Nc750X vs DL 650 (V Strom) vs MT-7 (Tracer 700)

Having ridden all three bikes recently I though I might post up a post comparing them. Just a little disclaimer up front: I am terrible at ‘feeling’ a bike and pinpointing what parts are not working. Once, at an LBers stag do I thought my quad was veering to the right, hence my crashing it 4 times. Turns out I just couldn’t ride the bloody things… So if you buy one of these bikes on my recommendation and don’t like them, you are a bigger fool than I.

So where to start… I guess it’s a bit unfair as I had test ridden the nx750x a while back (and had written about it here) so I’m not going to go back into the details of the DCT gearbox (which I really liked). So rather than go bike by bike,I might as well categorise it thematically. 


I’m looking for a bike to replace my 990 Adventure (when and IF I sell it). I will be mainly using it for commuting 2 days of 5 on a very easy 19 mile (half hour) commute. Then I want something I can go blow some steam off on a sunny day. I don’t expect to be doing mammoth rides on it and I am not the kind of person who really canes a bike or gets knees down. Think more OAP than MotoGP… 

Space and comfort

Most important for me at 6ft and with a few extra kilos (or stones)… I’m also getting older and the type of riding I do is usually upright rather than leaning.

 Here the V-Strom was by far the best in terms of sitting position. It’s funny  that having legs bent a few less degrees makes it so much more comfortable. Unlike the NC and the Tracer, you felt like you were sitting on an ‘Adventure’ bike - more upright with arms a  bit further away from the bars. The screen on the D- strom was miles better than the others. Both the NC and Tracer felt almost like nakeds. It’s not that the height of the screen was an issue… but rather it was the width, with air hitting the body much more. On the motorway parts of my rides, the Vstrom was the most comfortable, and I didn’t have the screen adjusted to the highest point (that adjuster is a bit more complicated than the Tracer). The model of the Vstrom I test rode came with handguards and I hadn’t realised how much of a difference they make. Between the NC and the Tracer, I found the NC to be much better…

One big negative (for me) with the Vstrom was the seat. I don’t know what it is but I just could not get comfy on it. It felt like it had bits of hard rubber right where my inner thighs were. Something I couldn’t notice when I pressed it with my hand and probably won’t apply to everyone - but for me it is a very big issue; enough to put doubts in my mind about buying one.

Ok I have no idea which one has the better engine… at all. To be honest, they are all pretty much decent. I think I preferred the Tracer’s of all as it like to be revved more and seemed much exciting to acccelerate. But the vstrom is just fine for me and so would the NC750 have been; perhaps the Vstrom is a bit better being in a higher gear at low down speeds? All in all, on that one I have no real tips or advice. They were all perfectly ‘fine’ - no more, no less - and considering I’m not looking to go hell for leather, they’ll all do. None will probably excite you that much (again probably the Tracer is the most exciting of the three) but then if you are looking for an exciting bike in these three, well you’re doing it wrong in my view.

Hmmm another tricky one for me to answer as the chicken strips on my bike are more like chicken breasts… I don’t really remember much of the NC, apart from the fact it did all I asked of it and it had more to give. Both the bikes I took out today had less than 10 miles on them so had to go easy with new tyres. However, between the two, I preferred the Vstrom again. It felt so much more planted and stable. The Tracer was so agile but a bit too much for my liking - a couple of times I caught myself having to correct going into a corner. Maybe it’s cause I’m used to the big and heavy 990, and the Tracer would be better in traffic or commuting but I liked the feel of the Vstrom more…

I prefer the 2017 VStrom to the others… it just looks more of a solid bike, and the moment you add engine guards and handguards it starts to look like an adventure bike. The others are just trying to be that and not really doing it for me.  Also, of the three, I think it looks the least ridiculous with luggage or even just a top box.

Build Quality
Now I’m really stretching, like as if I’m a good judge of this… I think the Honda and the Yamaha have the better feel to them. Even in things like the dashboard, it just looks better. The Suzuki still feels plasticky. I also get annoyed these bikes don’t have hydraulic clutches (apart from the Honda which has no clutch) so I think KTM build has spoilt me. But if KTM was doing it 10 years ago, I would have thought they should all have it.

Don’t know, didn’t ask - don’t care that much - I’ve owned two KTMs. Unless it’s a BMW, servicing doesn’t worry me that much. :slight_smile:

Again, didn’t look into it… They can only be more efficient than what I have now, and that’s fine by me. I’d think from the little I saw on the NC, it was the most economical but when I looked a couple of times on the Vstrom I was averaging 45mpg - and that was on country lane, higher rev riding.

Biggest disappointment
My helmet not fitting in the NC750 - big demerit points there!
The tracer not having any power command options
The Suzuki coming in two different specs that really have nothing other than handguards and spoked wheels as a difference

Biggest (good) surprise
The DCT gearbox  - what a revelation. 
Uhm… the others…  come with a warranty? 

Have I made a decision…? Nah not even close. I am really struggling with letting go of my Adventure for one of these. If I had to, I might go for the VStrom as a bit better all rounder and for the better comfort (even if it meant changing that seat!).  Maybe I can save some money and get myself a 1050 or an Africa Twin… But that might take time.

Africa Twin DCT for you. I am now on the NC700X DCT and loving it. 4 days into ownership and I cannot get over the revelation of just how easy it is to ride. As to chicken strips, well, I am getting rid of mine rather more easily that I anticipated.  77mpg for me so far on the NC.

That’s some good info there.  Cheers.

I’d recommend trying the Tiger 800 and Tiger Sport.

Africa Twin too.

For me it’s got to be the tracer
The engine is the latest on the market and has plenty of go yamaha may not be the best for finish but it’s no way as bad a the Suzuki
The v storm engine is well past it’s sell by date (I’m surprised Suzuki got it to Euro 4 )
The Honda engine is ok but I like an engine to rev hard
Honda reliability can be second to none but after trying the NC it just didn’t float my boat

The tracer 900 is pretty good, been out a couple of years and they’ve sorted out the niggles. 

Fully loaded I’ve found a little lacking in performance, I would say the 700 will be tough work for you. 

For the price and what’s included with it, you can’t beat it. 

I’ve had a Tracer 700 since last September, just coming up to 12k miles. Likes: does everything I need on a 35 mile mix of motorway and urban commute, enough power when you need it, decent weather protection for a bike of it’s size, slim and light enough to filter with ease, decent MPG, and so far no mechanical issues. Cons: minor corrosion due to be sorted out under warranty, shit switch gear for horn, cheap suspension. That’s it to be honest. Does what I need and at a competitive price.

The tracer 900 is pretty good, been out a couple of years and they've sorted out the niggles. 
Fully loaded I've found a little lacking in performance, I would say the 700 will be tough work for you. 
For the price and what's included with it, you can't beat it. 
Big difference in the price.  If you're just interest in mostly commuting the 700 makes more sense.  How are you finding the suspension on yours, there are lots of complaints of how poor it is.

oh yeah, the handling is atrocious at the moment. I’m finally going to set it up for my weight this weekend. 

oh yeah, the handling is atrocious at the moment. I'm finally going to set it up for my weight this weekend. 
I've heard it's so bad even when fully setup it's still pretty dire.  Zine I think put the Ohlins kit on his.

The K-tech set comes highly recommended too. It’s looking at another £1k on top of the asking price though