Talk me into buying an NC700X / NC750X.

Webbiker

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Here's where I'm at.
- I'm looking for a long term do everything bike.
- I commute daily about 7 months a year rain or shine (a short distance thought)
- I want to explore backroads, but not really go off roads, so lotsa gravel roads
- to get to gravel roads a lot of tarmac is also needed
- I make maybe 1 longer trip per year IF I'm lucky (haven't been lately)
- no need to go fast or win races
- I would like to visit the track once or twice per year

I've so far chosen the NCX over the similar competitors like V-strom, Versys and such based on the NC's strengths
- frunk
- long warranty
- Honda build quality
- Low COQ
- Looks
- fuel efficiency
- good value for money

So what's the problem then? I'll tell you. My other choice is the KTM 690 Enduro R.

WHY you ask


- It is seriously light, 150 kg fuelled! The NC may FEEL light but is just ast portly as V-strom and the like
- It has some serious power compared to the weight
- it too has a similar tank under seat arrangement so it has an added bonus of low COG with light weight
- it would work well on track with a set of supermoto tires
- it has a much wider selection of "adventure" tires than the NC
- quality suspension with adjustability

The magazines say you cant take the NCX "adventuring" and we all know thats BS. The magazines also say you can't take the Enduro R on longer road trips. That's equally BS when reading the forums and owners trip reports. The 2014 Enduro R is claimed to have good fuel efficiency but I quarantee it's not as good as the NC. Then again, is it that important? No. The Enduro is high as a motherlover, but I managed fine with a XT660Z despite being a measly 173. SO thats not an issue. The NC will do gravel roads fine, but the Enduro might do them brilliantly and vice versa on the asphalt.

Some farkling is required no matter what the choice to get the either of the bikes to work both off and on road. As the bike is supposed to be a long termer the difference in price is not the deciding factor, but that said I would not mind saving 2000€ by getting the Honda instead of the KTM. Talk me over to the dark side.
 

Mcress

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Hi Webbiker - I too looked at the KTM as an option - really nice bike - it just didn't 'fit me'!
Cheers,
Mike.
 

wozza

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The trouble with the KTM, it's a very good machine, but also very revvy. Whereas the NC is more relaxing and easier to ride. The KTM is more sporty, but the NC can also move along quite nicely when you want it to, though the KTM is obviously the faster machine.

A UK mag recently commented that the ordinary 690 was a better bike than the R version as it's considerably cheaper.
 

Mi_ka

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Webbiker, you got my dream bike, the fabulous Griso!
From what you are looking for I would say that what you need is a DR650SE but I guess you can only find it used there...
 

Newoldbiker

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Ride them both and see. The NC is heavy but 'solid'. Great on the motorway even in the wind and when overtaking trucks and buses. It feels like it's on rails. A light bike like the KTM wouldn't feel as 'planted'. It accelerates great. c70 -75 mpg in the real world. Low revving so relaxed - c 3500 rpm at 70mph on the motorway. I've had mine for about 10 weeks for 1600 miles and am getting used to it. I came from a CBF 125 so there is a big difference but it's easy to ride. Hope this helps
 

SergeantChuck

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If it were me making this choice I would look at what the bike will be used for primarily. If it will be used more for commuting then that would be my focus. There are several people that have taken the NC offroad. Although the tire selection may be limited the tires that are available seem to do a very good job. Someone posted a video the other day of an NC on a pretty series off road adventure. To say the NC can't go offroad would be a mistake. I myself was surprised as I watched the video. Anyway, Ride both and decide which will support you best for what it will be used for the most.
 

Griff

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I am fortunate enough to have both. I have had a 690R since new in 2010, as I do some trail riding. One thing I will make clear is that offroad, despite what some folks say, the NC is barely mediocre. The small wheels and budget suspension mitigate against it. I took mine offroad, and on my first attempt I almost terminally damaged the exhaust header as the ground clearance is poor. Frequently at speed on very bumpy backroads I am elevated out of the saddle. The NC will get by on graded dirt roads provided it is driven sensibly.

Having gotten that out of the way, the NC is a supreme do it all bike. I would happily tour to the end of the world on it. It is comfortable on most roads, handles well, very economical, will commute well. Apart from proper offroading, there is very little it cannot do competently. I love mine and of the few bikes I am fortunate to own, it gets used the most.

Now, the 690R. A different animal altogether. With its power to weight ratio it is a seriously quick motorcycle for what it is. Yes, it is economical. In imperial gallons I get about 55/60mpg using it normally. I get about 70mpg from the NC, again using it normally. There is very little it cannot do off road and it has lots of ground clearance and suspension travel. It has one of the most uncomfortable seats known to man. I have to use an Airhawk on it when travelling long distances to trail heads. I have two sets of wheels. One is for knobbies and the other for Metzeler Saharas which are decent road tyres. It is a seriously fun bike on bumpy backroads and in contrast to the NC it soaks up the bumps and I mostly manage to stay in the saddle on such roads. The engine can be a bit buzzy. I have 20,000kms on mine and apart from 3/4 hesitant cold starts it has been trouble free. Yes, you could do a long tour on it but as a basic set up, a different saddle would be required and a bigger tank. Some folks have taken them across Russia and the like. I have seen the clips of such trips and an NC would have seriously struggled in some of the sections where the KTM had no issues whatsoever. The 2010 R is seriously tall and if the truth be known it is too tall for me. 08/09 models had fuelling issues and overly hard suspension. I rode a 2012 version recently and it was a great improvement all round. I am sure the 2014 will be even better. I would not be mad keen to commute on the KTM as it has a frisky engine that imho is not suitable for stop start traffic and filtering etc. It has three engine maps apart from the low fuel octane one. I use the lowest power output map offroad and the standard map on the road. I have never even bothered with the advanced map.

In summary, if you want a do it all reliable good workhorse of a motorcycle that will give you great pleasure and do so very economically, get the NC. The KTM will do it all too but not as efficiently as the Honda. Weigh it up. If you want to do a lot of offroad, get the KTM+bigger tank+better seat+spare set of wheels. Believe me, you will have a big grin on your face every time you come off a ride ! If your offroad will only be occasional and on decent graded roads, then go for the Honda. It is far more practical. Best of luck in your choice.
 

Webbiker

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Thanks for your comments. Special thanks to Grump for taking the trouble to write a long reply.
 

Mi_ka

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Hey, Webbiker, will you be selling the Griso?
Since my wallet refuses to make my dreamGriso become a reality by a long shot, I am very much interested in reading an NC-Griso comparison in whatever can be compared, if you finally decide to get the NC and not the KTM.
 

Old Can Ride

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Hey, Webbiker, will you be selling the Griso?
Since my wallet refuses to make my dreamGriso become a reality by a long shot, I am very much interested in reading an NC-Griso comparison in whatever can be compared, if you finally decide to get the NC and not the KTM.
9.jpgDo you have a 35 inch to 36 inch inseam? That is what it takes to ride a KTM as an adventure bike. 32 inch for the Honda NC. My 29 inch inseam would not let me ride on the KTM, with out a lot of parking lot fall overs.

The bike has to fit you!

smileygrad.jpg

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L.B.S.

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I'm thinking the 2000 Euros in price difference would buy some fairly impressive suspension components and nice armour for an NC700X.

Cartridge emulators, some 2" fork extenders, a longer adjustable rear shock (and/or a couple replacement links to increase ride height) and good bash plate and there you go.

Would doing that make it anywhere as good as the KTM off road? No, not by a long shot, but I think closer to an ideal "do it all with the least fuss" bike, as per your original premise and the amount of off road stuff you would realistically do.

Having owned and lived with more than my fair share of higher strung bikes that were incredibly fun to ride, all of them had a: "unfortunately you have to put up with..." side that was always there, usually when you least wanted it lol.

I would rather have a bike that self-limited my more unwise 10% off road attempts, than one that limited my comfort 90% of the time, day to day droning along on pavement, or my meagre budget when it comes to repair and maintenance.
 

n30r3l0ad3d

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My advice would always be ride one for yourself. Each rider is different, each bike is different. Me coming from a 100hp motorcycle (which I still have) to a 50hp was a kick for me, but I've learned to live with it. Overall I am happy with the NC. Will it blow the doors off a crotch rocket, or a 1800 cruiser? No. Where it will hit the competition hard is frunk storage, fuel economy, and daily commuting. Ride one, then go from there.
 
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