Honda NT700V-ABS

By Joe Neric

Ringleader: Joe Neric
MSRP (2010): $10,999
Miles: 4499-5150
Average Fuel Mileage: 50 mpg
Accessories & Modifications: Honda accessory rear trunk, tank pad and wind deflector set

When Aaron Frank asked me if I feel like I've aged 40 years when I ride it, I knew I'd accomplished my goal. I chose Honda's unassuming NT700V because I wanted something completely different from my previous long-term bike, the CBR600RR. And let me tell you, mission accomplished!

Why the change, you ask? I've always wanted to try a touring bike for more than a few days. I've taken a few home from the office, but just when I was getting to know them, they've had to go back. Not this one.

Commuting on a sportbike definitely has its advantages, such as lightning-quick acceleration and the narrow width to squeeze through traffic. After a few rides on the larger, wider "Deauville" (as it's called in Europe), I knew I'd need to adapt a different way of riding. I have noticed one advantage the tourer has over a sportbike: I'm much more visible to distracted L.A. drivers, and in turn have had far fewer close calls. Maybe they think I'm a cop?

My "Dullville" (as it's called by some haters) came with 4500 miles on the odometer and a few useful additions from Honda's accessory catalog (www.powersports.honda.com). I highly recommend the rear trunk, even though it costs $650. The trunk doubles as a passenger backrest; just remember to pick up the trunk pad ($44.95) for added comfort. The bike also came with a protective tank pad ($64.95) and a wind deflector set ($149.95), which reduces buffeting.

So, what's the plan? Since it was delivered with all the best accessories, there's not much to do except pile on the miles. The V-twin's luggage space, cruising comfort and superb gas mileage are all pointing toward some two-up day trips. I'm really looking forward to heading up the coast to Santa Barbara with the wife. As far as modifications go, I have a few ideas in mind and am keeping a close eye on the NT owners' forum (www.nt-owners.com) to see what sort of improvements others are making.

By Joe Neric
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