Sunday, 7 July 2013

Gone In 65 Days

1817 days or approximately 4 years, 11 months and 21 days of Buell ownership came to an end on June 22nd when Bikeworld rang me up to tell me an offer had been made on the bike. Little over 8 weeks up for sale she has found a new owner who I hope enjoys at least as many miles on board as I did. A well deserved thank you has also got to go out to the guys and girls at Bikeworld who not only helped me sell my bike but also arranged a loaner bike to help keep me mobile over the period. Top service and highly recommend you drop into them.

Like they say, when one garage door closes another one opens (or something like that). On Friday 5th July I dropped into Bikeworld again, but this time to collect my new ride. I will admit that economics played a large part in my decision process, but it also ticks all the other boxes I look at when looking for a motorcycle, most of which I talked about in a previous post. This motorcycle will be a new Honda NC700X.

Honda NC700X with fool (me) on board at the 2012 NEC Motorcycle Show

If you are not overly familiar there are some reviews at MCN, Motorcycle USA, Ultimate Motorcycling and Ash on Bikes that should give you a sense of what its all about. On paper it is a lot less motorcycle then the Buell, 1203cc down to 670cc, 103hp down to 47hp and the Honda appeared to weigh heavier at 218kg but that is a wet weight versus the Buell 211kg dry. When I first saw the Honda at the 2011 NEC Motorcycle I was not completely convinced but ever since the first reviews dropped, the owner forums comments and finally my own test ride on one I have to admit that I have become a believer. My motorcycle insurance company, Adelaide, told me it would be a drop of 6 classes, so the long term savings keep coming.

With the Buell I admit I came into ownership more heart then brain lead, while now I am buying the Honda more brain then heart lead. I see little reason why I should not enjoy at least the next 5 years with this bike but it is early days yet and I will be sharing my progress as I go. I have been lurking on owner forums and generally there is little to say about ownership, its a brand new Honda and you get what people have come to expect from the brand.

This will be the  first Honda I have owned, so excited by that aspect too. It has Honda HISS security features in there. There is little more to say now as I frankly have not spent much time with it though I will mention my farkle list, at the first service Bikeworld will be fitting heated grips and a 12v accessory socket. The rest I will add over time, but this is what I am starting out with;

Luggage:



A 3 box Hepco & Becker system since I already have Hepco & Becker luggage and accessories which can be re-used on the NC700X. After almost 5 years using their products and comparing them to my precious Givi experience I find them to be a much better luggage option all round. The Buell had 42ltr Journey side cases and a 38ltr top-case. The size of the side cases would prove to be awkward when commuting, so I have gone for the smaller profile Junior 30ltr cases and matching Junior TC40 top-case. The top-case will fit my small Caberg Justissimo GT flip-up helmet. Thanks to the trunk in the NC700X I have only lost 1ltr in total storage (Buell 122ltr, NC700X 121ltr). I ordered all the luggage from Moto24.org.

Hand-Guards:

Right now leading contenders are some SW-Motech branded barkbusters. Buell was the first motorcycle I had owned with hand-guards and I loved them. Its not like the NC700X has a fairing with sculpted in wing mirrors so hand-guards make a massive difference on those winter night rides home. In conjunction with the heated grips its my idea of luxury. I have these on order from Maddocks and should hopefully have fitted within the next few weeks.

Mud-Guards:




What is it with motorcycles these days and mud-guards? The NC700X does not even have a rear mudguard and that leaves the rear shock prone to undue grit blasting in my opinion. That and getting off the bike to go into somewhere is always better when your back is not covered in mud. Going by owner reviews this seems to be a no-brainer. I used Pyramid plastics on my Kawasaki Er-6f so happy to use them again.

Chain-Oiler:



I do not own a car, if I am going anywhere its on the bike. The Buell was the first non-chain bike I had and it was brilliant. My previous two bikes had Scottoilers fitted, but due to how the NC700X is constructed you need to fit an electronic Scottoiler, which seems silly expensive and an overly complicated solution. Other owners on the NC700 forums and a few magazine reviews speak highly of a new UK company making the Tutoro chain oiler. This is what I have fitted, will need to play around to get the right drip rate, but it seems like a decent bit of kit.

Crash Protection:

Considering getting some crash bars to match the style of the bike and to help protect the plastics in the case of slow speed off. These items will be further down the road after all the rest has been sorted.

Wrapping Up

With ownership I am sure other tweaks may come along based on my own preferences, the above are just items I want to get things into my comfort zone. I already have various universal items so they will be bolted on as and when needed. The best compliment would be that I do not need to add anything else, but lets just wait and see.

On personal note, I do like naming my bikes and have continued the tradition with the NC700X. She shall be henceforth known as Nyx and I am looking forward to many happy miles on board.

Peace and keep the rubber side down.