2012 Honda NC700X | Doin' Time

Photography by Marc Cook

Wrist: Marc Cook
Miles: 6567
MPG: 56
Mods: Gerbing’s controller

We’ve all had a date that was going really well until your companion revealed her shrieking laugh through a mouth full of shrimp salad. The relationship had so much promise until that moment. If I were slightly myopic about motorcycle performance, “that moment” might well have happened this month with the NC.

You see, Zack, Ari, and I were out flogging the NC, a BMW C600 Sport “urban mobility vehicle” (read: scooter), and a Kawasaki Versys. Up into the Malibu hills we went, the NC holding its own. Zack led, Ari was in the middle on the Versys, and I enjoyed the view from third. Until Zack picked up the pace. I realized then that I had corner speed in reserve but no answer for him from the apex on out. Z and his scooter would pull a slight gap on the exit that the NC couldn’t quite close—at least not on that tight road.

The experience underlines the NC700X’s lack of raw power, which is really only an issue during sport riding and when trying a lazy, no-downshift pass at highway speed. Nearly 500 pounds of motorcycle motivated by just 47 horsepower yields to the laws of physics just like the rest of us. I already knew the NC had a good chassis—its main sin is a lack of cornering clearance—but I was really surprised it couldn’t put the hurt on a mere scooter.

On a happier note, the Bridgestone BT-023s have been a delight, giving the NC nice, neutral steering and offering more grip than the bike’s power or lean angle can fully exploit. Thanks to a rare January cold snap, I was compelled to mount the controller for my Gerbing’s heated gear; it’s stuck to the left flank of the NC using 3M VHB adhesive tape. It’s in a position to hide most of the wires but is still a short reach from the saddle. If this were truly my bike, I would have installed a permanent controller.

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