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I just purchased a new 2011 Honda NT700V Deauville (NTV) on Friday. I rode it back from the dealership in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho which was about 330 miles. I'll share with you my impressions.

I wanted a bike that would supplement what I already have, a 2008 Burgman 400. I wasn't necessarily looking to replace it, and am still not. Both bikes are great for what they are designed for. Commuting Monday through Friday, and then taking off on weekend day or overnight trips. Both bikes approach that from a slightly different perspective though.

Handling and ride. This is what got me started looking for another bike. The 2007 400 I had, seemed more like a "motorcycle" than a "scooter" for handling. The bike just felt tighter. When I'd read where someone commented on how the rear wheel with its unsprung weight of both the engine and CVT would cause an issue in high speed corners if the road had a bump, I hadn't experienced that...till I got the 2008 400. I don't think there's anything "wrong" with the 2008 400, just that it is more like the norm, and I was very fortunate with the 2007 400. I was also looking for a ride that would handle the potholes and expansion joints I find on my commute. The roads aren't getting any better here at all. I expect they'll get even worse. So I was looking for an improvement.

The NTV delivered. On the trip back, I hit some stretches of pavement where it was almost like washboard. On the B400, I'm sure I'd have been bouncing all over. On the NTV, I simply felt the contact, but the bike stayed controlled and steady the entire time. I could've ridden over miles of that pavement and never thought twice about it. I hit some bumps in turns going through the mountains, and was very pleasantly surprised to find the bike didn't become unsettled at all. It just stayed on the line I'd picked and if I'd been more familiar with the bike, it could've taken the corner probably 10-15 mph faster with no issues too.

I do notice one thing that affects the handling characteristics of both bikes. The B400 is very flickable and a delight to toss into a corner. As long as you don't approach stupid speeds, it is very forgiving and rewarding. The NTV is not as flickable. I think it has to do with the larger 17 inch wheels and the gyroscopic effect. I found I had to use more force to turn, actually using counter steering. With the B400, I was doing it, but the effort needed was so slight, you didn't notice it. With the NTV, I noticed it. Nothing unpleasant, just an observation.

That same gyroscopic effect played well on the straight stretches through much of Eastern Washington. I hit some high winds through parts of there. I don't know what the mph reading was for the wind, but I felt like my helmet would've been jerked off if it hadn't been strapped on. Yet the bike only needed to be leaned a bit through one portion and the rest of the time, it just bored on at 60 and 70 mph with no effort. I kept thinking through this time, that I was glad I wasn't riding the B400. Could it do it? Yes. But I think that bike would've been blown around more.

Wind management. The B400 with a Givi Airflow windshield is good for me. The NTV was better. The windshield is adjustable by pulling up, or pushing it down. No tools are needed. I had it up to the next to highest setting where I could easily see over. I could feel the wind with my hand going just above the helmet. The helmet was quieter too. There was no turbulence. No back force on the rear of the helmet or shoulders. I just sat there taking it all in and appreciating what Honda managed to do.

Engine. The "L" twin engine did just fine. It has enough torque that I'm finding I can shift like you'd do with the NC700X that I test rode last weekend. It is also happy with revving up to the redline of 8500 rpms. On thing I noticed was in dealing with the headwinds on the trip home, that the engine was plenty powerful enough. The B400 will be affected a lot more by variations in things like headwinds or inclines. I've obviously adjusted just fine for a total of 75,000 miles on both B400s, but this engine didn't seem to need much of a throttle change like the B400 does in the same circumstances.

Seating and ergonomics. The B400 is like a barcalounger. :lol: I thought I sat on it in a "sport touring" posture, leaning forward slightly. I am really leaning forward on the NTV. The seat is plenty comfortable enough for commuting, but I had to do some adjusting as I rode along to find a comfortable spot. In the end what really helped, isn't what you'd think would matter at all. I pulled out my back support brace and put it on tightly. That worked wonders! That "sport touring" posture I'm doing on the NTV is just causing more strain on the lower back than I'm used to.

The salesman pointed out something that I'll pass along as a tip. One thing that will help, is to install risers to allow me to sit more upright. Those normally cost about $100 or more. You can use the bar clamps on a dirt bike instead, installing the upper portion of the dirt bike clamp upside down and then putting your handlebar on and the NTV's handlebar clamp over that. He suggested going over to a motorcycle junk yard like "Bent Bikes" in Lynnwood where they'll often just hand them to you. So I'll try that.

Some other impressions...
  • Weight. The NTV is about the same weight as a B650. I didn't move Dave_J's B650 much, but the weight being lower didn't feel like it was as much. And the B400...it seems light as a feather in comparison. I can still push the NTV into the garage with the engine off, which is a slight uphill, but it takes more effort.[/*:m:1uzb9fny]
  • Mounting and dismounting. The bike is tall for me. I have a 28 inch inseam and the seat height is about 31, if I remember right. I just put the bike on the side stand and let that support it while I swing my leg over. I'm not having to resort to using the foot pegs to mount it like a horse. And because the seat doesn't go out sideways like the B400's seat does, my legs can go almost straight down. When I test rode the used 2010 NTV a week before, I was amazed at how I had the balls of my feet touching. It may be that with 23,000 miles, his NTV's suspension had settled some. I'm not quite on tip-toe, but not with the complete ball of my foot down.[/*:m:1uzb9fny]
  • Speedometer. This is the first bike I've seen that the speedometer is spot on. I didn't have power to the GPS, so I ran three of them till the batteries died. Each one was exactly reading the speed as the same amount as the speedometer was.[/*:m:1uzb9fny]
  • Storage. The NTV's storage isn't as convenient as that on the B400, but it is almost as much. I had three plastic bags full of things like my Slime tire repair kit, a Stop&Go plug kit, spare tools, spare clothes in case the temperature got colder than I was planning, warmer gloves, a sweatshirt, etc. I looked at that and the small space the built-in side cases seemed to have and wondered for a moment if I was in trouble. Nope. It all fit. I think I'll buy the Bestem liner bags. You could put everything in them, then just drop them in and close the lid. When I had to get something out on the trip, it was a bother to have the contents shift when you had the door open. So it isn't as convenient, but it is fixable. Honda also sells larger capacity lids that almost double the capacity. I'll probably buy a set, even if I don't use them every day.[/*:m:1uzb9fny]
  • Bumpers. I'm not sure what to call them, but just like the ST1300, the NTV has the black "bumpers" on each side. From what I've read of people who have dropped theirs, they work and saved the rest of the bike from damage.[/*:m:1uzb9fny]
  • Instrument panel. It is set up virtually the same as the B400 has with the fuel on the left, speedometer and on the right, the tach and water temp. In the upper middle, there's a onboard computer, much like we have on the B400. I didn't see a temperature gauge, but it has both an instantaneous MPG readout, as well as the average MPG readout. And being a smaller display, you can't see both the miles on the trip odometer and MPG at the same time. It doesn't seem an issue though. On the B400, I have to really stretch to go through the select button while riding. On the NTV, it was an easy reach to press the buttons and cycle through the display info.[/*:m:1uzb9fny]
  • I don't think it is a chick magnet...and since I'll be celebrating 39 years of marriage this July, that's okay. But out in Davenport in a small town with some guys who looked like farmers, two of them came up to me and commented on how nice the bike looked. :thumbup: [/*:m:1uzb9fny]

So that's my impression. I like the bike and don't think I made a wrong decision.

Let me pass on something that you may not know. The Honda NT700V was sold in Europe for about 10 years before Honda brought it to the states. It was used a lot by motorcycle couriers and I believe I even read it was used by motorcycle cops. There were faster and sportier bikes, but this one just got the job done. Honda discontinued the production in April, I think to replace it with the NC700X and CTX700. A number of people have compared the NTV with the PC800. In both cases, they are excellent bikes that Honda didn't market well. I'm hoping that these will develop the same cult following the PC800 has.

The list price for the bike is $11,200...but I found it for $7600. The salesman showed me how he lost $1900 on the sale. As he explained it, they not only have the cost of the vehicle, but also have to factor in the floor cost that they keep track of. In some cases, it is better for them to move something at a loss, than to continue paying the floor cost as it sits. He has one more left. I did a search using Search Tempest looking out 1000 miles...and found one other new 2010 without ABS down in California. Everything else was used, and most of the sellers were asking a higher price than I paid. So if you're interested in one of these, I recommend you snatch up the one he still has. You won't find a cheaper price.

Mods I've come to find out, are indicators for what is missing on the bike. Here's a list:
1. Radar detector. I could end up doing some crazy speeds on this thing. I need to control that right hand. :roll:
2. Lower cowl fairing. I'll pick one up on Tuesday evening. It's a weird thing to feel a large bug hit your foot, and I can feel the cold air hitting the front of the foot.
3. Wind deflectors for the hands. They make some that blend in so well that you don't realize that is what they are there for. But they work. Again, I got a couple bugs that smacked the back of the fingers.
4. 12-Volt recepticle to power the GPS.
5. GPS handlebar clamp from RAM. The nice part about using RAM products, is you can put together so many combinations of parts to do what you want. My existing GPS mounts will work fine if I get just the different handlebar clamp.
6. Givi trunk plate. Kiwi Dave has ordered the base plate that stays on the bike for me and I should have it soon. That'll let me use the same Givi e470 trunk on both bikes and save some $$$.
7. Larger side case lids. I'm not sure I need them, but they aren't costly. I found I could put a Costco sized box of Ritz crackers in with a jumbo sized peanut butter jar in the side case. But the Costco sized Shredded Wheat was just a little too thick and wouldn't allow the door to close.

Otherwise, the bike is pretty well set as it comes from the factory. That's nice. If you buy a NC700X, many owners are spending an additional $3000 for modifications to get it from the "toy" stage to something useful.

Let me know if you have any questions, because I'm sure I missed something.

Chris
 

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The one inch risers made a big difference on the ST1100 which is a similar sport seating set up.
Not sure which windscreen you have but the touring screen versus the sport screen also made a huge difference - quietest bike yet at 120 KPH

There is a Corbin seat for that which is lower and a Sargent which I can highly recommend. You gain 3.4 inch and a lot of comfort.

http://www.nt-owners.org/forums/showthr ... t-from-MCL

NIce machine - would love to find out in Australia. I find the ST1100 clunky around town but a delight on the highway. Enjoy.
 

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Nice post Chris. I hope Deborah is fine with the new stable mate.

I looked at a new bike this weekend, but haven't found one better than the B400. I will be trying the NC700 down the road though.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
One of the things that factored into my mind was the cost for additional mods to the NC700X. Luggage alone would be $1500. That's built in to the NT700V. You're probably too young to remember this, but the first Arab oil embargo back in 1973, sent gas prices skyrocketing to something like $0.38 a gallon. Maybe it was more. Anyway, cars like Toyota Corollas that no one wanted before, became hot items. Dealers were marking up any economical car with a premium of a couple thousand dollars. I saw a guy on base who had just bought a Chevy Caprice for $850. I asked him why when everyone else was buying the opposite. He said he can buy a lot of gas for the $3000 more that cheap cars were going for. He was right. The NTV doesn't get the gas mileage of the NC700X, but it is still pretty decent...and about $3000 less when you factor in equivalently equipped bikes.

I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised. It was hot this morning...almost 60F by the time I arrived at church. I didn't want to carry my gear in, but the side cases on the NTV seem so small since they are blended into the body. Well, I put my gloves, pants, jacket liner and jacket in with room to spare...about what I'd put under the seat on my Burgman.

Chris
 

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Chris,

Nice review and congrats on your new bike. I have wanted a NT700 since before they came to the states. I joined the site for them that is from England just to read about them. Did you figure out the mpg's on your way home? I know it is new and will get better mileage but I hear they can avg 55mpg if not ridden at really high speeds. Congrats.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
MPG was about 50, which is not bad for this bike and the conditions (high winds) I was riding in.

I'll be riding up to Leavenworth next Saturday for a NT700V reunion. I'll see what I get there.

Chris
 

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I totally agree. At the MSRP of $11,200...plus additional fees, it was to much. At $7600, it seemed like to good of a deal to pass up.

Chris
 

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Hey Chris,

I saw your ad on ebay about you selling your B400. I was surprised.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nope. Not mine. I don't know if I'll ever sell it.

Chris
 

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chris,

I know. I was just kidding to start something on this site.
 

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Yes, but you made me wonder if my wife did something behind my back! :lol:

Chris
 

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Nice review Chris, I think the term for the "bumpers" is sliders, not to be confused with th cvt sliders.
I added them to my FJR, so glad I did as it got knocked over and they saved much of the Tupperware, scratch on the mirrors.

Nice price, for California , because of the crazy registration requirements, means we have to look inside ca for new makes these nice out of state deals frustrating.

Enjoy it, I know you will :thumbup:

Ride safe
 

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Nice review Chris................... but were are the pictures :?: At $11,200 MSRP :shock: I would think there would be quite a few left overs.
 

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I put the pictures in the Road Trip report. viewtopic.php?f=14&t=61143&p=564871#p564871

Agreed. When I looked at the NT700V when it first came out, $11,200 seemed like more than I wanted to go for. Especially since a Burgman 400 was only @$7000 or so, if I remember right. The price on the Burgman has gone up to $7900, while this one went down several thousand. This NT700V was actually less expensive than a new Burgman 400.

Sigh...I haven't ridden Deborah at all since I got Ebenezer. :shock: She sits forlornly in the other side of the garage. As I've been riding Ebenezer, I've wondered what it will feel to go back to her.

I rode Ebenezer back from Coeur d'Alene on Friday, then to the Men's Discipleship group at church on Saturday, Church on Sunday, and work Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday, I left earlier to get into less traffic with the new bike. As Dave_J said while we were eating dinner in Cashmere on Friday, he had only ridden his Goldwing about three days before he had to make an emergency maneuver and wrecked it (and him). The ride home and this morning's commute gave me some good opportunities to practice my shifting in heavy traffic. :roll: It comes very naturally now. I find the seat more comfortable than before, even in this short time. I think it took some time to relax to the new seat and seating position. Now, it's not a big deal. I still think I'll wait a bit though before doing another SS1000 on this bike. I should probably put in some long rides within the state where I have the opportunity to get off if I find it isn't comfortable for all day riding like the 400 is.

There's a NT700V reunion up in Leavenworth this Saturday that will give me a chance for some longer seat time. I plan to leave from the Men's Discipleship group and head over to Monroe. I'll pick up the Ben Howard Road (full of one turn after another, with none of them sweepers but tight corners), then up US2 through Stevens Pass to the Chumstick Highway, then down into Leavenworth for the reunion. It will be interesting to see who all shows up and what the group is like. I suspect they'll be a lot like the rest of us. Oddities in a motorcycle world that favors sport bikes and cruisers. In which case, I'll fit right in.

[attachment=0:3hcfp6aw]Capture.JPG[/attachment:3hcfp6aw]

One thing I've been surprised at, is the balance of the bike. I can be barely moving (like inches per hour) and still haven't taken my feet off the pegs. Stability is excellent too at speed. I'm impressed more and more as I ride it.

I've been spending $$$ on farkles, doing my part to help the economy along. My wife is being very understanding on it all. She's a wonderful lady! One of my big reasons for the push is the potential for all Internet sales to be taxed. Like I told her last night, if I know I plan to buy something in six months, I might as well buy it now instead of paying more later. Some of it is to make up for things that make it more suitable for riding in wet and cold climates like the wind deflectors for the hands and the lower fairing for the feet. I ordered the larger pannier lids that increase what you can carry without hanging out too far on each side. And then for trips, I ordered a handlebar clamp from Motorcycle Larry's (he had an NT700V also). The clamp gives you a power socket and RAM ball attachment so the GPS is right in the middle.

I'm looking forward to some long day trips this summer to try all this out! :)

Chris
 

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Nice writeup on the NT700V. I did the same thing you did, but back in 2010. Still have the 07 Burgman 400 (it's not going away!) too.

I've also got a short inseam, and went for 3 mods to make the bike fit better. First was a lowering kit that changed the eyelet on the rear monoshock. The NT700 forum has links to the supplier. Not a project for the mechanically faint-hearted, but doable. Second was to shorten the side stand - required if you do the shock mod. Third was some homebrew seat changes: pulled the cover, replaced some of the regular foam with denser memory foam, shaped it a bit better for my butt. Made all the difference.

Skidmarx makes an excellent lower cowling. Once again, see the NT700 forum for a supplier and some install details. Biggest difference I noticed is that it keeps a lot of the wind off your lower legs and feet.

Haven't got it out on a really long road trip yet, but hopefully this summer!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I've bought a long list of farkles already. The bike is very rideable as is, but if I'm going to ride it for more than entertainment, I wanted to get it ready.

Motorcycle Larry made some money off of me. I got the foam Grip Covers, Risers, Handlebar Clamp with Powerlet socket and RAM ball for the GPS. I ordered the large pannier lids from David Silvers, just in case I want them later and just in case they cease production. Also found another NT700V owner who lives a couple miles from me and got the OEM lower fairing. The panniers hold more than I expected, but the whole bit of having things drop down when you open the lid seemed awkward. Since my laptop backpack wouldn't fit, I ordered the Bestem liners. That'll let me just pick up the entire bag and carry it in. Kiwi Dave set me up with the Givi mounting plate, and I can take the Givi e470 off the Burgman 400 and put it on in seconds that way. And I ordered another of the Knight Riderz LED brake lights...you can't beat the brightness or the price.

And now to install it all. I put 600 miles on it in less than a week, so I've already done the initial oil change. It seems pretty easy to work on. There's a group of NT700V owners meeting in Leavenworth tomorrow, so I'll see if any can give me some tips too.

Chris
 
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