First long ride

Ron Doles

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I got an 2012 NC700X with 8400 miles on it last week.

The previous owner had put engine guards, skid plate, radiator guard and hand guards on it. He replaced the original muffler with a Danmoto carbon fiber muffler. It came with the stock muffler in blister wrap as well. I didn't care for the sound of the new muffler and put the stock muffler back on. It had Continental street tires on it and he began to explain about types of 80-20 and 50-50 tires that I could get depending on how much I wanted to ride it off road. I rode dirt bikes a lot when I was younger but I told him that my off road days are now in the rear view mirror. From the looks of the bike, he never took it off road either.

The weather finally improved and I was able to go for my first good ride yesterday. I live in Columbus, Oh and set out to see my brother and his wife who live near Akron.

It is a little over a 200 mile round trip. My choices were I71 which is 2 hours of boring superslab or SR3 instead. SR3 is mostly good road through beautiful farm country with some hilly areas. Along the journey is Sunbury, Centerburg, Mt. Vernon, Loudenville and Wooster plus 5 smaller communities. It is a way more scenic and relaxed route.

It was cool enough when I left that I just grabbed a pair of gloves out of the closet and my throttle hand started cramping after about 40 miles. The smooth gloves that I chose forced me to have to grip the throttle too hard. It didn't help that I have a little arthritis and managed to break a few knuckles over the years. I stopped in Mt. Vernon at a Honda shop along the main drag and bought a throttle lock. Problem solved. Without the gloves, cramping on the way home wasn't a problem.

I missed the usual petroleum smell from oil wells north of Mt Vernon that I remembered from previous trips up SR3. What took it's place was the smell of manure that the farmers had spread on the fields for most of the trip. I also encountered my first swarms of bugs. I thought that it was too early in the season for bugs. My half, face shield was covered with bugs when I got to Akron. They were bigger than gnats and they stung when they hit my chin or lips. Maybe it had to do with bugs hatching out of the manure, not a pleasant thought. I didn't need lunch after snacking on so many bugs.

I did encounter a low flying ultralight airplane flying parallel to me for a couple of miles. We waved at each other. I wished that I was him. That was a first for me.

I am 6' 2" tall and the short windshield will need to be replaced with something taller. I felt like I was speaking into a leaf blower at times.

The posted speed limit for much of the trip is 55 mph and I tried to maintain 60 mph for those parts. The engine seems to be happy when I kept it between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm which meant 5th gear on a couple of longer hills but top gear for most of the way. This is my first fuel injected bike and I like the easy start and linear throttle response whether the engine is hot or cold.

I just sold my 77 naked Goldwing which had finicky CV carburetors and was really cold blooded. You had to let it warm up for about 5 minutes before driving off. The GW was 1,000 cc's, 80 hp @ 9,000 rpm and a couple hundred pounds heavier. It was a hoot to ride fast which was going to get me hurt and it was beginning to be a problem for my knees. I believe that this bike is a better all round commuter bike.

I got 69 mpg on my first tank. It is a little awkward getting the fuel filler nozzle under the raised seat but you probably develop a technique for that.

I am 72 and am usually in pain (butt burn) after a 2 hour ride but the riding position and the stock seat are pretty good. I was ready to take a break but not in pain when I arrived.

All in all, a good visit and a great ride on a beautiful day. I think that the NC and I am really going to get along well together.
 

670cc

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Thanks for telling us your detailed ride story; I almost felt like I was riding along with you. May you have many good miles on your NC!
 

Alias

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Good story. SR 3 is a nice road, I ride it when heading back home from Iron Pony Motorsports near Westerville.
 
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