Honda brought their all-new NT700V touring motorcycle to the United States last autumn. Having gained popularity and selling pretty well in Europe for years, Honda’s mid-sized V-Twin is claimed to be a versatile, user-friendly and fuel efficient motorcycle that allows riders to use it both to commute and live adventures on depending on what day of the week it is.
Behind all the touring fun and excitement sits a consecrated (on the old continent) liquid-cooled 52-degree V-Twin displacing 680cc as a result of an 81mm bore and 66mm stroke as well as 10:1 compression ratio. Each cylinder’s four valves are controlled through a single overhead cam, while gas is fed into the engine by Honda’s programmed fuel injection system. The engine is coupled to a five-speed tranny, which should keep things lively and interesting at all times while also maintaining good mileage. Knowing about the standard model’s 566 lbs curb weight (571 on the ABS model) and the gas tank’s 5.2 gallons capacity, we reckon the NT700V should beg for more gas after around 200 miles during long haul traveling and approximately 165 miles around town.
If our predictions are right, this qualifies the bike as a great alternative for those who have long been waiting to join the big league, but don’t feel like spending too much money on big touring bikes, which aren’t that helpful around town either.
With a 26.5-degree rake and 4.5 inches trail, the bike should be very maneuverable even at slow speeds also thanks to the low center of gravity and 58.1 inches wheelbase. The rider’s bottom will sit at 31.7 inches above the ground, which is acceptable.
A major contribution to this model’s touring credentials is the suspension equipment composed from a 41mm telescopic fork offering 4.5 inches of travel and a preload adjustable shock offering an even greater 4.8 inches of travel. And the thing is that you haven’t even heard the best part yet: the thing features combined braking system working with three-piston calipers on the 296mm front discs and also on the 276mm rear one. ABS is optional.
Being a veritable mid-range touring motorcycle, the Honda NT700V comes with large-capacity saddlebags and five-position adjustable windscreen so that it will suit riders of different heights. Also, the decent accessories list includes a 45-litre top box in matching body colors, just to start your interest.
Looks like this motorcycle is always ready to spoil its riders and the best part is that it has gone through a thorough testing process undergone along the years mostly by those lucky Europeans. The Honda NT650V Deauville was introduced in 1998. It came to replace the NTV650 Revere and it did it with style as it stood out thanks to a fully integrated three-quarter fairing and panniers. The engine, which was the same type as the current one, originally displaced 647cc and had only three valves per cylinder. It developed a decent 55 hp at 7,750 rpm and 41 lb-ft at 6,250 rpm, enough to keep riders interested in Honda’s offering for the respective segment.
This bike has gradually gained the respect of European riders not only for being versatile, efficient, comfortable and fun to ride, but also thanks to the reliable V-Twin engine. This was enlarged in 2006 to 680cc and the bike’s name was changed into NT700V Deauville. Fuel injection was also added and the power and torque gain was more than substantial: 65 hp at 8,000 rpm and 48.8 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm. In 2006, ABS was also introduced as an option.
With this all-new NT700V, Honda is walking on soft American ground mostly because riders can go ahead and buy sport-touring models such as the Yamaha FZ6 , Suzuki GSX650F or Kawasaki Ninja 650R for plenty less than what they’ll pay for the NT700V and still ride a much more potent piece of engineering. But the fact is that the Honda NT700V addresses to riders who have long surpassed the “horsepower crisis” and prefer the joy of riding in complete comfort and well protected by wind and weather for miles and miles every day.
And the way that it looks shows this from the very first glance. You won’t see the FZ6 coming out of the factory gates with panniers on, but this motorcycle does and still looks up for the sport-touring challenge. The three-quarter fairing and demure headlight positioned above the NT’s “shark mouth” all contribute at making the thing look one-of-a-kind, while the five-position windscreen looks very efficient.
Overall quite clean and docile, the NT700V disguises that gas tank very well behind the large fairing, but this still blends in with the spacious seat and standard panniers. Everything is designed with aerodynamics in mind and Honda’s quality built and refinement can be spotted all over this model. The three-spoke, 17-inch wheels are quite simple and in between them there’s not much to lay your eyes on apart from the exhaust on the right rider side and the shaft final drive on the left.
This new introduction to the US market comes in colors that Honda also used for the ST1300 along the years: Metallic Red and Metallic Silver. Only the last color is available for the ABS-equipped NT700V.
"Punch the throttle and the engine responds by chugging forward at a leisurely pace—a boon for riders with less experience and ideal for riding in the rain or other limited-traction situations. Experienced pilots worry not, for as the revs pile on and the motor gets spinning up to 5000 rpm, the engine cranks out enough acceleration force to allow for safe passing…” – motorcycle-usa
"Revving to a peak of 8500 rpm, the oversquare Twin (81mm x 66mm) cruises along the highway at 70 miles per hour revving around 4750 rpm in top gear, but it really screams for a 6th gear. The NT’s Twin felt a little more comfortable down at 65 mph and 4300-ish rpm, where the little tourer settles into a harmonious groove.” – motorcycle
"At speed in a wholly different environment-curvy canyon roads-the Honda NT700V is equally stable. True to its sport-touring pedigree, its profile is slim, and the motorcycle moves through transitions nimbly enough that you forget you have bags permanently installed behind you." – ultimatemotorcycling
"On the bright side, the bike does hide its weight well and is neutral to turn in. Despite the rear’s tendency to lift upon sudden deceleration due to the shaft drive, this shaft-jacking motion surprisingly didn’t hamper the bike during turn-in, mid corner or on corner exit." – sportrider
"Braking performance is likewise adequate, bolstered by Honda’s unobtrusive Combined Braking System that links one piston in the left front caliper with the rear to improve braking balance and confidence. Optional ABS further increases the safety margin during inclement weather or on dirty streets." – motorcyclistonline
"It has taken 10 years for the NT700V to reach our shores. Time will tell if American riders are NT savvy, but one thing is certain: Traveling coast-to-coast in comfort and style just got a lot more affordable for a lot more riders." – cycleworld
As you’ve already deduced, this motorcycle’s biggest disadvantage is its price tag. With a $9,999 MSRP for the non ABS version and a $10.999 one for the ABS version, riders are most likely gonna head to the cheaper, good old sport-touring segment.
Looking at the bike and knowing that it comes after a long ride on the old continent, we cannot ever underestimate it, so much the less now that we haven’t even ridden it. We’ll just express our reservations towards the way riders are looking at it.
Model: NT700V / NT700VA ABS
Engine and Transmission
- Engine Type: 680cc liquid-cooled 52° V-twin
- Bore and Stroke: 81mm x 66mm
- Compression ratio: 10.0:1
- Valve Train: SOHC; four valves per cylinder
- Induction: PGM-FI with automatic enrichment circuit, 40mm throttle bodies and 12-hole injectors
- Ignition: Digital transistorized with electronic advance
- Transmission: Five-speed
Chassis and Dimensions
- Front suspension: 41mm telescopic fork; 4.5 inches travel
- Rear suspension: Single shock with spring preload adjustability; 4.8 inches travel
- Front brake: Dual full-floating 296mm discs with CBS three-piston calipers
- Rear brake: Single 276mm disc with CBS three-piston caliper; Optional ABS
- Front tire: 120/70 ZR17 radial
- Rear tire: 150/70 ZR17 radial
- Wheelbase: 58.1 inches
- Rake: 28° 50’
- Trail: 115mm (4.5 inches)
- Seat Height: 31.7 inches
- Curb Weight: 566 pounds (NT700V) / 571 pounds (NT700VA ABS)
- Fuel Capacity: 5.2 gallons, including 0.9-gallon reserve
Features & Benefits
- Powerful four-valve 680cc liquid-cooled V-twin engine for strong performance and economical operation.
- Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) delivers excellent throttle response over a wide range of throttle settings and riding conditions.
- Combined Braking System (CBS) with a triple-disc brake system plus the option of ABS for confident braking in varying conditions.
- Large-capacity saddlebags feature a pass-through space between the two sides to facilitate packing of longer items and provide additional carrying capacity.
- Five-position windscreen can be set at the preferred height.
- Convenient remote adjuster for rear shock spring preload adjustment facilitates changes in rear suspension settings.
- Standard model is available in Metallic Red and Metallic Silver colors. ABS model is available in Metallic Silver color only.
- Honda Genuine Accessories
- Top Box, 45L Red and Silver, Inner Bag-Trunk, Lower Top Box Pad, Fairing Wind Deflector Set, Knee Pad Set, Heated Grips, DC Socket, Tank Pad, Outdoor Cycle Cover.