A naked bike that’s livable on a daily basis |
Naked commuters like the NC750S are some of the most functional bikes around, especially for the dollar.
The more I ride bikes like the 2014 Honda NC750S, the more I like naked motorcycles. They may not be the sexiest things on the road (I consider myself a bit partial towards supersports), but naked commuters like the NC750S are some of the most functional bikes around, especially for the dollar. In North America, and more specifically Canada, motorcycles are seen as more of a seasonal toy, so the more visually appealing bikes are given more love. Elsewhere around the world like Europe and Asia, motorcycles are a mode of transportation, and these other markets actually appreciate them more.
Moved along by a liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel-twin, the NC750S is never gasping for more power. Passing at highway speeds in sixth gear can be a bit tedious, and I found myself shifting the six-speed manual down to fourth for optimal passing power. The best part of this engine is the fuel consumption – I saw numbers as low as 3L/100km in my daily grind. “NC” stands for New Concept, and this NC750 is an evolution of the old NC700.
The new engine is 75cc larger than the old one, and has been given a bit more power and torque throughout the rev range. Gearing has been made a bit taller to ensure longer range in all six gears as well as quicker acceleration and a higher top speed. Especially noticeable is the fact that the supple smoothness of the NC700 is still maintained with the NC750, and clutch uptake and throttle modulation are simple, buttery smooth, and responsive. Now, the NC750S features twin balancer shafts as well as standard ABS for the Canadian market.
Priced at a competitive $8,999, the Honda NC750S is marketed towards the everyday rider. Even though our brutal winters mean motorcycles go away for a few months every year, there are thousands of people who ride daily when temperatures are more forgiving. The NC-series bikes pack a set of features that make commuting simple. For instance, the gas filler on the NC750S is under the rear seat, unlocked by putting the key in on the side of the bike. Where the gas tank would typically be houses a lockable compartment that could actually fit my full-sized helmet. Gone are the days when helmets have to be carried around after the motorcycle is parked for the day.
The key difference between the NC750X we tested recently and this NC750S is the size. We measured this motorcycle’s length at 86.4 inches, height of 44.5 inches, and a width of 30.7 inches. The NC750X comes in at 87” in length, 50.4” high and 33” wide. The X is the adventure model and is a little bit bigger in all dimensions, as well as having more suspension travel. Shorter riders will appreciate the NC750S’s shorter seat height by 1.5”. I also noticed that the NC750S lacks the short beak-like plastic piece in front of the headlight on the NC750X. I definitely prefer the look of the S model.
I consider myself to be a “stick with stock” kind of rider, and typically opt against any modifications to a bike. If I were buying the NC750S though, I would make a few changes to make it a bit more comfortable for my own use. For instance, I would add a slightly beefier exhaust. The one that comes with the bike doesn’t sound all that great, and it could benefit from some enhancements. Additionally, I would modify the windshield. There is barely any wind protection (typical for a naked bike) and it becomes a bit cumbersome to deal with at highway speeds.
Although it’s pretty difficult nowadays to make a bike that is utterly poor to ride, some are definitely better suited for everyday riding than others. The crotch rockets that I absolutely adore are excellent for weekend stints through the countryside, but on an everyday basis, they are destruction for my back and spine. This new 2014 Honda NC750S is a motorcycle I could see myself owning for a variety of reasons. Riding position is comfortable enough to get used to easily, fuel efficiency is amongst the best of the best, and it’s functional enough to be tolerable every single day of the year.
2014 Honda NC750S Gallery