FOR ADVENTURE ADDICTS.
2018 Honda NC750X DCT Review on Total Motorcycle:
American Honda announced today that its midsize adventure-touring machine—long heralded as the ultimate commuting motorcycle—gets a number of important updates for 2018, enabling sportier performance while retaining the practical, utilitarian attributes for which it is known. The new NC750X will initially be offered in Europe in early 2018, with U.S. availability next summer.
The new model year brings a 75cc displacement increase to 745cc, along with the addition of two-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), while mode changes to the automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) allow the possibility of higher-rpm shift points. When it was originally introduced in 2012, the NC700 (as it was called then) was noted for its “crossover” styling and innovative features. Now, updates result in a sportier character and a larger engine. The result is a fresh take on a highly functional machine that is more versatile than ever.
“We’re pleased to be able to offer the NC750X to our customers, especially with these new, performance-oriented updates,” said Lee Edmunds, American Honda’s Manager of Motorcycle Marketing Communications. “Customers will continue to appreciate this model’s practical benefits, while a displacement increase, HSTC, and DCT improvements give it a more vibrant character as well.”
Honda’s midsize adventure-touring machine—long heralded as the ultimate commuting motorcycle—gets a number of important updates for 2018, enabling sportier performance while retaining the practical, utilitarian attributes for which it is known. The new model year brings a 75cc displacement increase to 745cc, along with the addition of two-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), while mode changes to the automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) allow the possibility of higher-rpm shift points.
When it was originally introduced in 2012 as a 700, the model was noted for its “crossover” styling; comfortable, upright riding position; available automatic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT); long-travel suspension; and innovative, under-seat fuel cell, with a faux tank housing a storage compartment. The bike’s NC moniker stood for New Concept, and its torque-laden parallel-twin engine borrowed from Honda’s automotive technology, with a long-stroke design leading to a low rev ceiling and excellent fuel efficiency. Now, updates result in a sportier character, resulting in a fresh take on a highly functional machine that is now more versatile than ever.
Much of the motorcycle-riding experience comes down to feeling, and guiding the NC750X’s design is the phrase “Sensual Performance.” From the front, the machine has a bold, adventurous identity, with an LED headlight and running lights forming a unique impression.
The tall windscreen guides airflow around the rider’s upper body, and a central duct equalizes pressure, while slits on the upper left and right sides reduce wind noise. The side cowls and side covers create muscular lines, and the svelte seat unit and clear-smoke LED taillight are underlined in a minimal manner by the exhaust muffler, further emphasizing the mass-forward stance.
Volume of the storage compartment is 22 liters (enough to hold a full-size helmet), and its lid features external rails that are useful for mounting a tank bag. Inside the lid are four hooks that allow rubber straps to assist in organizing contents.
Attractive instruments use a negative LCD display, and information includes odometer, trip meter, gear position, fuel economy and consumption gauges, (optional) heated grip temperature, and three-stage SPORT mode for the DCT model.
The color of the rev-counter bar display can be changed by the rider; a total of nine options are available. It is also possible to have colors change according to gear selected, rpm range, or (for the DCT version) riding mode.
ECO mode turns the display to light blue if riding with good fuel efficiency, and green if riding even more economically. SHIFT mode sees the color change to orange if engine rpm exceeds a level pre-set by the rider.
The design of the NC750X’s liquid-cooled, SOHC, 8-valve parallel-twin-cylinder engine ensures punchy performance in the low-to-mid rpm range. Its relatively long-stroke architecture and specially shaped combustion chambers combine with the high-inertial-mass crankshaft to produce large amounts of effortless torque from very low rpm. The engine’s forward-leaning position lowers the center of gravity for optimum handling.
For 2018, the NC750X gets Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), featuring two levels. Level 1 allows some rear-wheel spin—on gravel or dirt for instance—while Level 2 reduces wheel spin, particularly on slippery roads. Level 2 is the default from “ignition on,” and a push of the button on the left side of the handlebar changes the setting to Level 1. Pushing and holding the button turns HSTC off.
Twin balancers counteract vibration from higher rpm inertia, refining the engine yet still allowing the distinct “throb” delivered by its 270° firing order, and bore and stroke are set at 80mm x 77mm. By minimizing the number of parts, the engine is kept light, efficient, and reliable, as components are made to do more than one job where possible; for example, the camshaft drives the water pump, while one of the balancer shafts drives the oil pump.
A lightweight, pentagon-shaped muffler uses two chambers joined by a hole-punched link pipe, which works with a final resonator chamber to create a deeply distinctive sound and exhaust pulse. The built-in catalyzer has a two-layer structure to help reduce emissions.
Honda’s automatic Dual Clutch Transmission technology is now in its eighth year of production and is steadily gaining popularity. DCT uses two clutches—one for startup and first, third, and fifth gears, and the other for second, fourth, and sixth gears, with the main shaft for one clutch located inside that of the other. Each clutch is independently controlled by its own electro-hydraulic circuit.
The DCT system features two automatic modes, plus the manual mode for manual gear changes. The standard automatic DRIVE mode is for general or highway riding and maximum fuel efficiency. SPORT mode—which holds a higher rpm for up- and downshifts—offers three levels of performance.
Some riders prefer to ride higher gears, some lower, and the three mode options make it possible to tailor the gearbox response to riding style. The selected level is stored and acts as the default SPORT Mode for subsequent rides. It is also displayed on the dash.
The DCT used by the NC750X features Adaptive Clutch Capability Control, which manages the amount of clutch torque transmitted. This adds a natural “feathered” clutch feel when opening or closing the throttle, for a smoother ride. Further refinements include fast operation of the Neutral-Drive switch when turning on the ignition, as well as a control system in Automatic mode for gauging the angle of ascent or descent and adapting the shift pattern accordingly.
For 2018, the DCT rev ceiling for upshifts has been raised from 6,600 rpm to 7,500 rpm (which is where redline starts), to make more use of the engine’s peak power.
The NC750X’s rugged steel diamond frame has the high levels of rigidity required for agile, responsive handling in a variety of conditions. It’s also ideal where space is at a premium, since it takes up very little volume but offers superb riding dynamics.
Rake is set at 27°, with trail of 110mm, wheelbase of 60.6 inches, and front/rear weight distribution of 48% / 52%. Curb weight is 474 pounds (500 pounds DCT), and seat height is 32.7 inches. The riding position is upright and neutral, with a high viewpoint. Another advantage of this adventure-style riding position is great low-speed control; combined with the low center of gravity and generous steering lock, the result is exceptional low-speed handling and balance.
The 41mm telescopic Showa Dual Bending Valve fork features 6.0 inches of travel and has ratios optimized for both compression and rebound damping. This allows the generation of damping force in precise proportion to piston speed (in the low-speed range), improving ride quality and comfort. Increased compression damping provides more progressive, firmer suspension response and helps reduce dive under heavy braking. Gray Alumite caps add a finishing touch.
The single rear shock features a spring-preload adjuster system and has 5.9 inches of travel. It operates through a Pro-Link® configuration that offers an optimized balance of a soft initial stroke for dealing with low-speed bumps, together with excellent control.
Up front, the 320mm wave rotor and two-piston brake caliper deliver plenty of easy-to-modulate stopping power, complemented by the rear 240mm wave rotor and single-piston caliper. Lightweight two-channel ABS provides powerful and confident braking even on slippery or wet road surfaces.
Cast-aluminum front and rear wheels—sizes 17 x 3.50-inch and 17 x 4.50-inch respectively—wear 120/70 ZR17 and 160/60 ZR17 tires. Forged-aluminum L-shaped rim valves simplify the process of checking and adjusting air pressure.
The range of genuine Honda Accessories includes:
- Specifically designed new rear rack
- Hand guards to add integrated function and tough adventure style
- 35 liter and 45 liter top boxes
- 29 liter panniers
- Inner bags
- Center stand
- Fog lights
- Fairing bars
- 5 stage heated grips
- 12V accessory socket
- Availability: Summer 2018
2018 Honda NC750X DCT Totalmotorcycle.com Key Features
- Bold, adventurous design identity based on the “Sensual Performance” concept, with an LED headlight, taillight, and running lights
- Liquid-cooled, 745cc, SOHC, 8-valve parallel-twin engine ensures punchy performance in the low-to-mid rpm range, with large amounts of effortless torque from very low rpm
- New for 2018, the NC750X gets two-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC)
- Twin engine balancers counteract vibration at higher rpm inertia, refining the engine yet still allowing the distinct “throb” delivered by its 270º firing order
- By minimizing the number of parts, engine is kept light, efficient, and reliable, as components are made to do more than one job where possible
- Available Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) features two automatic modes—DRIVE and SPORT—plus the manual mode. Adaptive Clutch Capability Control manages the amount of clutch torque transmitted, adding a “feathered” clutch feel when opening or closing the throttle, for a smoother ride. For 2018, the DCT rev ceiling for upshifts has been raised to 7,500 rpm to make more use of the engine’s peak power
- Faux tank includes a 22 liter storage area (enough to hold a full-size helmet). Lid features tank-bag rails on the outside and strap hooks inside
- Upright, natural riding position, with a high viewpoint for enhanced hazard perception and great low-speed control
- Showa Dual Bending Valve fork and single rear shock with Pro-Link® configuration for smooth ride in a variety of road conditions
- Attractive instruments use a negative LCD display, with information including odometer, trip meter, gear position, fuel efficiency and consumption gauges, (optional) heated-grip temperature, and three-stage SPORT mode for DCT model
- Color of rev-counter bar display can be changed by rider
- Tall windscreen guides airflow around rider’s body
2018 Honda NC750X DCT Totalmotorcycle.com Features and Benefits
Strong power & torque
The NC750X’s liquid-cooled, inline-twin engine incorporates numerous advanced and patented technologies. To ensure strong acceleration, ease-of-use in the city and a relaxed character on the highway, the engine delivers exceptionally strong low-rpm performance. The engine’s unique design creates a muscular, easy-to-use powerband not unlike that of a big-bore cruiser.
Distinctive sound and feel
To give the engine a satisfying and distinctive sound and feel, engineers thought way outside the box. An extra balancer shaft was added to inject the engine with just the right amount of “good” vibration. The effect of the twin balancers is to counteract vibration from higher rpm inertia, making the engine feel more refined, yet still with the distinct “throb” delivered by its 270-degree firing order. The intake-port layout inside the cylinder head was carefully designed to create an intentional interference between adjacent ports, which results in subtle combustion variations. In addition, the timing for the opening and closing of the intake valves was set differently for each cylinder. The result of all this? An engine that always lets you know what it’s doing and has a pleasant sound and feel.
Strong performance – less shifting
The six-speed manual transmission complements the powerband by using wide gear ratios—no need to be constantly shifting up and down to maintain strong performance.
The NC750X is available with Honda’s sporty DCT transmission, which allows both paddle-operated manual operation and three levels of automatic shifting. DCT even senses whether the bike is travelling uphill or downhill and selects shifting points and engine braking accordingly. Adaptive Clutch Capability Control assists in on/off throttle situations, reducing pitching motions for smoother riding.
Free space & terrific handling
The engine’s inline cylinders are canted forward by 62 degrees to help create a low overall centre of gravity for nimble, confidence-inspiring handling, and also to create room for a convenient central storage area where the cylinders and fuel tank would typically be.
Exceptional fuel economy
Through the use of friction-reducing technologies, integrated components (such as running the water pump off the camshaft), precise PGM-FI electronic fuel-injection and efficient combustion, the NC750X engine delivers exceptional fuel economy.
Smaller can be better
The engine’s efficient use of fuel enables the use of a smaller-volume, more-compact fuel tank that still allows ample riding range while giving engineers extra freedom to re-think the optimal placement of other components.
Maximum purification efficiency
The exhaust catalytic converter sits directly beneath the exhaust ports and is activated early when the engine starts. This design lets the combustion gas pass through the catalyst while it is at its hottest, thereby maximizing purification efficiency.
Tuned flex for a smooth ride
Although lightweight, the diamond-shaped steel-tube frame was carefully designed to be very sturdy while also allowing just enough flex to respond smoothly to changing road surfaces. This results in a smooth ride while also letting you feel what the bike is doing. You get comfort when you’re just cruising, and a sporty, fun ride when you’re on your favourite twisty backroad.
Upright & relaxed
Like the engine, the chassis is all about creating a ride that’s fun and user-friendly. The seating position is comfortably upright and relaxed, and the chassis geometry allows the NC750X to manoeuvre nimbly through the city or on winding cottage roads.
Excellent steering leverage & comfort
Seat height is 830 mm and the riding position is upright and neutral, with a high viewpoint for enhanced hazard perception. Another advantage of this adventure-style riding position is great low-speed control—combined with the low centre of gravity and generous steering lock, the result is exceptional low-speed handling and balance.
A Showa dual bending valve fork performs much like a high-end cartridge fork, providing similar smooth action and linear damping force, but at a lighter weight. The result is superior road holding and ride comfort, plus reduced front-end dive under braking.
Cast aluminium front and rear wheels, 120/70 ZR17 and 160/60 ZR17 tires, with an aggressive off-road style tread pattern.
ABS power and control
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) provides added confidence during sudden stops or when the road is wet or slippery.
Specially designed wave-style brake rotors not only keep unsprung weight low, they also require less energy and use less material during production because the rear rotor fits precisely inside the front rotor, allowing them to be stamped out of a single sheet of stainless steel at once.
The NC750X shows off its edgy styling with an agressive front cowl design, LED taillight, and a tall protective windscreen with venting to reduce pressure and turbulence. The result is a bike that’s is comfortable when cruising at speed, with the windscreen and bodywork diverting wind around the rider to minimize fatigue.
Maximized space & better balance
The 14.1-litre fuel tank is accessed beneath the seat at the rear of the bike, with the fuel stored beneath the rider. The tail cowl has been cut short to bring the mass forward, and handy grips have been integrated into the tail section for passenger security.
Large-capacity hidden storage
Where the fuel tank would be on most bikes, the NC750X instead has a large-capacity (22 L), lockable utility compartment that’s big enough to hold an XL-size helmet. Don’t want to carry all your gear when you arrive at your destination? This handy compartment allows you to quickly stash your helmet, gloves and more out of sight.
The LCD instrument display includes a host of customizable features, including nine choices of background colour. You can even set the background colour to change as engine rpm rises and falls, as you shift gears, or to indicate your selected DCT transmission mode.
Wave-style ignition key is stronger and provides extra security against theft.
2018 Honda NC750X DCT – Totalmotorcycle.com USA Specifications/Technical Details
US MSRP Price: $ See Dealer USD
|Type||745cc liquid-cooled four-stroke 55º parallel twin|
|Valve Train||SOHC; four valves per cylinder|
|Bore x Stroke||77.0mm x 80.0mm|
|Induction||PGM-FI electronic fuel injection|
|Ignition||Full transistorized ignition|
|Transmission||6 speed automatic DCT||6 speed manual|
|Clutch||2 multiplate wet||Multiplate wet|
|Final Drive||16T/43T; chain|
|Front||41mm Showa Dual Bending Valve telescopic fork; 5.4 in. travel|
|Rear||Pro-Link® w/ single shock; 5.9 in. travel|
|Front||Two 320mm wave discs w/ hydraulic calipers; 2-channel ABS|
|Rear||Single 240mm wave disc w/ hydraulic caliper; 2-channel ABS|
|Rake (Caster Angle)||27º|
|Trail||110mm (4.33 in.)|
|Seat Height||32.7 in.|
|Ground Clearance||6.5 in.|
|Fuel Capacity||3.7 gal. (.8 gal. reserve)|
|Curb Weight*||505 lbs.||478 lbs.|
*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride
Meets current EPA standards
Models sold in California meet current CARB standards and may differ slightly due to emissions equipment
Specifications subject to change
2018 Honda NC750X DCT – Totalmotorcycle.com Canadian Specifications/Technical Details
Canada MSRP Price: $ CDN
Engine & Drivetrain
Liquid-cooled parallel-twin with 55-degree slant angle, 270-degree phase crank
Bore & Stroke
77 mm x 80 mm
Chain-driven SOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
Standard model: Six-speed DCT model: Six-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission with four automatic shift modes and a manual shift mode
#520 O-ring-sealed chain
Chassis & Suspension
41 mm telescopic fork; 137 mm (5.4 in.) travel
Pro-Link® single shock swingarm; 150 mm (5.9 in.) travel
Front: 120/70ZR-17 Rear: 160/60ZR-17
Front: 320 mm single wavy hydraulic disc with two-piston caliper Rear: 240 mm single wavy hydraulic disc with single-piston caliper and two-channel ABS
830 mm (32.7 in.)
1,535 mm (60.4 in.)
Standard model: 220 kg (485 lbs.) DCT model: 230 kg (507 lbs.) including required fluids and full tank of gas—ready to ride
Standard model: Matte Gunpowder Black DCT model: Chromosphere Red
12 months, unlimited mileage, freely transferable warranty; extended coverage available with Honda Plus
2018 Honda NC750X DCT – Totalmotorcycle.com European Specifications/Technical Details
Europe/UK MSRP Price: £ GBP (On The Road inc 20% Vat)
Bore × Stroke (mm) 77 x 80mm
Carburation PGM FI electronic fuel injection
Compression Ratio 10.7: 1
C02 Emissions 81
Engine Displacement (cc) 745cm3
Engine Type (cm³) Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve, SOHC parallel 2-cyclinder
Max. Power Output 40.3kW @ 6250 rpm
Max. Torque 68.0kW @ 4750 rpm
Oil Capacity (Litres) 3.7L
Brakes Front 320mm single wavy hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and sintered metal pads. 2-channel ABS.
Brakes Rear 240mm single wavy hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and resin mold pads. 2-channel ABS.
Suspension Front 41mm telescopic fork
Suspension Rear Monoshock damper, Pro-Link swingarm, 150mm travel
Tyres Front 120/70ZR-17M/C
Tyre Size Front 160/60ZR-17M/C
Wheels Front Multi-Spoke Aluminium Cast
Wheels Rear Multi-Spoke Aluminium Cast
Dimensions and Weights
Battery Capacity (VAh) 12V-11 .2AH
Caster Angle 27 degrees
Dimensions (L×W×H) (mm) 2230mm x 845mm x 1350mm
Frame type Diamond; steel pipe
Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres) 14.1 Litres
Fuel Consumption 28.6km/l (WMTC mode)
Ground Clearance (mm) 165mm
Kerb Weight (kg) 220kg
Seat Height (mm) 830mm
Trail (mm) 110 mm
Wheelbase (mm) 1535mm
Clutch Wet multiplate clutch
Final Drive Chain
Gearbox 6-speed manual clutch transmission
Instruments and Electrics
Ignition System Computer controlled digital transistorised with electronic advance
Instruments Digital speedometer, digital bar-type tachometer, clock, bar-type fuel meter, two trip meters, gear position indicator, ‘instant’ and ‘average’ fuel consumption and coolant temperaturewarning light.
Tail Light LED
Manufacturer Specifications and appearance are subject to change without prior notice on Total Motorcycle (TMW).