Using (and trying) another motorcycle

Here in Germany, cars, motorcycles and so on have to get checked each two years. Normally I did this on Saturdays, but I don’t like the nearest service station that much, so this time I decided to have it done at a dealer’s place. And the nearest Honda motorcycle dealer is in Groß-Gerau, where Zuleikha also goes to school.

Since they have these checks only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I asked the dealer for a replacement, because this way I could do it in two steps: bring my machine there on Monday, go home and to work next day with whatever he would give me, and change back on Tuesday. That would have the additional advantage to try something new, change of perspective and so on. And this is exactly how we did it, yesterday and today.

I was lucky with the weather – while we’ve had severe storms, damage, and even loss of lives in Germany yesterday, I didn’t even get really wet. A few drops of rain around the airport and the following 5 kilometers, that was about it. And without having asked the dealer for a specific model, he took my machine and gave me almost exactly what I would have liked to test anyway: a brand new (less than 1100km on the clock) Honda NC750S.

I would have loved to try the version with Honda’s new DCT (double clutch transmission), but he gave me the manual one which is 10kgs lighter, so I didn’t complain.

First impression: the fuel gauge showed only 1 bar in the instruments, so I’d have to go just around one left corner to get some more. Engine on, and wow – I loved that sound instantly. It’s a twin cylinder engine with 750cc, which is about 100cc more than mine, and tho it’s no V-Twin like mine, the pistons are on 270 degrees, so it almost sounds like a V engine. A bit deeper because it’s bigger, and very very nice. Ok, first gear in, let the clutch come carefully without much gas, and wow again – this feels light and easy! Tho the machine weighs some 7kgs more than mine, it handles actually easier – everything felt smooth and just cool.

After fueling her up I just went home like I would have done with my own one. And I was very impressed. This machine had some grunt and torque which just felt right. Honda started this NC family with 700cc a few years ago, which is about half the engine of a Honda Jazz, one of their cute and very practical cars. Which means that this isn’t a high-rev firefly, but it has lots of torque at low revs. Perfect for country roads, where riding is fun anyway (motorways aren’t fun but just fast connections between nicer roads). I loved that motorcycle instantly, and also showed it to wife & kid after dinner.

So today I just went to work like usual, except with more fun than usual. And because I wanted to take a few photos for you, for me, and for this article I parked the machine outside at work, where the light is much better than in the garage. So here are a few photos of it:


Honda NC750S 2016, left side


Honda NC750S 2016, Instruments

As you can see, I was still in first gear when taking this photo, the tank is full, and average fuel consumption is 3.8 liters on 100km (about 74mpg).


Honda NC750S 2016, trunk (with my helmet in it)

And yes, what looks like a fuel tank is in fact a trunk, and it fits my helmet (with a few corpses on it) 😉 The real tank is under the seat, which allowed Honda to design some kind of family out of this series, with another higher version called NC750X (a “tallrounder” like some people name them), and even a scooter. All with the same frame and engine, and because parts of that engine came from an automobile they’re even relatively cheap (around 6k€ for this one including ABS brakes. The DCT is an extra 1k€ and comes as standard in the scooter).


Honda NC750S 2016, right side


Honda NC750S 2016, front

So would I buy one? If I were looking for a brand new motorcycle at this moment, then probably yes, tho I would also have a closer look onto the Yamaha MT-07 which is both stronger and lighter, and costs about the same. This Honda oozes quality like every Honda, so as a daily commuter it would probably be the better choice – especially so with the DCT. The Yamaha could be more fun, light *and* strong is always fun when riding motorcycles. Is it as good as this Honda? Who knows, only time will tell. But Honda has a long history of building machines which are most reliable, and designed with the user in mind.

Is it better than my own one? Well, it’s 22 years younger, and that you feel instantly. But like I said above, this is 7kgs more than mine, a DCT would add another 10kgs, and mine comes with a cardan drive shaft! Which basically means that it’s maintenance-free, just fuel her up and go. Like a car.

But you can always invest in an automatic oiling system for the chain – these cost around 200€ or so. You’ll save that on the first chain alone, which will then survive 3 times as long as usual. It’s just install and forget, mostly (well you should check that oil reservoir once a year or so, but otherwise this will come much closer to a motorcycle like mine).

So for a new and kind of do-it-all machine this is probably one of the best you could get; for my friend (and motorcycle journalist) Clemens it *is* the best, as he writes here or here (in German). Hint: he calls himself a “weight Nazi”, so this is what he bought for himself. But asked his opinion about this Honda vs. the Yamaha he answered that you can’t really compare them. You have to check and to think about what you need and want.

While I was outside of the company this morning, I saw both a NC750X (the “tallrounder”), and an “Integra” scooter passing by. That scooter sounded exactly like the motorcycle, that’s why I looked. And it was a colleague, riding it into the garage of our next building, so during my lunch break I went to have a look. And there it was, right in between lots of other bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, and cars:


Honda Integra Scooter

Thanks for reading.