New CTX700 reviews

yticolev

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Reviews from the May 9 Honda ride-around event of the 2014 CTX models for journalists:

RideApart
Motorcycle.com
Motorcyclist magazine

Summary: A small "glove box" replaces the frunk, optional fairing, four inch lower seat height, forward foot pegs, smaller gas tank at 3.2 gallons, and reduced suspension travel. Otherwise, it is the NC700!
 
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The_Drifter

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I thought the article in RideApart was fair and unbiased. However, I'm very disappointed with the Motrocycle.com review. It seems like that article was written by Honda.
 

ziggie

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It looks smaller.i wonder why they went with a smaller gas tank?i agree a few changes but other wise the nc.
 

Ramseysteve

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It looks smaller.i wonder why they went with a smaller gas tank?i agree a few changes but other wise the nc.

The answer to that may lie in the question, where is the gas tank? It doesn't look like it has a conventional gas tank as the filler (just in front of the saddle) would be too low. But the trunk has all but disappeared, so i guess its still under the seat? With a 28" high seat, it must have been quite a squeeze to get it under there and keep its capacity decent.

All will be revealed in time I'm sure.
 

yticolev

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It looks smaller.i wonder why they went with a smaller gas tank?i agree a few changes but other wise the nc.
I suspect the smaller tank was to help get to the lower cruiser seat height - perhaps they couldn't get all the way there with shortened suspension.
 

gregsfc

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I think that the bike is almost perfect, at least at what it tries to accomplish. Simple, smooth-running, reliable, comfortable, fuel-efficient transportation on two wheels for an unbeatable price that is built for the masses. Not designed for MC enthusiasts; it's built for those who have had little reason in the past to ride a motorcycle, and that's where the bias always comes in. In fact, it is this bike that has urged me to sell my 330 cc scooter and buy a MC. It's the only one I've seen, besides the Integra with the same power train that is not sold in the States, that makes practical sense from a price, utility, and efficiency standpoint, and its the only one I've ever wanted. I do agree that it's a little heavy, but my scooter is only 100 lbs lighter and it's about half the cc's.

I guess the Ride Apart article is fair if you're one that has bought in to this American motorcycle culture that insists that we either must ride something that accelerates like a rocket or something that weighs nearly as much as one's car with a ton of chrome on it. Stating that it is only suitable for a beginner because it is not fast enough when in fact it is a vehicle that is far faster than the average new car, is a ridiculous statement. Compared to my scooter, it's considerably faster, and my scooter is plenty fast for any American road, save a few Texas toll roads. I plan to buy it, and if I don't crash it, commute on it for ten years, and never think a minute about whether or not it is engaging enough or not. I don't think of it as a beginner's bike. I'll get some soft storage and to mount on the seat, install a taller screen, and it'll be my forever bike.

What's the hoopla about suspension travel? Is that a valid criticism? How much travel do I need to commute to work and back?

A fair critique would find things inferior about it from a riding comfort standpoint; inferior components standpoint (not inferior for racing but for transportation); and from a value standpoint.

My personal criticisms. Gas tank is too small and the seat is a little low for the average rider and way too low for a taller rider.
 
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gregsfc

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I thought the article in RideApart was fair and unbiased. However, I'm very disappointed with the Motrocycle.com review. It seems like that article was written by Honda.

I've been reading all the reviews I can find on this bike, because I plan to buy one after a sell or trade my scooter. Most of the reviews out there are excerpts from the Honda press releases with just a little blah, blah, blah. I don't like it either, but media outlets don't want to spend good money to do a decent review; they're just taking quotes from Honda and reprinting them so they can look like they're looking out for the MC consumer. I do give Ride Apart credit for that much. They actually took a look at the bike before they decided it wasn't sporty enough to be called a MC.

I don't mind that they decided to be critical. I just don't like the perspective they have. It's not built to be a sport bike, and that's what they're comparing it against for most of the review.

It reminds me of some of the reviews I've seen on the NC700X with reviewers talking about how slow it is. They just don't get it. It's not designed for sport-bike enthusiasts and they're not the people considering it anyway, so it's a wasted review.
 

yticolev

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What's the hoopla about suspension travel? Is that a valid criticism? How much travel do I need to commute to work and back?

A fair critique would find things inferior about it from a riding comfort standpoint; inferior components standpoint (not inferior for racing but for transportation); and from a value standpoint.

My personal criticisms. Gas tank is too small and the seat is a little low for the average rider and way too low for a taller rider.

No hoopla about suspension. I don't think a road bike needs more, it is just a comparison to the NC700X which is marketed as an adventure bike, one that can go off road (very few owners do much that way).

Gas tank too small, seat too low? Sounds like you should consider the NC700X! The DCT model, which it sounds like you want, has had the price lowered by $500 for this year's model and still comes with antilock brakes. You may not need a seat mounted carrier with the frunk.
 

StratTuner

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I'm just a consumer, no expert, but the only thing that makes it interesting at all is the engine it shares with the NC700x. Everything else I like about the NC is either missing or abbreviated. It should have had a bigger gas tank, the same size "frunk", and a shaft drive.
Good Price point at 7K, but the NC700x still seems a better deal.
 

Ramseysteve

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I think that the bike is almost perfect, at least at what it tries to accomplish. Simple, smooth-running, reliable, comfortable, fuel-efficient transportation on two wheels for an unbeatable price that is built for the masses. Not designed for MC enthusiasts; it's built for those who have had little reason in the past to ride a motorcycle, and that's where the bias always comes in...
....

My personal criticisms. Gas tank is too small and the seat is a little low for the average rider and way too low for a taller rider.

Amen to that. These are definitely bikes that should be viewed as an overture to the non biker or an alternative for the maxi scooter buyer to consider. Truth be told, the NCX isn't that different in that sense. The issue of course isn't their engineering execution but whether they're reading the market right, and that's always been a challenge for a market leader.

Kudos to Honda for building bikes that they believe will sell. Rightly or wrongly, I don't think they care if the buyers are 16 or 60, new riders young or old, or returning riders, but they think they know. And if you're tall, well they have an NC700X to sell you. Of course this is all about the US market. The CTX's provide a nice counter point to the NCX here, but the mystery to me is why they chose not to market the NCS here; if they believe this market will support several versions of the CTX, then surely they could sell a naked street bike version of the platform in at least some numbers here. They're doing that with the CB500's after all.

Anyway, at the risk of singing to the choir, I hope the CTX succeeds.
 

lipsee

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I like the style of the exhaust,,,fairing looks ok but maybe abit too far forward,,all in all an ok bike at a cheap price,,much like the X......I wonder if they will sell in UK???
 

gregsfc

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No hoopla about suspension. I don't think a road bike needs more, it is just a comparison to the NC700X which is marketed as an adventure bike, one that can go off road (very few owners do much that way).

Gas tank too small, seat too low? Sounds like you should consider the NC700X! The DCT model, which it sounds like you want, has had the price lowered by $500 for this year's model and still comes with antilock brakes. You may not need a seat mounted carrier with the frunk.

I'm still considering the NC700 as well, but three things are steering more towards the touring version of the CTX. First, where the CTX is a tad short, the NC is a tad tall. According to the specs., the NC is 4.4" higher, but, sitting on the NC, it doesn't seem quite that high. My scooter is listed at 31", but I can come closer to flat+footing the NC than I can my scooter.

Secondly, I will be riding mostly for a long, state highway commute daily, and I like to ride all four seasons as much as I can. Almost 60 miles per day 55-65 mph. From my test ride and from posts I've read on here, I think curtailing the wind and rain would be tricky with the NC, whereas the CTX700 with a tall shield should give me comfort on my highway commute.

Thirdly and most importantly, I'd be going from a scooter to an MC. I really like the foot placement on the scooter and when I sat on the NC and the CB, I didn't like the foot placement. How high my feet were and the fact that they were right under my knees. I did like the upright sitting position on the NC though.

However, I'm going to get a Honda with that 670 cc power train with a standard transmission, and if I end up not liking the CTX after trying it out, I will be getting an NC. It's a great bike. I'm just hoping the CTX will be better for me for my needs.
 

tweak89

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I saw the entire new CTX and 500 Series bikes from Honda at the MotoGP race in Austin last month. The CTX (in both flavors) was getting a lot of attention.

If these had come out at the same time as the NCX I probably would have chosen it over the X as it was essentially what I was looking for, a small displacement solo touring bike(the NT700V was, IMO, overpriced). Of course, I also think bags should be included, curious if Honda came to their senses and designed the mounts so that cutting isn't required. Had I not already invested so much in the X (adding bags, screen, levers, etc) I would be seriously considering switching. But, the frunk is something that would be hard to do without! But, the ability to add speakers to the CTX fairing, and thus music, is also very tempting. Cruising long distance on my Victory, music certainly makes long hauls easier to take.
 
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muskieken

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i bet it has great wind protection,,
i'm waiting for my madstad to come it,,, hate the way the wind travel's up my arms into my helmet
i tested the NT 700 that' s a great bike, balance , egro's , seat , but i hated the vib's that the v twin made. was like a lawnmower that was about to throw a rod... the ctx look like it has a real seat too.

so on my 700 x new wind shield 300 ,, then seat (group buy 140 )
looks like a great deal for some people
ps I got the 700x for the upright seating position . the storage funk, and the mpg ... i love my crf230l but can't take it on the highway. too light , motor is maxed at 65, but they both get the same mpg.
 
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Spaceteach

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Everyone has their own sense of style and preference for different features and I'm sure the CTX appeals to a lot of people. If I were given the choice between the NC and CTX my preference would still be the NC.
I would much rather have the frunk than the small compartment in the CTX.
I'm not a fan of the feet forward and low seat cruiser style riding position. As long as I can comfortably reach the ground I think the higher seat gives better visibility and having my feet positioned more to the rear makes it easier to move around on the bike. I went through my cruiser phase a couple years ago, and I'm definitely over it.
I am not a fan of going to a smaller fuel tank.
On the other hand, I would consider the fairing to be a big plus for the CTX.
So all things considered, the differences I care about come out three to one in favor of the NC.

Please remember the above are only my personal preferences and I've been told that sanity isn't my strong suit.:)

Bob
 

gregsfc

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Lots of writing about the smaller tank, but the NC's tank ain't exactly big. We're comparing 3.7 versus 3.17. While a tad over 1/2 gallon, assuming equal fuel economy, equates to a range-increasing 30 miles or so, its not as if we're comparing 4.5 gallon capacity to 3.17. My scooter is 3.4, and for real-world practicality, I usually don't burn over 3 gallons between fillups, so if I have only 3.17, I'm probably not going over 2.8 or so on a regular basis. In other words, gas stations are few and far between along my commute, and I've got to leave some in reserve, so going from the scooter to the CTX might mean that I would be filling up every two days instead of every two-and-a-half days. The NC would give me three days, and the upcoming CB500X might give me four if the mpg is over 60, but none of these are like my diesel car where I can go twelve days. So even though this is an important factor in my purchasing decision, there is no one choice over another that makes one a far better choice.

As for the frunk (I think that's what you guys are calling it), it's a really cool feature, but it's nothing like the storage I've got on my scooter under the seat plus I added a top case for only $99. Adding a top case to a MC is more of a big deal expense wise. The top cases cost more than scooter top cases due to the weight that they'll hold plus one has to buy the luggage rack to even get started; not so with most scooters. But what I've learned about storage from my first ride is that there are some affordable options out there especially if one is not concerned about locking up the contents, worried about the contents being water proofed, worried about mounting requiring some modifications, or is worried about the luggage compartment adding or complimenting the looks of the bike. I don't care about any of these things, and I'm willing to do some jerry rigging to get some storage cheaply. Looks to me like there are some soft storage options out there up to about 40 liters for under $100. They don't look good, but I don't care. It wouldn't be permanent to the bike. I've not looked into which of those options would work with the CTX, but I'm sure I can come up with something cheap behind my butt to haul my lunch bag to and from work, plus be able to pick up a few bags of groceries on the way home. If it turns out that I'll have to add a luggage rack, I'll probably wait for some cheap after market choices to come out first and then jerry rig a cheap scooter top case or soft bag on top.

Finally. I decent review of the CTXs linked below. This guy actually rode one of each (CTX700N and CTX700); both with DCT; and provides a critique on some factors that should be important to prospective buyers. One thing most notably important to me was his description of what the CTX700 rode like on the highway. Said it sort of makes your body like a sail (much like I noticed with the NC), but that, it really keeps the wind and the noise away from your head, which is not what I noticed with the NC. As for the body sail thing, that's one good thing about my scooter. It protects my body well, but getting rid of the wind around my head is hard to do without buffeting. He also comments on the distance from one's body to the grips and to the pegs, and that's info. I wanted as well. Considering the size and shorty-ness of the bike, I was afraid it may be to cramped in its layout, but, according to this guy, it ain't.

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/firstrides/122_1309_2014_honda_ctx_first_ride/
 
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Catbird

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I know that this sounds rather silly of me to feel this way, but...

I am 65 and have been riding since the early 1970s. I started out with a Honda CB350 twin and after a couple of years after getting comfortable and gaining in my overall riding skills, I bought a Honda GL1000 GoldWing. Eventually, I progressed to the BMW R1100RT and then to my current BMW R1200RT.

At this stage of my life, I'm strongly considering downsizing and have been seriously considering the CTX 700 or the NC 700X.

My point:
When I watch the various Youtube videos, especially for the CTX, the Honda narrator almost always states that this bike is geared toward the new and inexperienced rider to learn on. Since I'm neither new or inexperienced, I find this description kind of off-putting. It makes me feel inhibited about making a purchase -- sort of like buying a 10-speed bicycle with training wheels.

Say some (non insulting) stuff that will make me feel better about going ahead and buying one of these fine Honda motorcycles.
 

yticolev

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Thirdly and most importantly, I'd be going from a scooter to an MC. I really like the foot placement on the scooter and when I sat on the NC and the CB, I didn't like the foot placement. How high my feet were and the fact that they were right under my knees. I did like the upright sitting position on the NC though.

As for the frunk (I think that's what you guys are calling it), it's a really cool feature, but it's nothing like the storage I've got on my scooter under the seat plus I added a top case for only $99.

2014 Honda CTX | First Ride - Motorcyclist magazine

Thanks for the review link, I added it to the original post. By the way, I started the thread without carefully reading the reviews. They are not really a full review as the journalists were just at a chaperoned riding press conference. But this last one is clearly the best of the three linked riding impressions. I was particularly intrigued by his comments about the good aerodynamics of the touring version with a good still air pocket. Looks to me that it is designed to have the wind hit your helmet though, but at least it is non-turbulent.

I'm not sure I agreed with his comments about the DN-01. While an "automatic", that bike had a CVT, not a DCT. Very different.

The frunk is indeed very handy I'm liking it for errands, including grocery shopping (it will hold three bags of groceries).

I suggest actually riding the NC. The peg placement may grow on you. Having them below your own center of gravity means that it is easier to shift around on the saddle, or even stand up to relieve riding stresses. That is very hard to do safely on a scooter or a cruiser as you have to pull on the bars. Of course, standing on the pedals is required to manage off-roading so it was necessary to fit the marketing for "adventure" riding.
 
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