A tourer geared towards the novice rider
The riding position on the new CTX line is aimed towards comfort and maximum maneuverability.
This 2014 Honda CTX700T is actually all-new in many ways. It’s part of Honda’s effort to simplify motorcycling and ensure that it’s here to stay. It takes its powertrain from the existing Honda NC700 and is given a street-friendly, bulkier body. I have made no efforts to hide the fact that I’m a sportbike guy; I always enjoy the crouched riding position and screaming redlines of supersports. When Honda offered me the new CTX700T, I decided to pounce on it and see if a bike like this can appeal to me.
The engine is shared with the NC700 and displaces 670cc. Though not in the same class, the performance of the CTX700T reminded me quite a bit of the Suzuki V-Strom 650 I rode a few weeks ago. It accelerates decently quickly and is good for a 14-second quarter mile at 149 km/h. An interesting fact is that in other parts of the world, the CTX700T is offered with a double-clutch transmission.
While doing some additional research online, I discovered that there are riders complaining about this, I personally support Honda’s decision not to offer the DCT in Canada. Motorcycles are about involvement; feeling at one with the road. A proper manual transmission is an essential part of riding.
Fun fact; the engine in the CTX700T is essentially half of a 1.3L Honda Fit engine. Delivering only 48 horsepower at 6100 rpm, the bike definitely feels peppier than its numbers suggest. This may be due to the fact that peak torque is reached in the mid-4000 rpm range. Clutch uptake is incredibly smooth and shifting the CTX is absolutely effortless. It’s almost as if the motorcycle division at Honda puts the same magical oils and metal bits into their transmissions as in their automotive lineup.
The front suspension on the new CTX is a 41mm fork that sports 4.2 inches of travel. On the rear, there is a Pro-Link single shock unit with 4.3 inches of travel. Overall, the ride quality of this bike is fantastic. It’s not sportbike harsh, but it’s nowhere near as cushy as most cruisers. It seems to be the perfect balance for novice riders
The riding position on the new CTX line is aimed towards comfort and maximum maneuverability. The low seat height of 28-inches means riders significantly shorter than my 6-foot self are able to flat-foot the bike. The seating position is more upright than the NC700 and the foot pegs are mounted right in front of the handlebars. It’s a cruiser-like riding position that, while being much better for your back, I can guarantee that sportbike riders will hate. A neighbour of mine is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and swears by his cruiser. When he saw me pull in with the CTX700, he ran right over to check it out. After he sat on it for a few minutes messing about with the toys, he agreed with me that the riding position was brilliant.
Something that really surprised me while putting the Honda CTX700T through its paces was how easy to maneuver it is. Its incredibly low center of gravity means u-turns with your feet up are natural. My test bike was equipped with an accessory windshield ($219.95). This windshield, while adequately functional, causes way too much wind buffeting in my helmet. It’s not bad in the slightest when cruising around town, but long highway rides become nearly unbearable past the 45 minute mark. My bike was also equipped with carrier bags on the sides with matching coloured panels.
The CTX700T has one huge visual cue that differentiates it from its sibling, the CTX700N. It has huge fairings that give it the “big boy bike” look. While not appealing to some, I personally love them. Unfortunately, looks can be deceiving. I would expect a bike that looks like this to have a huge gas tank. Nope, it holds just under 12L. I mean, I’m not exactly complaining, but the Suzuki V-Strom had a tank with nearly double the capacity. Even still, I only had to fill up the CTX once during my test week, and it’s a mental godsend when your fill-ups cost less than $15. Even with my aggressive riding style, I averaged a wonderful 4.0L/100km.
Honda has aimed this bike right at the novice rider. Its sibling, the NC700, was designed squarely as a reliable and inexpensive bike to learn on. Now, that’s not to say that it’s simply a novice bike. The 2014 Honda CTX700T is an incredibly versatile motorcycle that will hold its own no matter how hard you push it. It takes my curvy backroad riding route effortlessly and provides its rider with the utmost comfort while doing it. For a starting price under $9,000, it definitely makes a very compelling case for itself.
2014 Honda CTX700T Gallery