Your thoughts on long-distance touring on the NC?

WhatYes

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Hey guys,

New member here, although not an NC700x owner.... yet. I currently ride an FJR1300 and the spousal-unit rides her smokin' hot GSX650F.
However, a couple of years ago we were looking at bikes and we each rode the NC as well as a Versys and V-strom. The NC impressed us the most.
We like to do some long trips from time to time, sometimes up to 500 miles in a day and several thousand miles on a trip.

We're looking at possibly moving over to an NC for EACH of us for various reasons that I won't go into now, but what I DO want to know is your real-world experience and opinions about long-distance touring. I'm not worried about luggage; I'm well aware of the different saddlebag and trunk options. But what about comfort, both in terms of ergonomics and saddle comfort? I've heard you can average around 200 miles on a tank on the highway, but what have YOU realistically seen? (Living in western Colorado, it's not uncommon for gas stations to be 80-100 miles apart!). Is the stock screen enough wind protection or do you need to upgrade?

And probably my biggest concern is going to the insanely smooth inline 4-cylinders in each of our bikes to the twin in the NC. Your thoughts in terms of smoothness/buzziness, etc?

I doubt we'll pull the trigger (if we even do) til the spring, but I'm hyper-anal about doing my research and thought I'd start poking around now. Thanks in advance for your input.
 

zirconx

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You'd most likely need a different seat.

The stock windscreen does not provide great protection at highway speeds.

I found the ergonomics to be fine.

The NC is not as smooth as the FJR. The NC is pretty smooth, but I found my hands tingling a little after long stretches.

The above is all subjective of course!

200 miles between fill-ups would be pushing it if you are going interstate speed. 180 miles is more reasonable. But at 55mph it would be no problem to go 200 miles on a tank.

The NC can do those distances fine, but it would be a lot different than your FJR.

You said you had previously looked at the Versys, you might want to take a look again. Kawasaki made some fine improvements in the 2015+ model.
 

fiah

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Welcome!

I've done many 400+ mile days, several multiday trips 2-up and one 2000 mile trip through norway. About 200 miles is realistic as long as you don't push it on the highways. Buzziness/smoothness is not a factor at all for me, at low revs it's obvious that it's a twin but at speed it's smooth without any buzz. My butt and legs get sore from all the sitting but I haven't had the luxury yet of a motorcycle that I could ride all day and not be sore at all. Just a few stops to enjoy the scenery and inhale some caffeine is enough relief for my behind, on multi-day trips being on the bike starts feeling more natural than everything else. Ergonomically, the pegs and seat are relatively close to each other I think, so if you have long legs that would be an issue, you'd have to test-fit at a dealer. FWIW I prefer the slightly forward seating position of my NC700S to the more upright position of the NC700X, but I guess that's no use for you because you can only get the NC700X. Maybe a slightly higher seat would help? I can't comment on the screen of the NC700X as my NC700S has a smaller screen so it has pretty much 0 wind protection. That's fine by me though because that also means no turbulence around the helmet, and at the speeds I enjoy most trips at it's a non-issue. Maybe getting a smaller screen on the NC700X would go further to solve any noise issues than getting a bigger screen.

BTW, I did the longest trip with saddlebags that you have to strap over the pillion seat, and that is a bit of a pain in the *** as you have to undo those straps with each fuel stop. I got some neat side cases for the next big trip though, you'll find pictures of mine and many others here: http://nc700-forum.com/forum/nc700-mods/5412-pictures-various-honda-nc700x-saddlebags.html

Also, the DCT is great, I highly recommend you give it a try! For long day trips, the DCT ends up making you less tired at the end of the day and when you do get tired, it'll still keep shifting flawlessly unlike the temperamental and flawed bag of bones perched on top of it
 

2wheels4fun

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I went from Western NC to Folsom, CA and back in the past month in a half. Riding at 80+mph you need to fill up every 150-175 miles. Lowest mpg was 49. Average was 56mpg. I did mostly Interstates, I-80 going, I-70 coming back. I-80 gas stations were closer together than I-70. Basically every time I took a break, I got gas. I have a shad seat, rox risers on bars, puig windscreen. I did have saddle bags along with top case but I figured out how to mount the bags and still fill it with gas. Did 650-750 miles per day, 4 days there, 4 longer days back. I have highway pegs so I can stretch out when needed. Also have a GO cruise throttle lock which I used some times but not a lot. Get gloves that are well padded on the palms or gel. This helps with the vibrations. My back getting sore was by far my biggest problems.

My normal MPG around town and riding for fun in my area I avg around 70MPG which is 70% back roads 60mph and below.
 

turbodieseli4i6

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For me, the NC makes a great touring bike. It wouldn't be my choice for two up though.(Not enough room for my legs)
I've had a multiple 500 mile day rides with my friends riding Goldwings, Roadstars and Harleys.
At the end of these rides, the only guys that didn't complain was the Roadstar rider and myself.
If you set up the NC for your body, it does pretty darn good. I hurt less after 500 miles on the NC, than I did with my GL1200.
As far as fuel mileage goes. All the other bikes on our rides were needing fuel before my bike did.
(Even though, they were getting around 6 gallons.)
The Roadstar seemed to get the best mileage between the GL1100,GL1200,VMax and Street Glide. For every 3 gallons the Roadstar used, My NC would use 2 gallons. No matter how we were riding.
I did need a custom seat, lowered pegs Madstad and several other items to get the NC to fit my needs though.
With the low buy in for the NC, I could save up for the upgrades long before I could have with a more expensive bike.
I have over 45,000 miles on mine and haven't had any problems with vibration.
I have kept records on fuelly and you can see my mileage from mid 40's to 80 plus mpg.
With an auxiliary tank, the NC should be complete. I want 400+ miles for mine.
 

JamesD

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The machine is definitely tour worthy.
It's not blindingly fast but it has plenty of power for touring.
It certainly doesn't feel stressed pulling a load. The torque is fantastic.

If you want to put in hundreds of miles per day you'll want a seat upgrade. The stock one starts to become uncomfortable to me after 50 miles and gets steadily worse over time. Some people ride 2 up but I'm not sure I'd do that for a long trip. I guess it would depend on the seat upgrade and passenger.

The mileage is amazing. My brother averages over 70 MPG on his. I haven't bothered keeping track on mine but it's up there.

The suspension will let you handle rougher roads than most tour or sport tour machines, and with the right tires it's somewhat trail worthy.
This will let you visit some places you wouldn't on a touring bike. That alone makes the bike worth a look.
Even though it's only 25-30 lbs lighter than some other adventure bikes. the center of gravity is so low it feels much lighter.
My brother couldn't believe how much more nimble it is than his previous bikes and I was surprised how nimble it is for the height.

If you decide to get one (or two)... if you want DCT, get a 2016. The gen 3 improvements are worth it.
If you want manual, find the best leftover older model deal you can get.
A leftover manual model can be had under $6000 if you look around. It will probably be 2014 or older but nothing really changed other than color so no big deal if you keep it a while. The low revving motor should last a lot of miles; more like a car than a bike.
 
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happy

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I seem to be the lone wolf who accepted the stock seat without a single complaint.
1 tank goes easily 300-350km before the light comes on if you ride sensibly (say at 4000-4500rpm).
Luggage for solo ride should be no problem for this torquey bike.
Just remember to oil the chain every say 1000km.
I have the Honda touring shield. Works great.
Center stand is a must for road side repairs or just oiling the chain.

This is a great touring bike if you are gentle with it. If you like to let her rip, maybe a BMW or a Multistrada is a better choice.

Good luck. Please post photos.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

drdubb

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I just finished a 16 day, 6500 trip on my DCT. I averaged 425 miles per day. I'm 5' 7" and have a 2" rox risers, madstad screen, Seat Concepts Low saddle. Enjoyed the trip, especially Colorado!
 

misterk

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i have done 900 days no prob, felt great, ran 4 miles the next morning.

i have set up similar to drubbs above but with a corbin. i would not own one if it wasnt for the dct, you will be shifting a lot.

my other ride is a goldwing.
 

Gbjbany

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as a recent fjr convert, here's my thoughts of fjr comparable upgrades needed for any sort of long distance touring
1. Get a Custom Seat - not done it yet - (had a rdl on my gen 2 fjr)
2. Get a screen -i got a madstad (i had calsci on my fjr )
3. Throttlemeister - not done it yet (same on my fjr)
4. Get hiway pegs on NC700 seems attached to guards is the way to go - (mcl pegs on my fjr)
5. Visibility lights (ledrider.com on both)
6. Valve check every 16k (vs 25k for the FJR - BUT oil changes very 8k and no fairings to get to the valves)

As suggested the tank is small and so at speeds above about 55 you will see the mpg drop to fjr levels

I dont feel any buzziness.

My major disapointment (lack of forethought) was the power to overtake at hiway speeds - its possible to wind up the nc700 but you cant just downshift and go, made long hiway travel (i did a 200 mile hiway stint a couple of weeks ago) a little less relaxed.

BUT - this bike rocks in the twisties, soooo much fun as its so much more flickable, and great for commuting which is why i bought it

Bottom line - i miss my fjr on long trips, but love this bike for its main purpose , commuting and little trips up into the sierras

Jeff
 

stormrunner001

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I recently finished a 2400 mile 7 day road trip through Colorado. I would say the NC700x is very capable of touring, however it is better at daily commuting.

I'm 5'7" with a 32" inseam. Other than some DIY to make the seat more comfortable, everything fits me well. I don't even feel the need to get a larger windscreen. I was able to do 700 highway miles in 10 hours without enough aches and pains to complain about.

My average mileage is 70 MPG US (pure gas). I have seen as low as 49 MPG (80 MPH with 30 MPH sustained headwind) and over 83 MPG (high altitude, speeds under 45 MPH). I've noticed that the top bar of the fuel tank disappears roughly after one gallon is burned. Makes guesstimating range easier if the whole tank is to be burned in similar conditions.

Below 3K RPM, you feel the individual cylinders firing. There is some noticeable vibration but nothing that annoys me. I notice no buzziness at higher RPMs.

My only real gripe about the NC700X... Why is OEM luggage so expensive for a budget motorcycle? $8,000 motorcycle and over $1,000 for the OEM top case and panniers.
 

eric steele

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My two cents. Did a 700 mile two day ride back in June to test the bike. I also ride a C14 Concours so that was my base line. Most of the observations you've seen here are spot on, but my input is that this bike is very capable of long days and diverse roads. I was ecstatic to find that out. I use the MRA touring screen, Kaoko throttle lock, Sargent seat, Honda center stand, Oxford heated grips and a bunch of other bolt-ons, but here are two things I remember: on this bike, on windy mountain roads, if you let off the throttle, downshift. Secondly, since the suspension is limited in adjustment, the more weight you add, the better it rides. It has the same range as my Concours 14, and in warm weather, it is a comfort match for a much larger sport-touring bike. This bike is a keeper.
 

ld_rider

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And probably my biggest concern is going to the insanely smooth inline 4-cylinders in each of our bikes to the twin in the NC. Your thoughts in terms of smoothness/buzziness, etc?
I have never owned an inline 4 cylinder UJM. I have put 144,000 miles on a GL1800 and a bunch of 4 cylinder Goldwings so I know what smooth and vibration free motorcycling state of the art is.

I was shocked, SHOCKED at how smooth and vibration free my NC is. Yes, vibration and smoothness are subjective and some riders are more sensitive to certain frequencies... But, I'll tell you....it is a motorcycle you can ride for hundreds of miles a day and there is a high probability that any issues you have will not be vibration or smoothness related.

It does chug along like a diesel at low RPMs (by design) so if you are use to a super smooth engine at low rpms you will be disappointed. Note that there isn't really an increase in vibration or anything, it is just that the engine <appears> to be lugging itself to death. Some riders believe they are better engineers than those that designed the motorcycle powertrain and will mess around with sprockets to make the " feeling more normal ". Doing so has no appreciable impact on performance other than spinning the engine a few percentage points higher and of course reducing mileage while increasing wear.

The big, BIG downfall is you will have to recalibrate your brain regarding motorcycle acceleration, especially overtaking anyone at speed. It won't happen very quickly. This is the only motorcycle I've ever owned that accelerates like an economy car at speed. Not a deal breaker, but you have to be aware of it. Quick passes at 80mph are out of the question, which for me isn't a huge deal except in emergency situations. Solution? Think and plan ahead rather than daydreaming and relying on brute force. Coming off of the FJR? .... you have been spoiled big time and it will be an adjustment ;-)

If you didn't know, NC stands for New Concept. Not every experienced motorcyclist is ready for a new concept, especially the diesel-like engine characteristics and (relatively) low 48 hp or so in a 500+lb package.

I have toured on my NC and yes, it isn't as comfortable (by a long shot) as most other motorcycles but I only tour about three weeks a year. The rest of the time this is one of the most brilliantly designed, advanced (especially with DCT) motorcycles on the planet and is <perfect> for my 60 mile or so commute to work and back.
 
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Nofear2trek

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Not to brag, but I have racked up well over 20,000 miles since this past April. That includes multiple 1,000 mile days, a couple of cross continental rides, other shorter trips, as well as a bunch more miles while just wandering aimlessly.

The two most important items that are necessary to endure long rides are both a larger Madstad windshield and a Russell Day Long seat (the seat has top priority, Madstad a very close second). Lots of other farkles are nice but none as important for comfortably enjoying the passing miles. I also enjoy the frunk as a 'junk drawer'.

Ray
 
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TigerDude

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I have no problems on long trips, but...

1. It will pull worse than your 650 at interstate speeds (which for me is 78). On flats, I think it pulls better in the 80s than in the 70s in 6th. You have to downshift at that speed to get up hills. It would struggle getting over the mtns into the San Juaquin valley.

2. At that speed, I get about 45 mpg, which means about 130 miles for me. I can't get the 3.7 gallon listed capacity into it. I ride aggressively, and have the throttle pinned relatively often. I also carry extra fuel in a Primus bottle after learning this the hard way.

3. I take my larger screen off ion the summer & have no problem at speed. You get beat up behind semis, but I don't spend time behind semis.

4. Everyone gets a better seat. Mine's a Sargeant.

5. The riding position for me is perfect, and what led me to this bike. Lots of riders add 2" Rox risers, but I haven't felt the need.

Ed 6. It is a tall bike. I am 5-11 with a 30" inseam. I flatfoot with boots on, but have to make sure I watch when stopping across slopes.
 
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TigerDude

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It does chug along like a diesel at low RPMs (by design) so if you are use to a super smooth engine at low rpms you will be disappointed. Note that there isn't really an increase in vibration or anything, it is just that the engine <appears> to be lugging itself to death. Some riders believe they are better engineers than those that designed the motorcycle powertrain and will mess around with sprockets to make the " feeling more normal ". Doing so has no appreciable impact on performance other than spinning the engine a few percentage points higher and of course reducing mileage while increasing wear.

I must point out that acceleration and torque will go up/down exactly proportional to the change in speed resulting from tooth changes.
 

ld_rider

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I must point out that acceleration and torque will go up/down exactly proportional to the change in speed resulting from tooth
If true, then a 100 percent increase (or is it a decrease? ) in "teeth" on the engine sprocked means the NC will should spank a Hayabusa in the quarter mile since the NCs quarter mile acceleration had doubled ;-)
 
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670cc

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I must point out that acceleration and torque will go up/down exactly proportional to the change in speed resulting from tooth changes.

I don't think the laws of physics fully support that statement. The torque is proportional, but not the acceleration. When you increase the torque at the rear wheel by way of a gearing change, you also decrease the RPM of the wheel. Thus, (assuming you stay in the same power band of the engine) the power delivered to the rear wheel is the same. Increasing the acceleration would require more power, but the power is limited by the engine's output.
 
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670cc

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Nofear2trek says it all in post #14. You will need a better seat and a better windshield. Add some luggage and you're all set.
 

StratTuner

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My only real gripe about the NC700X... Why is OEM luggage so expensive for a budget motorcycle? $8,000 motorcycle and over $1,000 for the OEM top case and panniers.

I agree. See

Top Box = [HERE].
Saddle Bags = [HERE] and [HERE]

[THESE] are the bags I use for Touring. They hold more. I modify them to have the quick-release, throw-over, straps like the leather bags in the previous link. I also build in internal supports (pvc 1/2" tubing) to make them hold their shape.

The frame that supporst all the different bags I've tried may be found [HERE].

I did build my own support arms for the rear rack, but the GIVI arms at $110 were FAR superior.

I hope that helps. Like you, I just can't afford that other stuff.... nice as it is.
 
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