordered a new Givi windshield. Still figuring out what to order for the seat, heated grips and bigger/lower foot pegs. I do want some of the Goldwing comfort back...
 

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When I was younger, I needed acceleration and drag raced my 1980 Suzuki GS 1100 every weekend. I haven't ridden in 30 years but bought a Kawi z900rs a year ago with the same HP as the Suzuki thinking I would really like it but so far I haven't cracked it on all the way..........lol.
 

salishmoto

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I'll never know why, but I grew up in Los Angeles, in the middle class blue collar part of town, and my dad was a shade tree mechanic. We built engines and hot rodded Mustangs, Camaro's, MG's, and so on. I grew up with a wrench in my hand, and though I was the first to go to college and do white collar work, I'm still a grease monkey at heart. My dad and brother also had/have lead feet. We love acceleration. I do adventure sports. I sea kayak, sail, thousands of wilderness miles under my boots. So I don't know, I come by loving adventure and acceleration quite naturally. There is nothing like cracking open a Connie while doing 60 and immediately hitting 110mph. I may "outgrow" this, but I'm mid-life and it's showing no sign of decreasing!
 

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The guy on the CBR has to worry about raising his front end and flipping over, the harley guy has no such worry.
 

Gixus

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True that riding is not always about horsepower and acceleration, but it is certainly sometimes all about horsepower and acceleration! This is why there are many flavors of ice cream, and many types of bikes. There are hordes of folks out there on HD's and I would no more ride or own one that chop off my legs. Expensive ways to turn fuel into smoke and noise in my book, and slow at that. The NC750 is a truly wonderful all around little play thing that can do a bit of everything. It's nowhere big enough for my 6'2" and 34" inseam, to my taste, and the lack of power when already going 70 will never make me feel safe or happy on long trips, but it does for many.

There are those who crave speed. There are those who crave safety. There are those who crave acceleration. There are those who crave reliability. Wonderful! To quote the timeless Walt Whitman, I am not contained between my hat and boots. And neither am I satisfied with any one bike, least of all one that lacks real punch, but that doesn't mean I don't have flesh and bones, or enjoy the heck out of toodling around on the little NC!
Very true. I’ve always ridden sport bikes, but sold my most recent sporting bike for the NC. I’ve missed not having a do it all bike that you can use on a daily basis.
 

Gixus

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So which bike did you miss?
I had a CB900F Honda for 27 years. It could do everything. I used it for track days, sport riding, touring, toddling around. It was cheap to maintain, cheap to run. Maintenance was easy you could reach everything without having to remove copious bodywork. Replacing the shims was an easy job. In all the years I had it I only had to balance the carbs once.

When you consider that the bike was an 1982 model and the front forks were very compliant, I can’t understand why the front forks on my 40 years newer bike are such rubbish In regards to a smooth ride. As I stated in an earlier post I’ve lubed the fork seals, and hopefully that will remove most of the stiction. If not I’ll loosen off the front end and make sure it’s aligned. Plus make sure the wheel axle goes into both forks smoothly.
 

dduelin

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The NC forks are under spring and overdamped. The spring rate is too soft for most riders and the basic damping rod design is overly harsh on bumpy pavement. I don’t know why but many Hondas are like this. Because the fork is a basic design and has no adjustments the best bang for the buck is investing in cartridge emulators from Cogent Dynamics or Racetech. These remove much of the harshness of high speed compression and allow some tuning for rider weight and riding style. Reasonably handy owners can install emulators at home. After emulators a change of springs may help riders over 175 lbs or so. Installing slightly longer spacers above the OEM springs have benefits for riders under 175 lb.
 

670cc

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I had a CB900F Honda for 27 years. It could do everything. I used it for track days, sport riding, touring, toddling around. It was cheap to maintain, cheap to run. Maintenance was easy you could reach everything without having to remove copious bodywork. Replacing the shims was an easy job. In all the years I had it I only had to balance the carbs once.

When you consider that the bike was an 1982 model and the front forks were very compliant, I can’t understand why the front forks on my 40 years newer bike are such rubbish In regards to a smooth ride. As I stated in an earlier post I’ve lubed the fork seals, and hopefully that will remove most of the stiction. If not I’ll loosen off the front end and make sure it’s aligned. Plus make sure the wheel axle goes into both forks smoothly.
The NC forks are under spring and overdamped. The spring rate is too soft for most riders and the basic damping rod design is overly harsh on bumpy pavement. I don’t know why but many Hondas are like this. Because the fork is a basic design and has no adjustments the best bang for the buck is investing in cartridge emulators from Cogent Dynamics or Racetech. These remove much of the harshness of high speed compression and allow some tuning for rider weight and riding style. Reasonably handy owners can install emulators at home. After emulators a change of springs may help riders over 175 lbs or so. Installing slightly longer spacers above the OEM springs have benefits for riders under 175 lb.
Dave, is there any way to reduce the stiction of the NC forks? On a stretch of road with minor bumps and ripples, I can see my Goldwing forks working to follow the pavement contour. The NC forks on the same road hardly move at all, like they’re stuck, sending the movement of the bumps and ripple’s up through the forks. The fork seals are stock, original.
 

dduelin

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Dave, is there any way to reduce the stiction of the NC forks? On a stretch of road with minor bumps and ripples, I can see my Goldwing forks working to follow the pavement contour. The NC forks on the same road hardly move at all, like they’re stuck, sending the movement of the bumps and ripple’s up through the forks. The fork seals are stock, original.
My NC forks are probably more supple with less stiction than yours as I judge the NC's forks better than my Wing's forks. When I have measured sag on the NC the amount of stiction is minimal.

What has been done to your NC forks since new?
 

670cc

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My NC forks are probably more supple with less stiction than yours as I judge the NC's forks better than my Wing's forks. When I have measured sag on the NC the amount of stiction is minimal.

What has been done to your NC forks since new?
Work on my forks has included two SS-8 or SS-47 fluid changes and the installation of the RaceTech gold valve emulators. The inner and outer fork sections have never been separated, and the oil and dust seals are original. There has never been front end crash damage. The stiction has always been more than I would expect, compared to the ‘Wing and the CRF, even since new.
 

Griff

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When you consider that the bike was an 1982 model and the front forks were very compliant, I can’t understand why the front forks on my 40 years newer bike are such rubbish In regards to a smooth ride.

I totally agree with you. I have an '89 Dominator (NX). It has the plushest forks as standard of any of my three other bikes. I too cannot understand why modern bikes have such poorly damped/sprung suspension. My 2016 Strom forks for instance are too harsh over rougher roads. This despite the available damping adjustments which are rebound, compression and spring preload. The forks on the CRF are just about adequate, as are the forks on the X-Adv. That is a poor show after 30+ years of development.
 

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I totally agree with you. I have an '89 Dominator (NX). It has the plushest forks as standard of any of my three other bikes. I too cannot understand why modern bikes have such poorly damped/sprung suspension. My 2016 Strom forks for instance are too harsh over rougher roads. This despite the available damping adjustments which are rebound, compression and spring preload. The forks on the CRF are just about adequate, as are the forks on the X-Adv. That is a poor show after 30+ years of development.
I’m surprised the Storm forks are harsh. I had a 2004 Sv1000 and that suspension was plush. There is only one bike I’ve ever owned that doesn’t seem to be bothered by rough roads at any speed and that’s my present 1995 Vfr750. The stock springing is soft, but it gives the smoothest ride of any bike I’ve owned, and corners with precision. I was expecting the NC to be the same.

There has been a definite improvement of compliance on my lubing the seals and loosening off and realigning the forks. I’m surprised that Honda didn’t supply a tool to adjust the rear shock. If I’d known I’d of kept the one on the bike I traded in. Thumbs down Honda.
 

salishmoto

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A footnote to this thread is that I just purchased a fully farkled and beautiful top of the line 2016 BMW S1000XR from a great local guy. The HP is 160+ with a full titanium Akraprovic exhaust and custom mapping. Rode it home from Bend, Oregon for 300 miles through some of the most beautiful country in the nation. What a machine. What a machine. Talk about acceleration. It's so light and nimble and fast. You think about it, and you are over 100. It scratches all my itches for performance. Super comfortable, cruise control, just a joy to play on and go for distance. And yet, I will ride the wife's NC to work tomorrow because it gets 60+MPG and is so fun around town!
 
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