Equipped With The DCT Transmission

Honda’s CTX700 siblings brings flexibility and rider-friendliness to the table with a laid-back cruiser attitude. The 670 cc, parallel-twin engine delivers manageable power, and a choice of transmissions lets you choose how involved you will be in the shifting process, even to the point of full-automatic functionality. This allows the family to cover a range of experience levels from the entry level on up to veteran commuters.

The fairing and optional bags on the CTX700 (non-N) model place it right into the weekender/tour bracket as well. Best of all, Honda priced the bike to be accessible, and this combination has the potential to appeal to folks who may have otherwise passed on the joys of fists in the wind and bugs in their teeth. Today I’m going to take a look at the specifics of the CTX700 and 700N and see what all Honda packed in that makes this bike so popular with its owners.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda CTX700 and CTX700N.

  • 2014 - 2018 Honda CTX700 / CTX700N
  • Year:
    2014- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Liquid-cooled parallel-twin
  • Displacement:
    670 cc
  • Price:
    8299
  • Price:

Design

2014 - 2018 Honda CTX700 / CTX700N
- image 691199
I can tell you from experience that while this windsock riding position is indeed comfortable once you get used to it, riding feet first may feel a little odd starting out.

The overall panache shows a heavy sportbike influence that would look perfectly natural with a jockey-style rider triangle, but instead the designers went with a feet-forward cruiser layout that puts the rider in something of a relaxed windsock position. Pullback handlebars allow for an upright riding posture with a straight back, and I can tell you from experience that while this position is indeed comfortable once you get used to it, riding feet first may feel a little odd starting out.

The 2015 model saw the seat moved 30 mm closer to the controls, adding to the confidence inspired by the 28.3-inch seat height and low center of gravity. In a reversal of logic, the “base” model CTX700 comes with the front fairing complete with windshield while the “N” is more stripped down up front with a mere flyscreen atop the headlight can.

The somewhat-dramatic hump of the fuel tank contains a small, on-board storage compartment next to the lockable gas cap, and all under a vanity cover that hides it away and keeps the tank looking clean. Indents at the rear of the tank create a pocket for the knee that keeps the leg largely out of the slipstream and comfortably close to center without excessive leg splay.

At the rear, the P-pad tapers the saddle off to nothing, and the taillight comes tucked away under the fender to keep the rear clean. If passenger comfort is a priority for you, Honda offers an accessory backrest that will provide a little safety and comfort for the pillion. Hard saddlebags are available for the entire range, so even the “N” can run panniers and serve as a commuter, grocery-getter and medium tourer as well as its faired sibling. Like I said, it’s a flexible bike family.

Chassis

2014 - 2018 Honda CTX700 / CTX700N
- image 691200
I have yet to experience or hear any negative feedback about the ride quality, so I am going to call it good enough for its purpose.

The low seat height and low center of gravity are key to the rider-friendly disposition of the CTX siblings, and Honda built the frame around those design pillars. Tubular steel members make up the diamond-style frame, and a rectangular cross-section, yoke-style swingarm finishes the standing structure. The 27.7-degree rake angle gives us 4.4 inches of trail with a 60.2-inch wheelbase, and this steering geometry combines with the low seat/center of gravity to make the bike feel light on its feet and easy to maneuver both in the corners and in the parking lot.

Honda didn’t exactly build a fuel camel here; the fuel tank only holds 3.17 gallons, but this also helps keep center of gravity low, and at 61 mpg, your butt (or bladder) is liable to need a break long before the bike needs fuel.

A pair of 41 mm forks support the front end on 4.2 inches of travel, and a hidden away, Pro-Link monoshock gives up 4.3 inches of travel. Suspension component tuning balances agility and comfort, but come with fixed values that cannot be tuned, so what you see is what you get. This is common enough among the more budget-conscious rides. I have yet to experience or hear any negative feedback about the ride quality, so I am going to call it good enough for its purpose though I look forward to a day when tune-able suspension is the norm even all the way down below the 10K dollar mark.

Cast Y-spoke rims mount the 17-inch hoops with a 120/70 up front and a 160/60 in back, and add little to the unsprung weight and windage while limiting the gyroscopic forces that cause resistance to leaning in the turns. Wet weight for the range falls between 478- and 516-pounds, so these bikes can get along just fine with a single, 320 mm front brake disc and twin-pot caliper. A single-piston caliper binds the 240 mm rear disc, and while the standard CTX700 and CTX700N came with conventional brakes, both can be had with ABS as part of the DCT/ABS variant package.

Model: CTX700 CTX700N
Front Suspension: 41mm fork, 4.2 inches travel 41mm fork, 4.2 inches travel
Rear Suspension: Pro-Link® single shock, 4.3 inches travel Pro-Link® single shock, 4.3 inches travel
Front Brake: Single 320mm disc with two-piston caliper Single 320mm disc with two-piston caliper
Rear Brake: Single 240mm disc with single-piston caliper Single 240mm disc with single-piston caliper
Front Tire: 120/70-17 120/70-17
Rear Tire: 160/60-17 160/60-17

Drivetrain

2014 - 2018 Honda CTX700 / CTX700N High Resolution Exterior
- image 504287
Power output seems relatively modest with 48 ponies at 6,100 rpm, but in practice you can expect to get from 0-to-60 mph in something around five seconds.

Frame design alone wasn’t enough to get the low stance Honda was looking for; the factory had to roll the engine forward a total of 62 degrees to create the necessary vertical clearance. This water-cooled, 670 cc, parallel-twin engine uses a single over-head cam to time the four-valve heads, and runs in an undersquare configuration with a 73 mm bore and 80 mm stroke. Compression ratio puts you in the mid-grade fuel category (at least) at 10.7-to-1.

As with the suspension, the engine management is fixed and non-adjustable. Honda’s digital ignition and PGM-FI manages spark and induction, and contribute to the great mileage. To be fair, bikes in this price bracket usually don’t have much in the way of engine wizardry, and I’m always a proponent for keeping things as simple as possible.

Power output seems relatively modest with 48 ponies at 6,100 rpm, but in practice you can expect to get from 0-to-60 mph in something around five seconds; plenty for using acceleration to evade a situation in traffic, and enough for some cheap thrills when you want to get twisty with it. After all, at the end of the day, this is a cruiser, so fast quarter-miles aren’t really a priority.

Both models were available with two very different gearboxes up to 2016. For riders looking to maintain the status quo Honda offered a six-speed manual transmission with a conventional, left-hand clutch lever that delivers the standard shifting experience. Ah, but Honda’s Dual-Clutch Transmission takes to a different level with the option of push-button or full-automatic shifting and coming into 2018, the DCT is all I see available at the moment. Personally, I think that folks looking to learn how to ride would do well to stick with the manual transmission, but the DCT opens the family up to folks who, for whatever reason, find the conventional shifting setup prohibitive or just not in their scope of preferences.

Model: CTX700 CTX700N
Engine Type: 670cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin 670cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin
Bore And Stroke: 73mm x 80mm 73mm x 80mm
Transmission: Automatic DCT Six speed Automatic DCT Six speed

Price

2014 - 2018 Honda CTX700 / CTX700N
- image 691207
The faired CTX700 started out with a base MSRP of $8,299 for 2017 and will probably be similar for 2018.

The faired CTX700 started out with a base MSRP of $8,299 for 2017 and until I see a price for 2018, I’m going to assume it’ll be close to the same. The CTX700N didn’t make an appearance in 2017, but in 2016 it was about $500 less than the CTX700, so figure about the same price difference or close to it.

Competitor

2015 - 2018 Suzuki Boulevard M50
- image 731527
2015 - 2018 Kawasaki Versys 650 / Versys 650 LT / Versys 1000 LT
- image 684871
The CTX700/N range is so versatile, I felt like I needed more than one competitor to cover all the bases.

The CTX700/N range is so versatile, I felt like I needed more than one competitor to cover all the bases. My first thought was that the laid-back cruiser rider triangle and bullet headlight can/flyscreen brought to mind the Boulevard M50 from Suzuki.

Right off the bat you’ll notice the Western influence in the Boulevard that is meant to endear it to the American market. Honda keeps things looking rather metric but runs the same windsock triangle for a similar attitude and posture. Suzuki’s 805 cc V-twin also plays into the look and enjoys a small displacement advantage over the CTX700, but it’s a cruiser, so that’s a secondary concern, at best. At $8,599 the Boulevard is a bit pricier, and not only does the seam on the fuel tank make it look a bit cheaper, ABS isn’t one of the available options.

The Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS looked to me like a good match to put up against the touring/commuter aspect of the family. A fairing and windshield provides some protection and comfort for the rider, and optional bags can boost cargo capacity to a useful level. Looks are somewhat more similar than with the Boulevard, but more angular and lacking the sexy curves of the CTX. Plus, the rider triangle is more like a dual-sport than a cruiser.

A 649 cc, parallel-twin engine drives the Versys, right on par with the Honda, but the Versys comes with dual front brakes and ABS for greater braking capacity. In short; a little less go and a little more stop. The $8k price tag puts it neck-and-neck with the ABS-equipped CTX700 and could appeal to the same sort of buyers. Unless you want an automatic transmission, that is, then your choice is made for you.

He Said

“Oh no, I mentioned the words entry level so the Honda-forum fanboys are going to get bent out of shape, but that is one of the design goals, according to Honda, and but one of the possible end uses. Another end use is that of a machine that opens up motorcycling to folks who may otherwise be prohibited from getting in the wind, and I’m all for that. While the feet-forward riding position doesn’t exactly look natural on such a metric-looking bike, it will be comfortable.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "Nice fuel economy in a mid-range engine size. Put some bags on it and it’s a nice commuter to work or to the campus. I can see this as a weekend touring bike with just enough oomph that I’d be comfortable on the interstate. For straight-up commuting, I like bikes with smaller engines, but if you have to get on the freeway, I like to have something like this with a bigger engine under me."

Specifications

Model: CTX700 CTX700N
ENGINE:
Engine Type: 670cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin 670cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin
Bore And Stroke: 73mm x 80mm 73mm x 80mm
Induction: PGM-FI with 36mm throttle body PGM-FI with 36mm throttle body
Ignition: Digital transistorized with electronic advance Digital transistorized with electronic advance
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1 10.7:1
Valve Train: SOHC; four valves per cylinder SOHC; four valves per cylinder
DRIVE TRAIN:
Transmission: Automatic DCT Six speed Automatic DCT Six speed
Final Drive: Chain Chain
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION / BRAKES:
Front Suspension: 41mm fork, 4.2 inches travel 41mm fork, 4.2 inches travel
Rear Suspension: Pro-Link® single shock, 4.3 inches travel Pro-Link® single shock, 4.3 inches travel
Front Brake: Single 320mm disc with two-piston caliper Single 320mm disc with two-piston caliper
Rear Brake: Single 240mm disc with single-piston caliper Single 240mm disc with single-piston caliper
Front Tire: 120/70-17 120/70-17
Rear Tire: 160/60-17 160/60-17
DIMENSIONS:
Rake: 27.7° 27.7°
Trail: 114.0mm (4.4 inches) 114.0mm (4.4 inches)
Wheelbase: 60.2 inches 60.2 inches
Seat Height: 28.3 inches 28.3 inches
Fuel Capacity: 3.27 gallons 3.27 gallons
Miles Per Gallon: 61 mpg 61 mpg
OTHER:
Warranty: One Year Transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.
Model Id: CTX700D CTX700ND
Available Colors:
2016: Gray Blue Metallic Light Silver Metallic
2017: Candy Red NA
2018: Chromosphere Red Black
Price:
2016: $7,499 (DCT - $8,099) $6,999 (DCT - $7,599)
2017: $8,299 NA
2018: TBA TBA

References

Suzuki Boulevard M50

2015 - 2018 Suzuki Boulevard M50
- image 731523

See our review of the Suzuki Boulevard M50.

Kawasaki Versys 650

2015 - 2018 Kawasaki Versys 650 / Versys 650 LT / Versys 1000 LT
- image 684422

See our review of the Kawasaki Versys 650.

All visual content featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: powersports.honda.com, suzukicycles.com, kawasaki.com

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