Seeking opinion on Honda NC750X & Africa Twin

Two very different bikes I know, but they’re what my brother (who’s returning to biking after a few years off) has narrowed his choices down to.

He’s been offered a great deal on the new (manual) NC750X which ticks all the boxes for him, particularly being economical to run and having the practicality of the storage.  With the Africa Twin he’s been offered a decent enough deal and although it’s obviously the better bike that he would enjoy owning, it loses out on the running costs, storage and is perhaps not quite as good a day-to-day proposition for his needs.  He’d also have to finance a few grand to get the Africa.  It’s the old head versus heart dilemma.

Are there any OWNERS of either bike on here that would share their pearls of wisdom on their ride? 

He wants to lay down a deposit tomorrow so that he can get it next week when we’re both off work and have the time to clock some miles up   :)     Opinions of how you find yours appreciated.

If he’s coming back to biking after a few years I’d go for the NC.  They are should an easy bike to ride, and cheap to run.  Insurance may be cheaper, and they are completely road bias, so no compromise on the rubber.

And personally I’d rather buy something outright rather than using finance.

I agree with Kev on that. But the NC will be pretty boring, it seems like he wants the NC because it’s a good price and the storage is a handy bonus to have. 

Had the naked NC700 for 3 years and in that time I found the storage was brilliant and economy too. It did a few tours abroad very well and is a fairly brisk bike but you do eventually want more power. He needs to test ride the NC to see if he can get on with the short rev range …

Had the naked NC700 for 3 years and in that time I found the storage was brilliant and economy too. It did a few tours abroad very well and is a fairly brisk bike but you do eventually want more power. He needs to test ride the NC to see if he can get on with the short rev range .....
When I test rode the NC700 when it first came out, and by the end of the test ride I was used to both the indicator/horn arrangement and the rev range.  Doesn't take long for it to become second nature.

Big difference in those bikes…what is the primary use?

Possibly a farm track is the closest he’ll ever get to off-roading.  It’s pretty much a 100% road bike, probably used for 50% commuting (mix of country & town), and 50% leisure.  His days of high revving pin-the-throttle madness are largely over, and other than sports bikes he’s always liked the adventure ‘style’ of bike with torquey engines that pull well in the low-mid rev range.  Hopes he can get the odd tour abroad in but again that would be road-riding.

I’ve ridden neither so cannot offer up any opinions, other than the Africa is significantly better looking. This thread made me look at the storage for the NC750x and must say, that is quite impressive storage…

Also, it may have entered the consideration stage for a next bike… 

What are his security options? Will he have to park on the road during the day if he commutes on it? If so I’d say the AT would be a far more tempting target to the scrotes. That said, if I had to on-street park in town I wouldn’t be looking at buying a new bike anyway.

I have to say it sounds like the vfr800X sounds like what he’s after

well me-groovy , I was just about to say that, and as you know I have just got one and so far so good. first service in the morning and a few more revs to play with. also the 2016 model comes with a shed load of extras thrown in for free, such as topbox, heated grips, akrapovich end can, tomtom rider and a main stand.

Done 24k on my 2015 NC750X - first big bike so can’t do a direct comparison with the AT (sitting on it’s the extent of my experience). The AT felt much taller and more unsteady to me - weight’s v low down on the NC as it’s a forward sloping parallel twin. The NC gets decent mileage but not nearly as good as Honda suggest - I’ve seen 67-75mpg depending on use/pillion. It’s pretty torquey and fine for pillion use around town, but runs out of puff pretty quickly on the motorway whether you’re one- or two-up. The newer (2016 on) version apparently has a slightly larger storage space, better suspension, better lights - all of which should be good. Suspension is pretty basic on mine; if he’s counting on using the storage for a helmet best make sure it’s one that fits (mine doesn’t so I end up using a top box anyway). Do my own maintenance, no probs so far. Gets decent life out of tyres. Seat’s ok at best.

I’d recommend it if he’s looking for a solid commuter - but if it’s for some weekend fun or extended touring I’d lean towards the AT (or indeed the VFR800X)

Some good answers.  I’ve forwarded this thread on to him to help him make his mind up.  He’s really torn between the sensible enjoyable NC that he would use more because it’s cheaper to run, versus ‘the bike of the moment’ which is more expensive, less practical, but a bit different to many run of the mills commuter bikes.

Pat, security isn’t too much of an issue as he currently has a garage and works in a relatively rural location with little crime.

One thing I’ve looked at is depreciation figures, and being considered a ‘boring commuter’ bike by some second-hand buyers harms the NC’s residuals, whereas the Africa seems to have pretty strong year 1 residuals which I would expect to continue.  This narrows the cost of running gap slightly.

He didn’t place a deposit today due to his indecisiveness, but intends to do so tomorrow.  If he’s missed out on the NC deal due to hesitating then he says it’s a clear sign that the Africa is the one that’s meant to be  :slight_smile:

If he gets the NC it’ll be the sensible choice. But he’ll probably always find himself thinking “this is OK, but what if I’d have bought the AT…” If he buys the AT it’s very unlikely he’ll ever give a second thought about not having bought the NC!

So, if he can afford the AT he should do it. :sunglasses:

^^  What he said.  Would be an annoyance to buy the NC (deal is £6k new) and lose £2k odd depreciation in the first year if he did get bored of it and sold it.   The Africa (£10.5k new) wouldn’t lose any more in that first year and he wouldn’t be likely to tire of it.

I have the new NC and it is a great bike…if it is primarily used for commuting. Storage is great and the suspension is good.
Fairly torquey low down which obviously helps when in traffic and extremely economical. I get better mileage out of this then I did my cbr300!
I do use it on the motorway Fairly often and it is no slouch but if you want to go much over a ton that is not going to happen.
Also bear in mind the gears are really low on an NC so if it is a manual you will be changing gears more than you would on an AT.
I see a guy on my commute with an AT and it looks great but it does look like he has problems filtering - whether that is because of the height of the bike or something else, who knows?

Also if he is possibly going to get an NC, in my opinion you might as well get a DCT. I don’t see the point of having that bike as a manual. There are so many better manual bikes out there, Versys and V strom fit in that category.

Another alternative would the be Kawasaki Versys 650.  The third revision (the current model) is a cracking bike.

hi ya … ive ridden a new nc750 for a couple of days as a courtesy bike a couple of times… gotta agree with some of the comments, if I wanted a commuter, and solely for that it would be great but I couldn’t get on with it, and I couldn’t get used to the limiter I wouldn’t like it as a “just goin for a ride” bike, I love 4 cyl’s if I owned it I feel I would get used to it real quick and want something more soon… just my tuppence worth … I have a cbr650f and use it for everything, the engine is lovely, have a look at the cb650 (same engine) really good middleweight all rounder with a nice riding position… and at just a grand more than the nc you get so much more bike…  

Deal done… he went for the NC750X and gets it this week.  Took it for a spin myself and it’s a better bike than my few months old Tracer… don’t imagine it’ll rust as much either!  Nice & torquey, and the rev limiter wasn’t a problem as it’s ridden like a cruiser or a single cylinder supermoto etc.  Use the torque, not the upper-end of the rev-range and it nips along at a reasonable pace.