Practical magic: Honda update NC750X, X-ADV for 2021 plus CB1000R and CB125R

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Honda have revealed updated versions of both the NC750X and X-ADV for 2021, continuing to blur the line between motorbike and scooter.

Both machines use the 58bhp, 750cc parallel-twin engine and DCT gearbox we saw in last month’s Forza 750 scooter meaning a boost in power from the outgoing versions and Euro5 compliance.

The NC750X combines scooter-esque ease of use and practicality with motorbike looks and the new model gets shorter ratios in the first three gears combined with a 6kg weight loss, which should translate into a sharper performance when nipping around town. Meanwhile, the top three gears have been made taller to improve cruising fuel efficiency.

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A new ride-by-wire throttle means the addition of three riding modes; Sport, Rain and Standard that alter the throttle map and gearbox shift patterns to suit conditions and how fruity you’re feeling plus a customisable User mode. The traction control also gains an extra level of adjustability with three levels to choose from, or it can be switched off altogether.

Honda have also worked on the bike’s best party trick by adding an extra litre of storage to the innovative luggage box – located where you expect the fuel tank to be – taking the total to an impressive 23 litres.

2021 Honda NC750X

As the NC750X blurs motorbike with scooter, so the X-ADV pulls a scooter towards motorbike with its mad, knees together adventure bike proposition. The X-ADV also gets the new 750cc engine and DCT gearbox with ride-by-wire but gets an extra Gravel riding mode for taking the path less ridden should you wish.

The X-ADV gets Honda’s latest phone connectivity that allows you to control your device with voice commands (if you buy the compatible headset) giving you on-the-go access to phone calls, email, music and navigation, should you want it. This can also be controlled through the switchgear and new 5-inch colour LCD dash.

Both the NC750X and X-ADV are available in a new Grand Prix red paintjob to go alongside the existing options and have undergone minor styling tweaks. The X-ADV now looks even more like a baby Africa Twin with a little PCX in its bloodline.

2021 Honda CB1000R and CB125R

2021 Honda CB1000R Black Edition

With updates to the CB650R announced back in early October, Honda have now revealed gentle revisions to their CB1000R and CB125R, plus Euro5 compliance for all.

Bridging the gap between retro roadster and feisty supernaked, the CB1000R gets fresh styling and equipment, plus a new ‘Black Edition.’ Get our full 2021 Honda CB1000R review here.

Starting with the internals, the 143bhp Fireblade-derived engine now features revised fuel injection settings, for a claimed smoother throttle response and power delivery. Euro5 compatibility is achieved via a new set of exhaust sensors in the downpipes.

Elsewhere, the bike gets a small facelift, with a new slanted, teardrop headlight replacing the current rounded design. This leads up to a full colour 5in TFT dash, complete with mobile phone connectivity and voice command, via a headset. Stradling these features are smaller aluminium radiator guards.

At the rear, there’s a new subframe finished in aluminium, rather than black and the swingarm mounted number plate bracket is now smaller. Completing the new aesthetic are new seven-spoke cast aluminium rims – replacing the current five-pronged design.

Unsurprisingly, the 2021 Black Edition is finished almost entirely in black – barring a few machined aluminium details. This model gets a quick shifter as standard, plus fly screen and pillion seat cover.

2021 Honda CB125R

Away from litre bikes, the CBT-friendly CB125R has been treated to a fresh 124.9cc four valve liquid-cooled single, producing 14.8bhp, plus 41mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston forks – in what Honda are calling a world first for a 125. Whether that’s necessary for learners and commuters remains to be seen, but it’s great bragging rights down the local.