Two weeks ago I set off for the Netherlands on the NC750X, a six-day round trip to the TT Circuit at Assen to cover the penultimate round of the MCE British Superbike series.
In preparation for the trip, the bike headed back to Honda for a service and while it was there I asked them to fit some panniers as I didn’t quite fancy fitting six days’ worth of stuff into a rucksack and the storage compartment where the tank is supposed to be (I still haven’t decided on a shorter name for it, despite our office manager Al insisting it is a ‘front box’).
I thought about getting a top box too, but I’ve always thought top boxes make a bike ugly and in theory, with the space from the tank-storage-compartment-thingy you shouldn’t really need it for a short trip.
It’s amazing how useful you find that extra storage space. All of a sudden you don’t need to carry a backpack for your day to day riding as anything you’d take with you will comfortably fit in the tank unit – shoes and clothes to change into once you get out of your riding gear, something from the shops, whatever you want really.
For a couple of night’s away, you can fit everything you need in it and there’s no need for extra storage at all, which when you think about it is quite a novelty even for an adventure bike.
Honda say you can fit a full-face helmet in, but I’m not entirely convinced. My medium-sized X-Lite X661 certainly doesn’t fit and is still sporting the battle scars from when I tried to squeeze it in. However, I’m not going to complain as it’s storage space that just wouldn’t be there if the fuel tank was.
While Honda’s panniers are a little on the small side, I was able to pack six days’ worth of stuff into them, plus the tank-storage-area and a rucksack, which broke while I was in Assen and conveniently allowed me to test how easily you can strap things to the bike.
Even without the frame that holds the panniers, bungy-strapping something to the back seat is incredibly easy as the passenger grab rail acts as the perfect anchor for the hooks. However, things do become a little difficult when you pull into the petrol station to fill up and need to get under the back seat! That said, it’d be just as easy to strap on a tank bag and ingeniously, the holes to attach the straps are all on the lid of the front-storage compartment so even with a bag on the tank you can still access whatever you’ve got in that space.
There’s no doubt you could take the NC750X on a decent length tour, with what you can fit in the panniers, maybe a top box, the front-storage-area, a tank bag and a roll bag on the back of the seat, you’d have plenty of space!
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