choosing a new motorcycle is miserable!

redking18

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Okay all, hello first off, I'm brand spanking new as in I joined 1 minute ago. I come to you as a last resort because I have no other options. I am currently motorcycle-less an unacceptable state of being as many of you would probably agree.

I am looking at the NC750X manual. I found a great deal on a new left over 2018 out of state but scared to buy it because of all the reviews I have read and watched about it being a boring dog to ride. Some riders even going to far as to say it sucked the joy out of riding. Pretty extreme wordage there! Here is my conundrum. I can't find a local NC750x to test ride. I'm in Las Cruces, NM and our crap dealership will allow me to buy the motorcycle and return it if I don't like it after, now get this, 5 miles. Yes, I have to buy it and return it after 5 pathetic miles. Neighboring El Paso doesn't have a single NC750X anywhere and there are no used ones unless I want to drive hours to Phoenix.

As you can imagine I am reluctant to drop money on a bike that seems to be either a love it or hate product. I am going to test a 2015 Versys 650 tomorrow. Now about my back ground. I come from the cruiser world and just want to try something different. 1st bike was the Honda shadow Sabre which was the 1100cc version with short gears for increased torque. Loved the power, hated the mileage, the high revs at freeway, the crap mileage at freeway and short distance due to the bad mileage. 2nd bike was the Kawasaki Vulcan classic 900. Once I switched out the rear sprocket for an extra 2 teeth, I thought it was a great all around bike. Good for around town, maybe a bit bland on power, adequate for freeway speeds, good gas mileage and distance between fill ups. Like i said after increasing the rear sprocket by 2 teeth it got the revs at freeway speed down to where you didn't feel you were beating up the motorcycle. With the 900's low seat height I still recommend it to new, returning and budget riders. 3rd bike was the 1700cc Kawasaki Vulcan vaquero. Loved the bike. Hard side bags, cruise control! radio! frame mounted fairing! lots of power! not the best, most enjoyable around town and the excessive plastic wasn't my fav but really a nice bike. Had to sell it to help pay for a semester of medical school (still in medical school btw but a scholarship has made like so much better)

So that's my history. I want a do it all bike because being in school I can only afford 1. Good mileage aka 50mpg on freeway, good commuter to school, and something I can travel on. Should I just buy a used Versys 650 (but 650cc seems so small to me, but so does 750cc's) or coming from the V-twin world will the NC750X manual not feel sluggish to me? I love how the NC seems so practical, efficient and I find it more aesthetically pleasing than the used 2015 Versys in my area. Though I must admit at $5000 with only 5000 miles, hard side bags and a top case the Versys seems like a good deal.

Input from anyone who transitioned from cruisers to parallel twins thinks I'll find these bikes and any input on the difference between the Versys and NC750 would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks in advance

Many Thanks1
 

EastTenn

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Welcome redking 18 ! I will give you my 2 cents worth, and others will likely provide info as well. I have owned Valkyries, v-twins (HD, Honda) and sport tourers. I am now on a 2015 NC700DCT. The NC is one of the best all around that I have owned. The old saying applies...jack of all trades, master of none. Its not fast, but it will easily cruise at 70mph. It does not handle like a sportbike, but some take them to track days. Its lightweight compared to the v-twins. Very easy to hop on and zip thrpugh town and hard to beat as commuter bike. Milage is exceptional, easily 65+ per gallon. The 'frunk' is an extra that really sets the bike apart. I hope that helps a little.
I do not have any experience with the Versys, but reviews of that bike have been positive. Doubt you would go wrong there either. Good luck with whatever you choose.
 

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Deckyon

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A friend of mine says, all the time, "It's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow." I have had my NC since Jan 2015 and have put over 30k miles on it. I ride all over KY, TN and NC (some of the best, twistiest roads in the east) and the motorcycle has been a blast. I ride to work, bike nights, week-long trips and more, and it performs great. if the speed limit is 55 mph, and the turns caution 25 mph, it doesnt matter if you are on a 125cc or a 1000cc. It's not fair to compare the NC to anything in the liter range, same as it's not fair to compare a Grom to a 600RR.

with the weight all being below the knees (not kidding) it's like a weeblo - it'll wobble but it wont fall down. It is a stable bike, from commuting in traffic to hitting roads like US129 - Tail of the Dragon. I have a blast on my NC. And I have ridden a lot since I got it, and I still have it, and not gotten any other. Even the KTM 1290Super Duke (my favorite outside of the NC).

Find somewhere to give it a test ride. We can't tell you if you'll like it.
 

greenboy

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NC is a good ride for fuel economy. I've rarely gotten less than 60mpg regardless of conditions and throttle abuse. Learn to use the torque curve and gears well (short-shifting compared to many others) and it accelerates nicely. Sometimes comes up short for speed on long grades and against headwinds, but that's the tradeoff. It does usually cruises along nicely at 75 or maybe 80 and I have passed semis on 2-laners at 90-95 mph, though you have to plan your passes better.

Other than the seat which can be remedied easily for most anatomys (especially with highway pegs) it's a nice ride for longish days, and handles like a champ on the right tires. Great in town because of the low center of gravity. Not crazy about the arcane removal of body plastics after dealing with my WR250R's ease of access to anything for maintenance or farkling though. Fortunately service intervals at least are pretty damn long. And why they couldn't put the fuel spout out to the side is cheapness; I would have paid a little more to have the filler out there ; }

I don't agree with buying for the lowest price – I think buying for what you actually want to do, matching what benefits one model might have that would fit your desires well is the way to go. Just one simple thing for me was The Frunk, as an example ; } ...I don't need to be the fastest to have the most fun either, and I really like the handling of the NC. Fun is in how a rider approaches the machine, really. And I've had immense fun on mine, around town or out on the open road.
 
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Alias

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A lot will disagree but I find my 2012 NC boring. It will get over 80 mpg if babied (boring) and the fuel mileage on mine will drop to around 53 mpg if pushed to constant 4000 rpm on long interstate runs. Like Greenboy stated you may have to preplan passing multiple vehicles. I've been riding for 55+ years on everything from Ultras to mini bikes. I wouldn't buy another NC and my bile seems to have very little trade in or resale value. The NC will get you where you're going, but for back road riding I like my XT225, around town a burgman 400, cross country my Ultra or a ZG1000. I'm going to lower my NC this spring and ride it for at least another year. Fortunately its not the only horse in the stable.
 

drdubb

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The NC is a good compromise motorcycle. Many talk about the mileage...I really don't care. I have a 2014 DCT which replaced a 750 nighthawk and a DR650. I like it, is it perfect no. I keep it in sport mode and I always leave folks behind at stop lights. it will do the job in twisties. I did a 6500 mile tour of the west a couple of years ago...it was great. The Frunk is fabulous. See my vids and ride report on my ride thread..Go West OFWG
 

DTMWAP

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I considered NC750X manual, the Versys 650 (the V-Strom 650 was also on the list) as a lighter replacement for my ST1300. On top of all advantages of the NC mentioned by others in above comments, and the legendary Honda reliability, I saw 2 other features I liked very much about the NC; 1. Easy, low maintenance and more specifically the valves adjustment I can do myself. 2. 270° firing interval that gives nice sound and vibes compared to the Kawi 180° firing interval.

I would buy again.
 
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potter0o

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TacomaJD may chime in here as he rides a cruiser and an NC.

For me I'm satisfied. It doesn't have a big engine or sport tuning. If I had a faster bike I think I would get into trouble. The frunk is great for keeping my lunch and rain gear for commuting daily to work. Fuel economy is a nice bonus. Reliability is great. I have done all of my own maintenance using the service manual and the advice of this forum.

I'm not an expert on the Versys. People I have met like it. My understanding is the center of gravity is higher so the bike feels heavier even though they are similar.
 

redking18

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Well I rode the Versys. It was definitely light compared to the 850 lbs vaquero. I definitely could take corners a lot more aggressively. Acceleration was great and I have no issues with how it felt doing 80 on the freeway. Not sure I liked it though. The buffeting from the wind was worse than on a cruiser. I felt like I kept sliding forward in the seat and having to hug the sides with my legs, especially when braking as I would get thrown forward with every brake. I really can not imagine sitting on it for 6 hours for a road trip. Maybe I'm just a cruiser guy.
 

potter0o

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My opinion on buffeting is it is all about the windshield. Both bikes would have the issue. Most get an aftermarket windshield and some in combination with a deflector on top. I was taught to hug the side with my legs. It may be more applicable to racing techniques but I find it helpful when hitting unexpected bumps. Both bikes will have this sliding issue. Many here modify the seat to take away the forward slope and make it more level. One major difference to keep in mind when moving from a cruiser would be the change in foot position. You would be moving from feet in front to feet underneath. This may be part of the difference you feel in comfort.
 

drdubb

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NC saddle will also push you forward. There are lots of fixes on this site. I did a Seat Concepts saddle recover. easy peasy. I also did a Madstad adventure windscreen. I've learned that every motorcycle takes some customization from the owner. Thats half the fun.
 

kebrider

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We have owned an 09 and 15 Versys 650 and a 13 NC700 and now a 19 NC750X. We are surrounded by mountains on all sides so handling is the metric of choice. The new NC750X has only 600 miles but it now has three 200 mile days under its belt and it is the most unlike the other 3. The torque and smoothness are a cut above and the short stints we take on the expressway tells us it is excellent on the highway. There is virtually no engine sound and an MRA Vario shield cut back on the buffeting and highish noise of the stock screen.

I installed Bridgestone T31 GT tires because I wanted to try a 170/60 rear tire on the bike. The T31 GT 170 rear is designed for a 4.5" rim but the GT spec means stiff sidewalls impacting comfort. Dropping tire pressure 4 psi gave back most of the comfort and the grip is peg dragging excellent. I dropped the front approximately 4.5 MM through the triples and as set up with the T31 and revised geometry the bike steers with the light/quick feel of a 400cc dualsport and has the straight line stability of a bigger bike.

The stock suspension has a playful firmness and more plushness than any of the others we have owned. The refined feel, decent power and effortless handling of the NC750X is making it look like the class of the field to us (so far).

KEB
 

TacomaJD

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The NC is only as boring as you let it be. I come from a sportbike, trackday background of riding and ride an NC because I am now a left leg below knee amputee. It works good for me and I love riding it. It's low on power compared to what I'm used to, but I'm ok with it. I also love the DCT. Before losing my leg, probably never would have opted for a DCT, now that I am used to it, I love it and would buy another!

I also currently have a 2006 Kawi Vulcan Nomad 1600, similar power to your old Vaquero. The NC will be very similar power to what your Vaquero had (power to weight ration). I have rode many miles on my NC and the Nomad, and I'm still not sure which would win in a drag race with equal riders.

The NC handles extremely well on twisty roads, you'll enjoy that part of it, but that could also be said about the Versys. I'd say there's not enough difference between the two, that I'd just buy the cheapest one as someone else recommended.

And on that note, there's also not enough difference in power between the 700 and 750 in the NC, that I'd recommend considering buying a NC700X too, because they can be found for much cheaper than the 750's. Just as reliable and predominantly the same minus some cosmetics and 3 or 4 extra hp and ft lbs of tq.
 

TacomaJD

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It took me a while to get used to the power for the kind of riding I like to do on a nimble bike, but I'm pretty content with it now. Although there's always the desire to go faster in the back of my mind, but that never goes away for me regardless. Lol.

I use mine on track and on street, and it is a great jack of all trades.

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TacomaJD

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We have owned an 09 and 15 Versys 650 and a 13 NC700 and now a 19 NC750X. We are surrounded by mountains on all sides so handling is the metric of choice. The new NC750X has only 600 miles but it now has three 200 mile days under its belt and it is the most unlike the other 3. The torque and smoothness are a cut above and the short stints we take on the expressway tells us it is excellent on the highway. There is virtually no engine sound and an MRA Vario shield cut back on the buffeting and highish noise of the stock screen.

I installed Bridgestone T31 GT tires because I wanted to try a 170/60 rear tire on the bike. The T31 GT 170 rear is designed for a 4.5" rim but the GT spec means stiff sidewalls impacting comfort. Dropping tire pressure 4 psi gave back most of the comfort and the grip is peg dragging excellent. I dropped the front approximately 4.5 MM through the triples and as set up with the T31 and revised geometry the bike steers with the light/quick feel of a 400cc dualsport and has the straight line stability of a bigger bike.

The stock suspension has a playful firmness and more plushness than any of the others we have owned. The refined feel, decent power and effortless handling of the NC750X is making it look like the class of the field to us (so far).

KEB
Hate to nitpick, but you know you're not gaining anything in handling or performance by going to a wider rear tire on the same width rim, right? It's also taller than stock, which affects geometry (if we're still nitpicking) and all that other adjusting is really unnecessary.

There are an array of tires offered in the 160/60 flavor that will provide more grip than anyone of us here are capable of using on the street and still maintain stock geometry and quicker handling than that of a wider tire on the same width rim.
 

kebrider

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Hate to nitpick, but you know you're not gaining anything in handling or performance by going to a wider rear tire on the same width rim, right? It's also taller than stock, which affects geometry (if we're still nitpicking) and all that other adjusting is really unnecessary.

There are an array of tires offered in the 160/60 flavor that will provide more grip than anyone of us here are capable of using on the street and still maintain stock geometry and quicker handling than that of a wider tire on the same width rim.
Good advice Tacoma and I agree that the geometry change with the larger diameter rear tire is compounding the rake/trail reduction I accomplished with the lowering of the front. I really like quick steering and i also try to limit any front end push I can so I like to get the lowest trail number possible. The limiting factor in trail reduction on the NC is the clearance between the front fender and lower radiator mount. The bike also has limited ground clearance for fast riding and dropping the front is giving away some of this valuable commodity. The 170 rear gives back some clearance in theory, but in practice I believe the profile is too steep at deep lean angles to help in this area even though the tire is designed for a 4.5 inch rim.

What the profile of the 170 takes away in clearance it gives back in quicker and lighter effort turn in. The "pinched" profile is very stable and the extra shoulder depth means I will always have a bit of chicken strip (like a 160 Dunlop Q3 always had on my 700) which I like as a safety factor. The 160's I run, except the Q3, never have any strips but they always had plenty of contact and only slid mildly at max corner speed.

I probably don't ride an NC like most. I had my 700 on the track at Barber to set the suspension and then I used it for almost two years as my play bike of choice around the Deals Gap/Tail Of The Dragon area. I had Cogent suspension front and rear with the shock set up for additional ride height. I drug everything on the bike. I had to replace two exhausts and a set of pegs and I had a centerstand that had some creative grinding. I kept the stand on because I would destroy a set of tires every 3 weeks and I loved the simplicity it provided.

Below is my old NC when it was still on stock suspension. I like the new 750's oem stuff so much I plan to run it for a while before I upgrade. The Bridgestone GTs are a test and I will report anything unusual or unsafe along the way but I really enjoyed them on a brisk run this past weekend. I did some car tire testing on an ST1300 a few years ago and I wrote a fairly detailed report on what I learned from that experiment that was contrary to the popular opinion at the time.

NC at Lean.jpg
 
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greenboy

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After going one size larger on a dualsport rear I decided the extra weight was dragging the acceleration down too much. The power of the NC is not so much that I want to chance that again, and as TacomaJD says, the better 160/60-17s handle and grip so nice...
 

TacomaJD

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Good advice Tacoma and I agree that the geometry change with the larger diameter rear tire is compounding the rake/trail reduction I accomplished with the lowering of the front. I really like quick steering and i also try to limit any front end push I can so I like to get the lowest trail number possible. The limiting factor in trail reduction on the NC is the clearance between the front fender and lower radiator mount. The bike also has limited ground clearance for fast riding and dropping the front is giving away some of this valuable commodity. The 170 rear gives back some clearance in theory, but in practice I believe the profile is too steep at deep lean angles to help in this area even though the tire is designed for a 4.5 inch rim.

What the profile of the 170 takes away in clearance it gives back in quicker and lighter effort turn in. The "pinched" profile is very stable and the extra shoulder depth means I will always have a bit of chicken strip (like a 160 Dunlop Q3 always had on my 700) which I like as a safety factor. The 160's I run, except the Q3, never have any strips but they always had plenty of contact and only slid mildly at max corner speed.

I probably don't ride an NC like most. I had my 700 on the track at Barber to set the suspension and then I used it for almost two years as my play bike of choice around the Deals Gap/Tail Of The Dragon area. I had Cogent suspension front and rear with the shock set up for additional ride height. I drug everything on the bike. I had to replace two exhausts and a set of pegs and I had a centerstand that had some creative grinding. I kept the stand on because I would destroy a set of tires every 3 weeks and I loved the simplicity it provided.

Below is my old NC when it was still on stock suspension. I like the new 750's oem stuff so much I plan to run it for a while before I upgrade. The Bridgestone GTs are a test and I will report anything unusual or unsafe along the way but I really enjoyed them on a brisk run this past weekend. I did some car tire testing on an ST1300 a few years ago and I wrote a fairly detailed report on what I learned from that experiment that was contrary to the popular opinion at the time.

View attachment 41751
Why would you be sticking your knee out that close to the ground in jeans?!

Where are you from? I ride mine at Barber and Talladega GP! I run Q3's as well, always chicken strips left just the same. I had to grind down the kickstand pad to gain clearance, both pegs scrub, but my oem center stand isn't even close to dragging. Exhaust has gotten close but hasn't touched yet. The top surface of my forks are flush with the triple tree, oem rear shock preload is cranked to the max to combat sag. Real close to buying an Ohlins rear shock. About to switch tires too after I wear out my last Q3 and try Pirelli's new Supercorsa TD tire.

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kebrider

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I live in Knoxville TJD. The riding jeans nowadays have sufficient padding and reenforcement to let me pose for the cameras at the gap. I sometimes get surprised but normally I can lay the fabric on the ground and never get so much as a red mark.

I don't ride for all out speed I just like bikes that hold a rhythm and turn with low effort.

Cutting center and side stand rubbers is a proven way to gain ground clearance, turns a staid commuter into a better "sport" bike sometimes. The cstand and brake pedal used to drag on my 700 but I run many roads that have sharp radical off camber turns.

If you zoom in on that pic of my 700 it says 43 mph on the speedo. A great example of how much fun you can have in the mountains without excessive speed.

Loved passing on the rumble strip in museum and hated getting passed 100 yards later but I really had a great time at Barber on the NC.

The 790 Duke in the photo was the easiest knee dragger I ever owned. NC is less thrilling but easily as much fun in the hills.

KEB
 

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