Performance enhancement in a single thread. One stop shopping.

Makingitwork6999

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Let us get real for a moment. The NC700 is not a performance bike, But you can make it perform better for you. Honda makes a bike that has the basics to make a specific price point. The NC is competitive and well built. It is not perfect, but it is not half bad either. In fact, the NC is one of the few modern bikes on the market known for not needing a wrench or a screw driver regularly.

No, this bike is not the XR650L, not the classic KLR650, DR400 nor the TW200 or anything like that. Yes. These bikes last forever. But, they are not modern either. The NC is a modern frame and half-skin bike. The DCT is nearly bulletproof and is a modern automatic transmission like any car you might have.

Now... about performance. Performance is about you and what makes you happier. Not what your neighbor thinks about your ability to wheelie. And now without further ado, here is a basic list of things to make your bike that much better.

* Change the skin of the seat. Add some extra foam. Not sure how to do this? Call your mom.
* Make sure you have some good middle-of-the-spectrum tires. Tires that work in dirt and on the street. Pick tires that have broader functions.
* Add a tire plugger kit to your compartment. One with an electric pump. Flatten your tire and test it once a year.
* Front fender extension for the rear edge
* Rear chain guard upgrade and hugger. Not something I would do as I am a dirt boy. Any large stone would tear this up.
* Add hand guards. No really! This is not a sissy thing. I got behind someone who's engine was coming apart. Get the ones that protect your master cylinder. I have been hit by engine mounts, large hail, and a whole Messerschmitt.
* A shock sock for the rear shock spring. Lube it once. Yeah. Once.
* Shock boots on the front forks tubes are better than bare forks. Lube it a lot less. Get the point?
* Add a cargo net to your compartment.
* Add sunscreen to your compartment, shaver, makeup, eyelash curler, tweezers. My wife should not be on my bike. Really!
* Move the handlebars to a better position. In most cases, the bars are too low. Why? Because they look cool at the dealership. Add bar risers.
* Add some covers to the grips. Maybe even add some electric heaters.
* Add a better windshield. The little one you got with your bike probably is not doing diddly.
* Add a Gel or LI battery. They usually perform better and can be one tenth the weight- Yes. They weigh... nothing. They also turn over the motor faster in some cases. Faster starts. Quick getaways. Toss an LI battery at your friend in a game of catch. Freak them out.
* Add fork emulators. This is a tiny barrel device in your fork tube that gives your forks better gotcha protection. Nobody wants a 75mph gotcha.
* Replace the rear shock. This is... well. Ok when it is new. After that... it is really garbage. See YSS suspensions for the CB500x. They are the same shock. It is soooooo much better.
* Put a new chain on. Anything but the stock chain. The stock chain has a stretching problem. Many Hondas have this weakness.
* Add a poly band to your kickstand spring. It will give it that extra snap and work just like a rubber band.
* Add a center stand. Now you can lube your chain in seconds.
* Add a radiator guard from R&G. No. Really. When you find a dent in it, you will thank me.
* Put Grom foot pegs on the bike. Your feet will be a lot happier.
* Add a light bar. Just because I said it was cool. See the next item.
* Add LED lighting. Headlights, and glow kits. Blue, Yellow. Try not to look like a UFO on acid. You will get yourself stopped by the cops.
* Add a USB port inside the trunk compartment. Run the cord out near the latch. Gorilla tape! Some people add a cigarette port here. Usually on the left front side.
* Add a master switch for all supplemental electrical items. For example, the little blue light on my USB port drains my battery slowly. There is only so much you can add to an existing circuit before you risk causing problems.
* Add a phone mount. You are not modern if you are not blogging at traffic lights.
* Tag and tattoo your bike. Some jerk will jump on yours and think it was his... four parking spaces over. The key might just work.
* Add a toll tag too. It is not as cool as any other tag.
* Remove the insanely long and low license plate mount. There are ways to mount it better higher up. Yours may vary. The tail light may pass for a license plate light. Mine does.
* Add crash bars. Don't expect them to work the way you think they do. Some will protect in some kinds of crashes and accidents.
* Add an engine guard... if you plan on riding off road a lot. My stock guard works just fine in the dirt.
* Add anti-rub and scuff decals. My NC700x decal is already rubbed off from my Fly boots. It says: NC70C
* Add a tank pad and bag. Did you know you can velcro a tablet to the top of a tank bag? It is just like driving a Tesla!
* Replace some of the push/latch pin hardware with Chrysler plastic pop pins.
* Replace some of the bolts with pop pins. I.e. either side of the trunk. Upgrade the push pins for the front and rear body panels. The factory ones stink and come loose very often. Nobody wants to buy a $5 push or pop pin. They are $0.50. Maybe less at the auto store.
* Add license plate red reflectors on the mount bolts.
* Replace the plastic valve stem caps with chrome ones. This is a visual cue that someone took yours. Go cheap.
* Wire tie some of the internal wire harnesses. Many of these are wiggly and not suitable for dirt use.
* Add visibility tape. Your grey/silver nc700x will vanish to other drivers in some weather conditions.
* Add a "Hello Kitty" sticker somewhere. Your bike needs personality. You are not going to be a badass laying on your face in the street. Be approachable.
* Don't add political stickers and hate messages. The person who rescues you might read your stickers and take your wallet as you lay there. Respect other cultures. Spell things properly in other languages. Say nice things. Get a thumbs up once a day!

...and finally, adjust your attitude about how perfect your bike looks. Perfect looking bikes don't work well. Be impressive every moment. Take it from a guy who has been picked up off the ground a few times in his life.

Riding your face is never fun. Yes. This is totally true. I have been known to ride on my face while my friends watched- sometimes going quite fast. Fortune favors the prepared.... and the nutty.

And finally, things I would not do, but you may want to do:

* Add circuit track tires
* Remove the rear light assembly and add a tail tidy
* Add pull strings for the latches for the trunk and the rear seat. Why? Drop your key into the trunk right before the wind slams it shut. Then you will understand.
* Add an emergency kit inside the headlight skin. There is lots of room in there for secret stuff. Strap it to the frame.
* Yoshimura muffler or similar with spark arrester and silencer core - Mine was a clone and required some chicken wire material and epoxy to tune the motor correctly. Most clones have tail openings that are far too large for the fuel injection. Your bike may run slower and a lot louder.

If your bike was pre-owned as mine was, take time to take apart your bike. All the way down to the engine and frame. I did. Most of the body bolts were in the wrong place. Many push/pop pins were half-destroyed. There are three or four distinctly different types of bolts with similar threads. Sometimes a heavier thread is forced into the wrong mount hole. I went around my bike and upgraded the hardware. I can now buy parts a lot cheaper at the auto store.

Some nuts are actually body panel clips. These are cheap mounts often used in the 80's. These are why your car often fell apart in the 80's. Try and replace these with something more solid if you can. My personal favorite are the two clips on either side of the trunk compartment. These will often fall into the motor area and disappear. Carefully drill out these holes and replace this hardware. There are better ways to mount things.

My changes are proven tough. You know you did it right when nothing ever shakes loose.

If you ever get all the panels off, wire your bike up for USB and LED Headlights. Weave the wires into nylon wire ties. The Honda way is to have one thing hold another thing on. Eventually the whole thing holds itself together. On your first try, you will create a lot of floating loops of wire. Tie these back into the frame, or stick them to the inside of the body panel once it is on.
 

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Makingitwork6999

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One of the biggest performance enhancers you can make… uh… install. Er. Um. Duct tape!!!

 

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Makingitwork6999

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And if you are going to be serious about a windshield, then you might as well commit to crash bars and highway pegs. The crash bars might not do anything except look cool, so you might as well hang foot pegs on them. The foldable kind are highly recommended. And... having a rubber foot pad. My mounts were too worn for springs, so I made a friend at a remote bike service shop and he adapted my new Harley pegs to my old mounts. Worked great. Now I have spare parts.


So, it is either highway pegs, or larger GROM pegs or whatever else works. A member here as said that Goldwing pegs can work. I am 50% bigger than most guys so my tender feet hurt on the stock pegs when I stand up. So... GROM pegs.


My goal is to be able to adapt my riding to different conditions. I need to be able to hit the highway with a hundred mile per hour headwind, or dive off into a farm field and hit the dirt. And I need to do it all without skipping a beat.


Then, because I have and LED light bar, I get great night visibility without blinding high beams. The white light is the LED, the yellow light is the stock light. You will notice that the LED lights make a huge difference - and won't drain my battery at a gas station if I forget to turn them off.

 

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Makingitwork6999

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The biggest performance enhancement you can make is to make friends. You need friends in high places and low places. Never judge a book by its cover. Everyone has a unique skill. There will always be people who are jaded and just looking to upset you to get ahead. Be diplomatic.

The guys at DRD Machine near Fort Worth had this going on. Helping people in need on-the-spot. No griping or groaning. So now, here they are on the cloud so-to-speak. Another feather in their cap.

This place certainly has style. When I passed it, there was something out of place here, so I had to check it out. Inside, they have high-dollar cruisers on lifts and parts hanging all over the walls. Parts of all types and shapes. Everything organized and labelled. So much stuff! This is why there are all kinds of bikes here for repair. Inside, it looked like cross between Ollivanders and grandpa's old workshop, only everything has a place, and if you can spot it with your eyes, you can buy it.

These guys balance wheels the old way. They say they have no excuse but to get it right. I know what they mean. My auto shop gets it wrong all the time.
 

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Penguinsfan82

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* Put Grom foot pegs on the bike. Your feet will be a lot happier.

Is this a plug and play kind of fit? I have been shopping new pegs and want a simple upgrade, no mods required.
 

Makingitwork6999

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One thing i did not discuss is vibration control in your hands. My Rebel 500 had way too much of this. The Harley bikes I test rode were intolerable. The old KTMs I rode numbed my hands in seconds. My Vultus was nice. The NC is also very nice and smooth.

Using sufficiently large bar ends in combination with bar wraps completely eliminates vibration on the nc700x as a problem. If you replaced your bars with expensive fancy bars, you may want to re-think the bar ends. Much of my vibration comes from rolling over big rocks. See my video.

You will notice i tapered the grips so my hand stays on. Because I ride on a lot of dirt and enduro in the rain, this is very important.

I re-wrap the leather bindings once a month. It keeps the bike looking fresh. And i can change the color at will. This keeps the grip tight. And keeps the pressure points to a minimum.
 

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Makingitwork6999

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One thing to remember is this. Stock hand grips are the worst. If you ride with stock hand grips and like them. Well. Good for you.

Be creative and wrap your grips.

Use pink fuzzy bunnies as bar ends. Be weird. Be expressive. I have seen bar end leather whips a meter long. I am sure they eventually got caught in the spinning wheel of a Chevy pickup.

Use my thread to show off your creations here. Talk about your complete failures. You make the forum what it is. Not me.
 

the Ferret

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what is the width difference on those Grom pegs. They don't look a whole lot bigger in the pic. I stopped at my local dealer the other day to check them out, but no Groms in stock.
 

Makingitwork6999

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what is the width difference on those Grom pegs. They don't look a whole lot bigger in the pic. I stopped at my local dealer the other day to check them out, but no Groms in stock.
You can see the GROM pegs in my thread. There is a picture above. A direct comparison. But you need to feel them. That is the key. Grom pegs feel twice as big as stock. This is because the arch of your foot rides on the narrow part of the stock peg. Serious pain after two hours standing up on the pegs! You may also find these same wider pegs on other 300 and 500cc models. The amazon bolt-on plates are mostly crap. Dont buy a bolt-on foot plate kit. You don’t know where that source metal came from.

There are other pivot peg solutions. Some are good. Some are not.

If you have a DCT, learn to ride standing up for summer ventilation. If you don’t have a DCT then keep your toe off that shift lever. Either way, the stock pegs offer almost no grip nor support.
 

Makingitwork6999

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I have been practicing with my Technology. Working with Google Maps, a new camera boom, new camera settings, and new YouTube settings. I have started a new video series: Fortune Favors the Bold and the Nutty. I intend to also start a "make-it-work" series. When people try to have a negative emotional impact on me, I often move on- harder, faster, stronger, better. I am here to serve you, my forum friends.

 

Makingitwork6999

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Here is my latest video showing aerodynamics of the windshield blending in with the body armor and helmet. You want everything you wear to blend in functionally with the bike. No flapping legs, or arm sleeves. No buffeting helmet. You want to slide through the wind as if it is not there.

I am still trying to beat the Fahtass problem with the Bernoulli effect in my hot weather pants. At least my butt does not flap. Yet.


Now, as part of this riding package, there is my Gopro hero 5 session. Now why was this camera discontinued? Maybe it was the fact that it does not run when hot, it does not run when it is cold. The image often runs upside down from the true orientation - meaning the image upright feature is often broken. Sometimes instead of recording a video, you get a bunch of still frames and NO video. Running the camera with WIFI drains the battery. Old people like me cannot install nor remove the chip easily. The battery is not reliable and sometimes gets super hot. The camera sometimes wont shut off while overheating. I found someone with the same camera and he has the exact same problems. I had to be certain I was not being a complete fool when using the camera.

One thing the camera is... it is super tough and can survive a high fall from a drone.

You may notice I am running Google maps or Waze. Sometimes both. Waze is for traffic, and Google maps is for dropping pins and saving routes.
 
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