There are no plans yet to bring either model to the U.S., but Honda is bringing its new NC700S and NC700X models to Canada for the summer of 2012. American Honda will however, likely be keeping a close eye on how the new models do with its northern neighbor (or perhaps “neighbour”) before deciding whether to import the NC700 models stateside.
Making their North American debuts at the 2011 Toronto Motorcycle Show, the naked standard NC700S and the more adventure-touring styled NC700X represent a new product family for Honda, sharing the same frame and 670cc parallel Twin engine with each other and the Honda Integra scooter-motorcycle crossover (speaking of which, there are no plans for the Integra to come to either the U.S. or Canada yet). Canadian pricing is still to be determined, but Honda tells us they are aiming for a sub-$9000 (Canadian) MSRP.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
The NC700 models represent a bit of a paradigm shift from Honda which will impact how the two models will do on the sales floor. The key selling point for the two models will not be based on high horsepower figures or racetrack performance, but instead fuel economy and practicality. As for the target audience, Honda is aiming at customers moving up from their first entry-level bike and looking for a practical every-day commuter.
Final North American specs are still to be determined, but the European-spec NC700S and NC700X top out under 47 hp, though Canadian models might get more power without the horsepower caps for European licensing restrictions. The digital tachometer shows a redline at 6500rpm and a rev-limit around 8000rpm, remarkably low revs for a modern 670cc Twin. Peak horsepower and torque will come at lower rpms than other motorcycles however, and gear shifting will likely come more frequently.
Speaking of gear shifting, Honda Canada says they will only offer the standard, six-speed manual transmission version of the NC700 models, and not the optional second-generation dual clutch transmission available in other markets. Honda tells me the decision was made to keep the prices lower.
Canadian customers will see some more savings at the fuel pumps with the NC700 models. Honda claims the NC700 models will get up to 63.5 mpg but early testers in Europe say they might get as high as 80 mpg, depending on riding style.
One neat feature is the storage space, something it inherits from the Integra’s scooter DNA. Where a traditional fuel tank is expected is a storage compartment should be large enough to hold an XL full-face helmet or perhaps a large bag of groceries. The compartment opens using the motorcycle’s key, either just behind the headstock on the NC700X or on the left side on the NC700S. The same lock can also be used to open the compartment under the passenger seat to reveal the fuel cap to the 14.1 l (3.7 gallon) tank.
The front storage compartment was made possible by the design of the NC700 models’ frames and the position of the engine with the cylinders leaning 62 degrees forward from vertical. The engine placement and fuel tank position also help provide for a lower center of gravity.
EICMA 2011: Milan Motorcycle Show
2012 Honda Integra Announced; All-New 670cc engine with Dual Clutch Transmission
EICMA 2011: Honda NC700S Breaks Cover
EICMA 2011: Honda NC700X Unveiled