MCN Fleet: Absence makes the heart grow fonder
You know they say absence makes the heart grow fonder? I rode the NC750X for the first time in three weeks yesterday – I’d been away on an epic scooter adventure to Valenica with our MotoGP reporter Simon Patterson – and despite the wet, greasy and cold conditions it brought a huge smile to my face as I reminded myself just how good this bike can be.
Okay, admittedly riding anything is going to feel good after 2000 miles on a 125cc twist and go scooter but it’s not just that, we were out on an affordable middleweight group test with Kawasaki’s Versys 650 and Suzuki SV650 in tow, so it wasn’t just the NC I was riding. While the SV650 without a doubt wins the test on fun factor alone, I was surprised to find myself preferring the NC750 over the more comparable Versys.
While I was away, MCN road tester Chad had spent some time with the NC and in all honesty, I expected him not to like it. It can be a bit sluggish, it’s very heavy and with the 6500rpm red line, you’re forever changing gear.
“It grows on you, doesn’t it,” he grunts at me as he arrives at the Peterborough office. You see, that’s the thing with the NC. There are no frills, it doesn’t sing and shout, but it is good at what it does. It’s a motorbike designed to get you from A to B in a cheap and efficient manner, and that’s exactly what it does.
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It’s easy to ride, even though it’s heavy the low centre of gravity (from the low positioning of the parallel twin motor and under-seat fuel tank) and even when its ridden without fuel economy in mind it’ll still return 65/70 miles per gallon. In fact, my 65MPG is pitiful compared to some of the figures fellow NC riders have claimed they’re getting after reading one of my online reports!
While it could definitely do with a bit more power it does have bags of torque. With that low end grunt and lack of revs, it’s almost like a diesel! At first thought, that’s the last thing you’d want from a motorbike but the NC, even with its half a Honda Jazz engine, isn’t as dull as it first sounds.
Don’t get me wrong, it can lack on the ‘fun’ side a little. It’s certainly doesn’t give me as much of a buzz as the CB500R I had on short term loan as the NC was prepared, but it does still offer something that resembles that buzz which is one of the main reasons I started riding bikes in the first place. You just have to work it a bit harder to find it!
It’s the practicality side of things that wins me over though. From my house in Lincoln to our Peterborough office I’ve a 68-mile commute, and for charging up and down the A1 every day (I will opt for a better route if the weather’s nice and I don’t have to be somewhere) the NC750 is almost perfect. It’ll cruise at motorway speeds easily, it’s relatively comfortable (although the seat is sometimes a little too hard for my liking) and the high riding position and wide, upright bars make gliding through traffic effortless.