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MCN Fleet: Is the NC750X's tank too small?

Published: 28 September 2016

One thing that excited me when I took on the NC750X as my MCN Fleet bike for this year was its excellent reputation when it comes to fuel economy. 

And it’s true, the 745cc parallel twin is incredibly frugal. Even riding in my often over-eager, rather uneconomical fashion, over 2000 miles I’ve averaged 63 miles to the gallon. While this is slightly on the low side for an NC750X, if I took it a little steadier there’s no doubt it’d be closer to, or even above, 70mpg.

While that’s all well and good, what has surprised me over the last two months is how frequently I’m stopping at the petrol pump. With the average tank of fuel costing just £12, it’s hardly going to break the bank but it’s a little frustrating having to stop so often on a bike renowned for being so efficient.

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After the first 2000 miles, I’ve had an average range of 157 miles from what Honda say is a 14-litre tank. Interestingly, that’s not far off the average range Consumer Editor Tony Hoare has from his Suzuki SV650 and is remarkably similar to the range of Web Producer James’ BMW F800GS which has only been doing 48mpg!

At my current MPG, with a 14-litre tank the NC750X would have a theoretical range of 196 miles, but I’m not getting anywhere close to that.

I believe the problem may lie with the size of the tank, or at least how much fuel I’m able to put in it. Honda claim the underseat fuel tank has a capacity of 14 litres. However, not once have I come close to actually putting in 14 litres at the pump. Even on occasions where I’ve ridden 25 miles with the fuel light on, I’ve not been able to squeeze in any more than 11.98 litres.

This could be because the tank is smaller than Honda say it is or another explanation could be that the low fuel comes on a little early – I’ve not been brave enough to try more than 25 miles with the fuel light on!

The other thing I’ve been considering is whether the bike’s position when filling up is stopping me getting as much fuel in as the tank can hold. With the fuel cap underneath the passenger seat, you need to get off the bike and place it on its sidestand to refuel. With the bike on an angle, it’s possible the tank isn’t able to take as much fuel in as it would if the bike was upright due to that thing called gravity… I’m planning to get a centrestand fitted to prove or disprove that theory!

 

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