Just bought 2012 NC700x, what should my order of modifications be?

PolkaPig578

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Just got a 2012 NC700X just under 3000 miles. All stock no upgrades on it yet. I am going to fix some of the stock parts that are slightly damaged, get a taller windscreen and maybe change the headlights to LED's. (and get crash bars/cage, most likely from the guy in Russia)

My question is, as a primarily street rider but hopefully occasional dirt rider, what should my order of upgrades be?

Also I was wondering from some of you long time owners, what kind of trails can I expect to be able to ride without having to be a pro X-Games rider? Just gravel and smooth dirt roads? If it helps I live in Maine, just outside of Lewiston/Auburn but plan on taking the bike up to a camp in Aroostook which will require me to take it down some camp roads and probably logging roads. I know it's probably asking much, but I want a bike that I can take for long cruises or just around town but is also capable of tackling some terrain when I decide to do so for camping trips. Maybe Shinko 705 tires are my best bet?

TL;DR I just got a stock 2012 NC700x, what should my order of modifications be other than taller windscreen and LED lights? (also pretty sure I already have an O-ring chain so can check that off the list.)
 

670cc

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If you’re doing any long distance riding, then a bigger windshield, better seat, and some way to carry cargo would be top priorities.

As for off road riding, it depends how much punishment you want to take. The stock suspension is made of low budget components, the suspension travel is limited, and the 17 inch front wheel isn’t ideal for really rough terrain. That said, there are video examples of people taking the NC through some pretty rough terrain. However, the NC is an adventure “styled“ bike, not a true adventure bike, and it is not a dual sport.

We have a tire tech talk forum where tires are discussed. Opinions are all over the map, so read it and make your own judgements.

Welcome to the forum!
 

PolkaPig578

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If you’re doing any long distance riding, then a bigger windshield, better seat, and some way to carry cargo would be top priorities.

As for off road riding, it depends how much punishment you want to take. The stock suspension is made of low budget components, the suspension travel is limited, and the 17 inch front wheel isn’t ideal for really rough terrain. That said, there are video examples of people taking the NC through some pretty rough terrain. However, the NC is an adventure “styled“ bike, not a true adventure bike, and it is not a dual sport.

We have a tire tech talk forum where tires are discussed. Opinions are all over the map, so read it and make your own judgements.

Welcome to the forum!

Is there a thread for recommended seats? I did see the thread for tires.
 

670cc

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Is there a thread for recommended seats? I did see the thread for tires.
There have been many, many seat discussions. You can try searching the forum for “seat poll” or something similar. But I’ll say up front that it won’t do you much good. Nearly every seat available is somebody’s favorite. There is no consensus on which seat is best. For every seat that is available, there are people that might like it, and other people that might dislike it. I guess the reason is that riders are built differently and have different desires in seat qualities. If you were to open a thread asking which is the best seat, you’ll get ten different answers and you’ll be no closer to deciding on a seat than you were before asking the question.

One universally accepted problem with the stock seat is that it slopes downward toward the front. In my opinion, most aftermarket seats do not adequately fix that problem. I believe there are two aftermarket seats that do fix the slope, but they can possibly bring on other issues, depending on the build of you body. Some people have been satisfied fixing the forward seat slope by raising the front of the stock seat, commonly referred to as the “showkey mod”.

I have also come to believe, for me anyway, that the seat is not always the only reason the butt gets sore. How the handlebars and footpegs are positioned determines how your weight is carried on the seat. Sometimes repositioning the bars or pegs can improve the seat comfort. The NC has pegs that are somewhat rearward, and bars that can be a long reach for shorter riders. This can force the hips to roll forward and make it less likely that the buttocks are squarely supporting your weight on the wide part of the seat.
 
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dduelin

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The so-called Showkey modification is a good place to start. This lifts the front of the seat and flattens the seating area. For some owners, myself include, this alone was sufficient to make the seat OK for me and to move onto other modifications. Google 'Showkey NC700X seat mod' and you will find threads on it. Somewhat later I changed to a Sargent aftermarket seat but it was 25,000 miles later. I agree with 670cc to address the seat, wind management, storage first. If the tires are original they need to be changed first. These days the first thing might be a way to hold and power a phone on the handlebars.

Tires over 5 or 6 years old are way past use date, replaced them. You probably know to check the 4 digit manufacturing date code on the sidewalls. There are many definitions of off road use but mine is that if you can take a two wheel drive car or light truck on the terrain a street bike like the NC700X can easily handle it. Deep or loose sand, mud, and rocky terrain are moving up the scale of difficulty. Hard packed single or two track trails, occasionally maintained dirt and logging roads should present little difficulty to the NC700X, it wll be your ability that limits you. An 80/20 tire like the Shinko 705s can handle both street and these types of soft roads.
 

Doc True

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I've always found it best not to modify a new bike for at least 6 months (if I can help it). The more time I spend on the bike, the more obvious the things that need to be changed become. I know it's fun and a little exciting to shop for new parts and imagine what the bike could be, but most, if not all, modifications are personal and won't have the same effect on your ride as they did on someone else's. Rushing into it, may cause you to buy things that aren't needed at all and might even make things worse

TL/DR: Slow down, enjoy your new bike, and let the bike tell you what it needs
 

New Commuter700

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On the seat issue, I recommend starting with a cheaper option like a cover. I bought the MadDog GearComfort Ride Seat Protector and was disappointing that it was designed to fit over the pillion seat, which is not ideal for filling the tank every other day. I folded it in half and strapped it down and it has inceased my comfort by half mostly by fixing the slope issue that 670cc was talking about.

Of course the first 'mod' that most of us would recommend is the center stand, if this one does not have it.
 

PolkaPig578

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There have been many, many seat discussions. You can try searching the forum for “seat poll” or something similar. But I’ll say up front that it won’t do you much good. Nearly every seat available is somebody’s favorite. There is no consensus on which seat is best. For every seat that is available, there are people that might like it, and other people that might dislike it. I guess the reason is that riders are built differently and have different desires in seat qualities. If you were to open a thread asking which is the best seat, you’ll get ten different answers and you’ll be no closer to deciding on a seat than you were before asking the question.

One universally accepted problem with the stock seat is that it slopes downward toward the front. In my opinion, most aftermarket seats do not adequately fix that problem. I believe there are two aftermarket seats that do fix the slope, but they can possibly bring on other issues, depending on the build of you body. Some people have been satisfied fixing the forward seat slope by raising the front of the stock seat, commonly referred to as the “showkey mod”.

I have also come to believe, for me anyway, that the seat is not always the only reason the butt gets sore. How the handlebars and footpegs are positioned determines how your weight is carried on the seat. Sometimes repositioning the bars or pegs can improve the seat comfort. The NC has pegs that are somewhat rearward, and bars that can be a long reach for shorter riders. This can force the hips to roll forward and make it less likely that the buttocks are squarely supporting your weight on the wide part of the seat.

Im a taller rider at 6’ probably taller with my boots on and only weigh 165lbs. I don’t mind the bar positioning much and I can tolerate the seat for about an hour and I have to take a quick break in order to go longer comfortably. I have noticed that the seat slopes forward causing some discomfort in the nether regions lol. Yeah I guess I’ll have to look at the polls and weigh my options. Maybe do a peg mod too, I’ve noticed since my legs are longer that they get sore from being “scrunched up”. Maybe some cruiser pegs or just some how lowering them?
 

PolkaPig578

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I've always found it best not to modify a new bike for at least 6 months (if I can help it). The more time I spend on the bike, the more obvious the things that need to be changed become. I know it's fun and a little exciting to shop for new parts and imagine what the bike could be, but most, if not all, modifications are personal and won't have the same effect on your ride as they did on someone else's. Rushing into it, may cause you to buy things that aren't needed at all and might even make things worse

TL/DR: Slow down, enjoy your new bike, and let the bike tell you what it needs
Definitely agree with this. I want to wait a while as well because since it’s a larger bike than what I had I’d hate to mod it out and crash it or something. I’m pretty comfortable with it now as I already have 300 miles on it, but still I guess better to be safe than sorry ‍♂.
 

PolkaPig578

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On the seat issue, I recommend starting with a cheaper option like a cover. I bought the MadDog GearComfort Ride Seat Protector and was disappointing that it was designed to fit over the pillion seat, which is not ideal for filling the tank every other day. I folded it in half and strapped it down and it has inceased my comfort by half mostly by fixing the slope issue that 670cc was talking about.

Of course the first 'mod' that most of us would recommend is the center stand, if this one does not have it.
Is it really that useful to have a center stand? Probably adds quite a bit of weight obviously, but also probably helps a lot with servicing. Is it needed if I get a bike lift? I wouldn’t think so unless I had to do emergency repairs on the road or trails.
 

670cc

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Is it really that useful to have a center stand? Probably adds quite a bit of weight obviously, but also probably helps a lot with servicing. Is it needed if I get a bike lift? I wouldn’t think so unless I had to do emergency repairs on the road or trails.
I consider a centerstand the first item that should be added. It’s a shame Honda uses the lack of a centerstand to get a few more dollars out of the buyers by making it an accessory.

When it comes to changing tires and doing chain work, the centerstand make the jobs far easier. Plus, the centerstand is always with the bike. The weight of the centerstand is a non issue, in my opinion. If overall weight was a concern, buying something other than a Honda would be a better option. Hondas generally run on the heavy side vs competition.
 

DTMWAP

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Center stand is the first thing I added. For me, it was a must. For crash bars, you don't need to wait as it have no influence on comfort or performance. I installed the R-GAZA bars (from Russia) and I am very satisfied with the product.
 

670cc

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Im a taller rider at 6’ probably taller with my boots on and only weigh 165lbs. I don’t mind the bar positioning much and I can tolerate the seat for about an hour and I have to take a quick break in order to go longer comfortably. I have noticed that the seat slopes forward causing some discomfort in the nether regions lol. Yeah I guess I’ll have to look at the polls and weigh my options. Maybe do a peg mod too, I’ve noticed since my legs are longer that they get sore from being “scrunched up”. Maybe some cruiser pegs or just some how lowering them?
My idea of a tolerable seat is one I can ride on all day for at least 5 days straight and not get sore. If short trips are more your norm, then the seat mod is not top priority. At the risk of getting too specific, based on your having long legs, I would recommend the Seat Concepts foam and cover kit. It sits a little higher than stock and eliminates the slope. But you would need to contact them and specify a foam density appropriate for your weight of 165 lbs. Otherwise their foam is stiff and more suitable for someone like a 240 pound rider.
 

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1st thing I added was a centerstand. If I bought another NC tomorrow without one, it would be the 1st add -on again. Next was a windshield and then a seat. Ride awhile and you will figure out what your order will be.
 
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New Commuter700

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Is it really that useful to have a center stand? Probably adds quite a bit of weight obviously, but also probably helps a lot with servicing. Is it needed if I get a bike lift? I wouldn’t think so unless I had to do emergency repairs on the road or trails.
In addition to all the great points made already, here in AZ we have one more reason for requiring a centerstand; heat. AZ summers get so hot that it will soften asphalt. Side stand sinks, bike falls over. Probably not something that you have to worry about too much in Maine. At least not yet.
 

PolkaPig578

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I think you should modify the odometer by putting some miles on it!

You’ll quickly figure out a few things you want/need to mod immediately. Most everything else is just personal preference and not a necessity.

JT
Haha, I like your answer . I plan on putting a taller windscreen and a top case/trunk on it as soon as I can. Other than that I’ll probably be waiting to see what I absolutely need or just really want.
 

potter0o

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Is it really that useful to have a center stand? Probably adds quite a bit of weight obviously, but also probably helps a lot with servicing. Is it needed if I get a bike lift? I wouldn’t think so unless I had to do emergency repairs on the road or trails.
I started out using stands as I wanted equipment that would not move with the bike. I now have the center stand and rarely use the stands. Really has to do with speed and convenience. Lubing the chain every 800km as a comuter just simpler. I don't regret getting the center stand and wish I had gotten it sooner.
 
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