RideApart Review: Honda CTX700

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Honda-CTX700-1

Every motorcycle manufacturer would like to sell more bikes. So Honda is going down a route to actively try and encourage novice riders into the motorcycle world with the launch of its Honda CTX700 range. But are low prices, automatic transmissions and easy riding positions enough to bring a new generation of motorcyclists beating a path to Honda’s door?

Photos: Kevin Wing

What’s New:
It was at the 2013 Chicago International Motorcycle Show in February, Honda unveiled four versions of the CTX700 with its rubber-mounted, liquid-cooled 670cc parallel twin engine. Included in the line-up is a pair of naked versions CTX700N and CTX700ND and then fairing-equipped CTX700 and CTX700D. The ‘D’ stands for Dual Clutch Transmission and is offered along with ABS as standard fit on just two of the four CTX models.

Essentially the CTX is a variation of the Honda NC700X platform, but has been designed as a reliable, starter bike and specifically aimed at getting new riders on to motorcycles for the first time at an affordable price in a cruiser-style package.

At first glance it’s a blend of cruiser and sport bike while the stripped down version has what Honda describes as an ‘urban roadster’ look and feel. It’s not a head turning sort of a motorcycle but the CTX has some nice lines and we liked the overall look and feel of the naked version.

From the outset Honda’s game plan was to make the CTX range non-intimidating for novices while still presenting an attractive proposition as a practical every day ride for more experienced riders.

The CTX700 use Honda’s proven fuel-injected, four valves per cylinder, parallel-twin engine. Like the NC700X, this has been mounted into the CTX frame at a 62-degree forward slant to lower the centre of gravity and make the bike more agile and responsive, particularly at low speeds. Power is delivered through a six-speed gearbox to the rear wheel by chain drive.

Honda makes no performance claims for the CTX but the same motor in the NC makes 51bhp at 6,250rpm and a fairly flat torque curve peaking at 44lb/ft at 4,750rpm. That’s not a lot of power when you consider the lightest CTX version, the CTX700N, weighs in 478lbs right up to 516lbs for the CTX700D with fairing, but that’s still more than sufficient for a novice rider or for daily use around town.

Honda also believes the clutch lever on motorcycles maybe coming to an end. So it has spent some considerable time and investment in developing its own Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) specifically for bikes and the CTX is the first in the range to use the latest generation of the Honda system.

On the DCT model, you can manually shift via these buttons or a prehensile foot shift lever.

Ease of use for the CTX was a priority for Honda, which is why DCT is offered as a model option. That might immediately make you think of scooters and less rider involvement and therefore it has no place on a motorcycle. But that’s not really the case with the CTX.

Honda refers to its DCT as automatic, which is a little confusing as there are still conventional clutches used on the CTX and not torque converters that you would expect to find in an automatic transmission. What’s actually changed is they way you operate the clutch – you can choose automatic or electronically manual mode at a flick of a switch.

For the CTX700D and CTX700ND there is no clutch lever or gear lever. At a press of a button you select your transmission setting either ‘Normal’ or ‘Sport’ and then just twist the throttle and go.

Honda’s DCT uses a pair of clutches – one for start-up, first, third and fifth gear and another for second, fourth and sixth. By pre-selecting the next gear the system delivers a smooth seamless gearshift both up and down. On the move you can opt for ‘Normal’ riding, or ‘Sport’, which shortens the shift and increases the engine’s revs. If you want a more sporting ride you can also shift up and down with buttons mounted on the left side of the handlebars.

The DCT’s technology means it’s also capable of adapting to a rider’s style of riding and selects the best gear and preferred shift pattern when cruising along in either mode.

All four versions of the CTX have the same 320mm single front disc with two-piston caliper and there’s a single 240mm disc and single piston on the rear. They work well but as this bike is aimed at the novice rider we would have liked to see more confidence inspiring twin discs on the front particularly for a bike that weighs in around 500lbs. There is though Honda’s dual-channel ABS for the ‘D’ specification models as part of the DCT package.

Honda’s designers have come up with a new riding position too and although the CTX shares the same 17-inch wheels and steel tube frame of the NC700X to maintain a sporting ride, it has been slightly modified to give a comfortable and low 28.3-inch seat height (the NC’s is a still-accesible 31 inches). The rear of the CTX frame has been altered too, allowing Honda’s quick release accessory hard bags to be fitted.

That lower seat rail makes the bike easy to mount and maneuver and the seating position is more upright with forward pegs positioned in front of the pulled-back handlebars.

The CTX’s wheelbase is 60.2 inches, a fraction shorter than the NC700X, and it has a rake of 27.7 degrees and a trail of 4.4 inches. The front suspension is a 41 mm fork combined with a single shock giving 4.2 inches of travel, while the rear suspension is a Pro-Link single shock suspension with 4.3 inches of travel that is nonadjustable.

You get some easy choices in the styling department too. The naked version of the CTX looks mildly sporting, while the faired in version offers better rider protection, a small screen and stereo speaker grilles fitted if you want to upgrade your bike at a later date. Engine and transmission casing are all flat black and CTX colors are limited to Candy Red, Black and Pearl White.

Convenient ‘Do Rag storage above the tank.

Instrumentation is clear and precise with a simple digital readout that is easy to see even in bright sunlight. There is a small storage area on the top of the tank under a pop-up lid that is handy for a cell phone and wallet but it unlike the NC700X, which stores some of the fuel under its seat, the CTX keeps it all in the tank. That drops fuel capacity from 3.7 to 3.2 gallons, which still maintains a practical 200-mile range.
The Ride

Honda has hit the nail firmly on the head by offering the CTX as a non-threatening, fun motorcycle for a novice rider. Often when we test bikes it takes a bit of time to get used to a new motorcycle’s layout and discover where everything is.

In conventional form with the clutch lever, the CTX is simple to ride and it took just a matter of minutes to get to grips with it. The low ride height makes it easy to maneuver at low speed and it’s evident that Honda has spent some time trying to find the optimum riding position on the CTX.

Some people may find that it’s too upright for them but for a novice rider just starting out this cruiser style set-up is a good compromise that allows you to see well ahead down the road whilst feeling in control of the bike at all times.

It would be unfair to unduly criticize the CTX for being underpowered. It’s at best peppy and revs well but it’s definitely no street racer. You can still do unkind things to it and it won’t flinch at all but lopes along feeling reassuringly well planted on the road. Out on the freeway it’s composed and comfortable too and the faired-in version of the CTX is definitely the model to consider if you’re planning to do a lot of touring or using the bike as a daily commute.

We raised a question mark over the CTX’s weight as it’s not exactly lean but it changes direction nicely and far better than you would expect and when you come to a stop no matter how small you are you should always be able get two feet on the ground with that low seating position.

At all speeds the CTX gives a sensation of being solid and secure. You can lean it over in the corners and even attempt to drag the pegs and whilst its performance won’t make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck it’s still a fun ride.

The limited suspension travel is probably the best compromise on a bike of this size and type, but it would be nice to adjust it and personalize the CTX’s set-up for your own riding style just a little bit more. Something that Honda admitted it looked at but decided against as it would have made the CTX a little more expensive.

Honda’s DCT option on the CTX is an interesting proposition. For a few years now, the auto industry has been offering paddle shift and dual clutches but the early systems were jerky and were forever hunting for the correct gear to match the engine speed.

Honda has clearly learned from the automobile companies’ mistakes and its second-generation system makes riding the CTX even easier and faster than the conventional clutch CTX version. It does take a bit of time to understand what DCT is capable of and for the first few miles of riding a DCT-equipped CTX we were not entirely sure what to do with our now redundant left leg.

For experienced riders it’s still not going to be that involving. There are two modes – ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ and you can switch between automatic sport and manual sport and change gears yourself at a press of a button on the handlebars. In the car world by opting for the sport mode you can also adapt the suspension to suit a more aggressive driving style. You can’t do this on the CTX. Nor can you turn off the ABS.

However, from a rookie’s point of view the Honda automatic clutch system makes a lot of sense. No more fumbling for gear changes and once you understand how it works it’s really not that difficult. From our perspective it removes some of the riding experience but for a new rider it’s hassle free and an asset if the CTX is your first bike.

Honda is firmly committed to its DCT program and has said the CTX is just the first of many of its motorcycles that will have this system. It maybe early days but potentially Honda thinks the clutch lever could soon be a thing of the past. We’re not sure where we stand yet on that argument.

The CTX700N adds a fairing, screen and optional panniers.

What’s Good:
If you have wanted to take up motorcycling but were unsure where to start Honda may well have the simplest and most straight forward answer for you currently available in the market. In conventional transmission form the CTX is a sprightly, easy to ride non-dramatic motorcycle. It does exactly what it says on the box.

With the DCT option you can also have a bike that has some clever technology that is confidence inspiring, ABS as standard and a set-up that make even the most nervous rider quickly feel at home in the saddle. And if you want to slip a bit of fun into the bargain put it into ‘sport’ manual mode and enjoy the ride.

What’s Bad:
This is not the bike for the experienced rider. It simply doesn’t have enough power or flat out sport performance and ability. Some would say it’s simply not involving enough. But they are not the customers whom Honda is after. That small 3.27-gallon gas tank compromises the CTX’s long-range touring ability and we would have liked to see twin front disc brakes fitted as standard.

The Price:
For an entry-level price of $6,999 a novice rider can get on the naked CTX 700N and that’s good value. For $1,000 more you can opt for the same bike but with DCT and ABS. If you plan on going touring the CTX 700 fairing version with conventional clutch starts at $7799 or splash out $8,799 for the CTX700D and go for the automatic clutch and ABS. You pays your money you takes your choice.

What Others Say:
“Perhaps predictably, many in the motorcycle community are less than excited at what some term bland, unexciting bikes. Still, there seems near universal agreement that the CTX700s have a place in the market and it will be certainly be interesting to see if Honda heads into sportier territory with additional models in the CTX range.” — Gizmag

“Sitting on the CTX, the low seat height is extremely inviting and non-intimidating. Ergonomics feel very cruiser-like, with the hand controls placed directly in front of the rider. Reach to the pegs is natural too, even for my stubby 30-inch inseam. The seat is broad and the cockpit roomy, meaning riders of various body types should find their comfort zone quickly and easily on the CTX.” — Motorcycle.com

The Verdict:
Honda makes no excuses with the CTX. It has made a concerted effort to offer a bike that will appeal to new riders but who were unsure of exactly where to begin. As a first step into the motorcycle world, on a cruiser-style bike, the CTX is a sensible, no nonsense approach. And, with a starting price of $6,999, Honda may be onto something here. And if that means more people will get on a bike and join the motorcycling community because of the CTX then we’re all for it. And this is just one bike in a multi-faceted pursuit of that goal. CRF250L, CBR250R, the new 500 range, the NC700X and now this CTX. Getting started riding on a truly great, appealing, capable, friendly motorcycle has never been easier.

RideApart Rating: 8/10

Gear:
Helmet: Bell Custom 500 ($100)
Jacket: Alpinestars Viper Air ($200)
Gloves: Alpinestars Scheme Kevlar ($60)

Tim Watson is RideApart’s new Cruiser Editor. A veteran of the auto industry, Tim also writes motorcycle travel books. There and Back Again to See How Far It Is tells the story of his travels around small town America on a Harley-Davidson.

  • http://twitter.com/csstevens128 C.Stevens

    Cool that they offer it (variety is good, no?) but I’ll definitely pass.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.berndt.73 Jonathan Berndt

      Cudos to you guys for not being biased and testing all kinds of bikes, but this latest plan for Honda to get new riders on bikes leaves me cold. has their research shown that these lackluster bikes are what new people want? im not even talking about performance here, im talking just meh in the looks dept. when i was a young guy, a motorcycle was a cool thing to have they looked great, i could not wait to get my hands on one and i was 8!!! maybe its a generational thing? maybe im just used to what i think a motorcycle should look like. id be more inclined to buy maybe a 350 – 500cc bike that looks more like their CB1000. again, maybe its me but so far i havent seen any of these on the road.

      • http://twitter.com/Ricardo_Gozinya Ricardo Gozinya

        I don’t think the current youthful generation has much of a reference when it comes to motorcycles, at least stateside. All the various forms of 2 wheeled racing aren’t real big here, so that’s out. There’s no Wild One, no Easy Rider, no Steve McQueen, no Evel Knievel, not even an Arnold Schwarzenegger ala Terminator 2. Motorcycles are something a Millennial’s dad is into, or maybe an older sibling. There’s no cultural icon that makes the motorcycle a symbol of rebellion, freedom, excitement. Heck, Bieber rides, and he’s pretty much the polar opposite of those icons of yore. Apologies to any Bieber fans, but face it, Scarlett Johansson is more butch than he is.

        This motorcycle’s form factor, along with the NC700′s, isn’t designed to inspire lust, or stir the soul, so much as it’s designed to say, “Hey, riding a motorcycle can be fun, and isn’t scary.” It’s designed to be friendly, safe, comfortable. The “scarier” motorcycles out there will still appeal to a certain type, always will. Younger people in the military seem to love to ride, for example. Perhaps “safe” bikes like this will be a gateway drug to the more exciting rides, perhaps not, time will tell.

  • http://twitter.com/Ricardo_Gozinya Ricardo Gozinya

    The tail end of it definitely reminds me of bikes from the 70′s and 80′s, a nice little touch of retro without being cliche about it. As for the automatic transmission, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more and more of these in the fairly near future. Progress I suppose. I’m sure there were those who mourned the loss of kickstarters, I know there were many who railed against EFI, longing for the days of carburetors.

    On another note, the more I see modern exhausts, the more I look forward to the day that the internal combustion engine dies. Those things are getting bigger and uglier every year.

  • Martin

    Somebody get that man a full face helmet.

    • http://twitter.com/TheVeeTwin Damo Von Vinland

      ….and normal fitting jeans.

    • KevinB
    • http://twitter.com/redtriage Ed Hunt

      This guy would get beat up by Mods and Rockers.

    • Jeffrey Karr

      Marketing note to Honda: Use a photo of a rider who looks like he is actually enjoying the ride.

  • Robotribe

    That’s an attractive entry-level price point; the newbies should appreciate that. My only niggle is the forward-set controls on the non-faired version; it seems out of place with the overall styling of the bike. And yes, I think the “do-rag” storage is awesome. That would be a handy glasses, garage-opener, or work ID storage for me.

    • the antagonist

      I agree the forward controls look out of place, but seeing how low the seat is (another noob friendly feature) I don’t know where else they could go.

      • Robotribe

        Good point. Maybe what I’m opining for is a version of this bike with the ergos of a Bonneville as an entry-level bike. Better yet, a leaner classic CB 350 throwback with all of these modern features. I’d bet that would peak the interests of the so-called “kids” who may also be looking at a Bonnie or V7 as a first or step-up bike.

        • the antagonist

          Yeah, the Bonnie’s done so well with such a simple premise. It’s amazing no one has tried to copy it (other than Guzzi with the V7).

          Have you seen the CB1100? It’s a gorgeous machine with great ergonomics. But at $10k (and 1100cc) it’s a bit much for an entry level bike.

          If Honda made a cheaper, mid-sized version I think it would give Triumph some real competition.

  • JP

    Am I the only one who thinks this may be one of the ugliest bikes ever designed? It’s just a mishmash of different styles that don’t go together. You have the modern-style headlight with a retro tail-end and the exhaust appears out of what looks like PVC piping.

    I also think they ruined the look of the street and speed triples by getting rid of the round headlamps which ironically is a mishmash of different styles as well.

    • Marshall

      Yes, you are the only one.

  • gofastjuice

    “At first glance it’s a blend of cruiser and sport bike while the stripped down version has what Honda describes as an ‘urban roadster’ look and feel. It’s not a head turning sort of a motorcycle but the CTX has some nice lines and we liked the overall look and feel of the naked version.”
    I miss the Hell For Leather that wasn’t afraid to express a negative opinion. I challenge anyone to state the above, out loud, to an audience, with a straight face.
    I know we’re trying to encourage new riders to pick up motorcycling, and this is an inexpensive, easy-to-ride option. But it is so confused and ugly that no beginner (or non-beginner for that matter) is going to want it. It does the industry no good to pat themselves on the back for it. Good thing they also have the NCs… such a better execution of the same platform.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Is it a stunningly well designed motorcycle? No. But not everything has to have a round headlight anymore. The CTX has an in-person presence that maybe doesn’t come across in these photos. I’m not mad at it.

    • Marshall

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially if the beholder is beholding a wallet in his hand. You’re one of those guys that thinks unless a bike looks like a carbon copy of a dyna glide or a GSX it’s not a real bike. Opinion is opinion I guess, but dude, if a person gets out on the road & has fun riding this, who has the right to judge. Some folks might be looking for something that doesn’t ape a sportster or a ninja – precisely because they want something unique.

  • 200 Fathoms

    “Honda also believes the clutch lever on motorcycles maybe coming to an end. ”

    Gee, that sounds like fun.

    • Tim Watson

      That’s what Honda is saying. The CTX is just the first of several of its motorcycles that will come with DCT.

      • http://www.facebook.com/scottie.r.smith Scottie Ray Smith

        I would kinda like to ride a CBR1000 with a DCT.

    • Michael Howard

      Some people who spend hours in stop-and-go traffic can appreciate not having to constantly “clutch and shift”. There’s a lot more enjoyment to riding than changing gears. And if you want to look at it from purely a riding skills standpoint, not having to manually shift allows you to put even more thought and concentration into braking points, cornering lines, lean angle, traction, and throttle application.

    • http://www.mikemchargue.com/ Mike McHargue

      I ride an NC700X with the DCT. I’m perfectly capable of riding a bike with a clutch, but a life of bas guitar and computer programming means I have really terrible carpal tunnel. With a DCT, I can ride to work every day, do 10 hour mountain runs, and in general keep riding.

      DCT is great as an option. I doubt they’ll ever get rid of the standard clutch lever.

  • 200 Fathoms

    That’s the first muffler I’ve seen that seems to be based on a .357 Magnum.

    • Tim Watson

      Ha! Good point. There is a similarity.

  • Mark Desrosiers

    HondaMatic 2.0. I’m not really sure who is going to see this bike go by, and think to themselves, “Gee, I really want a motorcycle!” Well designed and executed, no doubt, but if somebody just wants an easy, cheap A to B two-wheeler, they’ll buy a scooter. The new 300cc Duke, on the other hand, is what might REALLY get more people under 40 to start riding.

    http://www.vintagecycleprints.com/IMAGES/E77LA12.JPG

    • ChrisB

      You really think many people will buy a scooter? Common perception is they’re too slow for non city and highway use. Plus the big social stigma attached to scooters. I have to disagree with you on this thought.

    • http://twitter.com/redtriage Ed Hunt

      I’ve owned a blue one and an orange one. I bought my first HAWKamatic when I was a 20 year old college student — I think that’s the demographic. I still think it was an ugly motorcycle, but when I rode it, you couldn’t scrape the smile off my face. Today, if I was 20 I would buy a CRB250 — because when you are 20, you don’t have $7 lying around.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OMG.Awesome Clint Keener

    This is a bike created by people who don’t actually ride themselves. Built from statistics and numbers.

    No young person would be caught dead on this nerd mobile. New riders all have vintage bikes with soul and attitude, something this bike lacks.

    It is the CRV of motorcycles, thinking that people will buy a CRV to get into offroading.

    • the antagonist

      But Honda sells a shit-load of CRVs.

      • http://www.facebook.com/OMG.Awesome Clint Keener

        Touche. But my point is that new young riders aren’t going to be the ones who buy it. New 60 year old riders will.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.mcstravick Kyle McStravick

      Young(ish) person who likes this bike checking in. Currently a w650 rider, drawn to the practicality this bike seems to offer. Maybe I’ll feel different once I test ride one?

      • Mykola

        Your W650 is a gem, I hope you’re thinking about the CTX as a second bike?

  • HoldenL

    28.3-inch saddle height and DCT? The day my wife finds this in stock at the dealer, cha-CHING goes the cash register. One motorcycle sold to a newbie. And a riding buddy for me.

    Honda is paying attention to North America and working hard to attract new riders who want a fun, inexpensive vehicle with good fuel economy, and who are concerned about safety and worried about looking like an idiot while shifting gears. Scoff at those folks if you want — Honda isn’t scoffing at them. Honda is designing for them, selling to them, taking some risks, seeing which models sell and which don’t. Hooray for Honda. Thank you, and here’s some money.

    You meet the nicest people on a Honda.

  • http://twitter.com/redtriage Ed Hunt

    As the former owner of not one but TWO CB400A Hondamatics from the Carter administration, I’m all for the return of the improved Hondamatic. It made learning to ride very easy, and in the city or a college campus the stop-and-start dance is much less tiring, but then you can get out of town and buzz on down a country road is more comfort and style than on a scooter. Make no mistake, this a motorcycle for pragmatists – for commuters and first timers and maybe people eye-balling a maxi scooter. These aren’t Harley-alternatives and won’t be welcome at your neighborhood Sons of Anarchy watch-party. It’s only a cruiser in a sense that the riding position is less aggressive. In the rest of the world, where the motorcycle is a means of transportation, these automatic bikes are probably going to dominate in the years ahead just like the old Super Cub. My experience with the old Hondamatics is that I tended to use the brakes a lot more than I do with a clutch bike. Yet, transitioning to a clutch was pretty easy with a little parking lot practice because I’d already mastered the bike control dynamics over years of riding. Heck, I’m might buy one as a second bike just to have a fuss free 12 month commuter. Honda is putting out a lot of tempting product these days.

  • Sven Ram

    Really great to read that at least some of you Americans are actually not that conservative in respect to DCT. Here in Europe a lot of old skool bikers, even journalists, keep saying DCT is an answer to a question never asked. But they are dead wrong. Honda has sold more than 12.500 bikes with DCT in Europe already and 4 out of 10 Honda’s (with DCT as an option) are sold with DCT now, compared to only 1 out of 10 in the early DCT-days. I have ridden motorcycles for more then 20 years, mostly sportbikes, and I LOVE riding with DCT, especially as a commuter bike. In the beginning it’s a bit weird and you tend to lose your concentration now and then – falling asleep a bit, really – but after a 1.000 miles with my NC700X I’m actually more concentrated in traffic, enjoying the ride in the meantime. One bad thing is that, jumping from my bike to my car, I’m not used to (and sometimes forget) shifting gears in my car anymore, which can be dangerous in some overtaking situations. The best part of DCT is probably that young riders need not get onto that steep learning curve of riding with a conventional gearbox, so they can really start enjoying their ride much faster than we did in the old days. Their riding technique also improves a lot faster, hence making their ride not only more enjoyable, but also a lot safer. So yes: thank you, Honda.

  • Indiana medic

    Superannuation is the way of the future. There in cars and have been for a while. Other makers would be crazy not to jump on this. This good for new and old riders too as well as people who have some limits to using a clutch and is a lot of people out there. if you have people missing a left leg that want to ride it gives them a chance and that’s a good thing. There’s no reason why people with some limitations should be left out it would be a big moral booster. (ie) disabled vets

  • Paula Roberts

    Test rode one today and just loved it. Light, wonderful low center of gravity, perfect seat height, and very comfortable. Me: 44, 5′ 2″, female, only about 1k miles under my belt. Ridden: ’09 ninja 250 and ’11 g650gs. Ninja kills my back and the gs is diabolical. I think this bike might just be “the one.”

  • .David

    I think Honda is going to do well with this bike due to the technology, even older seasoned riders that do not want to deal without dated bikes and just enjoy the ride. It does have its own distinctive styling. I have read some others opinions about the looks but evidently they do not know much about motorcycles it was designed very practical.

  • Mark D

    Seeing as this thing is WAY cheaper than a Bergman, offers similar functionality, and imparts less of a nerd vibe on the rider, I’d say its a win. It’d be a great bike for a scooter rider who wants to go tour with motorcycle riding friends without the hassle of learning to use a clutch. I bet it would be a great option for people looking to rent a bike in a foreign country for touring.

  • loudproudlib

    why would anyone trash this bike? No one buys standard tranny cars anymore. And for a good reason. The same goes for bikes. No one buys them for the “clutch experience” but because that is (was) the only way you could get a motorcycle. After riding clutch bikes for years (over 35) I bought a full blown CTX 700DCT with all the trimmings and now I wish I had this for the last 35 years. It is SO MUCH MORE enjoyable riding and touring and not having to worry about shifting in rush hour traffic. You narrow minded fools are too narrow minded to even understand and appreciate an automatic on a bike. Sounds like a bunch of narrow minded knuckle dragging tea baggin conservatives to me.

    • JP

      I’ve owned a car with a manual transmission, a couple cars with automatic transmissions, a car with dct like it’s described above, two motorcycles with manual transmissions, and a scooter with a cvt.

      They all have their pros and cons, but if I had to pick one for a motorcycle, I would pick a manual transmissions for the amount of control you can have over the power delivered to the wheels at any given moment in time.

      Nothing is going to give you the speed and continuous feedback you have with a manual transmission unless you are willing to spend too much money. I can change gears (power) any time I want, as fast as I want. I can control exactly how much power I want to send to the wheels using the clutch.

      Power is only useful if you can use it, and you can manage the power of much better with a manual transmission which is especially useful on bikes with lower HP.

      I think there is no right answer here, everyone can decide for themselves. My personal preference is manual, then probably cvt.

      • Ansuz

        DCT does allow you to change gears whenever you want (assuming it doesn’t stall the engine). The only thing you lose is the friction zone.

        • JP

          Exactly.

  • bigboss302

    I’m in, the perfect bike to learn on and get comfortable with riding without too much to think about in way of gear selection.

  • Paul Leonard

    You know, for about 800 to 1200 bucks you could get 2002 Nighthawk and pay minimal insurance (versus the INSANE new rider collision coverage), get more power, and pretty much the same suspension performance. And with the NH as long as the carbs work no adjustments and it’s displacement is mostly used to mellow it out. Add all the other brands and you get SV’s, Katana’s, etc. competing for the beginner and all of them are pedestrian and very good UJM standards.

    Just from my reading:
    Neg:
    7K for the entry ticket cost & added gear, insurance, ect. makes this bike alot of money for a beginner and I am not convinced Honda has really “sold” this bike anywhere near that price range. Add 3 grand and you canget almost anything!

    Pros:
    Honda has always tried automatic motorcycles, it’s been a pet project since the 60′s so its probably pretty solid

    What I think from hearing all the beginners I know is that Honda needs to make a standard that is cheap & reliable and has good storage without looking like they cut corners. Rebels are popular with the ladies and if the 450 made a comeback would be pretty good on the sales. In fact, I wouldn’t buy my wife one the other day at Chaparral when it was at 6300 or so because the new 2013 shadow phantom next to it was 5k because they couldn’t sell it! These will sit too and drop in price.