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Honda NC700S vs. NC700S DCT. Mix of virtues of a motorcycle and a scooter

30 mayo, 2021
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At last the long-awaited DCT version – with double clutch and automatic transmission – of the NC700S arrived, a motorcycle highly anticipated by fans after the expectations created with the standard NC700S and the Integra. Because lhe new DCT equips the automatic transmission of the latter, C-ABS as standard and maintains the qualities of the base model intact, that is, its smoothness, ease of handling and minimal consumption, among others. All this for about € 1,500 more than the standard. The logical question is, is this difference worth paying for? To begin with, the NC700S DCT is about € 1,500 cheaper than the Integra, also with DCT and C-ABS, and compared to the standard… let’s see.

As has been extensively discussed, The Integra, NC700X and NC700S share both a cycle part and an engine, varying in fibers, suspension travel (those of the X are somewhat longer) and little else. Chassis, suspensions, wheels, brakes and engine are identical in all three, and even the instrumentation, which only differs in information in the models that equip the DCT (these indicate the driving mode and the gear engaged)

This is a modular concept designed from scratch to be able to reach anyone who wants an urban motorcycle, and for that to be the case, they are offered in a range of three different styles. The chassis has been designed thinking about the possibility of offering a hole for the helmet, and for that the tank is placed under the rear seat, thus leaving a large space in the usual place of the tank. At the same time, it allows the engine to be placed very low.

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The parallel twin is compact and has the cylinders very inclined forward, as much as 62º. This achieves two objectives, previously mentioned: lower the center of gravity and leave space for the chest. It is built looking for the maximum lightness of its pieces and its dynamic efficiency. It rotates only at 6,500 rpm (it is a long stroke) to ensure its mechanical longevity, and the torque is very high already from a very low rpm: an engine to make driving easy, pleasant, and with a very low consumption, of course. .

And the DCT? We saw it in the VFR 1200 F and then in the Integra, and it consists of a double clutch that engages two gears at the same time, the chosen one and the next, allowing to change gears with total smoothness and agility., either automatically or manually, with a sequential change activated by buttons (if we do it in manual mode). It is not a centrifugal clutch or an automatic variator, as some had understood: it is a true gearbox with 6 speeds and a clutch, in this case, two.

In the city, like at home
The twin comes to life quickly and with absolute discretion. On both NC700S, the position is very successful, with the usual good ergonomics of the brand. The seat is narrow in the area of ​​the knees, which allows to reach the ground well with both feet measuring 1.70 m as is my case. The handlebars and footrests perfectly triangulate with the seat for a relaxed stance. To access both the helmet box and the tank under the seat, the lock is located on the left side and not on the upper part of the dummy tank, as on the NC700X.

The NC700S They are not particularly light motorcycles, but thanks to the good distribution of weights they feel as if they were. For the regular users of motorcycles, the standard does not offer any type of problem: the change is smooth and the low of the engine facilitates urban driving. Also the fork, which is not inverted, facilitates a good turning angle.

In the DCT another world is discovered. From the outset, the absence of a shift pedal and clutch lever will mislead common bikers, although less so those who own or have owned a scooter. For traditional bikers it will take a few moments to dispense with both levers.

With the double clutch version, you have to wait a couple of seconds for the system check when contact is made, until a small window of the digital instrumentation disappears. Then pressing the mode button will enter the 1st, with the D or Drive mode inserted. If we want to go in S or Sport mode, we will have to press again and an S will appear on the dial, next to the 1 of the first speed. If we press the MT button (on the right switch) we will go to manual mode, and then we can raise and lower gears with two buttons on the left fist. Easy, and you get used to it in a few moments.

In the city the ideal is to circulate automatically and in S modeSince the D is designed to flatten with minimal consumption and shifts to high gears in a few seconds – ideal for the highway.

Both when entering the D and S modes, the 1st gear is engaged – with the engine engaged – and when you give the throttle it will start without problems. You just have to take into account that we are talking about a 700 cc engine, with a lot of torque, and that you cannot just give gas all at once, or we will have a scare. While running, the DCT will engage speeds smoothly and reducing in the same way when cutting gas, until reaching 1st if we stop..

It should be added that the DCT It has an intelligent system that detects what type of driving we want to take depending on the way we open the gas. If we do it abruptly, the system understands that we want sporty driving and allows the gears to be stretched; on the contrary, if the throttle is applied smoothly, the system anticipates that we want to make a smooth driving and it will change quickly to high gears without stretching them.

The parallel twin is not exactly intended as a sports engine. Its delivery is absolutely linear, and the ignition cuts where in other twins the party just begins. In this aspect it will be bland, without this having to mean that it is not effective. In the NC700 it is convenient to use high gears and take advantage of the excellent torque from a few turns, rather than stretching them, since we will not gain power and the ignition will cut too soon.

Both bikes are very chassis neutral, and the low center of gravity makes it easy to move them with agility, although the DCT weighs about 16 kg more than the standard one and these inertias are noticeable. It also plays something earlier when tilting than the basic one; in fact, both bikes hit their warning signals relatively quickly on the asphalt if we apply ourselves, since due to the relaxed riding position the footrests are located low.

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The suspensions are comfortable, ideal for traveling on any type of asphalt, although in sports driving they are soft and it is even possible to make a stop if there are potholes.

The standard uses its lower weight both when leaning and when braking. Those extra kilos are noticed in the form of inertia, in greater way as you go faster. The change from the standard has no secrets for anyone who has driven a motorcycle before, but the change from the DCT, once used to it, will show up fast, even more than the standard one, whether we use it in S mode or in Handbook. Even in the automatic modes we can interact with the levers if the bike has not put the gear we had planned. In the retentions we can easily downshift with the button still in automatic, although personally I prefer to use the manual for sports driving.

The brakes are correct, sufficient for the performance of both bikes. If in the case of the DCT it benefits from the standard C-ABS, perfect in the event of rain and bad asphalt, in the standard the lower weight reduces the rear-front transfer and, therefore, there are less inertias when braking.

The NC700S they can be equipped with suitcases and together with the large chest they allow trips of a certain range. The smoothness of the engine and a seat that even being somewhat hard is not uncomfortable, and even the nose screen deflects the air sufficiently, at least at 120 km / h. The autonomy exceeds 300 km without problems.

Which one do I buy?
Yes the issue is a question of budget, there is no doubt: the standard is worth 1,500 euros less, which is no small thing, and if you are one of those who like to feel and drive a motorcycle like the usual ones, with a clutch in hand and gearbox at the foot, the basic one meets those requirements. In addition, it weighs a few kilos less than the DCT, which is good both when it comes to moving it while standing still and in sporty driving.

But If you value the comforts provided by current technology, you move around the city a lot and want to do it as easily as possible, the DCT is a more complete motorcycle. You can forget about the change and let the double clutch do the work for you, or intervene whenever you want with the buttons, or change yourself if you want to practice joyful driving on the road. In addition, those 1,500 euros include C-ABS, an almost essential element in urban driving due to its slippery asphalt, pedestrian crossings, vehicles that block our way, etc.

The Honda NC700S are logical bikes, well made, that work, that cost like a lighter, are attractive and have a barrel price. Really the only problem may be choosing which model to buy, although surely each one already has it clear.

They are Zen bikes, almost perfect …

Honda NC700S
How is it going on …
Practical, with its large hole for the helmet, easy due to its low center of gravity and pleasant due to the good torque.

The excellent torque allows a lot of change to be dispensed with. As in all Honda, it is easy and intuitive to carry.

The twin is very fine, almost without vibrations; the seat, a bit hard, but not uncomfortable; and the consumption, of laughter.

Only +
Ease of driving
Power delivery
Hollow for helmet

Only –
Non-adjustable handles
Unexciting engine

Honda NC700S ABS DCT
How is it going on …
Put the DCT in automatic version and forget about everything except the traffic… The automatic double clutch works.

You can choose between the automatic sport gearbox or the manual gearbox for cornering. Both are effective.

Put the D mode and forget about the rest … Minimal consumption and no vibrations. At 120 km / h, the air does not bother.

Only +
C-ABS as standard
Even easier …
… And everything else

Only –
Little progressivity

Comparative published in Solo Moto nº 1890

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