Beginner just test rode 3 bikes today, turning questions on the NC

Sparkynutz

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Howdy-
I'm still a beginner with a Kawasaki Super Sherpa 250. Basically a dirtbike with blinkers. I have only put roughly 1k miles on in about 5 years but looking to get a more hwy friendly bike and ride more.
Last year I was dead set on upgrading to a Kawasaki Versys 300x ABS but Covid happened and the only local dealer with an ABS one for sale refused to allow test rides.
Now its spring and came across the NC line with the Frunk giving it an edge over the Kawasaki since I used a Yamaha Zuma for many years prior and loved the under seat storage.
Today I test rode a non ABS Kawasaki Versys 300x, a 2017 NC750x Manual and a 2014 NC700x DCT in that order.
I loved the ergonomics, smooth shifting, light clutch lever pull and maneuverability of the Versys thinking it was the bike for me once I found an ABS model.
I rode the NC750x manual next. WOW it had some get up and go compared to anything I've ridden, but the aftermarket seat fit crappy, plastics were rattly, clutch pull was 5x harder than the Versys, shifting was clunky and front brake was dragging or something was grinding in the front. I noticed I had to put significant effort into the handlebars in the opposite direction of the turn while doing some figure 8's at low speed in a parking lot. It didn't matter which way I was turning but the wheel wanted to dive into the turn if I didn't hold it back. My Sherpa doesn't do that and neither did the Versys.
Lastly I took the NC700x DCT for a ride. The automatic was amazing especially in S mode. It was obviously better taken care of and only had 2600 miles on it. It still had the same exact manners when doing sharp slow speed turns diving into the turn unless held back strongly.
My questions are- Are all NC like this? I assume so after both of them today doing this.
Can anyone explain why they do this while the other two bikes I rode did not?
I looked up specs of the bikes and Trail of both the Versys and NC700, NC750x is 4.3" Sherpa 4.2"
The differences I found are- my Sherpa Rake 28*, Versys 24.3* to NC 27* , Front tire size- Sherpa 21" Versys 19", NC 17".
At first I thought the Rake angle may be the issue, but after looking up my Sherpa and seeing its the opposite end of the Versys that turns the same I'm wondering if it is solely based on the smaller diameter front tire.
Any input or ideas? I am strongly leaning towards a new 2021 NC750x DCT because of the frunk and automatic but wondering if there's any way to lessen the opposite handlebar pressure when turning. I have a feeling this may cause me an accident someday where my current bike floats and seems more nimble in any type of turns with no effort the same as the Versys was as well.
 

670cc

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I would not say l that my NC behaves the way you describe.

A few things come to mind. You would need to verify good tire condition and tire pressure on your test drive bike(s). Next, by way of the engine/frame layout, the NC has a low center of gravity. Perhaps riding it has a different feel than what you may have experienced with more top heavy motorcycles. Lastly, if these NCs were used bikes, verify that the previous owner didn’t raise or lower either end of the machine, which could alter the steering geometry.
 

Lee Dodge

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I've often wondered about this on the Honda's I have owned. They all seem to need some pressure on the inside bar to keep from turning into the corner farther. My NC did it on the stock tires and my new CB300R does it. On my NC I replaced my tires with a set of TKC80's and run a 150/70 rear. The bike now handles perfectly when leaned over. Completely neutral much like my VStrom was.
 

Lomunchi

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I came from a cruiser to the NC750. The difference between those is very noticeable. On the NC it's a bit more riding ON the bike. Someone here compared it to riding a horse. When I leaned with the cruiser I leaned with the bike whereas, where I am with the NC is that I'm leaning the bike more. That's a bit more of an extreme difference than what you're comparing but the point is that you've got to learn your bike, your conditions and your style. I'm loving the NC as it's easier to flick underneath me which is what I wanted.
 

Jt105

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The tires have a big influence on how the bike turns. With the Bridgestone T31 on front and rear of my NC700x, steering is a dream. I previously had Shinko 705 on front and rear and turning and handling was awful (in my opinion). Also, worn or under inflated tires can have a negative effect on handling.
 

halfSpinDoctor

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I agree with the other suggestions to check tire pressure. Also, over-inflated is as bad as under-inflated. I once purposely over-filled at the station (because I didn't have a working pressure gauge with me), with the plan to let air out when I got home. The bike felt glued to the ground, and required a massive force to turn. When I got home, I discovered I was almost 10 psi over on both wheels.
 

Bcsmith

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On the topic of tire pressure how many PSI do you run front and back? I did not get an owner manual with my bike.
 

670cc

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On the topic of tire pressure how many PSI do you run front and back? I did not get an owner manual with my bike.
On US models, there is a label on the motorcycle with recommended tire pressures. I think it is placed on the chainguard, but I relocated my label to the inside of the frunk. You might look for such a label. If you cannot find a label, maybe it was removed or Honda doesn’t apply them on models bound for Canada.

I’m pretty sure the Honda Canada web site has downloadable owner’s manuals.
 
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davidc83

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On the topic of tire pressure how many PSI do you run front and back? I did not get an owner manual with my bike.
The 2012/2013 models; recommended tire pressurs: Front 36 psi or 250 kPa: Rear 42 psi or 290 kPa (per Honda Service Manual, page 3-30).
 

bamamate

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There are a lot of variables with how a bike corners. Wheel base, rake, COG, wheel size, tire width, type of tire. Tires in general can totally change the feel of a bike. Sidewall profile, shape (some tires are flatter across the width), tire pressure is a big and yes wheel/tire diameter. Sport and most street bikes use a 17" wheel because it turns in faster than a larger wheel. I've had 4 or 5 different sets of tires and each one handles differently. My CRF handles differently than the NC. Basically what I am saying is after a bit on a given bike you adapt to it and stop noticing the difference.
 

mooseonbass

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I just rode to work after filling my tires. Unfortunately, I somehow loosened the valve stem in the rear. Let me tell you, this bike does not handle well with very little air in the rear tire. It was so low, the side stand would barely go down. I've never been so glad to get to work!
 

frog13

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Tires / handling. Odd feeling from tires that have a specific "ridge" around its circumference vs a rounded profile tire (s)......in cornering.......at a certain point, it feels like the bike just DROPS into a curve or corner ; quite unsettling! . Can't wait to change tires.
 

Rabbit

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Tires / handling. Odd feeling from tires that have a specific "ridge" around its circumference vs a rounded profile tire (s)......in cornering.......at a certain point, it feels like the bike just DROPS into a curve or corner ; quite unsettling! . Can't wait to change tires.
That is what I’m finding with my shinko ravens. Very easy to drop into a corner. I think I’ll switch them up next time
 

TheIronWarrior

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Regarding tire pressure, I usually run 35-36 in front and back. No real reason to run 42 psi in the rear unless you are riding 2 up with loads of luggage. Just my opinion, nothing more.
Do you find you eat through tires a little faster? Lower pressures are usually associated with earlier wear (but give a more comfortable ride).
 
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